We’ve all heard of boat parties before – but this one is a little bit special. Themed around hip hop, Soulcity Productions have put their effort into delivering a fresh and unique experience, with something for every taste. To that end, and in the spirit of Beats, Rhymes & Life – one of the great Tribe Called Quest albums to grace the shelves of the hip hop section in the music store – Soulcity presents their own take on the boat party concept featuring the crop of local hip hop talent, including Mantra, Nick Thayer, Flagrant, Psyde Projects, Perplex, M.A.F.I.A, DJ Prequel, Claymore 74 and Zack Rampage.
Today though, Mantra is representing the crew with all the goss on the gig. “It’s a pretty exciting concept,” he chimes. “Now don’t quote me on this [sorry buddy] – but I think the boat is called the Victoria Star and it leaves from the Docklands and goes out onto Port Philip Bay and we kind of see some coast and some water – which is nice! There will be 300 or so people on board and it’s going to be much more than the boat coasting up and down the Yarra I hope.”
Indeed, a decent hip hop gig in any setting is a gift from God but on a boat – it has the potential to be something else altogether. Mantra continues: “So yeah, the Tribe Called Quest theme comes back to Clayton – the man holding the whole thing down – he has put on a lot of boat parties before, but this time he has done it from the angle of showcasing a certain type of music, and he then decided to apply the hip hop slant to it. Recently, he put on a funk soul party, which was incredible. So we’re really looking forward to getting the hip hop community represented with this one. There is no great meaning behind the whole thing, other than to get the whole crew out there to have a great time and represent.”
The boat will feature two floors, with Mantra headlining the upper deck with partners in crime DJ Wasabi and Bam Bam. “He’s a good friend of mine and basically acts as my hype man when I do my shows,” explains Mantra. “So basically, I’ll be doing a banging hip hop show as well as stuff from my two albums. Also, we want to do some exclusive stuff – doing a party on a boat gives you the chance to do something unique so we want to do something a bit left of centre if you know what I mean?”
No less, expect to hear material from the two solo albums he has dropped over the last two years. “A fairs chunk of the material we’re performing at the momen is based around the album I finished in September last year. We’ve had a pretty busy period touring between the albums and now I’m pulling myself out of that a little and kind of focusing a little on writing.”
That said though, all it took was a left field call around doing something a little bit different and Mantra was sold. “It’s not everyday you get called to headline a gig on a boat! But when the call came to headline this gig – we said, ‘Yeah!’ It’s not something we’ve done before. I don’t think there is too much more to say about it than that – the show will be more about having fun. It’s about raising awareness of local music so we leapt at the opportunity and of course, we’re really looking forward to the party.”
So that takes care of the top deck. But just to make sure you have options – and you will – the lower deck will feature DJ/producer extraordinaire Nick Thayer headlining. A bona-fide superstar, he needs little in the way of introduction having worked with some pretty big industry names like A-Skills and DJ Yoda, as well as releasing on some important labels like Bomb Strikes, Insane Bangers, Southern Fried and Hot Cakes.
The final word then, is this. If you’re up for a relaxing sunset party cruising Melbourne’s waterways – or a raucous dose of hip hop, a few ales with some mates and the chance to get down – then this is the gig that will cover all the bases. From chief party rockers, to turntablists, to hype men, to fat beats and a killer lineup featuring everything that is so good about local hip hop right now, you’d be hard pressed to pass this up as a fine way to spend a Saturday evening. Oh and if that isn’t enough there is also an after party nearby as well. They’ve kind of thought of everything – so you’ve got no excuse to head down and lend your support.
Mantra [AUS] plays Boats, Rhymes & Life alongside Nick Thayer [AUS], DJ Prequel [AUS] and more on The Victoria Star, setting sail this Saturday March 3.