It’s not everyday brooding and philosophical – trust me I’m so laid back they need to put me in a bed with wheels. Which is a valid enough explanation as to why it is taking me over a week to post about this event.
I’m a music lover, any genre I’m not fussy. So long as it moves me and touches my soul or taps into my ratchet side we’re good to go. My kryptonite is live music. There’s something alluring about watching someone you admire musically up on stage before you, performing purely for your pleasure. And the energy from people you will more than likely never see again but you are choosing that moment to share with them the cosmos. Epic ish right.
I had the pleasure of attending the Oxfam Oxjam Shoreditch Takeover Festival in Shoreditch (you probably already gathered that by the title). Since 2006, Oxfam has dedicated the month of October to hosting hundreds of live music sessions across the nation all in the name of charity. I like music. I also like charitable causes so it was a no brainer. I glammed my face up, wore my blinged out head wrap, stepped into my black Chuck Taylors and ventured east of the river.
Side bar: I did well with the eye liner [insert smug smirk Emoji here]
The destination: Bedroom Bar. The event: Hip Hop Jam.
I’ve had a love affair with Hip Hop from my youth when my dad quite inappropriately would blaze 2 Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Nas and DMX in the house and the car. Watching rappers live is a whole ‘nother dimension than just having their anthems thump through the speakers and it can always go two ways.
The first and always the worst, they can make it crystal clear they are only there to fleece the unsuspecting crowd off of their shekels – No effort, their hype man or DJ is more into it than the artist. Not to forget when they want to start hyping on stage when the audience are well within their rights to start booing or throwing bottles at them. Now my favourite scenario is when the artist gives it some welly and gives you your money’s worth. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Damian Marley, Damian Marley’s back up singers, Damian Marley’s Rastafarian flag waver .. you get the picture – they were on point!
I caught Miss Vaitea, Tinyman and Alim Kamara. You know they are dope just by their names – spellcheck is having a field day with the red dotted lines.
Representing for the femcees out there, Miss Vaitea is a melting pot of cultures and talents including holding a PhD in Psychology. She can freestyle in not one, not two but three languages – French, English and Italian. On the night the last song she performed was in Italian. Music is a universal language and it didn’t matter that I didn’t know the lyrics, the fact that I could vibe was enough.
Next up was Tinyman and Zulu of Orph Gang. They had a live band. Extra Boy Scout points. I was not prepared for the journey they took me on. They had me on a positive high, to reminiscing on topics that need to be left in the past. The banter was on a 100. (I wish WordPress had Emojis. Hint). Zulu’s rendition of Floetry’s “Say Yes” was phenomenal.
Now I’ve only ever seen one artist make the crowd go quiet for all the right reasons and that was Nas back in 2010 at the Distant Relatives show. Alim Kamara made the joint go quiet! No word of a lie you could hear a pin drop. The energy this guy has makes you want to do something positive like run a marathon, give up your riches to the poor, become vegan. Alim keeps it old skool whilst dropping knowledge and the delivery was so diverse. The self proclaimed storyteller lived up to his moniker.
Hand on heart, I can honestly say that the artists I saw blessed me with their talents and you need to go see all of them in the near future. You know what’ll be extra cool, if I can get to interview them and fling it on the blog (BIG HINT). Insha’allah I can make that happen. You’ll also have to forgive my shoddy camera work. It was done on my iPhone and let’s face it my talent is writing innit. Photography is not my forte. But I’ve mastered The Selfie. Rather narcissistic of me actually.
The highlight of the evening was meeting a kindred spirit. Imagine, we started philosophising outside of the venue. I think (and hope) that we’ll be friends for a long time.
I also had to take a picture of this beauty. Totally had a girl crush moment. Her face was just amazing to look at. Lovely smile. I liked the way she wrapped her scarf. Defo inspired to replicate that at some point.
Oh be sure to keep up to date with these dope artists:
Ms Vaitea can be found on Facebook