An evening of uncompromising, clear-cut grime from some of the UK’s most revered MCs and DJs was just what was needed after a relatively quiet weekend predominantly consisting of intense Grand Theft Auto sessions and TV re-runs of Come Dine With Me, so Big Narstie’s EP launch party hosted at Proud Camden last night was perfect timing.
The larger than life grime MC’s new EP, Don’t F**** Up The Base, was released a week before the party on June 2nd, and has already been named an instant classic amongst the grime community thanks to the seriously banging tracklist.
Online urban media channel SBTV was there to film the unfolding events of the evening, and despite the turnout probably only reaching half capacity at most thanks to a shortage of effectual promotion, the crowd were energetic and receptive. The hosts, grime enthusiast Rory Sky and comedian Poet, kept the crowd happy between each performance with the usual banter and jokes. Classic grime DJs such as Logan kept the crowd going during intervals, and it seemed everyone had a great night.
A selection of members from Bloodline, including Paper Pablo and Milli Major, opened the show. The crowd, infiltrated with artists alongside the public, were spoiled with an excellent mixture of classic and newer tracks. Weed loving Black the Rippa provided a nice contrast to the opener with his chilled reggae infused marijuana promoting hip-hop, which shouldn’t have worked at such an occasion, but did.
Kozzie and Flirta D provided the mid-event performances, and did not disappoint, although there was a sense of disorganisation as the entire stage filled with what seemed to be half the audience, but turned out to be MCs as a cypher-type session unfolded on stage.
Adrenaline pumped through the audience as second to last artist, Margate-born Mic Righetous – who impressively DJ’d his own set – took to the stage. The rapper aggressively charged through a quick 10-minute set, of which throughout he addressed (seemingly absent) haters: “for those of you who don’t wanna be here the door is over there” – thanks for the tip, Mic. The performance was reasonable, but for Narstie’s leading supporting act I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed. The lyrics were there and the track-selection was fine, but the performance was hindered.
Headliner Big Narstie was undoubtedly the best performer of the night owing to the dynamic, vigorous execution of his tracks, which is to be expected with an artist of his calibre. The support from the crowd was untouchable with at least half sporting the notorious #PAIN tagged clothing and accessories, thanks to the MC’s substantial online presence, particularly on Twitter.
Overall, the night was better than expected. Despite the lack of numbers in attendance, each person there, artist and spectators alike, fully supported the movement. The performances were great, and the night was not dominated by the hipster crowd sometimes attracted to these kinds of events. Narstie should be pleased with the product of the EP launch, and I am grateful for such a high-quality show.
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