Mojo’s Bar held a fire in its belly on Sunday night as the force of Perth’s hip hop community paid a visit to party and put the word up for the mental health organisation Beyond Blue.
And the vibes were far beyond blue as Paulie P and his humble mate Little Lee took to the stage with L-Street warming up the decks, pumping out familiar beats like the Gorillaz’ Dirty Harry, while the boys on the mics got the crowd revelled up and willing to bounce.
Sarah Pellicano followed them up and took the room by surprise with her saturnine style, a deep forest of complex beats and ghostly vocals showcasing a noteworthy feat from her producer Creed Birch, who joined her on the mic for the second half of the set to lift the mood up and get the punters feeling the heat.
Big cheers went up and after there’d been a break for a drink we met Smiley, who gave the rig no relief with his fat beats that kept the crowd at the front for a peak at a man who leaves no room for questions. His entertaining rhymes and infectious funk put a smile on our faces, but he made a little room for a shout-out to the cause while the tin for donations gathered weight around the floor.
After dropping some tunes off his upcoming album, sharing the stage with his guest vocalist Sophie Jane, and freezing the house with a lightning freestyle to close, Smiley made way for the force that is Complete.
Repping ThePsych Ward with his fellow emcee Sever, Complete kept the mental health issue at the fore and brought the house down with confronting choruses like “your nanna’s an anal whore”. That set was sweaty and by this point most of the pilgrims were suitably lubricated, celebrating the unity of the scene as event organiser Bitter Belief and Smiley joined Complete and Sever on stage for an old school banger.
By the time Bitter Belief took over the stage for his own set, the venue was glowing with hip hop spirit. The DJ-ing prowess of Rob Shaker was a gift in itself, his flawless light-speed scratching punctuating Bitter‘s delivery. Sarah Pellicano yet again graced the stage to deliver backing vocals, and the crowd couldn’t ask for a better show of local talent, especially considering Bitter‘s dance moves.
Before the night was out, Bitter laid down his wisdom on keeping a positive, supportive attitude alive in the scene, highlighting the prevalence of anxiety and depression amongst the community and the benefit of an open support network. The social power of music had once again proved its worth, with $1750 raised for Beyond Blue and the gig playing out to a chorus of “I just wanna wish you well”.
For more information or to seek support for you or someone you know who suffers from anxiety or depression, visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 224 636.
By Lyndon Kidman