When I saw that Remi, a promising and exciting Melbourne based rapper, was playing a free show at Brudenell Social Club, I had to make it down considering it’s a two minute walk from my house. I was pretty unfamiliar with his work, having seen a couple of YouTube videos, but I was definitely interested to hear what he could bring.
I walked into the main room at the Brudenell to catch the last song of Crawler’s support slot. Crawler is a dope grime MC from Leeds, and the hard hitting grimy beat is a perfect match for his precise flow, clear delivery and energetic presence. After the room clears out at the end of Crawler’s set, and remains practically empty for a good ten minutes, I’m slightly worried that Remi is going to have to play to an empty room. Luckily a good few people do filter in, leaving a decent enough crowd in the middle of the floor. Although it’s far from packed, it’s definitely encouraging. The stage is empty but for a solitary mic and a drum kit, and Remi and Sensible J take their places behind each respectively.
Remi starts the set off with an acapella that demonstrates a cool flow, instantly setting my head nodding. As Sensible J joins on the drum kit, the Melbourne MC’s percussive delivery shines through. The instrumentation of a rapper/drummer partnership is really inventive and works tremendously. Remi spits consistently, without losing any aggression, and the textures and timbres suit the vibe really well. Remi is animated and charismatic on stage. His intricate lines are laced with tight punchlines, spitting with intent, sounding dope through the Brudenell system. He is completely in sync with his drummer, sounding on point and in the pocket.
Remi slows the set down, attempting to teach the crowd a dance, but before he can get under way Sensible J has to reattach his clutch. The small but engaged audience join in with the 2-step as a sample of Marlena Shaw’s ‘Woman Of The Ghetto plays. Remi displays a cool and calm delivery over funky basslines and crisp, tight drums. His voice and flow sound sophisticated and polished, combining to create a successful vibe. Remi preludes the next song by saying that it’s ‘a song about Australia. Australians do sweet f.a. and get drunk, and this is a song about that’. The chilled out vibe displayed here, and throughout the set, might disguise Nemi’s pen-game, but the ability is definitely there. He also demonstrates a pretty impressive vocal for a couple of hooks in tonight’s set, as well as being constantly energetic, both in terms of subject matter and his performance.
Joined by 3 Leeds MC’s, including tonight’s supporting act, Crawler, the four MC’s spit over a Common instrumental, complete of course with Sensible J’s live drums. Remi moves on to a raw, in your face track, displaying his versatility. He sounds dope over chilled hip-hop with a summer vibe, as well as being able to hit hard with his verses. ‘Fuck Your Boss’ is another great track, and is an example of Remi switching up his flows. He has an incredibly tight chemistry with Sensible J, and this translates really well. Remi finishes the set with Tyson, and closes the night with heavy intensity. I really enjoyed seeing Remi, and it was most definitely worth the two minute walk. This guy is one to watch.
By Sam Bennett