It's not often in Australia we are welcomed by true legends of this Hip Hop game, but recently over the past month we have been blessed with some of the all-time greats. GZA. Nas. Wu-Tang Clan. Not bad huh? My bank account may have taken a beating but I was still convinced at online checkout point that every cent was worth it, in a time where quality Hip Hop artists seems to be on the decline and entering extinction. It very well could of been the last time I would get to see some of my all time favourite MC's.
But things didn't get off to a healthy start. GZA's consistent but albeit unexciting show at Prince of Wales, just didn't have much sense of atmosphere to really call a great gig. Nas's short versed, plastic performance featuring skinny jeaned punk & Lil Wayne look-a-like distracting guitar players at the old Metro. Or perhaps Wu-Tang-Part-Clan's horrid over bass'd live sound mixing, or the large infestation of rats into Festival Hall, and a men's toilet which felt like Barwon prison. My faith for live Hip Hop was being seriously tested!
-> ENTER our saviour - PHAROAHE MONCH!
This man knows how to move a crowd. A show I put right up there with Common and also Gang Starr at Prince of Wales before him. Backed by two powerfully voiced soul singers, an official X-Ecutioner behind the decks (playing some seriously dope instrumentals between tracks mind you) and a packed energetic Prince of Wales crowd, the night had a truly fantastic vibe.
Possibly one of, if not the best Hip Hop shows I have ever experienced. With a performance time of just over 1hr, it was an example of pure quality over quantity in every aspect. Tracing back over classic tracks like 'Stray Bullet' from Organized Konfusion, or solo material from Internal Affairs, Desire and the well known popular singles - 'My Life' from Soundbombing IV & 'Oh No' ft Mos Def & Nate Dogg.
But of course as we knew it always would, the night ended at an absolute climax with 'Simon Says' as the encore performance. I've never seen the Prince of Wales shout, jump, bounce and rhyme in unison like it did that night and at that moment. With the packed crowd yielding there guns aka hands in the air with the raps of Pharoahe: "Simon Says get the fuck up! Throw your hands in the sky" Crowd: "BUK! BUK! BUK! BUK!"
My faith restored....