Hip-Hop Legends ~ De La Soul held court @ Zouk’s Velvet Underground for their Official Launch of Bleedin’ Guns night. I attended the soft launch of Bleedin’ Gums in December I think, with a friend, it was a rather max out & chill out night. But for this night, it was anything but chill-out, it was a RIOT.
Arriving at Zouk at around 945pm, I was kinda surprise that there was a small crowd of expat Caucasian waiting anxious and even pouncing/prancing around waiting in anticipation for De La Soul. I was informed by the bouncer that doors open at 10pm. Nonetheless being “kiasu” of a good performance from De La Soul, I queued ahead regardless.
Doors open at around 10.10pm or so, after paying for my entrance fee I went in Velvet which led me to wait for another 1hr plus going 2hr for De La’s performance while vibing to soul hits and watching video montage of Ray Charles, Jackson 5 and Diana Ross.
One incident which left me rather annoyed was that they had reserved seats which were left unseated even during the performance and it wasn’t even properly indicated who these seats were reserved for.
I found a nice spot which was behind the barricades where I took random pictures. I notice a lot of expat Caucasians, as I would term them “80’s babies”, raving about De La Soul about when or how they first heard them they were in high school etc etc.
Finally after a lengthy wait, De La’s sound man came out and did a microphone check. Sheikh Haikel did a brief introduction before handing the microphone to DJ Mase to warm the crowd up. Playing classic off A Tribe called Quest and acting the hype-man role, he had the crowd filled with expats and local hip-hop fiends head-bopping and throwing their hands in the air.
After the warm-up, Dave & Pos entered the stage being greeted by the hordes of Hip-Hop fiends craving for that crack music. They were comical too, they teased the crowd, made jokes and passed the microphone to anyone that can sing their verse alongside them.
Kicking classic after classic, I can see why and how they maintain to perform for almost 20years ever since they left high school. Pure energy, stage charisma and flavor which unfortunately eludes most if not all of the supposed local (established) rappers.
In between their performance, they play interludes to pay homage to people which inspired them. One of these people was the late great James Brown. They played an almost 5min set to emphasize on this point while the crowd waved the hands in the air and bopped their heads to the melody.
When they unleashed their New York banger “Rock Co Kane Flow”, minus MF Doom, the crowd went insane with hysteria. Their pause-rap act during this song made everyone go nuts.
After an hour worth of performance, De La Soul exited to pounds, hugs and autographs while Mase continued to play the club-bangers until closing.
All I can say, the “REAL is BACK”. Bleedin Gums is a serious Hip-Hop Performance night. It will be an event with a good reputation as long it is left undiluted by the rubbish and cheesy kid rappers which have long overstayed their stage time. Suprisingly non of them were attendance on this night. No boring mundane songs about nonsense, no “Hip-Hop” Dance groups dancing like clowns and court jesters and all those wrong misconception that goes along with the supposed “local hip-hop” scene. If this event stays untouched by the “Premier Hip-Hop organization of Singapore”, it will go far and establish a loyal group of supporters & fan base which I would gladly fork out my hard-earned $ to watch good performances like the one given by De la Soul.
Joke of the night: As I was sipping my drink by the side, I heard a rather funny conversation between a Caucasian girl and a Malay dude about something that the Malay dude had some Mexican blood in him. I almost ROFL but instead I had a good chuckled before I exited Velvet for home.
So for the organizer of the night if you do read this entry please heed my advice, no “Premier Hip-Hop organization of Singapore” intervention and the bringing of quality acts like De la Soul, Bleedin’ Gums will be a night to be remembered always.
Written by: DJ QUiz