Local favourite DJ Everfresh started the night off with a crowd pleasing mixset featuring some amazing golden era classics. He also spun for the opening homegrown emcee, Del Reze who brought along Brewza and Jux Cain to rock the stage with him.
Up next, DJ Hullewud held it down for the Dreamsters Union collective featuring Mad Hattr, Ngajuana, Tempomental, a bass player, four back-up singers, and Nick Easton on the flute and saxophone. Their show was nothing short of epic. They showed everyone in attendance that the London hip-hop scene has a lot to offer. They must’ve impressed Method Man because part way through his set, he revealed that he was wearing one of their t-shirts.
Branded Moore and Exit Only took the stage next and played some of their classic tracks, new material from the Branded Moore EP that just dropped on Friday, and of course, the stand-out track from The MIX(ed)TAPE by Exit Only with DJ Hullewud cutting up the chorus live.
DJ Dice then warmed the crowd up before bringing out the headliners to uproarious applause.
Method Man and Redman took turns playing solo tracks, Wu-Tang Clan favourites, and of course some of their great collaborations. They started out with the LL Cool J posse cut, 4,3,2,1 and kept it moving by playing one or two verses from each track after that to keep things moving and cover many of the crowd favorites from the past twenty five years. Redman even played my personal favourite, Time 4 Sum Aksion.
Method Man signed a hat during the performance, kept throwing out hats and even did some crowd surfing. Redman took a moment to school the crowd on the importance of the DJ and then their two deejays, DJ Dice and DJ Allah Mathematics performed some daring acts of turntablism. Mathematics juggled a line from Run-DMC that suggested we kick off our shoes. And at the end of the routine, he did just that and held both shoes in his hand. This must’ve inspired Redman too because at the end of the show, he took off his shoes and threw them into the crowd one by one.
I was a little disappointed with the concert, however. Apparently before the show the venue had some technical difficulties. They did their best to power through but it took them quite some time to figure it out. The sound was horrible for Del Reze’s set, got a little better in the middle of DU’s set, and sounded fairly decent for Moore and Exit. Unfortunately, the sound never really did crystallize. Redman even asked why the sound was off and walked over to see some of the staff at the side of the stage.
The other thing that I didn’t like was the set-up on the stage. As you can see from this photo, there was a screen in front of the DJ booth that was a little too high. It obstructed the view of the deejays and we weren’t able to see them do their cutting, tricks, and routines. The DJ was such an integral part of the show too.
The energy of the performers was amazing and was matched by the responding crowd. It was an incredible night and we showed these veteran emcees that London has something to offer. They both praised the city and said they will definitely be back. Method Man even promised that next time he will bring the Wu-Tang Clan with him.
Photography by Koel Anderson of KMedia519 and Danielle Latella