Text & Images Ili Farhana
If you thinks hip hop is dead, then you should familiarise with the Singapore hip hop scene. 65 & Hope especially thinks it’s a rebirth. We couldn’t agree more. The hip hop organisation has been organising gigs almost weekly in the land of Lion and more hip hop websites and organisations have stepped up the game too, organising workshops and yet more gigs.
Family Affair is 65 & Hope’s way of uniting independent hip hop familias from Singapore and Malaysia. The first installment in 2007 saw XS.1 the Regiment and Da Fam headlining with Yun aka PD, Sleeq and Malaysia’s The Rebel Scum performing at the Arts House.
Held at the beautifully restored The Chamber, this year’s show kicked off with performances by participants of Top 7 ProtÃ©gÃ©, a talent show organised by 65 & Hope with the hopes of uncovering a new generation of independent hip hop artist. Dome Squad Clique (DSC) was up next demonstrating heaps of swagger and attitude. MC Feekee’D then rocked the crowd, but it was Pendekar aka Doggface and his arsenic laced-words that killed it.
KL’s underrated The Rogue Squadron presented a solid set, but could’ve saved some time if the transitions between The Rebel Scum (TRS), Familyboy, Phalanx, Jin Hackman, SSK and The Rogue Squadron were smoother. Nevertheless it was quite obvious that these guys were the audience favourite.
After their flurry of wordplay and stage antics, Bless mellowed things down with his striped down performance. While he wasn’t naked, he was barefoot as he spat out syrupy lyrics with only a guitar and bass player for back up.
A member of Singapore’s pioneering hip hop trio Public Eyez, brought the tempo back up again and to close the night, ordinary heroes and gentlemanly poets, Dose Two performed to highly infectious Sona One beats and got the crowd on their feet and bopping along. Part of the Singaporean-Malaysian crew, Flow Familia, they are slated to headline Family Affair III next year.
Which brings us to the hip hop scene here…. Where are our weekend gigs? Why are local groups and MCs performing covers? Why aren’t they performing their own original material? Now, excuse us while we figure out what our local hip hoppers are up to that’s holding them back.
JUICE thanks 65&Hope for their warm love in Singapore. Visit their virtual bunk at www.65hope.com. It comes with links to the other Singaporean hip hop artists’ hideouts too.
Hit up with more pics here.