My my, how the time is escap­ing us.….just over a week ago, I spent a music­ally infused week­end cel­eb­rat­ing 22 years of Itch FM Fri­day night, Get Involved’s soul­fully infused club night comeback on Sat­urday, topped off with the warmly wel­comed return of Flava of the Month on Sunday.… I’m just about socially recharged and find­ing time to type up my review! [life-work-life-bal­ance!]

Time is a funny thing — I just men­tioned it’s escap­ing us, yet I can recall stand­ing in WHS­mith at Vic­tor­ia Sta­tion after school with my best friend Yolan­da (pre mod­ern­isa­tion — the ori­gin­al tiny store!) we were in 6th form at the time.
We’d walk from Pimlico to Vic­tor­ia after school shar­ing head­phones, listen­ing to cas­sette tapes on my Walk­man (are you catch­ing how old school this time was!?), and there we’d stand flick­ing through the magazines, hid­ing amongst the bust­ling com­muters who had ‘no time’ to stand still, just pick up and drop a few coins for their Even­ing Stand­ard — yes they charged for it back then !!
Then music took it’s hold, we moved on from Just 17 mag, to research­ing where to go for music — hold­ing a copy of Time Out magazine between us, search­ing the listings.….‘Hip Hop, R’n’B, Soul, Funk & Rare Groove’ I think was the heading…always the shortest column in com­par­is­on to Pop, Rock, House.….etc…One day we spot­ted ‘Flava of the Month’ at The Borderline.…we’d nev­er been there, but we knew Char­ing Cross Road as we walked about the West End a lot, choos­ing to buy food over bus fares! — We were young and will­ing to walk, it’s how you get street­wise!
So we tried out the night, it was most def­in­itely Hip Hop. Raw and heavy on show­cas­ing UK artists, it was true and real.….it felt estab­lished and com­fort­able, yet in con­trast I remem­ber it being a dark pillared room full of ser­i­ously focused folk.…
Roll on 29 or so years and (I did type 19 then just read back and did the maths- jheeez!) it’s here again, this time word was spread on social media, (one of the perks we can all agree on).. F.O.T.M…the return.…Sunday night rav­ing !
27th Novem­ber 2022. It was decent & a great turn out — which made me happy, cos too many times I hear my ‘gen­er­a­tion’ moan about there being no Hip Hop events for ‘our kinda [Boom Bap] Hip Hop’, well there is, and will be for those who care to step out and sup­port!

After a warm up on the turntables and intro­duc­tion from DJ 279, K9 per­formed first, he was very enga­ging and got the crowd’s atten­tion, his style fus­ing Hip Hop and Reg­gae, he calls this ‘Boom Bap Reg­gae’, his songs have power­ful mes­sages with­in, and gave great stage pres­ence.
K9 chat­ted to the crowd all friendly an’ that! and gave us some his­tory of his jour­ney through years of mak­ing music, which included memor­ies of Flava of the Month ‘1991?’ .…  ‘sumth­in’ like that’ and stor­ies of send­ing music to 279 to play on his Choice FM show —          Fri­day Night Flavas [Which is where I got to know K9’s music] ; per­sever­ance and keep work­ing at fine tun­ing it being key.
279 encour­aged K9 out of his com­fort zone on stage to per­form one tune acapella, so peeps could fully take in the lyr­ics — which was dope. Out of our com­fort zone is where we grow right?.…Check @k9london

279 aka Num­bers dropped some old n new tracks in between, dan­cers got down and brought the vibes up. Num­bers gave us some ‘ser­mons’ on why he’s brought the event back.…to sup­port by giv­ing artists a plat­form to per­form, be heard and give heads a party at the same time.… in a nutshell…keeping real Hip Hop alive, “sup­port the artists. If we don’t get togeth­er & work togeth­er, the sh*t that we love dies”.

K*NERS from Bris­tol was up next, I’ve only recently learnt of his music which has a good sound, his tracks tell stor­ies of life in Bris­tol… he per­formed a niiiice tune — Lion’s Den, fea­tur­ing Roots Manuva & Deadly Hunta (unfor­tu­nately not in attend­ance!) and he got so excited, he jumped over the bar­ri­er and into the crowd — reminded me of Nice n Sooth a few years ago!! He gave out CDs of his album…check him out, insta @k_ners

Next up 279 talked us through the pur­pose of the Open Mic sec­tion of F.O.T.M; a chance for MCs to show a live audi­ence their skills, and see if they’re ready, and for beat­makers to get them­selves heard, which in turn has formed col­lab­or­a­tions in the past…
We had a sur­prise guest — Cut­mas­ter Swift — spin in for this sec­tion, Swifty played a selec­tion of five of K9’s Beetz & at least 9 MCs stepped for­ward to impress us.
They indi­vidu­ally chose a beat from 1–5 and free­styled for the crowd.…This is the high­light for some attendees, as they rarely get the oppor­tun­ity to take the mic at a live show, there was a range of gen­er­a­tions that stood up, which is what it’s all about…linking pion­eers with fresh artists, shar­ing skills and clev­er lyr­i­cism on the spot — Unity!
Beats 1 & 4 stood out for me, along with MCs Mas Law & Dav­id J the Vocal Pugilist…“in 2023 you have to be lyr­ic­ally so sharp, that you will cut the air and make the wind bleed.…”

It was refresh­ing to see people out again, genu­inely sup­port­ing the pas­sion, and totally being present for Hip Hop.…DJs are import­ant people, and more so the DJs who intro­duce us to [good] new music, as well as respect the old skool.…
Such a friendly sup­port­ive vibe — we need more…
oh wait — there is.…
26th Feb­ru­ary: Flava of the Month all day­er
…kick­ing off Hip Hop’s 50th year check @Flavaofthemonthuk @numberman279 for more deets.…

Sal­freckles 🙂

P.S. look out for Mas Law’s inter­views with K9 and K*NERS com­ing soon…

Photo by Sal­freckles feat Dav­id J The Vocal Pugil­ist, DJ 279 & Cut­mas­ter Swift

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Sally Mur­row aka Sal­freckles is a Lon­don­er who works in early edu­ca­tion, she has a back­ground in graph­ic design and finds inspir­a­tion for her art from hip hop rhymes and cul­ture.

About Salfreckles

Sally Murrow aka Salfreckles is a Londoner who works in early education, she has a background in graphic design and finds inspiration for her art from hip hop rhymes and culture.