Review: Gravy Plays Biggie — Homogenised ‘Hip Hop’

Events, Rap, Review


Homogenised definition: ‘Subject [a substance] to a process in which the fat droplets are emulsified and the cream does not separate’.

Jumping on the ‘Gravy’ train Biggie Smalls created in the 90’s, ‘Notorious’ rapper Gravy is in New Zealand performing as Biggie for $35 a ticket. He is in Auckland tonight, but beware, Gravy feels like an imposter feeding off the phat Biggie built in the 90’s.

Promised a party Biggie would have been proud of, punters packed into Bodega on a quiet Tuesday night ready to party.

Young cats who’d clearly seen Notorious [the movie], wearing COMMES de FUCKDOWN T-Shirts, Timbos and RED lipstick were star struck at the sight of Gravy.

‘Maybe they think he IS Biggie’ my flatmate suggested. I braced myself for what felt like a heartbreaking blow to come.

And it was. For someone who’s loved Hip Hop since before the real Biggie got shot I tried not to cry. But my face said it all.

“Bullshit and party, bullshit and party”, Gravy chanted. I found myself at the back with Swerv1 and Juse1 screaming ‘It’s party and bullshit you fucken asshole.’

Now I was angry. There could be no way this fulla would get away with this in Brooklyn. It’s insulting they sent him to little old Wellington and tried to sell him as ‘real Hip Hop’.

I am not a Diddy fan but I’d enjoy seeing him ‘mind fuck’ Gravy into some manners. At least sue his ass.

“I’m gonna go tell him he’s whack,” Juse told Swerv. Suddenly my anger subsided and there was a silver lining.

Man no offense to the promoters but…SERIOUSLY?

Rapping, not even to instrumentals, but over Biggie tracks, Gravy had the club scouted for young ‘hot’ girls to be taken downstairs pre-show. More concerned about girls who thought he was the real deal,  he couldn’t even rap whole verses, allowing the track to carry him through the mess.

Wellington is better than this. This shit should not happen again.

Next time just invest in a Biggie hologram. Straight up.

6 thoughts on “Review: Gravy Plays Biggie — Homogenised ‘Hip Hop’

  1. Rappy-oke. That’s the word that comes to mind when I describe last night’s performance by Jamal ‘Gravy’ Woolard at the Notorious B.I.G tribute show held at Bodega in Wellington. At $25 presale or $35 on the door it was at a premium as he was only on stage for 30 mins tops. A dollar a minute times 200 people for rapping directly over the top of the original tracks, not a backing track, and even then only doing one verse of those tracks not the entire song and then some times only doing half the verse and letting the cellphone camera touting crowd do the work. He came on late and didn’t stay long. This all left me and the crew I went with feeling rather ripped off, not so much for the money’s sake but for the shoddy representation of a hip hop icon. If you’re going to travel the world paying tribute to someone the least you can do is put on a performance worthy of that persons memory, not just coast around riding on their laurels.
    One must say ‘hat’s off’ to Mad Handsome who opened for him tho, they had great presence on the stage, were clear and had great original tracks that they performed.
    That aside it was still great to see many faces from the Wellington scene out and about on a tuesday, always keen to support the sound they love and have fun. If you’re planning on going in AKL tonight, don’t expect too much.

  2. Went to the Auckland show last night… I’m a huge biggie fan and I was just gutted after I left. He played maybe 30mins tops, played about 4 songs twice each (I think he did juicy three times?), none of the hardcore gangster rap that people love him for, and he rapped over the top of biggie songs playing in the background.

    Straight up I thought it was a disrespect to the king of New York.

  3. he was terrible! couldnt even rap entire songs & had the original tracks playing in the background, put in a bit more effort if you’re going to milk a career off biggie smalls!

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