Last night a packed Galatos was treated to some of the best international hip-hop has to offer with a stellar performance from the notorious ganja- toting Action Bronson. For those who have yet to hear the lyricism of this former gourmet chef, expect the best of eclectic sample inspired boom-bap, food laced lyrics, and a hearty serving of all the usual gangster trimmings: weed, women, the hardships of being a pimp, and did I mention weed? Lots of weed.
The show got off to a rollicking start with a slick performance by Home Brew. Despite some mic issues which had Tom Scott commanding then grovelling to the sound man, all in freestyle form, it was an energetic driving set and one that shows just how far hip-hop in this country has come. From the hype and mob induced frenzy that comes with the gang mentality to their cultured soul beats they have set the standards high for any newcomers looking to usurp Home Brew’s position as the kings of NZ hip-hop. A particular highlight was the introduction of the rest of the ‘Young, Gifted and Broke’ posse rhyming over a live G-funk medley that paid homage to the best bass of the early nineties. While Haz spent a large part of the set sitting against the drum kit the rest of the crew were full of life (wasted still) and the posturing and performance of it all had the audience lapping it up.
An opener like that was going to be hard to follow but fresh off a day out in the Hauraki Gulf a hirsute Bronson appeared in his element, killing it in every sense of the word. Not long into the set he threw a large lamb loin out into the crowd and was constantly leaving the stage to wander off through the audience, alternating between ferocious freestyle and a selection from across all his albums. A groupie near the front managed to get on the stage and an impassive Bronson shouldered her, rapping on nonplussed while she lay across his shoulders, trussed like a giant ham ready for the spit.
Bronson is known for his lyricism and was on form, the elocution and pronunciation near perfect as he rattled through line after line before delving again into the crowd.
“Yeah – heavyweight primate with a Harvard mind; Blunts filled with the citrus mixed with orange lime”
It’s a sad fact that many of the hip-hop acts that come to New Zealand do so at the end of long tours and that, with the jet lag and what is a no doubt punishing schedule, means that we so often see the stars below their best. Bronson has bucked this trend in spectacular fashion and appeared to be loving all that Aotearoa has to offer (now tweeting under the Maori-influenced moniker of Hone Heke Bronson). This is due in large part to the efforts of the crew who brought him out and kept him entertained; fingers crossed future guests will be given the same motivation to perform.