Sunday, March 19, 2006

And remember, the hotter it is, the closer you are to hell!
- MC Big Shug on Singapore's weather

The Heineken Green Room Session at the Harbourfront Helipad featuring DJ Premier of the Gang Starr Foundation and Big Shug was great. It was, so I was told repeatedly, a night of real hip hop. It took me a while to get into it, but I wasn't in the best of moods when I went in, so the fact that they got me dancing to my usual standard after about 45 minutes on a bad knee does speak volumes. Granted, DJ Premier drew me in by playing some rock 'n' roll tunes to illustrate how rock 'n' roll was hip hop (and apparently it is, according to the hip hop music guru I went with) with songs such as John Mellencamp - Jack & Diane, David Bowie - Let's Dance and Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall. I never thought I'd hear so much arguably retro music in one week of clubbing without going to a retro party, but it was fun nonetheless. I especially loved how he turntabulised the signature bassline of Jack & Diane.

After all that rock 'n' roll, I pretty much enjoyed every track he laid down after that, though personally, I do object to being asked to "make some noise" every ten minutes or so. The floor wasn't all that danceable, given that it was hard, rough concrete which gave no energy back, but the group of hardcore hip hop fans right at the front were going hard the whole night long. Much respect to them for that.

My friend and I had the same comment on some of the hip hop songs he played. While we enjoyed tracks like Snopp Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot (one of my favourite tunes of 2005) and Terror Squad - Lean Back, we'd have preferred to hear the older stuff. After all, we came to listen to the real hip hop mothaf*ckas, and not stuff that you'd hear played in other hip hop joints in Singapore.

One thing which surprised me was the relative lack of people, given that it was a Green Room Session and the ones I've been to are normally packed. In fact, when I arrived close to 1 am, I saw quite a few people streaming out of Harbourfront Centre. I guess this wasn't the kind of hip hop gig that they expected.

All in all, the Green Room Session was great - not too many people, not too hot (we were located at a strategic spot on the dance floor which had a good breeze), good weather, good company and good music.

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