Pharoahe Monch with the Ezra collective and DJ Boogie Blind, supported by MC Shogun at the Jazz café
Starting the show was Scotland’s very own MC Shogun, and boy did he deliver! Amazed at how his flows seemed to never run out of breath, his accent gave him a nice edge on his delivery. He was honest, humble and his content was deep and we were all feeling it, especially his track, ‘Vulcan’ the crowd was hyped! We were ready for Pharoahe Monch! Opening the show with Bad MF, it was on!!
DJ Boogie Blind on the decks delivered bad news of a broken mixer, but even that would not stop this show, Monch on performing his incredible 13th show at the Jazz café, wanted to do something a little bit different this time so bought on stage with him London’s very talented Jazz musicians — The Ezra Collective. This created a beautiful atmosphere with big smiles, it was all love! On several occasions Monch requested the lighting technicians turn down the lights so we could feel the music.
Monch shouted, ‘who is free! Not physically, but mentally free’ and the crowd went wild! Mentioning many things had no gone so well in 2016, Monch said in his opinion the real problem was police brutality and it was real. This lead nicely onto, ‘Fuck the Police’ by N.W.A which really got everyone hyped acknowledging this injustice in society.
One thing I really respect about artists is those who pay homage to those who have come before them, their influences. Monch asked the crowd who was a fan of hip hop more to the point who was a fan of music full stop and then played tributes to all the greats we have lost including David Bowie, Prince, Nate Dog, and Phife Dwag from a Tribe Called Quest which was very much appreciated.
Monch addressed addictions and that there were many types of addition, ‘I’m addicted to bad relationships’, he told everyone struggling with their additions to just, ‘Feel the music’ which many of us so to escape reality, it is our haven.
During the performance of ‘Times2’ which deals with the topic of depression, Monch bought a prop gun onto the stage and at the end of the track simulated shooting himself in the head. This has been the root of much controversy online since going viral. Whether you agree or disagree with this visual imagery, it certainly made a point of addressing the sad truths of depression induced suicide.
Another highlight for me personally was hearing, ‘Apache’, bboys and bgirls will know! They just let it play out. Then if we weren’t hype enough, we heard the epic, ‘Simon Says’ and the crowd went wild jumping around!
It was funny Monch stated this was a hardcore show and he was thankful for the estrogen in the room which was balancing things out, many ladies of hip hop as myself were loving the show, it was real.
Finishing the show with Light, as Monch left the stage, the crowd would not leave hoping he would return to continue.
This was my first time seeing Pharoahe Monch Live and I really enjoyed the show, he was oozing artistry and I look forward to going back to listening to his back catalogue with a different ear and greater appreciation.
Pharoahe Monch: http://www.pharoahe.com/
Ezra Collective: https://soundcloud.com/ezracollective
MC Shogun: https://soundcloud.com/shogun_official