East Coast Funk Festival (Australia)
EAST COAST FUNK FESTIVAL (AUSTRALIA)
The 1st Annual East Coast Funk Festival
From a Hip-Hop Point of View
by Bevan Jee
When I picked up the flier for this event sometime in late
May, which boasted the following I was quite sceptical if the
event was ever going to happen.
Live Acts: Towering Inferno, Recipe 4 Disaster, Da Masta,
Warcry, Taxi, Elevation and Easybass.
Breakin': The original B-Boy All Stars, Defwish
Aerosol Art: interstate guests Atome, Dephy, Defwish, Unique &
DJ's: Katch, Frenzy & Jigsaw
Market stalls selling Records, Mix tapes, T-Shirts, Magazines,
Fat caps etc.
July 1, 1995, 12pm-8pm
Cost: $10.00 All ages
Well it happened and in my eyes it was one of the largest
events of it's kind to happen on the East Coast of Australia, for
quite some time. Although given such short notice, everyone was
well prepared and had their shit together.
When the day of the festival came and I made my way down to
Festival Hall, a large hall in the middle of the city capable
of holding thousands of people, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Ice-T
& Cypress Hill have all performed there before. The stage was
set and sound checks were in effect. I was busy inside getting
a stall ready for The Bomb selling Magazines, Shirts, Tapes
and other Hip-Hop goodies. Midday came and there were lots of
people outside and across the street, waiting to get in. It
looked like there was going to be a good turn out, about 500
people turned up to the event, which is considerably good for an
event of this nature in a city like Brisbane.
Headlining the festival from Brisbane was local act Towering
Inferno (MC Lazy Grey & DJ Damage) who performed a few songs.
But because the sound check was not on point, they didn't sound
as good as they should have. Following The Inferno was local act
Recipe 4 Disaster who performed a few tracks and was well
accepted by the crowd. Next up was Da Masta who is also from
Brisbane who took on the role as a DJ while MC'ing, quite a tough
task. His performance came off well but the crowd didn't seem to
appeal to the G-Funk flavoured tracks that he performed on the
day, although the track "Lipstick Bitch" is funny as hell and
should be up there with "Bitch with a Perm" by Tim Dog. After Da
Masta were Warcry, a crew from the Gold Coast which is about one
and a half hours south of Brisbane. They took the stage with
members of Defwish Cast and The original B-Boy allstars
(featuring Broke and Seiz from Hype Magazine) b-boyin' on the
ground below them. The crowd bum rushed the stage in a matter of
seconds and gathered in a ring to witness a performance from some
of the best breakdancers and rappers in the Australia. After
Warcry the time was around 7:30pm and a lot of people left
because they thought it was over, but about 100 people stayed
around to witness the headlining act Easybass.
Easybass is promising rap crew, consisting of a few rappers
out of Sydney (which is the next state south of Brisbane).
The crew has various styles and sound a lot like Blakalicious,
Pharcyde and Saafir rolled into one (every rapper has taken a
style and manipulated it to adapt to their own style), they
performed well on stage and took to the mic with confidence.
They are the closest thing that Australia has to offer to
American hip-hop. Some people would think this crew was from
America because of the sound that they create. Best rapper in the
Crew is Sleeping Monk, check for this kid, along with rapper Apex
who took the trip up the east coast to drop a rhyme.
Funk bands Taxi and Elevation also performed during the
event as well as skateboarding demos. This helped round out the
event and made it a multi-event instead of a strictly hip-hop
The Aerosol Art on the day was fresh, Dephy and Atome both
rocked their flavour of style on the boards, with a large crowd
of onlookers. The boys from Defwish Cast - Unique and Defwish
made a masterpiece, along with the local writers whose shit was
All the DJ's on the day provided a funky dosage of
underground, commercial, old school & new school hip-hop, along
with funk and jazz beats to keep everyone happy. They all
performed well and done a great job between acts!
The market stalls were cool. Besides the Bomb stall there
were stalls selling old school and funk records (I came across
everything from Parliment originals to MC Shan), a graffiti
video by local lads 183 productions, and quite a large range
of spray paint tips and graffiti/hip-hop related items, Oh
yeah, the food was good too!
Because the event was an all age's event I anticipated a lot
of immaturity and fighting but everyone that went was
enthusiastic and kept busy during the day. If they were not
watching the piecing or breaking, they were skating or doing
something else, which was good to see. Not one fight that I know
of broke out on the day. Hopefully, next year the event will
happen and be larger and better organised.
Although there are a lot of positives, after this event, I
concluded Hip-Hop in Australia still has a long way to go. The
event in my eyes came of well but in the eyes of others it
didn't. I hope a lot of the younger generation (The Next School)
who went will be inspired to grab a microphone or a can of
Krylon, get on the 1200's or learn how to b-boy, because without
them, our Art form cannot survive.
Much thanks to all who helped me working at the Bomb stall
and to those who bought merchandise, thanks for the support.
Before I go, I want to send a message to everyone in
Australia reading this; To keep hip-hop alive in Australia we all
need to stop backstabbing, speaking shit and kill the attitudes
otherwise the perpetrators will ruin both their success and
their reputation - like so many have done and are in the process
of doing. No one is a superstar and all the suckas are going to
play their self, and learn the hard way! Peace.