The Curtain Hotel’s LP room is colourful, old-school disco hall in décor and atmosphere for Jay Jay Revlon’s night Let’s Have a Kiki, with the standard of the DJs (Goldsnap / Virginia Wilson and Kartel Brown) and Revlon’s energy, MCing and relentless vogueing driving the party.
Karnage (@KarnageKills), the evening’s live performance act, complements perfectly, retaining the fun of the rest of the night while fleshing out the good vibes with clinical, hard-hitting rap and an on-stage performance that is impressively fearless for someone who has been performing for just nine months.
Subverting the accepted wisdom that sees rap and grime as expressions of overt heterosexual masculinity, Karnage pulls no punches in tracks like Hoe Diaries, “Dylan got a dick bigger than my ambition / Nobody was home so I fucked him in the kitchen” being one of the more PG rhymes.
His flow is precise and delivered with the flair and attack that the in-your-face lyrics deserve, but the performance stays fun throughout. This is as true when Karnage jokes about his DJ’s slowness to drop the next track as it is when introducing the set’s most poignant track, My Life, which explores in sometimes excruciating detail his experience as an effeminate gay man of colour: “Ashamed that your son looks so feminine / In your eyes couldn’t wait to let the devil in / and it’s worse coz I’m judged by the colour of my skin”.
The night saw the launch of Karnage’s first mix tape, Suck It, listenable on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/officialkarnage.