A LOVE(BOX) STORY - LOVEBOX 2014 FRIDAY REVIEW
I have had intentions of going to Lovebox for a few years now, mainly because it’s a five minute walk from my house and I am a lazy sod. I ended up getting a press ticket for the Friday event, and in return must write a review of the experience.
Before I left my house I had a shot of gin because I was supposed to interview some lady I had never heard of and needed a bit of Dutch Courage. I turned up to the thing at about half four, and already there were scores of topless white boys walking up Old Ford Road, clearly drunk, making tits of themselves. They were asking if people had tickets to sell and dancing like they were on ketamine. I walked through the gates, met Ed and went to the press box, where I was told that this lady, whose name still evades me, had gone home to watch Countdown and that there would be no interview, which was a bit of a relief.
We moved on to the bar without any hesitation. Some big bloke with a walkie talkie told us that the other bar was empty, which was a lie. So after queueing for twenty five minutes, we had a shot of JD and bought two ciders each.
I polished the first one off pretty quickly because I wanted at least one hand free to do a silly little dance to David Rodigan’s amazing set. Rodigan is the wickedest DJ who has ever lived. Last time I saw him was in a crappy bar in Shoreditch, where I must have been the only person who knew who he was. I shook his hand no fewer than three times that night. Luckily for him, this time he was further away than my arm could reach and was therefore safe from my friendly hands. His set was a mix of reggae and hip-hop. He is a DJ who educates the audience whilst he is playing his set by saying a bit about the tune he is about to play. He will throw in the odd dubplate special (a tune specially recorded by an artist as a shout-out to a DJ or sound system) here and there. I shouted his surname in a Jamaican accent multiple times.
I bumped into my friend who looks like Rick Ross on the Atkins diet. Boys were complimenting him on his gold chain, which meant they wanted his gold chain. A girl fainted and he gave her his water then all her friends took it and finished it. He didn’t complain because he’s a nice guy.
By this point i had ran out of alcohol. I went to take a leak and almost had a panic attack at what I was about to submit myself to. The system works thusly: there are around 30 sewage sheds - the real toilets that you can close the door on - arranged in a square formation, and in the space in the middle there are rows of public urinals. The girls form a loose queue for the sheds, and the guys just wee into these things. So I was standing at this thing, pissing away my dignity, with girls waiting behind me for the shed, and guys were at either side of me feeling exactly the same as I did. I made eye contact with the bloke opposite and something inside me died.
I had to buy two more ciders to get over it and a bottle of water to pour all over my hands. Queued for 30 minutes. We went to see Shy FX and they were amazing. It was exactly as you’d expect, they played Feelings and their other bangers. The speakers at this stage weren’t great though. I wanted to feel the bass in my chest. There were some girls in the crowd going mental and it made me go mental but they were definitely more mental. They were doing the junglist dance where you step on everyone’s feet.
Somehow I managed to finish the two ciders pretty quickly and vacated to get another one or two. I didn’t want to wait another half hour so I dilly dallied around for a bit. A sweaty DJ with a moustache was playing rap tunes at this beatbox thing so I did the running man and got looked at like I had just punched a female.
I passed this place named Cider Bar that had a podium full of scantily clad male dancers outside and guessed that most meatheads at this event would be put off by the male flesh, therefore the bar should be relatively empty. I was correct and got a drink straight away. Men were dancing on the bar as well and as I looked up I caught a glimpse of a ballbag. They were playing good tunes though. I bumped into a couple of friends in there and when I jokingly pointed out that the place had a homoerotic vibe, they told me it was because it’s a gay bar.
So me and these guys went over to the main stage and met some other people. A lot of the crowd seemed to be on something that wasn’t alcohol. It was making them happy. Soon after, A$AP Rocky came on. The crowd were going nuts, forming mosh pits that he soon encouraged to compete with each other. I bought another drink from some bloke with a barrel on his back. His barrel ran empty and people started telling him to get more drink. In the background - or foreground - he was playing 90s hip-hop that had everyone in a frenzy. That song about problems came on and I became Tupac for three minutes. By this point I was quite inebriated and was breaking new ground in interpretive dance. I must have looked like five albino snakes tied together at the head.
The rest was a blur. I walked around for a quarter of an hour trying to find a cashpoint then queued for another fifteen to get my friend a drink. I found him in the crowd and realised his dance was better than mine. A lot of white boys were saying the N word because A$AP was on.
The day was a messy success in my eyes. I didn’t get heatstroke somehow, despite it being one of the hottest days of the year. The acts I saw were brilliant, and there was a great vibe throughout the day. Next time I will get a programme and maybe not get smashed but for now, that experience was more than enough.
THE NEW ERA OF BATTLE RAP | NEWS
Total Slaughter hopes to take battle rap to a new plateau in an event where some of the most prominent battlers in the scene go head to head, bar for bar in an all new environment.
It is a joint venture by Indemandnow, Shady Records and Watchloud also co-signed by hip hops elite figures to catapult the battle culture to a mass audience. This has been given the reality show treatment with ‘The Road To Total Slaughter’, a Youtube series on the Watchloud channel to showcase the trials and tribulations of the potential undercards of the event.
With the stigma attached to battle rappers that they are generally unable to be marketed toward a mainstream audience, this event is historic and important to the hip hop community. This will further shape the culture and change the mood of conversation especially in New York, hip-hop’s birthplace, regarding signed rappers vs battle rappers.
REDMAN IS RED HOT | VIDEO
Here is a reason why Redman is still one of my favourite rappers. The beat is from a Kanye West tune ‘Livin In A Movie’.
In my opinion Redman is one of the most consistent rappers in the industry, having been around since the early 90s. At 44 one would expect that his music, or more specifically his rapping ability, would have declined in quality but he still has his edge, which is more than can be said about a lot of other rappers at a similar stage in their careers.
POWERFUL BIRTHDAY BOY | NEWS
Today marks the birthday of a member of one of UK’s most powerful collectives, Frisco of Boy Better Know. BBK were listed at number 11 in BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Top 20 UK Power List, beating Dizzie Rascal and Wiley.
While the birthday tweets were rolling in left right and centre on Twitter, he paid homage to Nelson Mandela, who shares the same birthday as him.
Happy birthday Big Fris!!
Listen to British Nights here : https://soundcloud.com/bigfris/sets/british-nights