GIG REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & UK AMBASSADOR of WU WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION
I have been a Flipmode Squad fan since Busta Rhymes founded it in 1996. I loved the animated characters, the distinct rhyming styles, the crazy beats to make head nod til you break your neck, and of course… the funniest skits since De La Soul – (You Want A Box skit is synonymous with Flipmode and has gone down in history as arguably the funniest skit in hip hop history.)
Fast forward to September of 2018, the 20th Anniversary of the Flipmode Squad album, RePPiN4U had the honor & privilege of having the Lyrical Lieutenant himself – Rampage on the show, and he gave us one of the most memorable interviews in the show’s history, especially dropping the bombshell exclusive to the show that the Squad have come together to record a new album…
…a month or so later… this happened…
…so in the few months of the Flipmode re-emerging from the shadows, Brixton’s World Famous Chip Shop took advantage of a situation, and announced earlier this year the first female and only female of the Flipmode Squad would be performing there… as a Flipmode fan I was mind blown.
REWIND BACK TO JUNE 2018:
This is the part where I have to give props to Uniqme, Elizmi Haze, Verity Crane & her sister Deb, Kemetstry, Shakezpeare, Starrlight, the International Underground Hip Hop & Rap Connexxion and the Chip Shop staff and management, had it not be for that initial meeting back then, whether I would have been apart of this show would have been under question. Put it like this: I know numerous artists who I am a fan of who have performed at The Jazz Cafe, but I have never been there.
OK BRING IT BACK…
Life is good when you can chill in a ‘Chip Shop’, vibe out to some great Hip Hop Music, classics and gems provided by DJ Shorty and tuck in to some good sweet potato chips and some Korean Chilli Chicken Wings which I was recommended and I recommend to you if you were to ever visit there (which should be on your bucket list if you are a true hip hop head). I nearly turned it down in favor for some chilli prawns (I am a fiend for prawns).
Massive props go out to the opening act – Jaz Kahina… I hope she doesn’t get offended when I say this but she reminded me of one of those characters in Kidult/AdultHood…but in a good way though! Very attractive girl, who would be quick to throw fists should you get on her bad side, based on how she presented herself.
Once she shook off the initial nervousness, the East Londoner was wildin’ out on that microphone, performing her hits from her School Run EP including Dope MC and Round Ere, her highlight was a track entitled ‘Quitter’ where she pokes fun at herself for bailing out of everything she tries…excluding Hip Hop which was a beautiful thing… her delivery was reminiscent of classic 1999 Slim Shady. Another highlight was ‘Fatal Attraction’… in which she told the crowd that they need to log in to their YouTube account to view the content because it may be of an adult nature… been as she is attractive as stated earlier, she was quick to point out that she meant VIOLENT nature and not sexual to which she was received with a chorus of playful boos…
Props to the man call Curoc for keeping the crowd hype with the big tune and busting a few 16s of his own before the Harriet Thugman herself graced the stage. Big ups to the ladies in attendance who made sure they didn’t let the thirsty guys overpower the capacity crowd…
The first thing she put out there – was that she may need a chair to stand on and perform… the Chip Shop failed to fulfill Rah’s needs but the show went on and blasted off with a clever version of her verse of Cha Cha Cha over Jay-Z’s Public Service Announcement instrumental. She keeps the crowd rocking over some classic Dirty Harriet classics, but when she performed ‘Break Fool’ the crowd went OFF calling for a Pull up but the DJ looked clueless as to what a Pull Up was… very disappointing. ‘Curtains’ was another surprise highlight, as halfway through that track the DJ made up for his ‘particular lack of skills’ and switched the beat into a Pusha T instrumental which got a great ovation from the crowd since Daytona was considered on e of the best albums of 2018.
Moving on, Rah goes in to her later tracks which she believed the Brixton Crowd would not be familiar with… how wrong was she! Performing tunes like ‘Classic’, ‘Who Gonna Check Me Boo’ and ‘I Ain’t Never Lied’…the crowd was with her all the way, especially as she performed ‘Angela Davis’, which had capacity crowd with their fists in the air on some ‘Fight The Power’ vibe. This is an aspect of what I love when attending a gig, I am always interested to see if the people have kept up with the later tracks instead of being trapped in the 90s.
I felt kinda bad for the Female Flipmodian though when she mentioned her podcast with Lord Jamar… it sounded as if not more than five people (including myself) knew of that… either heads are sleeping or they have a lot of respect for Eminem because we all know how Lord Jamar feels about white people and Hip Hop…
She moved on swiftly to some more classic hits including the collab with Talib Kweli (Down For The Count) and Black Rob’s WHOA! Remix in which the capacity crowd forgot they had phones in their hands because they were so caught up in the vibe.
It was an hour set from the one who writes her own rhymes… and after she paid homage to all the female MCs who have gone before, adding that nice touch of the Sean Price interview he had on Vlad where he speaks on female rappers but only had ratings for Digga which had the crowd chanting ‘SEAN PPPPPP!!!’ and announcing to the crowd that a new Flipmode Album is on the way which was met with a response of roars of anticipation, she closed it out with the epic Touch It Remix…in true Flipmode fashion, Digga Digga had capacity crowd getting low and turning it up into a mosh pit. The Chip Shop venue was not built for that! That was a SHUTDOWN! Busta Rhymes must feel proud of his Flipmode sister!
FLIPMODE IZ DA SQUAD!!!
This was my fourth appearance in the Chip Shop, and although none of the aforementioned were in attendance the first time I was there, this was my most enjoyable experience. A place where a who’s who of artists and legends have graced their stage, the management may seriously need to consider expanding, especially when I caught a comment from the Chip Shop on Rah Digga’s instagram, tagging Busta Rhymes and asking him when the Dungeon Dragon would grace the establishment with his animated presence… going by my past experience… there will definitely be no Chip Shop left if that man appeared let me tell you.
The capacity crowd (especially the guys) let Rah Digga know they loved her in more ways than one and she was only happy to bring the love back… but when I got to meet her… she told me she loved her time here in the UK and then told me something so promising and exciting…let’s just say…UK – STAY TUNED! FLIPMODE IZ DA SQUAD!!!