SMIF ‘N’ WESSUN Live @The Jazz Cafe, Camden June 8, 2019!

GIG REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & UK AMBASSADOR for WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

This particular story all started with this tweet from 9th Wonder…

9th wonder smif n wessun soul council

It’s one of those moments where Hip Hop heads broke the ‘WOW’ button on Facebook… bear in mind look at the date it was tweeted. July of last year. suddenly we didn’t want to know about the rest of 2018 even though so much great music came out at that time. We just wanted to fast forward to February 2019…

“They said take ’em back to Dah Shinin’ (Nooo)
But they don’t know the shape that my mind’s in (Nooo)…” (Testify, The A.L.L.)

So right off the bat Tek & Steele are letting us know, that we are getting a grown, evolved version of themselves, and artists of this calibre know in their hearts that whatever project they bring out today, they can never go backwards. Nas has been telling us this from Stillmatic. The result, a soul drenching album which indeed re-captures the duos, synergy…

It wasn’t long after that, even after their appearance on shows like Sway In the Morning and the Yanadameen Podcast with Lord Jamar & Rah Digga, they wanted to appear on RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW. This shows the humility of these guys.

“It’s been a little minute since we popped out
Sun glistenin’ off her tan skin
Exotic smoke blendin’ in with the wind”…(Ocean Drive, The A.L.L.)

It felt like everything was coming into place. Their appearance on the show landed on the birthday of the beautiful Ladi Vee, (also a former guest and friend of the show) who grew up listening to these guys and it was a special moment for her to co-host this interview with them. Then it just so happened that the duo formerly known as Cocoa Brovaz were touching down at The Jazz Cafe in Camden Town. It was a no-brainer. I had to witness this.

Big ups to The Blackfish Collective, who in my opinion, were thrown in at the deep end of what I describe as an 90s Hip Hop dominated crowd, particularly their youngest and newest member whose name I did not catch, that was his first ever performance, his sound was very modern, really catered for younger audiences, and even though you could blatantly hear his background vocals in the tracks, the crowd were lenient and applauded his efforts. Prnc$$ and Demi-Gosh put in energy into their performances which I considered an alternative, acquired taste…I fear that had they performed in Birmingham, they may have been booed off the stage. I’ve seen it happen before. The London crowd have shown me that their minds are open, based on what acts The Jazz Cafe have lined up following this.

“You owe to your father, honour
You owe to your mother, honour
But to God, you owe your A.L.L.!” (Intro, The Education of Smif N Wessun, The A.L.L.)

Reportedly Smif N Wessun were late coming into their set, Had I not know that little bit of information, one would think that these guys knocked it out the park, AND THEY DID.

Kicking off the set with some good ol’ classics from Dah Shinin’, their first highlight came when they performed their verses to the Mary J Blige classic ‘I Love You’, if their debut from the Black Moon – Enta Da Stage didn’t introduce fans to them, this tune certainly did.

Bless and a curse, watch your mouth in my mother house…” (Stahfallah, The A.L.L.)

smif n wessun the allWhat impressed me the most was how many tracks they performed from The A.L.L. and how the capacity crowd handled it. Usually when a artist performs new tracks from their albums, it is usually met with a lukewarm response, only because they were unfamiliar. That didn’t happen with The A.L.L. They performed 5 of the 12 tracks and all received major ovations, and all tunes BANG in the venue.  Clearly 9th Wonder & The Soul Council knew exactly what they were doing.

Your usual round up of the tribute to the fallen soldiers segment came up, but what made this one different was how they showed tribute to Nipsey Hussle. Tek went OFF on one of his verses and the crowd knew it was Nipsey but were still unfamiliar. #Exposed

Clearly they left Sean Price last for their tribute set, which had the crowd going into a frenzy when ‘Boom Bye Yeah’ was blasted through the Jazz Cafe.

“Enter the cipher with your lighter
L’s are ready, prepare for another all nighter…” (Bucktown! Dah Shinin’)

Surprise of the night was the appearance of Jeru The Damaja and Group Home. No one seen that coming, especially when BUCKTOWN!!! Home of The Original Gun Clappaz was blasted through the speakers. They were there in support of the Boot Camp Pair. It’s a bit of a shame they didn’t pick up the mic for a good ol’ blessing of ‘Ya Playin’ Ya’self’ or ‘Livin’ Proof’… God bles the fan, some of them can go home and say ‘Steele smoked a joint with me!’ Tek on the other hand, had to put it out there that he’s not that guy…

“When-when you’re talkin’ ’bout rap on the East Coast
How you leave our clique out of the convos?” (One Time, The A.L.L.)

I have attended quite a few gigs in my time…but I do not recall an ending as epic as this. Finishing the set with ‘Sound Bwoy Burelli’, The roof went OFF. Suddenly Tek & Steele demanded the DJ to LOCK OFF the tune. The stage was not good enough. It was time to engage in some crowd participation…

PULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!!

Up til now, I’m wondering how Sound Bwoy Burelli became ‘Boom Bye Bye’ by Buju Banton! In this current state of the world that we live in, the LGBT community calling or that song to be banned, and yet, people of all backgrounds in The Jazz Cafe embraced the track in unison. Tek & Steele became one with the crowd, and Sound Bwoy Burelli became a 10-15 minute celebration of their 25 years in the game.

I sincerely hope Tek & Steele go back and tell Rapsody & Heather Victoria how crazy the UK crowd were… we need them over here now after that. Smif N Wessun have just shown that you can still be relevant and not have to rely on your classics to keep the crowd rocking. Very few artists can do that.

GRANT & STEELE

 

 

 

 

RAH DIGGA LIVE @CHIP SHOP, BRIXTON February 28, 2019!

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 Rah digga Chip shop 2first 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.

Jaz Kahina chip shop

Jaz Kahina: Photo courtesy of Chip Shop Instagram @chipshop_bxtn

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.

#LYRICSMATTER

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… Rah digga teases Flipmode reunion

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!!!

GRANT & RAH DIGGA2

 

GZA Live @2Funky Music Cafe, Leicester, August 31, 2018!

GIG REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, UK AMBASSADOR FOR WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

February 2012: I had seen a number of Wu members live in a solo set. (I’m unsure whether to include Method Man in that list… every time I saw him he was with Redman) but GZA was the most surprising… this is a man who has been known to be more ‘laid GZA Instagramback’ in the crew… what he did blew me away. If you want to know what that was… you might wanna click here…

So upon hearing the news that he was returning to the UK, most notably the 2Funky Music Cafe, a place where I have become very familiar with over recent years, I knew history was going to be made. AGAIN.

In past reviews, I made the statement that too many opening acts may be a bit tiresome… I still stand by that. 2 opening acts should be the maximum for any gig, and yes it may be tiresome for those who are unfamiliar, but on this night, 2Funky have stuck to their formula, tweaked it, and the result is a stacked line up, the best I have ever seen. Each artist knew who they were opening for, and went all out on stage.

Strizzy Strauss opened up the night, featuring a new track and always dropping the Leicester Champions anthem as they did last time around. I was so glad to see Big Beasy out there to perform for the first time, especially after he came through in the 11th hour of the special RePPiN4U Show back in June. The only drawback there was he only performed one track in ‘Unstoppable’…but considering it was a Wu-Tang show, Beasy should have hit the crowd with ‘On My One’… the crowd would have went CRAZY with him flowing over the Wu Gambinos beat…

It could be time constraints or him being a late addition to the line up… but I believe Beasy dropped the ball there.

I want to take this time to apologise to Asterix and Dark A Brown as I missed most of their sets, but I also want to commend Leicester for their honesty and integrity… I actually lost my phone during that time before I realised… turns out – somebody handed it in. For that I cannot thank Leicester enough…

Loaneski turned it up a notch or two on his set, he clearly had more time this time around which gave him the opportunity to unleash – Welcome to Babylon… a scathing track which saw Loaneski as the relentless, cocky but respectful MC his fans know and love.

I may have lost count of how many times I have seen Shakezpeare perform. This time he put on an incredible homage to the Wu-Tang Clan in his own way – he had all his people up on stage just like the Clan would, all of them who he grew up with from childhood. Not only that – the lighting visuals were next level – the green lighting set off the atmosphere giving Shakezpeare and his crew that element of mystique, and each MC took the mic and rocked it like ‘Triumph’ was the instrumental track. Once again big ups to G’Mas catering for helping make 2Funky so homely with their authentic Caribbean cuisine. Why have greasy kebab and chips that may be under-cooked at 2am that may upset your stomach in the early hours of the following morning when you can have rice and peas, fried fish, jerk/bbq chicken, fried dumpling,  coleslaw, which will make your belly say THANKS?! I know which one I’d pick.

There was one thing I noticed at 2Funky that I hadn’t seen since the Onyx show… barricades. Right now you might be scratching your heads of what I mean. By that I mean the venue has never sold out that much to the point where the owner is now contemplating a bigger venue… like the big clock in the Liquid Swords video… the timing was perfect. It was pay day for many, it was the weekend, it was the last week before new school/college/university term starts, the weather was pleasant, and GZA only had limited dates, which meant fans from all over the UK came to Leicester to see Wu-Tang’s most lyrical swordsman.

In his 70- minute set (yes he stepped on stage at 11:50pm and stepped off at 1am) – GZA has this way of captivating the audience simply by standing there, with one hand in his pocket, and yet giving off so much energy. Had that be anyone else like a lesser known artist… he would be booed off stage surely.

Performing his big tracks across his entire catalogue, but it was his unique (no pun intended) tribute to Ason Unique himself which was the highlight. Instead of asking the crowd to put up their lighters or phones up… he jumps into a story of Dirty’s life, name dropping past hits just like he did with Labels, Publicity & Fame… absolutely amazing.

However GZA surprised me just like he did the first time I saw him live – but in reverse – this time he did NOT leave the stage and join the crowd while performing the 36 Chambers hits, there were moments where it looked like he was going to do just that… but it didn’t happen.

Shakezpeare GZA Words From the Troubled Genius

Photo courtesy of Shakezpeare

Despite that, GZA rocked Leicester down with minimal effort. Some may say that Shakezpeare may have out-performed GZA on this night, and that is an arguable point, but if you’re supporting an artist as high as a calibre in the ‘head of voltron’ himself, you better bring it, and that’s what exactly Shakezpeare, Strizzy Strauss, Asterix, Loaneski, Dark A Brown, and Big Beasy did.

The 2Funky Music Cafe has become more than a venue for not just hip hop but for all genres, it has evolved into one of the biggest and best hip hop communities in the UK today. Where does the 2Funky Music Cafe go from here? Only one way – UP!

KUPID THE KING: Lost Boy LIVE @ The Robin 2, Wolverhampton Sep 15, 2018 (PREVIEW)

Preview Article by GRANT BODY-P! UK Ambassador of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Hip Hop has just celebrated its 45th Anniversary. When DJ Kool Herc held that historic and iconic block party in The Bronx, 1520 Sedgwick Ave, did he ever think that he would start a culture that would become so global and dominant? To the point where poor Noel Gallagher of Oasis had a bit of a cry about Jay-Z headlining Glastonbury, the former President of The United States (Obama) using Hip Hop culture to express his thoughts in speeches, and now this…

Kupid Lost BoyThe Robin 2, situated in Bilston, Wolverhampton has been renowned for hosting tribute acts, showcasing 60’s rock n roll, jazz, and music of that nature. But The Robin cannot stop the juggernaut that is Hip Hop, as friend of RePPiN4U and Wolverhampton’s own Kupid The King and his soulful crew will be performing his debut album ‘Lost Boy’ with a full live band ‘Music Til Midnight’ before a capacity crowd, not to mention previous hits such as ‘The Fall’, ‘Sellotape Kisses’, ‘Mom’s Heart’ and ‘Letter To My Ex’, all of which have featured on RePPiN4U Hip Hop Show at some point.

Hosted by Cassandra Maria & Roberto Vegatelli, supporting Kupid on the night includes Rais at Night (fronted by Birmingham’s Tarju Le’Sano & Wolverhampton’s Ayy), conscious lyricist – Infamous Dimez, and powerful songstress Priscilla Cameron. DJ’s on the night are DJ Dan Smila & Selekta Hype.

The venue has been ranked 13th in the UK according to PRS For Music, but Kupid and his crew are out to get the venue in the top ten… and rightfully so. The CEO of PRS – Robert Ashcroft made the following statement: “It’s an enormous accomplishment to run a successful live music space and, in spite of economic challenges, the British music scene is still strong.” In my opinion, the British music scene is the strongest we have ever seen it, ask our partners FATP HIP HOP SHOW UK.

Be sure to tune in to RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW on B.D.S.I.R. NETWORK: The Best Damn Show In Wild1 Radio on September 11, 2018 where Grant Body-P! of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition will be interviewing Kupid The King on the lead up to this mammoth event at the very place where the new album was produced – BeatsABar Music Project. Expect this show to be filmed for YouTube also.

Tickets are available NOW! Click on the flyer below to GET YOURS!

Kupid Robin Flyer 1

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FOLLOW KUPID THE KING ON TWITTER

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RePPiN4U: PRESERVE THE CULTURE!

B.D.S.I.R. Network: The Best Damn Show In Wild1 Radio & International Underground Hip Hop & Rap Connection presents a special edition of RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW!

RePPiN4U Preserve The Culture

Presented by Grant Body-P! & DJ Miss C Brown! US Hip Hop artists Uniqme flew over to the UK to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his EP – Da Hoodzmen, featuring Starrlight from the Netherlands, Askem, Shakezpeare, Kemetstry, Elizmi Haze, Loaneski, Alex-Is, Ayy, Tarju, Big Beasy, Birthm4rk, Krystatic, Kupid The King!

Group pic

PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUL TRADER PHOTOGRAPHY

As aired on Wild1 Radio but with extra exclusive footage!

Filmed at The Chip Shop in Brixton and BeatsABar Music project in Wolverhampton

RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW: Every Tuesday 11pm UK – 12mdnt HOL -6pm EST – 3pm LA on http://www.wild1radio.com

ENCORE PRESENTATION EVERY WEDNESDAY on BDSIR NETWORK blogtalkradio.com/thagameV1 8pm EST – 1am UK

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ARTISTS – send submissions to mikedogg36@gmail.com – NO TRAP – NO MUMBLE RAP

Facebook: @RePPiN4U

Twitter: @MZATheInfamous

Instagram: @infamousgrantbodyp

PLAYLIST (as it appears on mixcloud)

Presented by GRANT BODY-P! & DJ MISS C BROWN!

1. DJ MISS C BROWN – RePPiN4U Intro
2. INTERVIEW WITH UNIQME PART 1
3. UNIQME/CANIBUS/K-SOLO/PAPOOSE/KOOL G RAP – Iron Bars
4. INTERVIEW WITH UNIQME PART 2
5. UNIQME F/ KALI RANKS/STARRLIGHT – Empire (Remix)
6. INTERVIEW WITH KRYSTATIC/KEMETSTRY/BIG BEASY
7. BIG BEASY – Unstoppable
8. KEMETSTRY – So Real
9. KRYSTATIC – New Planet
10. INTERVIEW WITH LOANESKI/STARRLIGHT/ALEX-IS/KUPID THE KING
11. KUPID THE KING – Letter To My X
12. LOANESKI – Paisa
13. ALEX-IS F/ NEPHILIM – Make A Wish
14. PRESERVE THE CULTURE CYPHER (Sneak Preview)
15. CLOSING

BDSIR NETWORK

CLICK HERE FOR BDSIR NETWORK

 

RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW

 

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CLICK HERE FOR WILD1 RADIO LIVE

 

 

PHAROAHE MONCH LIVE @2FUNKY MUSIC CAFE, LEICESTER UK – MARCH 24, 2018!

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Pharoahe Monch scratches my head. Like seriously. I don’t understand. Allow me to elaborate. This is a guy who has four critically acclaimed albums under his belt (five if you include ‘Lost In Translation’), but certain heads have STILL not heard of this guy? Going as far as not even knowing that he’s behind the classic anthem ‘Simon Says’? Like – how is this even possible? It’s not like he’s an obscure artist either! Thank goodness for Pharaohe Monch live Leicester igthose in attendance at the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester (My home away from home). For the past two years, I have attended this venue more times than any other venue for music gigs, which says a lot for this country’s so-called ‘second capital’ (Birmingham promoters get it together!!!)

Once again I have to big up Shakezpeare and his catering crew. They really make the events feel right at home with their Caribbean cuisine. Venues across the UK STEP YOUR GAME UP!

Big shout out to the DJs on the ones an twos. KMS & DJ YESS providing the sounds on the outside while heads get their smoke on and what not, but special mention goes out to DJ Ninja Bob, who really impressed me with the way he selects his music. The casual head may not tell the difference, but someone like myself would be able to tell that Ninja Bob was carefully mixing old school with new school hip hop in his set, and I’m not talking mumble rap either. That true to form Hip Hop that is played on RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW. We need more DJs like him who isn’t afraid of answering to the higher-ups of what to play.

In past reviews I have criticized the venue for having too many opening acts before the main event, but this time they nailed it. Strizzy Strauss kicked things off when Big Ben struck twelve, Mercz The 1st impressed me coming off all smooth and then backing off his jacket halfway through his set proclaiming ‘That’s the commercial stuff out the way’, going in with harder sounds and then finishing with a Leicester victory anthem, presumably made upon Leicester City’s premiership victory triumph in 2016.

Friend of RePPiN4U – Loaneski was up next and owned the stage with his fierce delivery leaving the stage hot enough for D-Crime to bring the Hip Hop 4x100m relay baton to the finish line. The only drawback was these guys didn’t have enough time on stage to really show off their skills.

Now on this night, the UK were turning their clocks forward, so 1am became 2am. and between 2:15am and 2:20am DJ Boogie Blind introduced the guest of honor to the stage. Fitted with a leather jacket with the anarchy symbol on the back, this is a Renegade ready for War, starting the set with ‘Assassins’. There I was looking around the corner looking for Jean Grae to surprise us but then remembered we are not in London.

Pharoahe blasts through his powerful resume of hits such as ‘Oh No’, ‘Clap’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Got You’, but once again his epic storytelling in ‘Time 2’ was the show stealer, as a ‘drunken Pharoahe’ stumbles in and out of the spotlight, with the chair as the centerpiece, and Pharoahe eventually shoots himself with a water pistol (playing the role of the gun obviously)…

Pharoahe ends his set with the tune he’s best known for, the mosh pit anthem to end all mosh pits. SIMON SAYS. It’s just a real shame the women doesn’t do what Simon Says… and there were quite a number of them on this night!

Pharoahe Monch 2 Funky

PHOTO TAKEN COURTESY OF K PIX PHOTOGRAPHY

With no new album (that we know of) in the works, this was a stellar show which everybody enjoyed, and this has further cemented Leicester as THE place in the Midlands for Hip Hop. In the space of two years, this city has seen Onyx, Lowkey, Kool G Rap, Havoc, Dom Pachino, and now Pharoahe Monch…Birmingham – TALK TO YOUR PROMOTERS. TALK TO EM!!!

KEMETSTRY A.K.A. SPIDA LEE – Spirit Vs Ego Freestyle

ARTICLE BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

KemetstrySometimes, classics should be left alone. They are classic for a reason. Not only is it an unwritten rule in film, but the same applies in Hip Hop, unless you are a special kind of talent who can pull it off. Such is the case for Huddersfield MC – Spida Lee, who has taken on a new alias – Kemetstry, and along with it – a new clothing line.

Thankfully this man has a knack of dropping powerful freestyles over classic tracks, and this time it’s the turn of Dr. Dre’s 2001 cut – Ackrite featuring Hittman. King Of Da Hillz TV (KODHTV) invited him on to show us the struggle and comparison between ‘Spirit Vs Ego’, combining conscious mindset with Jamaican humour. Check the video below after the jump…

Firing off the starting blocks with “Spirit Vs My Ego/tryna be Professor X with thoughts of Magneto/you clown fish rappers gonna find you like Nemo/Gangsta like Premo/Like George Bush taking Twin Towers to Ground Zero..” Kemestry goes in, and warns the ignorant ‘never mention banana boat again!’

In an era where people are more aware of logos, symbols, and their meanings, whereas others think they are ‘woke’, Kemetstry breaks down the meaning of his logo in the video below.

 

“REAL KINGS DON’T DIE, CAUSE YOUR SPIRIT LIVES ON…”

If you like what you hear, you can download the freestyle for free on soundcloud. You can also check out the rest of his catalogue on bandcamp, and you can also purchase the Kemetstry gear at his official website.

LIKE KEMETSTRY ON FACEBOOK @kemetstryOfficial

FOLLOW ON TWITTER @Kemetstry_music

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM @kemetstry_official

Kemetstry Clothing

CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE INFAMOUS…HAVOC & BIG NOYD LIVE @2FunkyMusicCafe, Leicester November 2, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

Sometimes I wonder, had the tragedy that came to pass on June 20, 2017 not happen, would this night have happened?

Sure, had Prodigy ‘not choke on an egg’ as media reported, there is no doubt they would have sold out the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester, but this was a special night. Firstly big Havoc Big Noydshout out to friend of RePPiN4U – Big Twins, who was on the original line up, but for reasons unknown to RePPiN4U, he was taken off the flyer. In his place, The Infamous…Big Noyd. upon hearing this news on the lead up to the show, not only was the anticipation increased with fans, but it also landed on Prodigy’s birthday. This would be the first Mobb Deep show in the UK without Prodigy in the physical, and on his birthday no less. They would perform in Bristol & London following this, but that extra birthday spirit may not have been there like Leicester had. Not just that, but also learning of Havoc’s reaction upon hearing about Prodigy’s passing, this night may not have happened at all, we could have lost both, and Hip Hop may have never recovered from that. Hip Hop still has the war wounds of Dilla, Sean Price, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Phife Dawg, Baatin and so much more.

Personally this is the first time I have seen this at a Hip Hop gig, but it’s definitely something that should be encouraged at every show: Big shout out to the catering company which Shakezpeare and the NGE (New Golden Era) crew laid on for the crowd. Supplying currygoat, rice, fried chicken coleslaw, dumplings while the night progressed was GENIUS. Because I got the ‘John Witherspoon’ guts, I was very careful with my selection of food… kept well away from the hot sauce I tell ya (Too Much Information)

Shout out to DJ Predator Prime for supplying the music while the crowd was in chill mode. Always a pleasure to hear good hip hop selection and not just the 90s anthems being played.

Again, it could be an observation going by my last outing at 2Funky Music Cafe, but they seemed to have learned from not putting on so many opening acts before the main event. The Sky Walker Crew kicked off the show making their Darth Vader entrance, and had a short but entertaining set, including their big black history anthem ‘Bloodline’ which received a great response from the crowd.

Shakezpeare

Photo taken courtesy of Limitless Vision & New Golden Era Records

Next up was resident MC – Shakezpeare, who always ups his game each time he performs. Starting his set with his counteraction to the Deep Cover track, this is the third time I have seen him live, and this time he took his performance into the crowd and made the entire 2Funky Music Cafe his stage performing hits like ‘They’re Full of Sh!t’, ‘Top Boy’ and ‘That I Know’. If DJ L.E.S. tells Shakezpeare he is going on with big things – best believe that’s the truth.

L.E.S. warms the crowd up with some big anthems, and then cleverly switches to the biggest tunes from Queensbridge, before Big Noyd runs onto the stage like he’s doing the long jump. The energy this man had was amazing, especially when he drops one of his biggest hits – Recognize & Realize, which had the capacity crowd going wild and begging for a rewind! (Side note – the day I left school in 1996, Recognize & Realize Part 1 & 2 was my #1 favourite tune at the time) so this had a special place in my heart.

Fifteen minutes later Havoc bursts on the stage starting the party with ‘Survival of the Fittest’. Make no mistake – this was NOT a concert, this was NOT a performance. This was a straight party dedicated to the birthday boy – Prodigy with both guys (and in some cases – the crowd) reciting the necessary Prodigy verses. The party was a straight

Mobb Deep Vijay Mistry

Photo courtesy of Vijay Mistry

rollercoaster of big tunes, I personally loved the fact that the last time I was at 2Funky, Kool G Rap performed ‘The Realest’, it felt like this time, Havoc & Noyd presented their side of the story on the same track.

I also liked the fact that Havoc went out to perform some big tunes from their 2014 album, and the crowd went along and kept up with the pace. You name the Mobb Deep hit, Havoc & Noyd performed it, with the exception of anything from the Juvenile Hell album which may have been the night’s only criticism. That would have really shown Havoc & Noyd who was REALLY down with Mobb Deep.

Despite that minor point, the celebration ended as powerful as it started with Mobb Deep’s biggest hits – Quiet Storm & Shook Ones Pt II. No tune can go after Shook Ones Pt II especially after letting that beat ride out.

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

What a night this was, and will never be duplicated. My deepest sympathies go out to those who couldn’t make it to the show under their own power. I cannot speak for Bristol & London but Havoc & Noyd announced that because it was Prodigy’s birthday, they were staying to embrace their fans, and boy did they ever. They were taking pictures with everyone in sight, and special shout out to Big Noyd himself, who pretty much became Rapper Noyd AND Prodigy on stage. He was unbelievable. Prodigy looked upon Leicester from the heavens and gave that extra energy. Big Noyd gathered many of us together and spoke to us on a level about communicating with each other more in the age of social media when having phones in our hands reigns supreme, and also he shared his regrets with us when he spoke about Prodigy trying to school him about the Illuminati and what was in store when he admitted to laughing it off. I dare say many of us (myself included) had a feeling of regret as well, as some of us had never seen Mobb Deep live up until this point, and the reality that we will never see Prodigy, which is why shows like this, I encourage you to see your favourite artists live, because you just never know.

Infamous Grant & Infamous Havoc

GHOSTFACE KILLAH LIVE @O2 ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM SEPT 22, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

I WAS GONE FOR 28 SEASONS.

The reason I say that, is because somewhere between July 2010 when I witnessed (in my mind) the greatest show ever in Nas & Damian Marley in the O2 Academy, I return to the same venue, and things have changed.

Ghostface Killah Bham

The first time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with MF DOOM. The Theodore Unit, Killah Priest and MF DOOM himself recited a verse each of Triumph.

The second time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with Sheek Louch of The Lox, it was great to hear a combination of Wu-Block hits, before that unthinkable moment when I took a pic with the Supreme Clientele Champion himself.

This is the third time. This time closer to home, to enjoy the show with my peoples. This time I had no idea what to expect apart from – it would be different from the past two shows I had been to, AND IT WAS. In some ways, not in the way that I would have liked.

My initial arrival to the O2 Academy had me in disbelief, two hours before doors opening and there was already a queue. Initial thoughts were – this could be history right here, until I looked up at the display…’Ghostface Killah & Machine Gun Kelly’. Prior to this the flyer read ‘Ghostface Killah & special guests’… so imagine my horror thinking we had to go through a set with him, not saying he’s not a great artist but rather not a fan of and what RePPiN4U doesn’t necessarily support.

Fast forward three hours later, it turns out there were two separate shows so I could remember Machine Gun Kelly the way I want to remember him… Observe…

GRANT BODY-P!

I was also stunned at the security for taking my HD video camcorder away from me at the doors, which explains this article’s use of video footage from other uploaders. Locked away in a safe, RePPiN4U were unable to bring you highlights on this rare occasion, and also may be a lesson learned.

The real special guests were in fact Joe Young, who opened the show. A very humble dude and great guy, he knew he was very new to the scene, he gave the crowd a heads up that tunes performed from his Invincible Armour album feature his fellow Wu-Brethen, and the crowd accepted that fact.

Next up was an artist from Liverpool named MC Nels0n (Nelson Idama), a good artist, great rhymes, great selection of beats, but there were a few problems – the main one being his mic – the crowd couldn’t get the clarity of his rhymes like the beat overpowered his voice, but the sound engineers quickly rectified that. What we heard was a guy who concentrated hard to remember every line, but he sounded stoic and needed to work on his stage presence. The Birmingham crowd were lenient, because London crowd would have booed him off stage. I have seen artists better than him booed of stage in London viciously.

After a great 90s Hip Hop set with some recent hits thrown in to keep the crowd hype, a few short performances from other artists including a hot looking female MC whose name we couldn’t catch because of the noise made by guys and catching snaps of the hot pants wearing chick on their phones…

The plate throwing clan member finally jumped on stage with Killah Priest at 9:20pm and started his rollercoaster set with hits like Mighty Healthy, We Made It, Ice Cream before jumping into ‘Eye For An Eye’ in tribute to Prodigy.

 

The rollercoaster continued into the classic 1993/1995 cuts such as Chessboxing, 4th Chamber, and an alternate and interesting version of Knowledge God.

Ghost continues the tradition of remembering ODB, and inviting two people on stage to recite Method Man’s verse and ODB’s verse of Protect Ya Neck. Yes I admit to bottling the opportunity, but if Ghost invited me to recite Raekwon’s verse of Apollo Kids then not only would it be a different story, I’m sure Ghost would be even more impressed…but I digress…

One dude stepped up as you will see in the video below, but unknown to us – Ghost had a secret weapon – Numi Sic’Nis – who went IN on Method Man’s verse! Not just that – she singlehandedly performed the whole Triumph track (minus Ghost verse) – she just kept on going and Ghost himself became her hype man! Simply another example of how humble Ghost is – he could have told the DJ to stop the track but nope!

Just before the show closed out with Triumph, Ghost asked the fans what track they wanna hear him perform, after mad confusion from different requests – my friend requested any track from ‘BadBadNotGood’ (which would have been a unique pick) and there I was screaming ‘Apollo Kids’ – but ultimately Gravel Pit, Run and Daytona 500 got the win.

40 minutes later – just like that – it was all over. So unexpected, disappointing knowingGhostface Bhams (2) the last two shows I was at – he went a lot longer… only defense was that Ghost does like to embrace his fans and that he did – signed autographs on T-Shirts for a good hour. Maybe it was a decision made to comply with the possible curfew of 11pm…

THE SAGA CONTINUES

Now this is what I mean – I was gone for 28 Seasons. In 2010, Nas & Damian Marley – they were on at least 90 minutes and they finished at midnight. 2017, Ghost finished at 10pm – something happened in between that time for O2 Academy to change their policies…

Make no mistake – Ghostface Killah & Killah Priest (with help from Numi) rocked the joint for 40 minutes straight – no slow down, it was one after the other. It was a crash course in big tune.

Onwards and Upwards to October 13 – to normal jabronies, that’s a day the need to watch where they walk if they believe in superstition. For Hip Hop fans and especially Wu-Tang fans, its sword swinging season once again and it will be curtains for their mumble rhyming enemies.

 

KOOL G RAP LIVE @ 2Funky Music Cafe, Leicester UK June 28, 2017

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

1992: I was but a 12-year-old. Missed an entire year of secondary education. The stories about my cousin’s cassette tapes, are legendary. To my knowledge he still has them. A lot of tunes I used to rock to but never knew who the artists were and it wasn’t all the time I was exposed to Yo! MTV Raps. Ill Street Blues was one of those tunes. The man responsible was in the UK in 1992, rocked every crowd possible, left, and was not seen in the UK again….

UNTIL NOW.

Kool G Rap Live2017: ‘Mumble Rap’ reigned supreme. Grime is misunderstood in America as UK Hip Hop, some fans just couldn’t give a DAMN despite Kendrick’s continuous effects to push boundaries, while others were stuck in 2001 playing Ether while sleeping at 4:44am. This has called for the Don himself to return, your rapper’s favourite rapper, the man who Nas said wrote the Hip Hop bible. The people of Leicester and surrounding areas came together to witness history. Kool G Rap, new album in tow, rocking the UK for the first time in 25 years.

The 2Funky Music Cafe’s strategy of exposing as much local talent as possible are a bit hit & miss. The show started with a Polish Hip Hop group whose name I didn’t quite catch unfortunately, A lot of what they performed was in their respective language and whatever they were saying in their lyrics – they meant it. Massive props go out to them as the UK continues to become more multi cultural and those who support Brexit for the wrong reasons cannot stop the power of Hip Hop.

Trademark Blud followed alongside DJ Tricksta and dropped an impressive 20 minute set. His ferocious delivery over tongue in cheek like beats and political subject matter left the crowd wishing he could have been on a little longer. If an opening act gives you that feeling, you are going places.

Leicester’s own Shakezpeare & DJ Roll Blunt were determined to top Trademark Blud’s performance, and They did. Even with sound check problems which Shakezpeare easily overcame by dropping hot freestyles like a professional, and that is what Hip Hop is about, to be able to adapt in any situation. His mission was a simple one – make sure his performance was so on point that no one apart from G Rap could follow him. Were Galaxy High from Sweden up for the challenge?

This is the part where I shed sympathy for Galaxy High, what I saw were two talented emcees who struggled to keep the crowd rocking which brings me to my point earlier: Too many opening acts may have been hit or miss, or maybe Galaxy High were positioned wrong in the line up sequence, or maybe the crowd were just ready for G Rap, it was the middle of the week, some may have had to commute the following morning, maybe 4 opening acts might be overkill. It is understandable in one aspect, keeping the crowd waiting for the main event for too long can also be a disadvantage.

15 minutes before G Rap took the stage, it was up to DJ Anthony Mace to set it, and it doesn’t start any better with a series of Mobb Deep tracks to remember Prodigy. The time when G Rap finally jumped on stage was the time the show was scheduled to finish according to Facebook which proves when it comes to gigs you cannot believe what Facebook says by gospel.

Performing the biggest tracks like ‘Take Em to War’, ‘Ill Street Blues’, ‘Streets Of New York’ & ‘Fast Life,’ the Don showed he never lost it. He takes time out to remember Prodigy in his own way by performing ‘The Realest’, in which Prodigy featured, and G Rap reveals a true story on stage of how Prodigy impacted him.

 

IMG-20170703-WA0001

Photo courtesy of @Kip1979_kipp on twitter

An interesting moment was when G Rap performed ‘First N!&&@’. Many of us know the DJ Premier produced version but on this night the Dr.Dre version was blasting through 2Funky Music Cafe’s airwaves before a capacity crowd.

 

The Don closes out his 45 minute set with one of his newest singles from the Return Of the Don album – Wise Guys which features Freeway and Lil Fame of M.O.P. The crowd response was greater than I imagined, as usually a predominately 90s Hip Hop orientated crowd look a bit confused and unfamiliar, but that was not the case here.

Admittedly Kool G Rap was not on my essential ‘see live’ list but looking at it in

IMG-20170703-WA0003

Photo courtesy of @Kip1979_kipp on twitter

retrospect, I’m glad I did see him live. Leicester saw history before their very eyes on this night, and G Rap’s time was yours – he embraced his fans and engaged in full conversation after the show, taking pictures and signing memorabilia, even with Prodigy’s memorial service which took place the following day.

 

Massive respect and salutations to The NGE (New Golden Era) massive and crew for looking out for a brother. They are some good dudes right there, just don’t front on them! Last person who did that got BLAOW! In their mouth corner! Others talk about it while they live it and that’s the Hip Hop we support over here.

Take a bow Kool G Rap! He’s Out For That Life!