We can’t deny that the Belgian Hip Hop scène is booming and finally gets exposed to a wider audience. In a jungle like Brussels you need some guidance to develop your musical tastes. If you follow musical godfather Lefto (one of the most important tastemakers Europe has to offer), you will discover an underground scène that sparkles with connected acts/friends like Romeo Elvis, Le Motel, L’Or du Commun, Jean Jass, Caballero, Yellowstraps, Stikstof, etc.
Soon (25th of march) ‘Johnny Strauss’ will perform in a sold out Botanique. But before this highlight he passed by at Het Depot for an excellent try out for his new album ‘Morale 2’ produced by Le Motel (Tangram Records).
The Colorgrey (aka Grey) who took attention with a collaboration on a Woodie Smalls single ‘Night Slugs’ and his self produced EP ‘Do The Right Thing’ supported Roméo and gave the crowd a mellow warm up. With a guitar player next to him he took his performance to a smoother level where he ‘took it back to an old school thing’.
A french rapper with an unique flow in an almost sold out depot on Flemish ground, an interesting twist in the Belgian HipHop scène. With 3 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards in his pocket (best live act, best album ‘Morale’ and best urban act), tons of shows in Europe and the support from his friends Le Motel and Swing (L’Or Du Commun), Mr Strauss got it all figured out. Highlights of the set were ‘Diable’, a song he released as a preview for his second album; a soulfull beat mixed with a soft future bass where Roméo’s flow takes it to another level. The other highlights were ‘Tu vas glisser’, a more angry track with a catchy hook where they show they’re on the top of their game, followed by ‘Morale’ (an excellent song with thoughtful lyrics) and ‘Bruxelles Arrive’ aka Belgium’s new anthem. Leuven believed the hype and shaked all night. Due to Le motel’s craftmanship delivering top notch quality beats (wherefore he collects samples from all over the world), Swing’s spontaneous but solid back up and Roméo’s unique talent and charisma he has left a strong impression.
Written by Tom Verbeeck
pictures credits www.jannesbollen.be