Review: BIG NOYD (@rappernoyd) Live @ChipShopBXTN

BIGNOYD

Image Cour­tesy Of Chip Shop BXTN

“We’re cel­eb­rat­ing legends tonight” said Apex Zero, MC and host for the night. On 23rd Sat­urday Septem­ber, the Chip Shop BXTN was host to night of lyr­i­cism, boom bap and hon­our­ing legends. More spe­cific­ally, New York legend Big Noyd and the leg­acy of Mobb Deep. Now for those who don’t know, Big Noyd is a close affil­i­ate of the legendary Mobb Deep. Mobb Deep rap­per Prodigy’s passing in June this year led to a flood of trib­utes from rap­pers such as Nas, Ghost­face Kil­lah, Meth­od Man and many oth­ers. This was Brixton’s turn to hon­our his leg­acy. Big Noyd arrived in the game around twenty years ago, hav­ing deb­uted back in 1993 on Mobb Deep’s album Juven­ile Hell. Since then he has fea­tured on all their albums except Blood Money. Mobb Deep’s own Hav­oc has pro­duced a lot of the beats fea­tured on Noyd’s releases. He’s released six albums, worked with 50 Cent, Wu Tang Clan, Rakim and Kool G Rap.

Chip Shop BXTN, on Cold­har­bour Lane in Brix­ton, is prob­ably the best ven­ue for such a night as it’s a sea­food res­taur­ant and bar with a golden age hip hop theme. The walls in the bar are adorned with pho­to­graphs of hip-hop stars like Meth­od Man and NWA. Spe­cific rules from The Notori­ous B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Com­mand­ments” are emblazoned across the stairs. It’s not a par­tic­u­larly large ven­ue and they have to move all the chairs and desks when the per­formers come out, res­ult­ing in an intim­acy between the acts and the audi­ence. It’s essen­tially a ven­ue by ‘old heads’ for ‘old heads’. DJ Madhandz brought out the clas­sics for the night, play­ing such gems as O.C.’s “Out­siders”, Nas’ “Rep­res­ent” and “Tri­umph” by the Wu Tang Clan. To top it off, a cypher was held right out­side the bar.

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Apex Zero opened with his own lyr­ic­al per­form­ance, fol­lowed by Col­or­ado rap­per MDZ who kicked it off with some acapel­la bars before segue­ing into an ener­get­ic per­form­ance. His new album is com­ing out on Thursday 28th Septem­ber. G.Que, a rising rap­per from Michigan came through with “Rollin”. It’s a track made of pure energy and G.Que is a great per­former who amped up the crowd. Manchester’s own Sev­en Spherez fol­lowed through with a machine gun like lyr­ic­al rap­ping style and superb pro­duc­tion on their songs. Ant­Live closed off the open­ing acts with an incred­ible per­form­ance. From Detroit Michigan, Ant­live is a not­able pro­du­cer and engin­eer oth­er­wise known as Anthony Singleton who has pro­duced for Ghost­face Kil­lah (for instance on his song Yolanda’s House) and col­lab­or­ated with Pub­lic Enemy. He is also the self-pro­claimed ‘boom bap king’ and hip-hop vet­er­an of over thirty years. He raps with a frantic and show steal­ing energy. He has the dan­ger­ous energy of a hur­ricane and is immensely cap­tiv­at­ing to see — to top it off he also has bars.

The whole tone of the night was real rap. So it was fit­ting that Big Noyd came through as the head­line act. Open­ing with G.O.D. Pt. III from Mobb Deep’s Hell on Earth, the Queens­bridge rap­per proved more than adept in doing justice to Mobb Deep’s track record. Going through some of their oth­er hits, he per­formed Keep it Thoro and some of his col­lab­or­a­tions with the Mobb, play­ing The Learn­ing (Burn), Queens and Give Up the Goods. But the crowd wasn’t just there for the Mobb Deep trib­ute, even if it was delivered with sin­cer­ity and enthu­si­asm. The twenty-year vet­er­an had his own gems from his dis­co­graphy which the fans wanted to see, play­ing Bump That, Shoot ‘em Up (Bang Bang) and Air it Out. Through­out his set, he was indefatig­able and extremely pol­ished. The music is the gritty hard-hit­ting con­front­a­tion­al style pop­ular­ised in 90s New York, which the fans all rel­ished, and sev­er­al mosh pits sprung up through­out the night. On the flip side, the music could be smooth when it needed to be and when Ant­live returned to join Noyd for their new song Ghetto Thes­is, Noyd broke into acapel­la at the end which high­lighted his refined cadence and style.

Speak­ing to some of the audi­ence after the show had ended, quite a few of them said they were there because “they grew up on this music”. Nat­ur­ally, fans in their mid-forties who lived through the era were present, but it was inter­est­ing to see those in their mid or early twen­ties present, who were too young to pur­chase any of his CDs dur­ing the 90s. Fans both half screamed, half rapped along to Shot the Fuck Up and the kin­et­ic energy from the mosh pit that exploded when Big Noyd covered Shook Ones Pt. 2 was intense. It was an expec­tedly tri­umphant moment for every­one there.

Through­out, Big Noyd and the open­ing acts con­tinu­ally shouted out Mobb Deep, par­tic­u­larly Prodigy’s memory. Even with all the furi­ous energy, the night was filled with sin­cer­ity for the passing of one of hip-hop’s greats.

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Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South Lon­don based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He’s also an MMA and his­tory enthu­si­ast who tries to keep his love of animé under wraps.

About Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa
Mark is a South London based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He's also an MMA and history enthusiast who tries to keep his love of anime under wraps.