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Literally, None Of Em Flex (and Clash) Like BBK

RnB/Hip Hop | Sunday 1st February 2015 | Jake

The legendary Boy Better Know crew helped their teammate, Frisco, launch his new event ‘The Den’ in emphatic style.

 

Sunday 25th January saw Frisco launch his new grime night ‘The Den’ at The Old Blue Last. The Shoreditch venue was once described by NME as “East London’s most notorious venue”, a label that would be perfectly fitting for the event that occurred on Sunday evening. The dark and intimate setting, including paint-stripped walls, which could be suitably labelled grimey itself, established the perfect atmosphere for what was to come; a raw and energetic performance from grime’s most established and legendary crew. As the artists arrived, they had to walk up the same wooden staircase as those in the crowd had and then through part of the crowd to climb on the small stage at the front, no backdoors and backstage here, no luxury, this was as raw as it gets.

Frisco, the host of the event, welcomed and thanked all in attendance before easing the crowd in with a collaboration with an underground rapper, Smila, from his hometown. The host then proceeded to invite Shakka, the man featured on the huge Wretch 32 hit ‘Blackout’, to the forefront to perform their brand new tune together, 'Walking With Elephants'. The crowd quickly warmed to the collaborative track, soon belting out the “Don know, Don know” hook alongside the pair before the tune’s hugely bassy chorus dropped, at which point the crowd went wild for the first time of the night, resulting in an instant reload. The crowd was popping already. The floor could literally be felt shaking whilst the pair rewound the track a good number of times, thriving off the energy of the crowd. The tone was set for a lively night already, just two tracks in. Following this, Frisco invited Maximum to spin some grimey beats and the rest of the Boy Better Know crew began to take it in turns to fire off some of their most well known bars, the crowd roaring in excitement as legendary lyrics from the past came thumping through the venue’s impressive sound system.

Soon came Skepta, one of grime’s most distinguished and recognisable figures, fresh off the back of a huge 2014 which not only saw him drop two absolutely huge anthems with ‘That’s Not Me’ and ‘It Ain’t Safe’ featuring ASAP mob’s Young Lord/Bari, but also, saw him named as one GQ’s most stylish men of the year. The legendary rapper’s stock is still rising, and it was easy to see why here. Dressed in his high-end tracksuit designed in conjunction with Nasir Mazhar, Skepta belted out ‘It Ain’t Safe’ to the delight of the crowd who sang along word for word with the justifiably self-proclaimed ‘microphone champion’. He followed this up with some equally legendary lyrics over some old school grime beats with the assistance of the host himself, before the always lively JammerDiscarda, and Shortie jumped in on the act. This was grime at its finest, some legendary bars improvised over some old school bouncy beats, featuring a crowd going wild as each MC took over from another with their own legendary lyrics.

It continued in this style for a good period of time before Skepta suddenly announced he wanted to clash, the ultimate grime showcase occurred. BBK v BBK; grime’s biggest clash you never thought you’d see. Shortie was Skepta’s unlucky opponent, mocked for his favourite team’s embarrassing defeat to Bradford the evening before, before then somewhat choking as he repeated the same lyrics over and over before Skepta and the rest of those in attendance began laughing at his unfortunately timed mental block. Shortly after, Jammer, always a prominent figure, stepped in to assist Shortie, firing comical shots back and forth with Skepta as the crowd went nuts.  

This was old school grime, I can't imagine there have been too many times that members of BBK have clashed live on stage to an audience, this was somewhat legendary and it is no surprise that videos of the event have been doing the rounds on social media. The clash finished on the most explosive Skepta diss of all, retaliating to a diss about always being dressed in black by firing back a par about Jammer’s beloved dread’s which got the biggest reaction of the night. After the crowd had regained slight composure, Frisco reclaimed the mic and began spraying over beats again before the whole affair finished in a mysterious fashion.

The event itself was a masterful showcase of grime at its finest. As a 19 year old, I missed the explosive first wave of grime and its legendary raves, but I imagine the utter rawness of this event is as close to those original raves as I will get. From Frisco bringing through his hometown boy, to Boy Better Know crew members strolling through the crowd, to the onstage clash, to the venue itself, this was a night of pure unpolished brilliance from the genre’s most illustrious crew. I doubt Frisco could have wished for a better opening night for his event, this certainly set a positive tone for future events to come.

 

Written by Jake Nash. 

@_jakenash_

 

 

Photo Credit:

@upintheV

 

 

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