REVIEW: BLATANTLY BLUNT (@blatantlyblunt) CELEBRATE 10 YEARS FT @FRSHRZ @bigCAKES @GEEBAGULAR @confuciusmc @ShaoDowMusic @MicallParknsun ‏ @SCRUFIZZER @Heavytrackerz

Nearly any­one who reads this will agree that inde­pend­ent media is not an easy game to be in. It’s a hard grind, so to run an inde­pend­ent media plat­form for 10 years is a big achieve­ment. That’s exactly what Blatantly Blunt were cel­eb­rat­ing on Decem­ber 16th at Junc­tion House, Dal­ston with a night ded­ic­ated to the type of Hip Hop and Grime they’ve been sup­port­ing on their web­site, radio show and live events since 2007.  In asso­ci­ation with Hooch­inoo, another plat­forms that’s been back­ing the scene for years, Blatantly Blunt founder Nick Rus­sell had sor­ted out a ser­i­ous lineup of emcees and DJs for a show­case of tal­ent from the over­lap­ping gen­res of the Lon­don music scene. Nick was on the mic intro­du­cing each act with big Yet­izm run­ning the wheels.

The night opened with a group that have really impressed me this year, from the qual­ity of their out­put to their work rate, Hip Hop fash­ion con­nois­seurs the FRSHRS. Unfor­tu­nately, I missed their per­form­ance, I got there just as they fin­ished, but after see­ing them per­form a few times in 2017 I know they brought the same energy, lyr­ic­al slick­ness and good vibes that has seen them build a solid, grow­ing fan base for their soul­ful, pos­it­ive Hip Hop.

The first per­form­ance I did catch in full was from my man Gee Bag. Fresh from tak­ing 3rd place at the 2017 EOW World Final in Prague, Gee brought the same level of lyr­i­cism and stage pres­ence that got him in that top 3. We got treated to some rid­dims from his new pro­ject with DJ Down­stroke, with the man him­self hold­ing down the decks, and Gee is def­in­itely keep­ing his levels up. Kissy K’s mak­ing a rare appear­ance on the album, and Gee man­aged to get him on stage to per­form it.

confuscious

The next per­former was another emcee who’s had an impress­ive year, put­ting in a lot of work includ­ing sup­port­ing Jeh­st and Kate Tem­pest, Con­fucius MC hit the stage with his unique style of lyr­i­cism wrapped in a real laid back flow. He put down his bars on some raw boom bap before flip­ping it up on the last track ‘Dif­fer­ent End­ings’. The beats some double time, exper­i­ment­al elec­tron­ic shit that got the heads inside mov­ing, still with that laid back flow and dope bars. Go check it on Con­fucius’ ‘Art­form’ EP.

UK Hip Hop OG and Blatantly Blunt radio host Mic­all Parkn­sun stepped up next and took the energy in the room up a level. Char­ging round the stage, the man behind Me, Myself and Akai worked through a set of his MPC pro­duced music from before and through­out the 10 years that Blatantly Blunt has been act­ive. ‘So What’ from his 2005 debut ‘The Work­ing Class Dad’ had the whole crowd vib­sing and showed that dope music stays banging, qual­ity can take the test of time.

big cakes

Big Cakes is another OG of the scene, and every time I see the brother per­form I ques­tion wheth­er I’ve ever seen any­one inter­act with a crowd as good as he does. On top of being a crazy emcee, between tracks it’s a mix of real talk and stand up that elev­ates the atmo­sphere wherever he’s per­form­ing. This set was clas­sic Cakes, and like Parky he ran through a careers worth of fire from his huge body of work, right up to his latest release ‘No Excuses’. The track of his per­form­ance was ‘Toast’; the heart­felt beat and bars had every­one inside spit­ting along with the hook.

With all the Hip Hop done, there was a break before set­ting the Grime off with a fully ori­gin­al act. Des­pite grow­ing up on Wu-Tang, I’ve nev­er seen a brud­da bring nun­chaku on stage and use them, in the dark, cas­u­ally pulling off ridicu­lously high kicks and speak­ing Japanese…all while spit­ting Grime with crazy energy. I have now that I’ve seen Shaodow. Dude is an entity into him­self – go check his track Katana Flow, it’s about his love for swords, and keep an eye out for him on Ninja War­ri­or UK soon.

screw

The tone was set nicely for the head­line act. The HeavyTrackerz have been pro­du­cing bangers for years and have worked with some of the biggest names in Grime, now some of the biggest emcees in the world. They put down a fire set, mix­ing in ori­gin­al pro­duc­tions with bangers from the early days of Grime to now, show­ing the caliber of DJ and pro­du­cers they are and get­ting the heads in the spot hyped.

To end the night off, Grime emcee Screw­fizzer rolled through with a bag of emcees shut down the night, bring­ing the energy and raw­ness that has taken the Lon­don born gen­re to the levels it has in the last few years. With the per­fect end to a dope night, Blatantly Blunt can move into the next 10 years of their mis­sion with con­fid­ence.

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Apex Zero

Apex Zero

An emcee, beat­maker, film­maker and writer from Lon­don with Gren­adian roots, Apex Zero has spent his life learn­ing and liv­ing Hip Hop cul­ture, using it to inspire and affect change. Based in Beijing for a few years and reg­u­larly tour­ing the globe, Apex is well trav­elled, and uses the les­sons this provides to inform his art and out­look. He is a mem­ber of the Glob­al­Fac­tion digit­al pro­duc­tion house and the inter­na­tion­al Hip Hop col­lect­ive End of the Weak.

About Apex Zero

Apex Zero
An emcee, beatmaker, filmmaker and writer from London with Grenadian roots, Apex Zero has spent his life learning and living Hip Hop culture, using it to inspire and affect change. Based in Beijing for a few years and regularly touring the globe, Apex is well travelled, and uses the lessons this provides to inform his art and outlook. He is a member of the GlobalFaction digital production house and the international Hip Hop collective End of the Weak.