Drawing a mixed crowd in, day three of Beacons Metro was a night completely controlled by the sound of hip hop, garage and grime. An hour before doors were set to open, an announcement indicated that rap collective 67 and Hardy Caprio wouldn’t make the night due to illnesses, but with Belly Squad, Young T & Bugsey, Ms Banks, Nadia Rose and the promise of a rare performance from the godfather of grime Wiley, Saturday night at Canal Mills still roused excitement for any grime and hip hop fan.
Starting the night and completely captivating the crowd, collective YGG (standing for You Get Grime) take turns in delivering their venomous bars reminiscent of the early grime genre that the noughties were responsible for. Dirty, skanking dance beats rang out while the trio hit their rhythm bars with ease and most importantly, with attitude as they closed their time on stage with ‘Bad’.
Ms Banks claimed the attention of the entire room as soon as she came onto the stage. Her captivating dancing combined with her flawless, ice cold flow made a treat for both the eyes and the ears as she encouraged everyone watching to join in. Giving perfected performances of her tracks ‘Get Loose’, ‘OMG’ and he new single ‘Day One’, the only complaint of her showcase was that it ended too soon.
Young T & Bugsey & Belly Squad’s coming together meant that a huge group of emcees took over the stage and completely shut it down with their raw energy. Passing the mic to each other, weaving in between each other and engaging their audience with reloads meant the crowd lapped up every single word. Finishing with their joint track ‘Gangland’, with audience members joining in the catch hook, credits due to the lighting guy, whose siren-esque red and blue flashes added to their finale perfectly.
Nadia Rose’s set was a more of an inferno than simple warm up, as she flew through her high octane, fast-paced bars on top of dance style beats and gave her all as she performed ‘Skwod’, ‘Tight Up’ and her new single ‘Big Woman’. Although 67 wasn’t around, Nadia didn’t let her get it in the way of her set, performing the track in collaboration with the collective, spitting their bars in addition to her own in ‘Wat Up’. Finishing on ‘Crank It’, with audience participation included, Nadia left the stage leaving the crowd hungry for more, and shown out as one of the most entertaining and engaging acts of the evening.
As the resident DJ spun out more grime and hip hop favourites the compare for the evening cuts the music and announces that “no more music will be played until I see every single flash light in the air”, the crowd did what they were told and to everybody’s surprise, Wiley bounces on the stage spitting bars from his single released only a day prior, ‘I Call The Shots’.
The godfather of grime performed his most well known tracks, delivering ‘Wearing My Rolex’, ‘Heatwave’ and ‘Can You Hear Me?’ and while his live skill is undeniable, the full extent was missed as the majority of his short set offered only his mainstream pop songs consisting of repeated bars on top of EDM beats and pop-style loops. When he invited two of his emceeing friends on stage to showcase their own talent, some of the bar-spitting, hard-hitting grime that was missing from his own set and what the crowd were begging for was finally delivered, but not from the promised performer. Still, most spectators felt honoured to merely be in the presence of the iconic act.
Image courtesy of Canal Mills
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