On 28th November 2013, 200 or so dedicated, underground Hip Hop heads were given a badly needed and unexpected treat. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album ‘Which Doobie U B?’, The Silver Bullet and Strictly Business brought the West Coast and Soul Assassins reppin’ underground legends Funkdoobiest back to the UK after nearly two decades of absence for a one-off London show.
The last time ‘The Brothas Doobie’ were in the UK in the ‘90s, they played at Brixton Academy, and between then and now, either alone or with fellow Soul Assassin members Cypress Hill and DJ Muggs, they’ve performed their uncompromising, censorship defying, ganja and porno-loving signature style of West Coast Hip Hop-Funk at similar scale venues around the globe. In contrast, the committed fans that snapped up the 188 tickets were given all that arena and stadium rocking energy concentrated into the comparatively small Finsbury Park venue. And that was a huge positive. Intimate isn’t a word that should be associated with Funkdoobiest or that could be used to describe this show — the energy, the raw, unadulterated Hip Hop vibes and the nearly constant mosh pit were intense, fuelled every time one of the underground classics got dropped. Some heads at the front even ended up on stage as the energy and mosh pit overflowed. ‘I’m Shitting On Em’, ‘The Funkiest’ ‘XXXfunk’ and ‘Wopbabbalubop’ got the best crowd response, until the very end when, preluded by constant calls for it throughout the show, Son Doobie gave in and dropped the crew’s biggest track ‘Lost In Thought’ and the madness hit another level!
The event was dope, successfully transporting the crowd back to the 90’s – some joints even got sparked up inside – pre-smoking ban style! A Funkdoobiest show wouldn’t have been complete without it! The only downside was that crew members Ralph M and Tomahawk Funk weren’t there, but Son Doobie got expertly backed, hyped and supported by West Coast Hip Hop legends Sean B and, making his first ever UK appearance, Brett B – the man credited with teaching B‑Real to write structured bars and with writing the classic hook for the Cypress Hill track ‘Hand on the Pump’. We even got given a Soul Assassin history lesson!
The homegrown support held it up too. The night got warmed up with a live MPC performance from UK-based Hungarian producer Yetizm, a more relaxed and chilled set from UK/Sweden based Galaxy High. The real gem was a rare performance from UK Britcore pioneers Son of Noise, who properly set the 90’s hardcore hype vibe for Funkdoobiest to build on. After the main event, UK emcee/DJ/promoter and overall grinder Oliver Sudden showcased a set of his new tracks, showing how high the level of UK Hip Hop is at the moment. It was a big night all-round. Mad respect to everyone at Strictly Business and The Silver Bullet for a heavy night of real Hip Hop.