Ghostface Killah, DOOM, Chino XL @ The Forum
Hip hop has grown to attract a broad range of listeners. Few hip hop artists embody this diversity as much as Ghostface Killah and DOOM. The Forum was a sea of snapbacks, hipsters and hardcore hip hop heads for one of the year’s most lyrical events, Rap City. While proceedings took a bit of time to pick up, the electric energy inside the venue was palpable from the start.
Following opener Killah Priest, the masked DOOM made his way to the stage after what seemed like a relatively brief wait for a hip hop gig. In some ways it was an odd choice to have DOOM on so early, as he would seem the logical lead-in directly before Ghostface. Living up to his on-record persona the revered MC breezed through his catalogue of solo classics and collaborations (Madvillain, DangerDoom) with all of the quirky charm you would expect. While his mangled diction didn’t translate as well live during parts of the set, it was enough to keep DOOM disciples nourished.
Recognised as one of hip hop’s finest wordsmiths, while remaining criminally underrated in mainstream circles, Chino XL proved that he’s still got it with a blistering set. At times it appeared that Chino may have lost some punters with his complex rhyme patterns. However after a stunning freestyle, where he referenced everyone from Chris Brown and Rihanna to the Queen, Chino had the whole crowd fired up.
With the stage set, the beloved Ghostface Killah made his entrance. From the moment the classic Criminology blared out of the speakers it was clear who the crowd was there to see. Tony Starks did not disappoint as he delivered every verse with pure energy. The atmosphere at a fever pitch he rocked through a crowd participation edition of Protect Ya Neck, where members of the audience were brought on stage. As Ghostface said his thanks and made his way to the merch stand to sign autographs, you were left with a sense that you were part of something special. While it seemed to be over very quickly you still felt that you got bang for your buck.
BY ANDREW 'HAZARD' HICKEY
Photo credit: Ben Clement
LOVED: The enthusiasm of the performers.
HATED: The constant pleas of “we’ve travelled all the way here to perform for you tonight” in an effort to get more of a crowd response.
DRANK: James Boags.