Clipse (U.S) + Wax Motif + Levins + Nina Las Vegas - Metro Theatre (12.12.10)

After making a name for themselves in the underground hip-hop scene in the early 90s, Clipse, then known as Jarvis, catapulted into hip-hop's limelight with the help of Pharrel Williams and their critically acclaimed debut Lord Willin' which instantly became regarded as a classic amongst fans. The growth continued with their sophomore effort Hell Hath No Fury achieving near-perfect reviews in almost every major music publication around the world. Now, with their latest album Till The Casket Drops getting similar praise, the duo have decided to travel down to Australia to show us that they deserve the accolades – and show us they did.

Three DJ's: Wax Motif, Levins, and Nina Las Vegas took turns warming the crowd up with some excellent track selection. Wax Motif was up first, opting to put Metro's sound system to the test with some commericalised crunk. This was followed by Levins who showed little skill on the 1's and 2's but made up for it by playing some awesome tracks like Big L's classic “All Black” and Mystikal's “Danger” (and anyone who plays some Mystikal scores major points with me). Even though Levins managed to make some of the transitions sound extremely awkward (mixing DMX's dark classic “Get At My Dawg” into Freeway's commerical, upbeat “Flipside” just isn't right) his track choice instantly puts him ahead of most of the DJ's in Australia who claim to be hip-hop DJs. Nina Las Vegas seemed to be the most skilled DJ of the night, as she played for almost an hour before it was time for the main event.

Clipse hit the stage to much fanfare as they dealt us their brand of 'coke rap' with opener “Momma I'm Sorry” while the crowd surprisingly exploded with energy, rapping almost every word so loud that you could barely hear Pusha T and Malice flow effortlessly over the bouncy Neptunes beat. Fan-favourite “We Got It For Cheap” made an early appearance as did personal favorite “What Happened To That Boy”.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much the crowd got into it and that they knew pretty much every word of every verse the duo gave us, it was one big hip-hop rap-a-long as the brothers didn't miss a beat, taking us as far back as the track that made them famous, “Grindin'”, and even bringing out Ab-Liva of their extended group Re-Up Gang to perform his verse from “Cot Damn”.

Not a dull moment in the set, Clipse left us on a high note with “Door Man” during the one-song encore. However, their highest charting single “When The Last Time” was surprisingly excluded from the set, as was Pusha T's verse from Kanye West's “Runaway,” and a few other popular tracks which would have made an excellent set perfect. Either way, Clipse proved that they are one of the most skilled duos that hip-hop has seen in a long time and with solo projects coming next year, they show no signs slowing down.

Set List:

Momma, I'm Sorry
We Got It For Cheap
What Happened To That Boy
Cot Damn (with Ab-Liva)
Ride Around Shining
Keys Open Doors
Chinese New Year
Mr Me Too
Kinda Like A Big Deal
I'm Good
Popular Demand (Popeyes)

Door Man