Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Growing up and listening to Outkast spit esoteric bars over funk infused boom-bap beats gave me a greater appreciation for music. It highlighted the art of storytelling, beat selection, artist versatility, and the dichotomy between individuality & duets.
EARTHGANG’s recent Sydney show at Max Watts showcased a similar skill set that instilled a belief in me that the Dreamville duo has the chance to aspire to paths laid out by OG’s like Outkast and construct their own legacy.
EARTHGANG members Olu and WowGr8 have been riding the success of their 2019 album Mirrorland and the Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation album, while finishing up the Australian leg of their world tour. The bushfires have been wild lately, but these guys have smoked every track they’ve been a part of this year and brought that same spark to their Sydney performance.
The show kicked off beneath a stage illuminated by fluorescent lights by their label mate Cozz, who opened up by playing songs from his catalog and debuting some new music. His record 'LamboTruck' was definitely a standout off the compilation album, which saw him trading verses with TDE rapper Reason using a back and forth flow, plotting on how they metaphorically planned to rob each other’s label president due to a lack of funds.
Olu and WowGr8 opened up their set about 10 min after Cozz and came out with swank and energy. Olu had the aesthetic of an early 2000’s Andre 3k, and WowGr8 came out with solid demeanour of Big Boi. They wasted no time and came out to 'Top Down.'
Some of the songs they performed were...
'Proud of You'
The thing that was so impressive to me was how well they floated between soulful croons and energetic bars. Beat flips and transitions are identifiably evident within their music, but to see first-hand how fluidly they moved between both was great, especially in their performance of 'This Side.'
Video From: A Colours Show
Towards the end of the show, they performed 'Down Bad' and Olu got behind the DJ table and started orchestrating shit like Bach composing a ghetto symphony; the whole crowd lit up. Water was getting thrown off the stage quicker than a Pat Cummins bowl, and the front row was looking youthfully dangerous but fun.
Dreamville has been killing their Sydney shows this year with Bas and now EARTHGANG living up to the hype. I think it’s due in part to how successful and collaborative their compilation album was. Everyone involved got to bond and create a Grammy nominated project in only 10 days.
The album has a ton of playback value because the features and chemistry on each track are genuine and don’t feel like some paid-for feature, orchestrated for streaming numbers and quick cash grab.
Set to perform in Sydney next from the Dreamville roster are Ari Lennox and J.I.D. Let’s see if Dreamville can keep the live show success alive Down Under.
J.I.D sideshow dates
Monday, 4th February 2020 -SYD
Tuesday, 5th February 2020 - MELB
Ari Lennox sideshow dates
Thursday, 12th March 2020 - Melb
Friday, 13th March 2020 - SYD
Saturday, 14th March 2020 - BNE