One of the biggest cult figures in hip-hop (and to many, the closest thing to a Wu-Tang member a non-member can be), DOOM (aka MF Doom) has paid a long overdue visit to Australia which has resulted in numerous sold-out gigs across the country. The first of the two Sydney gigs was held at the Metro theatre and you can be sure that the packed-out venue witnessed an early-pick for hip-hop gig of the year.
On support duties were DJ MK from the UK and the ridiculously skilled Dialectrix from Sydney’s Blue Mountains. The latter was up first and left me very, very impressed.
Dialectrix constantly switched up his flow throughout his 30-40 minute showcase which left me, and the growing crowd amazed. From spitting multi-syllabic rhymes as fast as legends like Busta Rhymes and Kool G Rap (he even borrowed a beat from the former – ‘Break Ya Neck’) to the more relaxed style of rapping Aussie MC’s are known for, this local rapper sure stamped a firm impression on the sold-out metro. Out of all the Australian rappers I’ve seen live he without-a-doubt stands out as one of the finest artists on the scene. Closing out his set with the funky “Pieces of a puzzle,” it was obvious Dialectrix had earned a few hundred new fans.
One of UK’s finest hip-hop DJ’s ‘DJ MK’ took over the 1’s and 2’s for an hour while we eagerly anticipated DOOM. I love it when a hip-hop DJ doesn’t make me wish I was listening to my ipod instead – sadly, it’s a rare occurrence. Thankfully, DJ MK demonstrated that he not only knew what the discerning hip-hop crowd wanted but also that he, like a true hip-hop DJ, knew how to add to the intensity of each track with his well-placed scratching and effortless mixing. From Mobb Deep’s haunting ‘Drop A Gem On Em’ to Slum Village’s ‘Raise It Up,’ he kept us entertained with enough hip-hop classics to create the right environment for MF Doom. DJ MK is definitely one hip-hop DJ I wouldn’t hesitate in seeing live again.
Almost on time, DOOM hit the stage with his hype-man and wasted absolutely no time with ‘Accordian’ which lead into the fan-favourite ‘ALL CAPS,’ giving way to ‘Curls’ and ‘Fiagro’ – we barely had time to catch our breaths. The iconic, masked rapper showed off those smooth vocals that make him so distinctive – proving that it was surely the real DOOM under the mask (he has been known to send imposters in his place!).
The man took very few pauses between songs as he did not stop rapping as he continued with ‘America’s Most Blunted’ which sent the crowd wild.
Unfortunately, with most hip-hop concerts, you rarely hear your favourite track for very long – usually, a verse or two is quickly segued into another track and so on, but as a plus, DOOM managed to get through much of his very abundant catalogue. I was surprised at just how much the crowd ate up some of his more obscure tracks – a testament to how strong his following is.
This is a man who wears a mask to represent that he is strictly about rapping over the highest quality hip-hop beats and wants nothing to do with the image which most rappers obsess over , and he sure backed up his philosophy, with a no-bullshit set of pure hip-hop at its finest which came to a close with the popular ‘Benzie Box’ while the whole metro echoed Cee-Lo Green’s hook (in fact, a lot of people would not stop singing it, even after they exited the venue).
Sadly, personal-favourites, 'Doomsday' and 'Raedawn' were criminally left off the set-list - but hey, maybe he'll do them at the second show!
With a quiet entrance and a quiet exit, the untouchable DOOM left us all satisfied with a nothing-but-quality set for both his dedicated and casual fans. This combined with excellent support from Dialectrix and DJ MK made for an epic night of undiluted hip-hop.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones who missed out on this concert, a second Sydney show has been added for this Thursday (31st March – Oxford Art Factory) due to overwhelmingly high-demand, so you can ensure that you don’t repeat the mistake of missing out on DOOM, undoubtedly one of the best hip-hop gigs to grace Australia recently. Tickets are available from the moshtix link below – trust me, it’s worth it:
America’s Most Blunted
Rock Co.Kane Flow
The Fine Print
Change The Beat
Rhymes Like Dimes