Saturday night saw three of the most exciting acts in Australian hip-hop turn the Oxford Art Factory into the sweaty pit it’s meant to be. Headliner Tkay Maidza, fresh off the release of her latest album, brought Kwame and Arno Faraji along for the ride. They bounced around the stage, giving the crowd all they had. For Kwame, it was a hometown show, which meant the crowd was even more raucous during his set. WOW, his latest hit, was a stand-out. But the night truly belonged to Tkay, who tore through her set with unwavering charm and energy.
Her set was a bit of a mixed bag, but it covered what most people would have wanted to hear. Old favourites M.O.B, Simulation and Switch Lanes went off, with the crowd nearly drowning Tkay out at points. She also played plenty of the tracks from her new release ‘Last Year Was Weird Vol 1’. It was nice to see that the crowd was already very familiar with them, and Tkay appreciated it too. The energy stayed high throughout the whole set. Tkay went from rapping on stage to crowd surfing to joking with her band like it was nothing, and her broad smile never left.
While the spotlight was on Tkay, it’s worth mentioning how hard her band worked as well. There was sweat flying off the drummer for most of the set, and special guest Basenji was put through his paces as well. The night reached new heights when Arno Faraji and Kwame were invited back on stage to perform Duckwrth’s parts in final song Flexin’. They nailed it, managing to put their own spin on it while making sure justice was done to the original. The energy remained high even after everyone left the stage, and soon after Tkay returned to huge cheers. “We don’t really have anything else…we can play Flexin’ again if you want?” she said. The crowd loved this suggestion, and they lapped up every second of the trio’s onstage antics again. It’s clear that Tkay has finally hit her stride, and all in all, this was a fun show from one of Australia’s most talented young artists in her prime.