The Brisbane hip-hop scene is passionate, and tight-knit. Ask anyone involved and they’d tell you, it’s not about beefing and who’s got the the biggest watch. You can really tell those involved care about pushing the culture forward, that was in full display on July 29th’s installment of Crooklyn @ The New Globe Theater.
James Dub is the man behind the night. His passion for the local scene stems from friendships and a desire to push the movement. A bit of expertise goes a long way – James’ prior experience running club nights put him in a position to bring Brisbane’s brightest together. “I started out working with Snitch and Thriller, which were metal shows,” he said. “I started out djing between the shows”. Sensing a gap in the market, James snatched the opportunity. “Six months ago I thought, why the fuck aren’t we doing this for hip hop? Some of my favourite people are in hip hop. Why are we doing this for other cunts when we could be setting up our own culture?”
Half a year later, established MCs like I Am D are giving their support, and meteoric acts like Miss Blanks are happy to sign up. They were just two of the the talented locals lending their voices to the line up on Saturday night. Jesswar, Wayde., Kaylah Truth, and APEman also made appearances. All made an great impression and I’m keen to explore their catalogues in more detail.
Headline act I Am D shone (as expected), and ‘Gang‘ took the GOAT for my standout track. His take on hip-hop is infectious and enjoyable, which was easy to read in the crowd. I Am D also has the enviable talent of getting the audience involved in a big way. Everyone was keen to get down to his hits, which is genuinely impressive for local acts. But then again, maybe I’ve just been to too many indie-rock gigs where the less interested you look, the cooler you are. I Am D.
Apart from I Am D, I’d have to say Miss Blanks was another highlight. I was pleasantly surprised she was added to the lineup, I’d been bumping ‘Clap Clap‘ for a while now and I was stoked to see it live.
Honourable mention to APEman as well, his friendship with producer tomtom was evident and their chemistry really showed through. Also stoked to see him pull some help out on stage with him as well, making his set a bit like his variety show, Banana Vision.
It reminded me of something James Dub had told me earlier that night: “Hip-hop brings people together.”
Be sure to peep artists and tracks linked above, and keep your eyes peeled for the next Crooklyn 🔥