Proper Sound: Equinox @ The Old Red Bus Station, Leeds (09.07.16)

Leeds' hip-hop promoters live showcase of the UK's cutting edge at their Equinox event

Jul 9th, 2016 at The Old Red Bus Station, Leeds / By Sam Bennett
Proper Sound: Equinox @ The Old Red Bus Station, Leeds (09.07.16) Continuing the trend of banging hip-hop events in Leeds on a regular basis, Proper Sound bring the West Yorkshire heads their Equinox event. Bearded headed down to The Old Red Bus Station to take a look at the array of hip-hop talent on display.

As the Leeds hip-hop fans gradually fill up the venue, the growing crowd is treated to a freestyle cypher from some local MCs including Seedie B, Dr. King and event organiser Aaron Knowles, and the off-the-top bars are raw, energetic and relentless. Huddersfield duo The Scriptors deliver the first set of the evening, and they rock over chilled, gritty boom bap beats with a distinctive, to-the-point West Yorkshire flow, as well as bringing some politically charged lyricism.

Next up is Cheshire MC Batfunk, who is donned in a Quasimoto tee; his authentic, jazzy hip-hop is laced with loose flows and stoner humour. The relaxed performance suits his content perfectly, and the beats are energetic and memorable. The funny and relatable 'Lighten The Mood' is a highlight, and the witty punchlines are backed by a hard-hitting, funky beat; Batfunk brings a smooth and calm performance, and it's a dope showcase of the seemingly untapped Cheshire hip-hop scene.

After a slight delay the showcase of Leeds hip-hop, under the umbrella of Tha Office, gets underway; The Northaze are the first to take the mic, and they bring the energy with their diverse array of silky flows. The Leeds duo are joined by Pertrelli, who raise the levels to such extremes that the microphones are distorted by the end of their set.

The microphones are quickly fixed, and Zen brings the grime settings; the crowd react accordingly to his bars, delivered with a distinctive delivery and a unique flow. Dialect joins with a characteristically brutal set, and the chemistry between the two MC's is clear to see.

Weezy Jefferson is next to take the mic, and he drops a selection of tracks displaying a humble persona and impeccably strong lyricism; the crowd are with him every step of the way. Tha Office are now representing in full force; J Bravo's experienced, raw style instantly catches the ear, and Dialect's diction and intensity is guaranteed to raise the roof every time he's passed the microphone. Teknico drops with a forceful flow and passionate delivery, and Pertrelli's distinctive and harsh tone is met with cheers each time he drops a verse. Paddy also kills it, and the cypher lives on for some considerable time, and there's not a verse from any MC that lets the standard slip. The energy the crew bring is amazing to watch, and each member has their voice fully represented.

Fliptrix and Molotov impress the instant they take to the stage, and their veteran status is clearly evident from their refined performance. 'See The Sun' and 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow' are early crowd-pleasers, and Fliptrix is energetic and passionate. He consistently brings a raw delivery and the heads in attendance don't stop moving; the High Focus lyricist displays an engaging stage presence, with Molotov providing hypeman duties from behind the decks. He drops 'Graffiti Won't Die', and precision and experience is exhumed from the man on the mic. The skill he exhibits, whether it's on an early album-cut or a well-known track from the last few releases, is intoxicating. Speaking of which, the performance of Flipper's new single 'The Chronic', produced by Illinformed, is thoroughly enjoyable; the track is an indisputable hard-hitting banger and anticipation is growing for the new LP. As 'Wylin' Out' pumps through the speaker, the authentic vibes of real hip-hop shine through, and in the spirit of the event Fliptrix also drops some bars over some grimey instrumentals, a part of his skill-set that is criminally underrated.

With dope beats and dope bars continuing until the early hours, this was a Saturday night to remember; Proper Sound definitely delivered on their name, and all of the acts we saw killed it.