Drapht @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (24/09/2011)

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Drapht is one of Aussie hip hop’s biggest stars. This was only confirmed when his latest offering The Life of Riley, debuted at number one on the ARIA Charts. Not only does this signal a new and mature era for the West Australian MC, but Drapht now has a mass group of young fans, that turned out in force on Saturday. Supported by legends Muph & Plutonic, newcomers Thundamentals and Melbourne’s own Briggs, Radelaide’s hip hop community did not disappoint by packing out The Thebby.

First up was Briggs, known for his tough-style lyrics and old school production. He didn’t disappoint, even though playing to a near empty Thebby. Bad Move was a bass-heavy banger. Along with Homemade Bombs, and Greetings. A solid set to an ordinary crowd.

Thundamentals are a Blue Mountains crew that have been blowing up of late on triple j, with their track Paint the Town Red. I was surprised by their tight, live flow and wicked beats. For this reason I’m sure, Big Boi chose them to support him on his recent tour. The Mash had some mad cuts by DJ Morgs and Move It Up had some cool gang vocals. These boys have got a big future.

To be honest, I was more excited about seeing one of my all-time favourite crews Muph & Plutonic than anyone else. With a back catalogue spanning four records and a huge amount of tracks that could be recited word for word by many in the crowd, Muph & Pluto opened with their banger Size Of The Soul, with that unmistakable looping beat of Plutonic Lab, and cool as fuck flow of Mupin. More hits followed, including Damn Truth, Tightropes, and a personal fave, Filthy Rich.

Paracetamol slowed things down so that the young couple next to me could continue their tonsil hockey. But it was the iconic track Heaps Good that brought the house down. Finishing with their huge hit Beautiful Ugly, I was just hoping that the main act could top or at least keep me up where Muph & Pluto left me.

As I re-fuelled, I noticed how much young crew were rocking Drapht hoodies and t-shirts. The man has reached a whole new demographic with The Life of Riley. And after his much publicised health issues, I wondered if he would deliver the same high-energy show he is known for. By this time The Thebby was packed. Hot chicks on shoulders and synchronised hand gestures followed.

After some early technical issues were sorted, Drapht was sprinting from stage left to right, backed up by good mate Briggs. Verbally Flawless was the opener; Boom Boom Boom had drinks raised. Where Yah From gave the man a chance to show his love for the city of churches, stating that Adelaide has some of the country’s sexiest women.

Drapht then went into his back catalogue with tracks like Who Am I, Don’t Wanna Work and inevitable crowd-pleaser Drink Drank Drunk. Of course he pulled out Jimmy Recard, but then swiftly followed it up with R.I.P J.R. The huge amount of energy in the room continued with tracks like Sing It (Life of Riley), Air Guitar and the title track to his tour Bali Party. Referencing local hero Trials, who produced The Life of Riley, The Paul The Dan went nuts. Rapunzel was an absolute show-stopper, and ended a night that would go down as one of the all time salute’s to Aussie hip hop.

4 out of 5 middle fingers.

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