Jurassic 5 thrill Christchurch fans
Put your hands up! The six mellow men which make up seminal American group Jurassic 5 thrilled over 2000 Christchurch fans with their golden sounds last night.
Busting out soulful but energetic West Coast rhymes, J5 - DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark and MCs Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir aka Soup and Marc 7 - don't rap about hoes and bling, but realness, freedom and truth.
Since reforming for a headline spot at Coachella last year, which saw them perform in front of 50,000 people, J5 head to Glastonbury in June, so kudos to the crew and the tour promoter who no doubt went to some trouble to bring the J5 experience to Christchurch when they could have just done two Auckland shows like every other international act.
Before the show Soup was surprised to learn that the marquee venue, although smaller than what they're used to, had been put up just for their visit.
''These people made a venue for us?'' he said, ''Oh no, they didn't? You're tripping me.''
Sipping soda, the group were laidback and polite and cracked jokes about their experiences in a Christchurch ''lonely soul hotel''.
Marking their 20th anniversary this year, last night's 90-minute high energy set kicked off with Back 4 U, and started a journey through their catalogue of four successful albums that included I Am Somebody, Desk (Hip Hop History), The Influence, Improvise, a Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark solo, Future Sound, Baby Please, Freedom, Countdown, In the House and bangers Quality Control, Concrete Schoolyard.
For the encore we jumped on our imaginary motorcycles and revved into King Tee, Jurass Finish First and the night's highlight, What's Golden?
J5 formed in Los Angeles in 1993 and dropped their first single Unified Rebelution in 1995, long before many of those numbering last night's crowd were embryos.
While J5 was mellow, polite and respectful, the same could not be said for some of the audience.
Hip-hop acts often unfairly get a bad rap, but any trouble last night - kids off their faces and out of control - was purely down to youthful exuberance going a little too far.
But hey, this is freedom.
J5 showed how the classy old-skool rolls.
Impressively, after 20 years they are still holding on to what's golden and real. Word.
- The Press