MastaMic (流行無罪 – 街頭發佈會) Single Release Show 2012 @ Mong Kok.

Music, Photography

MastaMic (right) & Big Sammy (left)

(中文在頁底)

For those who don’t know MastaMic (most probably you don’t), he’s a Hong Kong underground (indie) rapper. He’s the undefeated freestyle rapper of Hong Kong. Carrying this title could be a double-edged blade. Losing a rap battle would be a big hit. Apparently, he managed to continue and inject even more energy to his music and use this to market himself and his crew. And his humorous character brings joy to his fans.

Let the show begin!

Last time/early this February, I attended his ‘Justice is What I Rap For’ mixtape release show at Fringe Club. That was my first time seeing his live show. I still remember the anticipation of the mixtape and being distributed from the selected locations. I love his political tracks from his mixtape. The year before the mixtape release, some of those tracks were being played on a fun sarcastic/political program (Headliner – RTHK) on the major TV channels. That’s how I knew this guy. Thanks to the internet or I won’t be able to google him.

MastaMic on the mic.

I admit I’m NOT his no.1 fan. I’m not too into hiphop but I used to listen to the mainstream hiphop/rap music (I’m more of a rock/metal person). I really want to show support to someone that has potential to be who he wants to be. That’s why I came out to his free gig, twice!

MastaMic and his crew is currently undergoing the recording of his first official album. It’s due to release in September. Good luck!

I have mentioned before the pedestrian zone of Mong Kok is full of artists and performers. This time a better known performer MastaMic takes on the street for a single release gig. They have set up a place nicely. There’s even a mini-backstage. At the front there’s the PAs, workspace for the DJ. I arrived at 4:45pm. There were hardly anyone waiting. But there I was..i guess there’s my early reward to be able to photograph MastaMic and Big $ammy while they were not busy. Big $ammy has got some really nice body art!

It was a 1-hour show as scheduled. There were two camera guys filming the entire gig -one with a go-pro fisheye and another one with a Lumix G3 + fisheye lens. I was thinking about bringing my GRD and 21mm lens before heading out. But then, I need to stick with my plan to photograph with my X100. I totally forgot to charge my battery today…I only had a 3/4 full battery. I was so afraid that It’s going to run out during the show.

Police crashing the party

As soon as the show begins, the street was packed. Audiences and fans gathered and surrounded the stage. They’ve introduced the crew. It’s great that DJ Moka is running the show for MastaMic today. Guess what, briefly after the second song, two policemen arrived at the scene. As we all have imagined, the sound level was pretty powerful. I was standing by a speaker so I could feel it!!! The crowd had gone mad as soon as the show was interrupted. Lots of boos.. I did not know under what circumstances they managed to continue with the same sound level even with more vocal intensity. Shortly after the police were gone. MastaMic played a song that’s not on the original rundown – (D.O.G. – Death Of the Government). It’s dedicated to the annoying police 😛

Get back to the show

MastaMic

MastaMic doing the dance

MastaMic's expression

Recording the chorus section for the coming album

I forgot how many songs they’ve played. All I remembered was I had a great time. They’ve played a couple tracks of the recent mixtape which I liked. And the last song they played was the new single. They had done an excellent job to let the crowd involved on the chorus of the song. A nice tune indeed.

DJ Mocha

He had done a freestyle rap. He rapped about his working partner, Gerald. It was cool.

MastaMic + Big Sammy

MastaMic + Big Sammy

Posing

Couragous shout to the crowd

At last but not least, time for some dollar dollar. MastaMic pretended as a pirated CD seller at the DJ’s table…hilarious… He was actually selling his CDs.

MastaMic selling CDs.

I snapped photos throughout the show, some turned out fine… Anyway, it’s so damn nice to be there and witnessed a rising star to go from the street to the mainstream (that’s his vision and his dream). Not sure if I’d be able to see him that close later on. All the best, my friend!

Go find out his music here

Official Site: http://www.mastamic.com.hk/
FaceBook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/MastaMic

相信大家都有可能聽過馬米MastaMic的名字。他是一位非常活躍於Hiphop 的rapper/地下音樂/表演人。他的出眾之處就是他的靈活、速度等rap技術,因此可rap得出極之到位的詞/rhyme。再加上一副可笑+朝積的臉子,真是好有趣的呢!

而我是由’頭條新聞’認識他。就是’Hate ‘em Now’這一曲讓我得知原來香港的Indie/Underground音樂是存在的 (他在MV跳上鐵絲網這個動作好搞鬼!!!)。在外國的Indie音樂是一個成立的單位,很多band, singer/songwriter在比較低層次的舞台上表演及進行活動。因機緣巧合之下被上了位的主流音樂人提拔而跟隊同台表演。香港比較商業化的K歌世界天下, 提攜往往是非常難發生的事。MastaMic同他的crew (Justice League)也是花不少光陰走他們的路。

今年九月是MastaMic首張大碟推出的大日子,之前兩張免費download的Mixtape都已經有那麼高水準,相信他的debut album會更加有”鑊氣”。不過我也擔心他的rap material 材料會太過主流,可能未必會有我想聽到的政治、民心音樂。

回想上一次聽MastaMic的live是差不多半年前的事,在上旬二月的Mixtape release show我介紹了朋友一起看他演出, 大家都讚不絕口。今次的單曲發報是我第一次到的街頭演出,在室外的感覺極之自由,加上是在出名人多的旺角行人專用區,氣氛非常熱鬧!

我本人不是什麼超級fan屎,但我知道什麼叫支持, 我支持的不單只是MastaMic或獨立音樂人, 而也是為著支持本土的音樂藝術文化,他們的堅持是值得我們加許同學習。

我幸好早到少少, 有頭位之餘還拍下MastaMic跟Big Sammy的合照。這除是我的喜好外也是我對他們的支持, 希望他們不太介意啦!!!

街頭發佈會表演開始時, MastaMic rap出一段快速的opening,像AK47般做了一個少少熱身。接上演出了兩曲後…兩位警察叔叔到場了解事情, 關心聲浪太大, 我心想一年得一兩次,隻眼開, 隻眼閉吧! 有少部份人因此噓表示不滿。警察叔叔查詢後 – 隻眼開, 隻眼閉!!! MastaMic 因此加唱了一首歌 (D.O.G.) 給叔叔。 其實之後都應多謝他們吧。

我相信警察叔叔的出現把演出更加成功, 令大家更珍惜同投入! MastaMic演出了數首的政治民心曲, DJ Moka在MacBook上做的Shuffle, Mute同Remix都到位, 末段的Freestyle同新曲 ’流行無罪’ chorus更令全場’互動’了不少。

最後,MastaMic在DJ台上假裝賣’老番’!! 其實是賣他的Single CD。

Streets of Jordan to Mong Kok

Photography

Jockey gambling
Jockey Gambling

Candid street photography requires walking. I’m realizing it’s a good cardio-exercise in summer. I get to sweat and replenish with a beverage. And how about a bite of puff pastry from a fresh bakery off the corner. That’s precisely what I’ve done.

I normally don’t upload/process photos on the same day. It was an exception due to the various themes I’ve encountered today. It’s quite something I think, for a short less than 3 hours of wandering on the streets.

I had no planned routes, purely wandering around and exploring every street corners. It was 3pm, I arrived at Jordan by MTR. The night before I was with my friends on the Temple Street. I found it really cool, it could be troublesome to shoot photos of the locals at night. I don’t dare trying, at least not with a shiny camera. I revisited the Temple Street again.

Temple Street arch
Temple Street arch

It’s not uncommon to see an arch in Chinatown overseas. There’s this arch actually here, reminding while I was in the U.S. So irony…

The camera with me today has a focal length of 35mm (X100). It’s very tight for narrow streets. I often found myself not having enough distance to frame my shots. I managed to pull out some shots I wanted while keeping myself invisible. I did miss many passer-by portraits. Way too many that I don’t want to accept. I’ll put a note on that and work on it later on.

Jockey gambling - speaking of industrious
Jockey gambling – speaking of industrious

Sunday is a Jockey race day. A big day for many as it’s a habit for the locals to place bets for win! It’s actually quite exciting to do it (I’d done it with friends). I wouldn’t say it’s addictive, it’s more of an atmospheric force that makes you do it. And there’s more than just placing bets. A couple other factors come into play, such as who’s the jockey, the weights of the jockey & horse, what’s the horse latest conditions/results, whether the horse is good on grass/mud/wet. It sounds so technical when I first heard about it.

So there’re all these people hanging out near the Jockey Club branches to share tips, place bets and whatnot. They’re all good.

Jockey gamblers
Jockey gamblers

After seeing these busy people, I came across with this dog. It’s not a good shot of her. She’s actually dressed up with blue jeans and shirt!!! My first time seeing a dog with jeans on!!! She’s overly excited about my presence. She jumped on me…Perhaps because of my stinky broken jeans?! I was busy playing with her forgot about another picture of her…

Excited dog
Excited dog

I walked in the market of Shanghai Street. I stopped by a bakery for a pastry.

Shanghai Street
Shanghai Street

I found the right spot and snap this photo. I was there.

Listening to the jockey race
Listening to the jockey race

I turned into a corner and found this man with his cigarette, reading the jockey paper. I think he’s working at the shop next to it. Who cares whether he’s working, if he wins. He got the money!

Fa lun Kung protest demonstration

I was done with the Temple street and the area around it. I decided to head to Mong Kok which is two subway stops away. I was back on the main road and I found there were police setting up road blocks. I heard sounds of parade from distance. Alright beginning part was a parade, it was actually a protest demonstration by Falun Gong..no one cares about them anymore in Hong Kong. Just don’t mess with the public and we won’t mess with you.

The recent famous local design for demonstration (Jun 4th Tiananmen)
The recent famous local design for demonstration (Jun 4th Tiananmen)

Speaking of protest, if you google ‘Long Hair Hong Kong’. He’s the master of demonstration. Some thinks that he’s too aggressive and try to make unnecessary scenes in the public. He got arrested all the time. On the top of that, he’s actually a member of the Legislative Council. LOL. Anyway, I’m not too sure who’s idea it was. Sometime this year, their democratic party had come up with paper models for demonstration. They’re simple, colorful, expressive! The famous green tanks. It resembles the tanks at the Tiananmen Square Jun 4th 1989. The man in the photo is Long Hair’s partner, Tsang Kin Shing. There’s this art workshop at the street corner. They were showing how they were made.

Bank of China limited edition banknote speculation tradingBank of China limited edition banknote speculation trading

Hong Kong is famous for speculations – reselling for money. After the iPhones, there’s iPads. Anything that is limited supply, there’re people doing trades. Speculation is making Hong Kong look so hidieous. We’re the financial center of this part of the world. Yet money is still a scarce resource for many. Or I think it’s Hong Kong people’s habit to follow what others are doing. I personally don’t do. I just don’t want Hong Kong to look like that and I got BETTER things to do.

When fire inspectors can't read the name of the building
When fire inspectors can’t read the name of the building

There were these fire inspectors checking for indoor fire facilities/safety. Um..They were confused and smiling whether they are at the right place. I couldn’t help to pull out my camera from a bag to take this photo.

After that, I arrived in Mong Kok. I was a bit tired so I was slow on scanning for subjects.

Couple
Couple

Mainland tourist/Loving mom feeding daughter
Mainland tourist/Loving mom feeding daughter.

Then I wandered into a movie set!

Movie shooting in the street of Mong Kok with William Chan
Movie shooting in the street of Mong Kok with William Chan

They were filming and I got to see the movie stars. I only recognized William Chan. He got fake blood on his chin and some scattered fruits, fish balls on the ground. Must’d been a fighting scene.

Battle scars show off at the movie set.
Battle scars show off at the movie set.

I really don’t know who he is. But there you go, showing off his beaten back.

Back to street photography, again.

Enjoying his own world.
Enjoying his own world.

That dude was walking so fast that I was panning for the shot. I just have to go fast next time when I do portraits on subjects. I actually can pull it off.

I also wandered into the famous Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market. I got a few great environmental shots. I’ll get them posted tomorrow.

People in Mong Kok

Photography

Mong Kok is a place full of youngsters, tourists, passer-bys. It’s a place full of people in sum. Lots of things to shoot with. It gets tricky to catch the right timing for the right person. It trains my photographic sense by selecting potential candidates. A very great place for practice if one got guts or simply enjoy by shooting up close.

Mad man who loves Jesus.
Mad man who loves Jesus.
Tribal tattoo and tri-color bags
Tribal tattoo and tri-color bags
I love the patterns on this photo and the little signature background of this district. Thanks to this man.
Man who loves red
Man who loves red.
Fired this at waist level. Turned out outrageously good with all the hanging billboards.
Family man
Family man
Let's talk business
Let’s talk business
One finding comfort at a back alley
One finding comfort at a back alley
Monk without rules
Monk without rules
Fashionable Man & Model Dolls
Fashionable Man & Model Dolls