"In short, she killed it."
Words by Anthony Nocera Photos by Kate Sansome
There’s something about a white man wearing a beanie indoors, who is ‘cutting shapes’ so hard to rap music that his pants are falling down to his ankles that shouts ‘THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE IS EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THE WORLD’. And, looking at that picture, I’d say that you can’t do much more wrong than that. However, reading that image in the context of the fact that it happened at Tkay Maidza’s M.O.B Tour changes things. In its new context, the image illustrates everything absolutely right about Tkay Maidza.
The night kicked off with local band Problems playing their unique brand of chilled out synth-laden pop. It was a good set that loosened up the crowd and got a few punters dancing. Next up, as the dance-floor at Jive slowly filled, UV Boi turned the party with a slow-burning DJ set that shifted between chilled-house vibe to complete banger territory, especially with his newer material. Combine that with his amazing dancing and fun presence, he was a great opener and definitely one to look out for (check out his remix of ‘Begging for Thread’ if you need further proof).
When Tkay Maidza hit the stage the home crowd, which was now at capacity, went crazy. Opening with ‘Brontosaurus’ and tearing through her Switch Tape EP, as well as her various collabs (including the sunny ‘Wishes’ and her most recent mega-jam ‘Imprint’), Maidza’s set was jam-packed, slick and a tonne of fun. In short, she killed it.
What was interesting though was more than ever before, Maidza exuded a ferocity that shows her relentless touring is paying off. Onstage she is humble, sweet and outright adorable. She’s personable and warm with her crowd (she’ll even sip their drinks), but when the music starts, she switches into bona-fide star mode. This was most evident during mega-hit ‘M.O.B’, where- mane of dark hair flying about- she hit every beat with conviction. It was a true diva moment that Maidza 100% owned: If you weren’t convinced that she was a star before then, you were convinced after.
It was an energy that the crowd fed off of and loved. She had everyone dancing and, sure, they were dancing badly but they were- we were- having too much fun to care. Similarly, hits ‘U-Huh’ and ‘Switch Lanes’ were met with a huge response by the audience, who - despite their lack of rhythm- showed remarkable dexterity in keeping up with Maidza’s breakneck flow (Azealia Banks better watch out, btw).
I wasn’t that man in the beanie, flashing his ass to everyone at Jive. I was the guy in the polo top and skinny jeans next to him that was objectively and subjectively better looking and also a better dancer. We were both hailing the new queen of Aussie hip-hop. She’s arrived and she’s here to stay.
Catch her at Groovin The Moo Oakbank on April 25. You’ll regret it if you don’t.