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.

 

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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

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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!

 

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iNTeLL – AWAKENING

CD101Controversy is such a crazy thing, and we as a society fall for it all the time. Most artists these days will deliberately use controversial tactics to boost their record sales, particularly those we don’t support. They will do things and it will appear on Worldstar or TMZ, we go and share the links on our social media. So while their attention seeking antics start trending, it is a distraction to the real picture and the real issues going on. Some social media users try to do that and open people’s eyes, and only like-minded individuals will pay attention.

Wu-affiliate Cilvaringz has a record out there entitled ‘Death to America’, a controversial track making people aware of what is really going on, but he has become the villain of Wu fans worldwide recently because of the Wu-album that won’t be available to the public for 88 years unless purchased by the most die-hard wealthy Wu fan. But iNTeLL, son of U-God wants to take controversy to another level by unleashing his album ‘Awakening’, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, worldwide terrorism, Christians murdered in a church, and the police brutality which seems racially motivated. Meanwhile America wants to remind the whole world that they are the greatest country, iNTeLL has 14 reasons why that’s not necessarily the case.

After a startling intro from Jeff Daniels stating such a claim which may make listeners jaw drop or those in the knowing ‘not surprised, iNTeLL kicks off with the album’s title track. He’s out to awaken his listeners’ sleeping mind, at the same time join the war with the real hip hop artists that’s been doing it to restore hip hop in its purest form.

Those who have followed iNTeLL know that he was shot at a very young age. He goes into detail on the fateful day in question: March 13, 1994.

The Squeegie O featured ‘Karma’ takes the same sample 9th Wonder used for Little Brother’s Sincerely Yours from 2005’s The Minstrel Show. Both MCs go in on their real life tales of Karma, then iNTeLL feels he needs to ‘Preach’ the truth to his people about the meaning of Memorial Day while at the same time reflecting on Eric Garner, and feels as though America is supposed to be the Land of the Free, he still feels enslaved. This is followed by Jeff Daniels breakdown statement of America’s false claims and tricknology backed up with figures and stats.

iNTeLL continues in ‘I Rap, Therefore I Am’, where he pledges his allegiance to Hip Hop as opposed to the flag that he has displayed on his album cover engulfed in flames, the next track, Land of The Free, Home of the Slave could well be iNTeLL’s 5 Stages of Consciousness. Here he is joined by Lyrics, SiTH, Cha$e Green, & Dru Gunn$. iNTeLL gives a disturbing picture of how police kill college kids because they are ‘bored’ on duty, this is followed by a list of the known victims of police brutality and the dates these atrocities happened right up to June 25, 2015.

LISTEN TO THE EXCLUSIVE RePPiN4U INTERVIEW WITH iNTeLL HERE

iNTeLL has learned a lot from his Wu Brethren, whether intentional or not. American Crime Story sees the son of Golden Arms try his hand on storytelling, and Jeff Daniels statement on Freedom is arguable, he claims that almost every country has more freedom than America.

That statement flows right into ‘Prison’, SiTH and Cha$e Green return on the frantic DJ Homicide produced track. The three assault the beat with harsh reality of being blessed to even make the next hour, let alone the next day. Amidst all this, the world will bear Witness the Strength of iNTeLL’s words, here he admits that he’s sick of the media asking him about the Clan’s movements. He was never in this for the money, and the quality in this album shows that in his rhymes and political views.

The album closes out with ‘When I Dream’ featuring the beautiful vocals of Anny Jules. The thing about this album is, iNTeLL and SiTH were led to believe that America IS the greatest country… and it’s all they dream for. But can they make that happen when the government continues to brainwash the easily gullible? Jeff Daniels argument is that America was ONCE a great country and wants it to return to that.

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iNTeLL fears that he may get hate from the album’s content, but his real fear is that this wonderfully crafted concept of work may fall on deaf ears and a lot of people more concerned about the latest goings on with the likes of Iggy, Drake and the like on their social media as stated earlier in this review, hence the album’s title having multiple meanings. If anything, if he does get hate, that can only mean a good thing. Because people actually paid attention and as Keith Murray says, “The Truth Hurts and it Kills You to Listen”. Controversy was what iNTeLL wanted, and Controversy is what iNTeLL will get, and with that – Mission Accomplished.