On 30thMay 2019, Real Deal Open Mic at cHip sHop Brix­ton was a night of firsts and mile­stones. Hav­ing seen some drama caused by the stand­ard aggro police still throw routinely at Hip Hop and Black music events, pro­moters and ven­ues, Logic and his Real Deal fam relaunched their plat­form on their new night of every last Thursday of the month, at the same time cel­eb­rat­ing their 1styear as a reg­u­lar night at cHip sHop. Ded­ic­ated to pre­serving the leg­acy of hard bod­ied Hip Hop open mics with levels set high and free speech, set by the likes of Speak­ers Corner, High­er Learn­ing and Deal Real – which Real Deal event car­ries the torch of – this night car­ried on the tra­di­tions of real craf­ted lyr­i­cism, genu­ine free­style and gen­er­a­tions build­ing togeth­er all played out over banging beats sup­plied by DJ vets Jazz T and Shorty. With Cap­it­al Jors over­see­ing pro­ceed­ings on the mic, the for­mula of open mic all night, broken up only by a live PA by a cer­ti­fied word­smith, was work­ing in full effect, with emcees, poets, sing­ers and sup­port­ers flock­ing from around the city (and the world) to jump on the mic and get a taste of real Hip Hop.

There were too many par­ti­cipants to men­tion them all by name, but a few espe­cially dope moments stood out. When I walked in the room, I heard the name Skir­mish get called up. I thought to myself ‘that’s a big name to try claim for someone new to the scene’, then I saw the ori­gin­al step up! The Rhyme Asylum lyr­i­cist had come down to show some love to Real Deal and bless the mic with his skills. Skir­mish was fol­lowed by heads like open mic reg­u­lar Mac Jay, spread­ing his mes­sage to the people and emcee/singer Nemi, drop­ping soul­ful tones as well her dope flows.

The PA on the night was by a genu­ine under­ground and Brix­ton OG Jaja Soze. With a lot of his people in the build­ing to sup­port, as well as the crowd of real Hip Hop heads, the love and respect levels were high up where they should be. Before Jaja dropped his bars, he put on his brudda Madixxx with a dope UK Rap track ‘KMT’ rep­pin’ for all the heads who’ve been on their grind spit­tin’ for years, and shut­ting down those voices telling you to stop or or ask­ing if you still doing it. It set the tone nice for Jaja to lay down ‘Surahs & Psalms’ a deep, heart­felt rid­dim, pour­ing out stor­ies and reflec­tions on the life he’s led and the les­sons learned from it. The track got the reload a couple times, and ended being spat acapella to really get the mes­sage to the crowd. The power in the word reached its des­tin­a­tion and per­formed its purpose.

With the vibra­tions taken that step high­er, the mic reopened, this time with standout per­form­ances from the amaz­ing song­stress Mag­da Sin­it, anoth­er vet in the form of Diver­sion Tac­tics’ Squeaky Clean as well as a 3 or 4 heads all the way from Canada. The night was dope as ever, with the added power of the first birth­day cel­eb­ra­tion. There’ll be a lot more to come with the next edi­tion lined up for June 27th2019, with a live per­form­ance by Art­cha from FRSHRZ. Reach down to and wit­ness some real emcees, spon­tan­eous lyr­ic­al com­bus­tion and if you on the level, to jump on the mic yourself.

Details for the next open mic are below!


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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

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.