Posts tagged ‘2016’

November 1, 2016

From the corner to the stage: Dizzee Rascal at Copper Box Arena

Dizzee Rascal performed at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 22nd October – which is, of course, in the East End of London and down the road from his hometown of Bow. It was a special moment, as Dizzee returned to the stage to perform his debut, award-winning album Boy In Da Corner, 13 years after its release.

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When the album dropped, the production was noisy, rude and intelligent, and remarkably like nothing else that had been heard before (or since, really). It sounded like music bred from isolation. But last Saturday, over a decade later, 7,000 people filled the arena floors to watch Dylan Mills perform the iconic album. Warming up was friend, and another pioneer of the Grime scene, DJ Slimzee – who played tracks such as Bloodline’s ‘Side By Side’ and Terror Danjah ft Jamakabi ‘Juicy Patty.’

There aren’t many words that can describe the evening. I guess you had to be there. But if you were, you were one of the lucky ones. It was truly magical hearing this innovative album being performed live, and it took me back to my teenage days. If it wasn’t for Hyperfrank and her petition to get Dizzee to perform it again in London, and Red Bull who hosted it, this would never have happened.

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He blazed through his hour set with help from DJ MK and Bigman Scope opening with a yellow background with the black lines, trying to replicate the album cover with Dizzee sitting on a chair. He opened with track ‘Sitting Here’ with the crowd quiet, trying to take in his reflective bars.

Then the madness began as soon as ‘Stop Dat’ started with drinks flying around the standing section of the arena and mosh pits being formed, with Dizzee spraying his bars like the teenager he was when it first came out. He bounced around the stage with energy hyping up the audience as he went from side to side. He then went into another crowd favourite ‘I Luv You’ and then into ‘Brand New Day’.

DJ MK scratched the intro to ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ whilst Dizzee jumped up and down along with the crowd who sang along to the words with him, with everyone’s hands in the air.

Another highlight of the night was when ‘Just A Rascal’ dropped and got a reload from MK as the whole crowd went wild, with Dizzee jumping up and down on the stage saying “Big up my moshpit crew,” performing the track with clarity in his skippy flow.

This album is so important to UK music, and getting the chance to relive it live was special.

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September 13, 2016

REVIEW: SATURDAY READING FESTIVAL – NAS, KREPT & KONAN & MORE

Saturday at Reading Festival begun in the best way possible, and that was with one of Grime’s hardest working producers Rude Kid who played an array of tunes including Punjabi MC that was mixed into a remix full of bass. Grime tracks he played included Kano’s ‘3 Wheel Up’s’ which led into Skepta ft. JME ‘That’s Not Me’. Rude Kid’s vibe on stage got the whole crowd bubbling off of his energy and it definitely didn’t feel like it was 2pm.

Drum & Bass was next on the agenda over at the NME Stage firstly with Belgium producer Netsky who kicked off with their own track ‘Running Low’, leading into ‘Intrap’. The atmosphere was buzzing inside the tent with everyone having fun and good vibes. He ended on track ‘Rio’ which was rather fitting with the Olympics just finishing there.

Sigma hit the stage after with their host saying “We are live to the world on the BBC, make some nooooiiseeee! Are y’ll ready for some live Drum & Bass, are y’ll ready for Sigma”, which ended with the crowds screams. They begun their high-energy set with their huge track ft. Labrinth ‘Higher’. They played an collection of their classic tracks such as ‘Rudeboy’ ft Doctor with the packed tent skanking out to every one.

As the end of the evening was approaching South London Rap duo Krept & Konan brought their flawless energy and vitality to the NME Stage. They performed tracks such as ‘MDMA’ ft. G Frsh, ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and brought out Abra Cadabra for the ‘Robbery Remix’. They had the whole crowd chanting their lyrics back to them like true underground rappers who have risen to stardom.

New York superstar Nas who was the main attraction of the night entered onto the NME stage looking like class and opening with a dramatic intro leading into ‘You Can Hate Me Now’. Joined by DJ Green Lantern, he played his most classic tracks such as ‘Nas Is Like’ ‘Got Yourself A Gun,’ ‘N.Y State Of Mind’ and closing with my favourite ‘One Mic’. He paid respect to two late but great legends Prince and Michael Jackson with track ‘Human Nature’, sampling ‘’It Ain’t Hard To Tell’.

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He performed with power, authority and strength leaving his fans in absolute awe and saying at the end “Music can last forever”, we fully agree with you Nas.

September 9, 2016

Reading Festival: Friday Review 2016

Reading Festival has to be one of my favourites, and that’s mainly because of the eclectic mix of music, and them always being at the forefront when it comes to supporting Grime and UK Rap artists such as Giggs, Fekky, Sneakbo.

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Arriving on the Friday in the early evening, we only got a few hours to see some of the acts left on the first day. Entering the arena from behind the main stage we watched producer duo and brothers Disclosure who were on the main stage and opened with their hit ‘White Noise’. They went onto play their own tracks ‘F For You’ and ‘You & Me’ saying that “Reading Festival was the first festival me and Howard went too, that’s why I think this is going to be the best crowd we’ve ever played too, am I right?” The crowd were quick to scream their answers of yes adding to their excitement. As the sun set and we were in darkness, the lazers appeared across the sky from the stage with ‘Bang That’ being played out to the huge crowd.

As we passed the Dance Stage there was some heavy tunes and dirty basslines coming out of it, so naturally we entered and discovered the sounds of DJ/Producer duo Jack U also known singularly as Diplo and Skrillex. They banged out some heavy-duty tracks that you couldn’t help but skank out too, including their own track and one of my personal favourites, ‘Take You There’, Disclosure’s ‘You & Me’ (Flume Remix), and Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’. The energy in the tent was insane and they definitely did shut down their headline set on Friday in the Dance Tent.

Wiley was last up at the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage and I managed to catch most of his set, he entered onto the stage spitting “I done a lot of tracks in the manor, E3 you can get the loud pack in the manor.” Scratchy then joined him on stage flowing over a classic grime instrumental ‘Creeper’ by Danny Weed bringing more energy to the stage with this track. Wiley moved onto ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ and more commercially known track ‘Wearing My Rolex’. Flowdan was brought out where the three went back to back over Preditah’s ‘Circles,’ and Rebound X ‘Rhythm N Gash’ where JME bounced out onto the stage also joining in on the mic. As the end of the night appeared and Wiley’s set was drawing to an end he announced, ““They said to shut it down, you know what we’re gonna do,” and left us with renditions of Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ and BBK’s ‘Too Many Men’.

July 25, 2016

Field Day Festival 2016 [Review]

Field Day returned to it home of Victoria Park on the 11-12th June for it’s 10th year, and this year it proceeded to open it’s doors to Grime. The festival is normally known for being a predominately indie/rock music festival, so it was intriguing that it opened it’s doors to some big names from the UK’s homegrown genre, which saw Skepta perform live on the Eat Your Own Ears main stage.

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Skepta performance was at 4pm and the clouds gave way to rain, but this did not stop people heading to watch him, and he drew in a massive crowd. As he opened with BBK’s DJ Maximum to ‘That’s Not Me’ he told the crowd how he loved them for standing there in the rain to watch him, showing his appreciation for his fans. As it continued to rain he went into his ‘Blacklisted’ track ‘Ace Hood Flow’ which most people didn’t seem to know, but it didn’t stop them enjoying themselves. He continued into ‘It Ain’t Safe’ ft. Young Lord and then brought out Shorty and Jammer whilst Maximum dropped well-known Grime track Rebound X ‘Rhythm ‘N’ Gash’ mixed into more Grime tracks whilst the three spat hard bars. Drawing near the end, the sun came out and he perfomed ‘Man (Gang)’ to a wilder crowd and everyone seemed to be skanking out.

Slimzee one of Grime’s pioneers and most influential people in the scene was up next at the bandstand, and he opened with some Wiley tunes, drawing a decent sized amount of people over to the small stage. As he played more tracks, he seemed to capture more attention and people flocked to have listen to his selection of the wickedest Grime tracks and have a good rave.

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Next up was another Boy Better Know member; Frisco who was joined by one of Grime’s hardest producer/DJ’s, Sir Spryo. The North London emcee switched up his set performing tracks from his recently released ‘System Killer’ album where you could hear the crowd spitting the bars word for word, to performing BBK’s ‘Too Many Men’ which got the crowd rowdy, along with his bars from Skepta’s ‘Detox’ and many more.

Novelist was the last but not least over on The Fader stage joined by DJ Grandmixxer and upcoming East London MC Fusion. The two created the maddest hype from the crowd, taking their t-shirts off half way through as they were jumping around so much. He got the audience chanting, ‘F**k David Cameron.’ He managed to not perform any of his own songs, just bars and tunes, reminiscent of an old skool Grime set.

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June 16, 2016

Review: Rinse | Born & Bred 2016

Rinse | Born & Bred made a return to its home of Haggerston Park on the weekend of June 4th and 5th. Still in its second year, the festival is now a collaboration with Rinse FM – an apt pairing as both celebrate rave-inspired dance music and sound system culture, with sounds such as Grime, Drum & Bass, Garage, Jungle, Hip Hop and more. Rinse FM is known for bringing the pulse of the underground to their myriad of listeners, and has become one of London’s most respected stations throughout their evolution from ‘Pirate’ to ‘FM’.


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Arriving at 3pm on the Saturday, we firstly made our way to catch Grime producers Heavytrackerz set, over on the Lord Of The Mics stage, where they played an array of heavy-duty tracks such as Bonkaz ‘We Run The Block,’ Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Stop Dat,’ Kano and much more. They held a good crowd and kept the festival go-ers moving.

It was over to the main stage next to catch Manchester Grime representative Bugzy Malone, who has definitely put Manny on the map with his new album. Bugzy’s stage presence was great to watch for such a fresh artist, and he commanded the people’s attention as he growled out his trademark bark along with tracks ‘Watch Your Mouth,’ ‘Gone Clear,’ ‘Moving’ and more for his fans.

New talent in the form of AJ Tracey and Big Zuu were next on the agenda back over at Lord Of The Mics arena. These two showcased their emceeing skills and also how to hold a crowd, and keep them entertained. Their delivery and energy was ferocious and they had the audience hanging on and repeating every line back to them. They may be new, but they’ll definitely have longevity.

As we waited for P Money at the Lord Of The Mics stage, we were informed he would now be on the main stage as Wiley hadn’t turned up. We made our way over as the one and only don Slimzee stepped up to handle the DJ duties and P Money the MC duties with a Fuxx Azealia Banks t-shirt on as he said to the crowd, “gunfire on Azealia Banks, can’t be dissing the mandem and the girl dem over here.” He continued to spray bars alongside Wiley’s little brother Cadell and Blacks. The crowd loved every bit of this hype set and didn’t seem too bothered at Wiley’s no-show.

The last but not least, the most iconic moment of Rinse | Born & Bred had to be the headline artist Congo Natty who opened his set by paying tribute to Muhammad Ali, with everyone in the audience singing along to Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come.’ He then went into pure jungle tracks such as his own track ‘Junglist,’ Shy FX’s ‘Original Nuttah’ and much, much more.

June 8, 2016

WE ARE FSTVL 2016 DELIVER ANOTHER STELLAR SHOW [Review]

We Are FSTVL made its return, for its fourth year last weekend for the late May bank holiday weekend. Bespoke Mag made it’s way down for the Saturday along with 50,000 other House, Drum & Bass and electronic dance music lovers. Held in Upminster, Essex  the festival dealt with a real treat in the sunshine with the biggest names in Dance  gracing the stage including headliners Fatboy Slim, DJ Fresh and Sigma on the main stage.

The first DJ we saw shelling down Shy FX at 6pm in the UKF tent and unfortunately with the tent being so busy we were stopped by bouncers as we made our way inside so had to find a spot outside. Surprisingly, he opened his set with Giggs “Look What The Cat Dragged In” which we wasn’t expecting from the legend, but we wasn’t complaining! He went into another Giggs classic before mashing up the set with a mixture of Grime, Jungle and Drum & Bass like a true master.

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We made our way to the main stage to watch Sigma shut things down. The sun was still shining as the guys played to a busy crowd with the best in Drum & Bass with tunes such as Chase & Status’ “No Problems” their tracks “Lighters” and “Nobody To Love” and more. They killed it for the ravers, especially the Drum & Bass crew with their banging tunes.

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Preditah, the Birmingham DJ, who is known for his harrowing Grime beats, but also dabbles  in House amongst other genres was the next act up. The UKF tent was still so packed we remained in our nice spot outside. We listened to some of the best tracks in the sunshine of a mixture of beats such as Kano’s “Garage Skank” and Solo 45’s massive festival tune “Feed Em To The Lions”.

We headed to the main stage again to catch the headliner of Saturday’s We Are FSTVL; Fatboy Slim. Known as one of the most prolific and in-demand dance DJs his set was one not to be missed. As we touched the outdoor arena of the main stage we heard the huge track “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat” and the crowd was going absolutely wild. We also heard a re-worked “Praise You”, The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” and more whilst lasers blasted across the sky above us and smiley face balls were descended across the crowd.

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February 11, 2016

Kurupt FM presents Champagne Steam Rooms – Koko 04/02/16 @KuruptFM

West London stand up! Or should I say Camden stand Up?

Kurupt FM the pirate radio station crew known for their comedy show on BBC Three People Just Do Nothing with its second series complete last year, took to Koko for their headline showChampagne Steamrooms. With shows up and down the country, they returned to their home of London on Thursday evening to a sold out show.

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Foundation (Sticky & Scott Garcia) kicked off the night, warming up things nicely with a rotation of some of the most banging Garage tunes known to mankind and host DR. Psycho bringing the energy to the half full crowd who had turned up nice and early, getting their positions ready for the main act.

Big Narstie the bass controller was up next and got the crowd bubbling nicely with his hyped bars. He performed tracks such as ‘Gas The Pipe’ and new track ‘When The Bassline Drops’ ft. Craig David. The DJ also dropped classic tracks such as ‘Rhythm N Gash’ by Rebound X.

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Chabuddy G appeared on the screen on stage, and then popped up on the balcony to the left looking dapper in an all-white suit and obviously a bottle of champagne in his hand. He announced that there was going to be a special guest, making everyone wonder who, then introducing himself as the special guest. Only Kurupt could get away with this! DJ Steves was another funny arrival as he swung down from the ceiling above the stage, quite comically on a broken harness. Steves took to his spot behind the decks and began dropping some heavy duty Garage tunes and the whole crowd started to rave.

The Dancehall set in the middle gave a nice, relaxed feeling after the Garage tunes and skanking out (yes by me too), and allowed our weary feet to rest a bit. Decoy did a good job of curating the set with Damian Marley’s ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ playing and the crowd chanting “Welcome To Camden” with what seemed like every single person in the crowd getting involved.

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The highlights of the night were when the special guests started to arrive on the stage. Garage favourites DJ Luck & MC Neat appeared first performing classic tune ‘With A Little Bit Of Luck’. Grime Gods Newham Generals were next with timeless track ‘Hard’. After Grindah’s own attempt at performing ‘Shut Up’, Stormzy came to take the weight off his shoulders and bring the energy bouncing about on stage.

The boys ended the night with everyone from the night who performed joining them on stage for a crowded performance of ‘Get Out The Way’, packed full of energy and vibes.

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Kurupt FM have proved again that even though they are every bit comical, they need to be taken seriously. They have risen through the ranks and portrayed a culture to places unseen before. They aren’t just doing it for themselves; they are doing it for everyone involved.

January 3, 2016

Five Emcees To Watch Out For In 2016 @UncleMez @AJFromTheLane @Jammz @MsBanks94 @TheCocoUK

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Mez is definitely the next in Grime. A young Nottingham artist from Crew 12, he started 2015 on a high by spitting bars on Sir Spryo’s Grime Show on Rinse FM. The rest of 2015 saw some pretty big accomplishments for him such as being on the legendary Lord Of The Mics series where he battled Trappy, putting out a single with DJ Cable ‘One Line Flows’, going on Stormzy’s ‘Live In The Flesh’ tour, performing live at the Boiler Room x Eskimo Dance alongside artists such as Ghetts and last but not least being asked to record for the Grime Live Orchestra at Maida Vale on a session back to back with AJ Tracey. He has serious energy and a lyrical badness that’s not to be messed with.

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 AJ Tracey

West London’s AJ Tracey has had a lot of heat surrounding his name due to the amount of hard work and consistency. He has flourished in 2015. He represents Grime’s original days, where MC’s would go to pirate radio as much as they could for the love and commitment they have for the music. He has been putting in the work on radio shows in 2015 from Rinse to NTS to Radar Radio and 1Xtra. This shine’s through in his bodies of work he has released in 2015, his two EP’s ‘The Front’ and ‘Alex Moran’, as well as individual singles such as ‘Spirit Bomb’ and freestyles where his wordplay shines.

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Jammz

East Londoner Jammz has really struck out this year. I’ve seen him MC’ing on sets with Plastician at festivals and raves such as Ceremony Festival where he drew the crowd in like a pro. This year has been a fantastic year for him; he released his ‘Hit Then Run’ EP in March, and if you listen to radio, well you can’t miss him as he’s performed on sets on Radar, Deju Vu and Rinse among others. Not only does he MC, he also produces too making him an all-round artist, producing his own tracks such as ‘Hit Then Run’ and ‘Warrior’. His lyricism and work ethic makes him a serious threat for 2016.

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Ms Banks

 21 year old Ms Banks is ready to make this year her year. The South London fiery MC is everything we need from a female MC; she’s genuine, commanding and confident. Last year saw her release a string of tracks such as ‘Hallelujah’, ‘The Get Back’ and more. Beware as she’s not afraid to take on anyone as she says on track ‘Halleljuah’ “any brothers can get it”, and you know she means it with her powerful delivery and clear cut lyrics. She means business and this year she’s also featured on Tinie Tempah’s new project on track ‘Been The Man’ with two other high profile MC’s JME and Stormzy. She will take no prisoners in 2016.

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Coco

Sheffield’s Coco has shown you don’t have to be from London to be accepted in Grime. He has come through full force this year with single’s ‘Target Practice’, ‘Big Bou Yah’ and the ‘Big Bou Yah Remix’ ft Jammz, Terminator and Trigga all produced by Toddla T and receiving airplay on Radio 1, and being on the playlist on 1Xtra. His Fire In The Booth dropped on Boxing Day, confirming his status as a next to blow MC, as his lyrics and flow are untouchable, changing pace to suit different vibes. Coco sound and lyrics are different and witty and this is why he’s shut down stages at Nottinghill Carnival, various raves and Ibiza Rocks this year.

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