Elements continue their prolific monopoly on the live hip-hop scene in Leeds with a line-up of talented producers and DJs. They partner with independent label Acorn Tape to bring us a night headlines by renowned German beatmaker Wun Two, and also featuring sets from Hashfinger, Beat Pete and a host of other dope acts.
The first act we catch is Leeds based Sangria Kong, who has been grinding recently with the release of some quality material with RLD and Skipclass Records representative Jack Jetson. He spins classic hip-hop jams, keeping the growing crowd nodding their heads to the dusty boom bap as HiFi starts to fill up. Local MCs Lord Lloyd and Pertrelli join on vocals, and the two up and coming spitters showcase their silky lyricism with energy and charisma. The set is hugely enjoyable; Trelli’s punchline heavy writing is delivered convincingly with a raw, precise and hard-hitting flow, and Sangria’s beat selection is sublime.
Elwd takes to the decks, and he drops a series of southern rollers laced with inspired boom bap beats. There’s a true appreciation of UGK, and the unique producer utilises an authentic nineties influence that is always the backbone of his beats. He’s super-relaxed behind the decks, and the soulful selection is full of crowd pleasers; Elwd seemingly favours 50 Cent acapellas, and the mash-ups are consistently entertaining and original.
When you’re starting your set with some Trellion and Sniff you know you’re onto a winner, and Bradford based beatsmith Hashfinger lives up to his growing reputation as one of the most exciting and talented producers on the circuit. He switches between dope instrumental cuts and classic tunes, keeping the HiFi crowd on their toes. As expected, Hashfinger spins some banging Lunar C material, and the witty Bradford lyricist sounds characteristically on point.
Berlin DJ Beat Pete is also on the bill tonight, and the international line-up is a brilliant showcase of the production talents around the world, and the West Yorkshire fans are bumping their heads from beginning to end. Pete drops a fresh hip-hop selection, with an authentic tone and upbeat vibe. The professional set is filled with classic, accessible beats, and the mellow set is expertly handled from the vinyl enthusiast.
The anticipation for Wun Two has been building throughout, and as we reach the early hours of the morning the famed instrumentalist takes to the stage. His set is packed with his signature quirky sound, and the crisp instrumentals and inventive sampling have allowed him to grow his name to a very substantial standing, and tonight sees him prove his skill. The groovy, resourceful production is wildly entertaining, and the assortment of tracks is remarkably eclectic.
A diverse assortment of producers curated a memorable, vivid and inventive soundtrack to a Leeds Friday night; a city centre club showcasing off-kilter beats and a focus on traditional hip-hop on a busy weekend evening is a great moment, and credit to Elements and Acorn Tapes for keeping the West Yorkshire scene healthy and active; keep an eye on Elements’ Facebook page for the latest events.
Words an images by Sam Bennett