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 those 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!
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!!!