Live Review: Run the Jewels, Danny Brown & Earl Sweatshirt at James Cabaret, Wellington

Earl Sweatshirt Run The Jewles Danny Brown Wellington James Cabaret

Run the Jewels, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt

James Cabaret, Wellington

Tuesday 28 January 2014

It’s only January, but tonight was promising to be the biggest Hip hop show of the year. The triple bill of Run the Jewels, Danny Brown and Earl Sweatshirt was almost too good to be true for hip hop fans, and the hipsters in their bucket hats attended in droves.

Run the Jewels proved to be a good opening act. The crowd were worked into a frenzy as MCs EL-P and Killer Mike tagged between themselves alternating lead duties. I was a bit confused when they talked about their DJ being born in Wellington and being raised by Koala Bears, but all was forgiven when they pulled an especially rowdy fan up onstage and sat him down for “time out” so that security wouldn’t need to deal with him anymore.

Danny Brown was arguably the biggest draw card of the night. Known as the rapper with the funny voice and having been touted as the next big thing by overseas press, Brown delivered on the hype. His music was bass driven and required a lot of chanting from the crowd, an interaction that the audience was happy to oblige. Brown lapped it up, continually poking out his tongue and throwing the goat.

Compared to Brown’s incessant bass driven music, Earl Sweatshirt’s set seemed far more stripped back, especially when he started spitting lyrics a cappella between his other songs. Sweatshirt’s set was a lot less structured than the first two bands and he would get the crowd to vote on if they wanted to hear old or new material. He later admitted that he’d only written about 20 songs, so we’d heard just about all of them anyway.

My personal highlight of the night was when Odd Future collaborator Domo Genesis threw a bucket of fried chicken into the audience and watched the crowd fight over the fried chicken. “Yeah! Rip each other’s throats!” shouted Sweatshirt.

An interesting insight into the world of hip hop. I just hope that they’re not all serious.


Joseph James