Optamus is the Godfather of WA Hip Hop, and the people came in droves to see him perform at The Rosemount Hotel in North Perth on Friday, 20 September.
The night’s proceedings started with a plethora of young local talent all taking to the stage for short sets. If I were to sit here and speak of each artist individually it would make this review an absolute novel. Let’s just say this, the young crew held it together as the night progressed and they kept the people invested throughout.
One note: I really think that its important to get the audience ‘make some noise’ without asking them after every track. I get it, it may very well be a habit for some of the guys on the lineup. To ask the audience to make some noise seems like a bandaid, it should be your aim to perform with the fire necessary to be able to omit that from your set. They’ll make the noise if you go even more above and beyond with your performance.
The quality went up more so when D-Vine hit the stage for a short set. He’s a young local guy with a surefire passion about what he does and I can see him taking off one day – no doubt about it. He had a lot of substance in what he was saying and I appreciated his performance.
Up next was local legend Bitter Belief, this guy is charisma personified. He lit the room up tenfold in comparison to the rest, with Downsyde’s Dazastah on drums – he was an absolute star of the evening. You feel his anger, you feel his defiance, he’s a strong personality and he warmed us up just right before our double main event of Mantra and of course the man himself, Optamus.
Mantra was another highlight, he’s got a great gimmick and again he’s a master at his craft.
Optamus finally hit the stage with the show running over 30 minutes late, but it didn’t faze him or the hip hop contingent in the Rosemount. With Rob Shaker on the decks, and the live band behind him, it was light-years ahead of the rest of the show, not least because of the live instrument aspect. It really made everything punch out at me more and I’d say most Aussie Hip Hop artists should do the same thing whenever it is applicable.
Twenty-three years into the game and Optamus still performs with the heart he had when he was young and hungry. He’s still hungry, and he’s still got that fire in his belly. Never relenting, Optamus proved again why he is at the top of the game and his sophomore album, A Hero’s Concerto, was released the way you would have expected – with heart, love and unbridled passion.