PRIMAL WINDS – Cut You Down

RELEASE DATE: MAY 26, 2018 – REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U/UK REP FOR WU WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

DISCLAIMER: The following content in this album does not necessarily reflect the views of Primal Winds… B.U.T… THEY UNDERSTAND!

CYD CoverCome on now we are all intelligent Hip Hop Heads here! If anyone here really thinks that Primordial Emcee and Iron Wind really walk the streets of Toronto swinging Samurai Swords or organizing shoot outs in the wild wild west… then you’re reading the wrong blog! Go over there and walk it like you talk it!

What Primal Winds take pride in, is emphasizing on their album concepts, and the result is a solid piece of work. They hope to keep the consistency going on their latest offering, taking it to the Wild Wild West. 16 tracks of the Spaghetti Western style fused with Hip Hop, further proving how versatile and adaptable this art-form truly is.

The album kicks off with the title track of the same name, the duo pay homage to Johnny Cash with their rendition. Unless your music taste is eclectic, you may not appreciate the direction these guys are going in as this track sets the tone of the album. Luckily for wrestling fans like myself, we will instantly recognize it from the latest promos from WWE superstar – The Undertaker who has taken a ‘Johnny Cash’ like approach to his character now.

Imagine, a Hip Hop house party in the Wild Wild West… apparently it’s a ‘Bush Party’ at the trailer park… it’s going to be interesting what visuals Primal Winds will do going forward.

Dead To Rights is a sure-fire album highlight. Only three tracks in, and the listener starts taking notice of the female vocalist appearing in the hook. She goes by the name of Alexa Ourania whose Instagram has some quite interesting images to say the least…

The only drawback being… that track ends a bit too quickly, but already, like the next skit says, this album starts to grip your ears and pull tight with the next banger ‘Hang Em High’. The homages continue in ‘Fistfull of Dollars’, where Primoridal claims to take heads of the wack rappers who run their mouth telling lie to the people on wax, otherwise they’d feel the wrath of a ‘Rattlesnake’ like Stone Cold Steve Austin.

‘Buckle Bunnies’ is a certified infectious banger with the subject matter directed at the

Alexa Ourania

ALEXA OURANIA

cowgirls, once again Alexa Ourania steps in playing that role, and rightfully so. This is the part where I suggest to the Primal Winds that this should be a future video, with Alexa in it…cowgirl gear and all…

WWE should seriously consider using the next track as some sort of future promo for The Undertaker…best do it now while Undertaker is still active. Entitled ‘Tombstone’, the gunslinging pair are prepared to take this rap game to the end. Talking of gunslingers…

This is the latest lyric video featuring Madchild. Let’s keep in mind right at the beginning of this review, that Primal Winds do not necessarily promote gun violence, rather this is lyrics, over backdrops that fire like guns blazing on the set of Back to The Future in 1885.

The homage doesn’t stop there with The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly , which is closer to the concept than Consequence’s offering back in 2004, which was in itself a fantastic display of wordplay, but this doesn’t compare to the album’s arguably #1 highlight…

‘War Cry’ takes sonics most recognized from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and looped into epic fashion, and maybe, just maybe, if the album ended here, it would have been in a blaze of glory. But the duo felt confident they can go another five rounds, surviving a ‘Mexican Stand Off’, and celebrating in a ‘RoadHouse’… again, these are hot tracks, but the album is struggling to follow ‘War Cry’.

At this point the album is suffering from the ‘Stillmatic’ effect… by that I mean the album could have ended at Track 10/11, and any track that followed sound more like bonus tracks due to the track sequencing. But we always welcome back Alexa… she is the ‘Smokin Ace’ up their sleeve so to speak… great recovery!

‘Cowboy Up’ might be the most rock sounding, mosh pit infused track on the album, but these few tracks only prepared us for the album’s true ending – ‘Rising’… which pretty much silences any criticisms, albeit minor, found within the project.

Nit-picking aside, Primal Winds are truly becoming masters of their creativity, to take a different subject matter and make a body of work out of it, and at the same time keeping it true to them. If you ever wondered what Hip Hop would have been like in 1885, this is a true embodiment of that.

 

 

 

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SHAKEZPEARE – Troubled

RELEASE: APRIL 20, 2018 NEW GOLDEN ERA/LIMITLESS VISION

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U/INTERNATIONAL REP for WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

1994: If there was one aspect I hated with a passion at school, it was studying Shakespeare, particularly that Romeo & Juliet. That story used to get on my last nerves. Two people from rival families fall in love with each other and then end up killing themselves…Give me a break. I used to roll my eyes over that all day. That gave me a ‘troubled’ mindset and wound up the English teacher.

1997: Wu-Tang Forever is released. As stated elsewhere in this blogsite, one of my highlights from that was ‘A Better Tomorrow’ imagine my horror when I discovered 4th Front Cover -Troubled - ShakezpeareDisciple used the sample from that same Shakespeare classic I hate.

Fast forward some 20 odd years later, I come across an artist by the name of ‘Shakezpeare’, introduced to me by our radio cousins FATP HIP HOP SHOW UK, this guy is all about the poetry, and not necessarily in the way William himself would have liked. Don’t call him ‘Trouble’, he’s already TROUBLED, as his latest album suggests (shout out to Method Man, heads will know what I did there), this album takes to a more deeper, almost twisted side to the persona, whether intentional or not. RePPiN4U was blessed to receive an advanced copy of this, and we are about to tell you what you can expect. One thing is guaranteed – more BARS OVER BULLSH!T, with the troubled one himself going in for dolo handling all the production going under the alias ‘TSS BEATS’.

It starts off with ‘Who Am I’, which sees Shakezpeare seemingly re-introducing himself to the world who may not know him too well, it just seems so ironic how I used Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow track from Wu-Tang Forever for this review because their hook states “You can’t party your life away, drink your life away………………….because your seeds grow up the same way”, and the evidence shows when Shakespeare mentions his daughter and how she is just like him. He also knows the value of being blessed as he walks through the ‘Shadows Of’…

“If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it, you nah’mean?”

My suspicions say that is an altered, distorted voice cameo from FATP’s PC The Producer akin to Raekwon in Supreme Clientele’s ‘Clyde Smith’, but I cannot prove it…not yet. ‘Sour Milk’ is a sure-fire album highlight. Three tracks in, and the album has maintained a haunting, deliberate pace, and it has no intention of stopping. In ‘Misguided’, Shakezpeare does not mince his words with his blunt delivery: “Getting sick of false idols, faking the game/pink dreads and lipstick/battyman strange!”

shakezpeare troubled

‘Trouble’ is the first single from this project. Naturally this is the recurring theme throughout, no matter how much Shakezpeare wants to escape, so rather than that, he’s always staying sharp and ahead from backstabbers and will face them head on. Meanwhile, ‘Certy’ sounds like it has the Mobb Deep influence all throughout its sonic production, not to mention it has the stamp of approval from Havoc himself. It’s at this point Shakezpeare decides to turn up the intensity with ‘Looking Glass’, where he sees himself with his ‘inner Blanka’ just begging to be unleashed on the world.

The penultimate skit has a jewel spoken by Dr Malachi Z.York over a SAW theme. It sets the tone for the album’s last track ‘Nah’, where he puts himself on another playing field when it comes to being gutter.

Back Cover - Troubled - Shakezpeare

NOT THAT GUY

Conveniently dropping on 4/20, this project is definitely one for the smokers who can zone out and really feel the intensity here and relate to a troubled mind… that is until the final track where at the end of the journey, Shakezpeare kicks you out of his mind and proclaims you are NOT like him, and the likelihood is – he’s right. The album hits like a shaolin buddah finger (soft strikes but can easily kill when struck at the right power point.) The timing is right as well as he will be performing tracks from this album at the Killah Priest show which is days later (at time of this publish). Even if you are ‘straight edge’ like myself, this is an album you can channel your emotions into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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BLACK PANTHER

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 16, 2018, Director – Ryan Coogler

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

DISCLAIMER: This review is written from the perspective of a casual fan, and not necessarily that of a Marvel Comic fanatic.

The craze began mid-summer of 2017…after the success of the Netflix hit ‘Luke Cage’ which had hip hop and Marvel fans in a frenzy, it was time for director – Ryan Coogler to pull the trigger and announce Black Panther… not only was it the first superhero movie of its kind (Black director, Black writers, predominately black cast, with the lead role also played by a black person) but it is also a vital piece to the puzzle which coincides with the story to the 2018 blockbuster – The Avengers: Infinity War. The hype leading to this movie has been incredible, to the point where a superhero film has crossed mainstream borders the magnitude of the first Spiderman movie which starred Tobey Maguire back in 2002. I can tell you that I never saw the trailers, yet I got hype. How does that even work? Maybe it was word of mouth, maybe it was the talk of black people dressing up in their Sunday best which was unheard of. It had me contemplating whether to draw for the Infamous Purple Suit… I walked into Cineworld Wolverhampton expecting a total takeover by black people carrying the dutch-pot with fried fish, dumpling, hardo bread, plantain, Guinness punch, bun & cheese, all that good stuff, but instead what I saw was a glorious mixture of my fellow brothers and sisters, with the Marvel Comic fans, with even older people 50+ years old attending this movie. The moment that got me hype however was this video…

Special shout out to Kendrick Lamar who provided the soundtrack to this movie. The lead single ‘All the Stars’ featuring fellow label-mate SZA captured the true essence and vibe, something not seen in a superhero movie since arguably Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ for Batman Forever. If this feel good track does not get you hype for the film, you’re reading the wrong review.

Black Panther is a story of how the perception of the African nation Wakanda is viewed by the whole world as a third world country, but they couldn’t be further from the truth as Wakanda is the most technology advanced place in the world, with its main source coming from a metal called ‘Vibranium’, which powers all their transport and equipment, and best of all – can heal their people. Well that eliminates the legalisation of cannabis, doesn’t it?

The back story dates back to 1992, when the brother of the King of Wakanda was accused of betraying them and steals a piece of that metal. They send a spy after him to help track him down, and when the King finally caught up with him in Oakland California, he kills his brother after he shows resistance, not realising that his son – a young Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens a.k.a. N’Jadaka (played by Michael B Jordan) witnesses what happened from the distance.

Fast forward to present day, and The King of Wakanda has passed away, and passes his throne down to his son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), along with the power of the Black Panther.

Killmonger learns of his family history and then devises a plan to overthrow T’Challa. Not just that, but also to use the Vibranium to wage war against the world as revenge for what happened to his people centuries ago.

Let’s take a moment to compliment the movie with its wardrobe outfit designs. they are nothing short of exquisite. I couldn’t help but hear chuckles from some of the younger audiences when they saw what looked like discs embedded in some of the mouths of the tribesmen. As mentioned earlier with regards to Kendrick Lamar, the music treatment really matched those action sequences.

Some of these scenes are straight up epic, such as the ritual combats T’Challa had to engage in to become King or defend his throne against Killmonger. In the former battle, T’Challa was on the brink of defeat when he sees his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) cry out to him which prompts him to hail himself “I AM T’CHALLA! SON OF T’CHAKA!” in a similar war cry fashion to Apocalypto when Jaguar Paw declares himself as king of the jungle before making an epic comeback.

Kudos to the film’s sub-villain Ulysess Klaue (Andy Serkis) who has some great one-liners like telling his enemies to ‘check his music on soundcloud’, or the bodyguards led by Okoye (Danai Gurira) who shows no fear in battles, they are sure to inspire the youth of today just as T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letita Wright) who makes the weapons and what not, or even Killmonger himself, who despite his villainous antics, his heart is in the right place at times because when the film cuts to a scene in London UK you know something is going down when he visits the British museum and puts them on blast about English ancestors robbing Africa for their riches which resulted in gasps heard within the cinema. Yes people Marvel Comics are teaching their fans. And of course, Stan Lee just had to find himself in the film… and rightfully so.

Mike Knoxxx Killmonger meme

Photo art courtesy of Mike Knoxxx of BDSIR NETWORK/SoulNSports

That is a fantastic line by Killmonger in his dying moments in the film’s climax, just as the final scene where the kids in LA are fascinated by T’Challa’s aircraft while one kid takes a step back and notices T’Challa simply standing there. the kid approaches him and asks him if the craft belongs to him. Very powerful moment to close the film.

Without watching any trailers and not knowing what to expect, this is such a great film and worth all the hype which you couldn’t even tell that it was meant to be a connection to Avengers: Infinity War to the casual viewer. If there were any minors about the feature, it might be some of the CGI effects which looked dated in places, maybe it’s budget cuts saved for the infinity war but the casual viewer is already so engaged and BlackPanther_Movie_Poster_MrDesignJunkie_04_1383x2048invested in the action that it’s not even a factor. It’s a real shame about Killmonger going forward, he could have made a great ally in future installments but again, steering away from the comic book adaptation may annoy purists. A personal gripe of mine which is not even to do with the film itself, but people going in and out of the cinema, words from the wise – use the bathroom facilities before you leave!

People are going to the cinema to watch this movie, and leave either wanting to be an engineer or some kind of skilled warrior, or wanting their own necklace hoping it will give them super powers. With box office records already broken, Let’s be real – a sequel is inevitable… you best plan out your next outfit from now…

 

 

LOANESKI: LONE WOLF

RELEASED: OCTOBER 29, 2017, Abeo Music, Adam Lewis Mixing, DJ RadioHead Beats, Flowfullsoundz and G.Lewis – REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.EO. of RePPiN4U & INTERNATIONAL REP for WU WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

“…six years after working with them (Bizznezz Fam) everybody went their separate ways and I thought – you know what? I wanna carry on…” (Loaneski, Shebangs Interview, 2016)

Lone wolf epThat interview right there tells you that if you looked in the dictionary and looked up the meaning of the word ‘passion’, there would be a picture of Loaneski waving at you right next to it. This is a guy who started writing at 8 years old, took it seriously in his teenage years, overcame religious beliefs whilst pursuing his music career, and has taken a step further in giving back and teaching while he was still a student of the music game himself, literally at De Montfort University.

The Lone Wolf EP finally dropped last year in which Loaneski promises more of his conscious mind but also introducing a bit more cockiness which his close people know him for in just 4 tracks.

The EP kicks off with the ‘Predator’, with a very familiar beat every hip hop head should know. Here Loaneski further backs up the claim I stated earlier about adversity: “You can’t stop me/like Makoveli/it’s gonna take more than five shots to drop me…”

Then in ‘Paisa’, Loaneski truly goes into conscious mode on how money is manipulating us in  so many ways and conforming to the pagan lifestyle. The subject matter spills into ‘British Yout’, which is a powerful message to our youth that they haven’t got to go the route of a ‘roadman’, so to speak, and not act so ignorant fighting over foolishness.

 

The EP closes out with its title and the persona Loaneski has adapted, with a jazzy backdrop. Here he tells you how he cares not for materialistic things, and how the term ‘freedom of speech’ is so hypocritical. He also goes into little more detail of why he

Loaneski Havoc

PHOTO COURTESY OF LOANESKI

became the Lone Wolf, maybe referring to the ‘break up’ of ‘Bizznezz Fam’, or perhaps a double meaning.

With only four tracks, an EP before that entitled ‘Black Thoughts’, only shows that Loaneski is just getting started, and already 2018 is promising to be a mammoth year for him. This is quality lyrics with crisp production. Loaneski was told that he’s better suited to Hip Hop as opposed to grime… whoever told him that was telling the truth. It’s good that he mentions Mobb Deep in this project, the endorsement from Havoc alone should be enough to entice you into checking this out.

Loaneski cover photo

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MASTA KILLA: Loyalty Is Royalty

RELEASED: September 29, 2017, Nature Sounds, Review written by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Masta Killa is a man of the people. More specifically, the Wu-Tang fans. He’s that dude that may not come when you call but he’s always on time. He knows what the fans want, and for three albums straight, he has delivered. Fans knew of this album for a good few years now, they expected it to drop in 2012, but instead Masta Killa ‘seemingly changed Masta-Killa-Loyalty-Is-Royaltyjpegthe title of the album to ‘Selling My Soul’ which was a great project drenched with soulful vibes. The title track ‘Loyalty Is Royalty’ would eventually appear on 9th Wonder’s own project and brought HaLo into the mix, which led to the joint project – ‘Mansa Musa’ which dropped in 2014. This was a nice stop-gap to the true destination which is this album right here. Just like the latest projects from Prodigal Sunn, Rez SPS Kings and the Clan themselves, this album couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ming-Hsueh Lin provides the album’s intro, which is a calm but deadly melody, those traits are often used to describe the clan’s laid back but machete wielding member, before diving into a good ol’ boom bap banger ‘Return Of Thee Masta Kill’ with Cappadonna & Young Dudas. Now here’s a guy who has the word ‘Young’ before his name and is a dope MC. So heads take notes, just because somebody has ‘Young’ or ‘Lil’ before their name does not necessarily mean they are wack!

Moving into the album’s title track as mentioned earlier, was brought into existence five years ago, but still sounds as fresh as ever. This is the original version without HaLo, and sees Masta Killa refer to Loyalty as his woman so the track can be taken as a double meaning.

In ‘Therapy’, Masta & Method Man feel the same way as we do as regards to being around this music, and Redman has really molded in well with the clan. 10 years ago, I would laugh at people who said Redman was an official member… I cannot give the same kind of response now.

One thing that is admirable about Masta Killa (and the rest of the clan for that matter) is that these guys are headed for their 50s, and yet, they always have high praise for the Older Gods. Respecting their elders is a powerful trait which must be upheld, such as what this Dame Grease produced single suggests.

RZA chimes in to break down the meaning of Loyalty is Royalty. Let’s hope Phonte of Little Brother doesn’t hear this interlude, as his imitation of RZA in ‘The Story of US’ parody project was one of the most hilarious things ever recorded.

Consider the next track as what I like to call a ‘counteraction’ of Shyheim’s track of the Masta Killa Loyalty Is Royalty2same name. 9th Wonder flips the track ‘Trouble’ slows it down to match the pace of the 9th member of the bunch’s flow.

Masta Killa’s Skit is cruel. It feels so good to have True Master behind the boards, but with it being a minute long, it leaves you begging for more verses. It’s like being on a cooking show or wine tasting show and you can only have one bite.

This is such an album highlight, another Wu Camp Clik or Camp Wu Banga, Sean Price & Masta Killa connect on a 9th Wonder scorcher in ‘Down with Me’. Fans can now practically take these collaborations and create their own playlist on iTunes. Wu-Tang and Boot Camp need to stop the teasing and create that crossover album. Failing that, I sincerely hope Masta Killa convinces Ghostface Killah – ‘executive producer’ of the next Wu album to get 9th Wonder on the production team.

The next track is begging for the visual treatment… Tiger & The Mantice featuring GZA & Inspectah Deck sees producer Blocade tapping into the Wu-Tang sound. When these three get together on a track it is just pure magic. Wu-Massacre 2 anyone? YES PLEASE!

You want more gunplay? Masta Killa will be more than happy to oblige. This time featuring Prodigy & KXNG Crooked in ‘Real People’. Prodigy shows once again why he was far from ready to return to the essence and KXNG Crooked is an unlikely feature to say the least but it works.

If the previous three albums from Masta Killa has taught us anything, is that he will go outside the box and surprise you. ‘Flex With Me’ featuring Chanel Sosa  samples from the classic Scarface movie and flips Mad Cobra’s ‘Flex’ and this goes down really well. With

Chanel Sosa Good Lovin

CLICK HERE FOR CHANEL SOSA WEBSITE

this and ‘Lovely Lady’ from made In Brooklyn, it makes me want to pick Masta Killa’s brains as far as his love for reggae dancehall. Where this was a hit, the next track is a miss. ‘Calculated’ should be called ‘Mis-Calculated’ because this is Masta Killa’s attempt of making a club track with that ‘trap feel to it’ and it just doesn’t work. It also goes on a bit too long as well. At least there is no mumbling. Oh wait… there’s the hook… I stand corrected.

However The High Chief Jamel Irief makes up for that and goes deeper into his Wu Gambino alias – Noodles in a two-part story, the first part produced by !llmind and the second part produced by Masta Killa himself which sees a smooth, moonlight backdrop. With a nice applause at the end, the album ends with a somber piano tone by Ming-Hsueh Lin.

From this point forward, call Masta Killa Mr 2nd Most Consistent member of the clan. (Next to Ghostface Killah). Even with that ‘Calculated mis-step’, it’s understandable that veterans would want to jump on a beat like that to attract newer audiences and show them how it’s done. The most glaring difference between this and it’s predecessors are the album’s producers and features. This time around it seems more star-studded and not just Wu appearances. Masta Killa should find his crown and fix it on his head because it is rightfully deserved.

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