Queensbridge’s finest – Cormega was returning to the Brixton Chip Shop to launch his new book, ‘Understanding the True Meaning’. A reflection and analysis of his album on its fifteenth anniversary. I felt it was the perfect way to celebrate, for a hip hop fiend like myself there really is nothing better than getting inside the head of a rapper and insight into what makes them write as they do.
A very intimate venue, I love the concept of the Chip Shop, it’s a small recluse where real hip hop fans can go, it felt very homely and the food is great too! I was diggin’ the fact there seemed to have been an influx of Queens rappers performing at this venue as they definitely hold a special place in my heart.
In anticipation of the book signing I ordered my copy in advance so I had ample time to take it all in and process it. Reading through the first few pages of the book it is very clear Mega has had a huge impact on the lives of many, both indirectly through the content of his music, ‘[People]Tell me how my music helped them get through tough times or saved their life’ but also on a personal level through forming long lasting meaningful friendships with people he has encountered. This says a lot for his character, the book echoes what you see is what you get with him, which also means what he puts on his tracks is also very real.
In contrast, one piece of fiction he mentions on this album is, ‘Live Ya Life’ probably my favorite from the album. Hip hop is often criticized for being misogynistic, which is why I really appreciate this track, it shows empathy towards women, mothers in particular. He wanted it to be, ‘heartfelt’ in every aspect which it was.
I could relate to a lot of things mentioned in the book, some advice which I wish I had been given several years ago. One take away from the book was the positivity, this was a man who had been through a lot in his life and wanted to share it with us, ‘That is my goal, to warn others. It’s my responsibility to try to tell people what they should avoid and try to help them’.
‘The idea of struggle is a universal thing and everybody resonates with things they can relate to’
There is a lot of talk about people not believing in him and fake friends which we can all relate too. A great read if you are looking for some inspiration I would recommend it.
As Cormega signed by book, instantly I felt a vibe of a very positive individual, cool calm and very humble, I could tell he was grateful to be there and appreciated all the love he was getting from his fans.
I was really looking forward to the show, as the venue was so compact it was the perfect place to connect with other hip hop heads, I instantly engaged in conversation with several people and felt very welcome. I even met someone who had traveled all the way from Ireland on his own just to see Mega, he had been listening to him since he was 14 years old and this was also his first time in London.
Warming up for Mega was Da Flyy Hooligan from Harlesden, repping hard with the UK Hip Hop, I was feelin’ him his flow was smooth and his beats were tough, he reminded me of the 90’s. On the decks there was Bill Biznizz and Teddy Ted with DJ Harmony.It seemed everyone in the place was a real fan of hip hop and knew Cormega’s discography, as soon as he stepped out to perform the crowd pressed inwards, it was midnight and people were drunk, the wait for Mega to grace the mic was too much and a couple of people were over excited to see him and rushed the decks, ‘What have you been drinking’ asked Mega, someone replied ‘Hennessy’. Mega laughed, ‘It had to be that Henny!’ It felt as though he had been in this situation many times and it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. Mega had to repeatedly ask the crowd to calm down and reminded us where he had come from and for him to even make it to England was a huge achievement and thinking about it, it is crazy we all wanted him to return again so continued to enjoy the night.
I wasn’t expecting it but suddenly I heard, ‘Killaz Theme’ and I LOVE this track!!! The beat is so heavy it feels like paranoia, I think the snare sets it off, some creeping, watch your back, things hiding in the shadows kinda beat and that snare is your paranoia that you have to overcome. This beats are deeper than most lyrics nowdays,I miss this era. Rest in Peace to Prodigy, hearing this was emotional, it made me nostalgic and the crowd reminisced, we were all aware of how much Mega had worked with Prodigy in the past, which made appreciating the greats in the here and now even more important.
And then the crowd was shouting at Mega to drop his verse from Affirmative Action!!! How lucky I felt in that moment to be in that room! Mega went on to perform more track from his, ‘True Meaning’ album. He told us, ‘now you will see why Mega is the poet’ and indeed we did, the crowd was absolutely feeling every word he had to say and it was a beautiful thing.
Great night, nice vibes, big respect to Cormega for coming out and doing his thing. Much love to the Brixton Chip Shop for making it happen, I look forward to reaching more shows there!
Here is a flashback to our interview with Cormega Last year:
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