It’s been quite the year for J Hus, after dropping his debut album Common Sense in May, he’s been nominated for a slew of awards, highlighting his combination of afrobeats, dancehall and grime as a complete masterpiece. The likes of of the Mercury Music Prize, GRM Rated and the Mobo Awards don’t seem to be the only ones that think so though, as the Leeds leg of his album tour is completely sold out, and fans fill the room from front to back - as well as occupying the balcony. A huge crowd awaits for live versions of the songs that have dominated radio airwaves and festival stages all summer.
Hackney rap collective NSG are keeping the audience entertained and energetic with their high octane set of their staple genre clash. Combining the raw energy of live grime and pushing it into their contrasting afrobeat rhythms, NSG grab mics from each other, shuffle around the stage, creating a dynamic showcase for all. Wheeling up tracks to replicate the original vibe, throwing water into the crowd and pulling dance moves to match the energy of their spectators, NSG knew exactly how to rouse up a stir and get people ready for the night ahead.
The crowd is often the most important part of any grime show, and so Young T and Bugsey took it upon themselves to perform fan favourites and to get each and every person in the room hyped. Delivering their idiosyncratic flows, taking turns to hit out their bars, the duo’s tracks were a polished performance that displayed the reasoning behind their popularity pretty blatantly. Finishing with their track in collaboration with Belly Squad, ‘Gangland’, in which the crowd joined in for the catchy hook, Young T and Bugsey were treated with the respect deserved from their viewers.
Although the DJ is spinning some grime and hip hop to keep the crowd hyped, two of J Hus’ entourage join on stage to really make sure the crowd are prepared for the main event. With the most popular tracks of the genre causing the crowd to shout every lyrics back, with Michael Dapaah’s ‘Man’s Not Hot’, Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’, MoStack’s ‘Liar’ and of course, Stormzy’s ‘Big For Your Boots’ causing the most uproar.
The recognisable intro to his title track rings out and sends the crowd into pandemonium, a cool and collected J Hus strolls out from behind the Benz style DJ decks (what else?), reaching the crowd just in time for the start of his flow and beaming a smile. Serving flawless flows in his live renditions of the album’s most popular tracks, with ‘Fisherman’, ‘Playing Sports’, ‘Like Your Style’ ‘Closed Doors’ and ‘Bouf Daddy’ proving popular and ‘Clartin’ causing mosh pits to break out, J Hus also offered favoured songs from outside his album. ‘No Lie’ triggered actual fire to come out from the stage, in his version of ‘Samantha’ he also rapped to Dave’s verses and his entourage joined him to dance on stage for the fun ‘Lean & Bop’.
A member of his entourage pauses the show to announce that J Hus has just claimed two awards at the GRM Rated ceremony which was taking place in London, and although good vibes were already floating throughout the room, this sold out show just got a lot more special for both the artist and his audience. At only 21 years old, J Hus has not only managed to secure some impressive awards, release a stellar album and sell out the majority of a UK tour, but shows that he’s still been grafting as he debuts a brand new never-been-heard-before single before his finale of ‘Spirit’, ‘Friendly’ and ‘Did You See’ - there’s no wonder he wore an infectious and genuine smile throughout.