‘The Best Hip-hop Show Ever!’

‘The Best Hip-hop Show Ever!’

Written by Editor

Topics: Music

“The best hip-hop show in Jamaica ever!” That was the general sentiment expressed by patrons at the end of The Takeover at Funky Munky Bistro & Bar, 17 Holborn Road, on Saturday, December 15, 2012. The live music event featured homegrown talents Nomad Carlos, Five Steez, The Sickest Drama and Kabaka Pyramid, and their performances were well-received by the crowd.

It was a busy night in Kingston, with several events competing for the support of patrons, but scores of individuals kept trickling into the venue until the show got under way at approximately 11:30 p.m. The MC for the night, Simo-B, introduced Nomad Carlos, who delivered a strong set that lasted over 20 minutes.

Nomad Carlos

Nomad Carlos

He performed various songs from his recently released “Me Against the Grain” mixtape, building a steady vibe until he arrived at “Murder Music”, one of his standout songs about Jamaica’s crime and corruption. The crowd showed its appreciation by throwing up lighters and “gun fingers” in the air. Nomad Carlos then closed his set with Five Steez on stage with him in an intense back-and-forth performance of “Aww Snap”.

Five Steez

Five Steez

After a short break, Five Steez returned to the stage with an energetic set in which he delivered half-a-dozen songs from his debut album, “War for Peace”, including the crowd favourite “Slaving on the Plantation” – a song about the struggles of the everyday worker. He then had hands in the air as he performed his jazzy collaboration with Nomad Carlos entitled “Wanna Be Free”, before ending with a couple more songs from his album.

Nomad Carlos & The Sickest Drama (TSD)

Nomad Carlos & The Sickest Drama (TSD)

The Sickest Drama (TSD) made his mark next, stepping on stage in a lively manner to perform his part of a collaboration with incarcerated dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, entitled “Back Down”. TSD displayed a highly advanced lyrical technique and much depth, reaching a high point with the song “Journey through Life”, in which he lamented “the pain and the strife” of pursuing a musical career, especially in Jamaica where local hip-hop receives little support.

Kabaka Pyramid came up later and performed many of the songs from his 2011 “Rebel Music” EP, some of which, like “The Sound” and “I Alone”, are still in radio rotation. Known for his hip-hop-influenced approach to conscious reggae music, he showcased his skills as a rapper and a deejay, while sharing the story of his musical journey and how he came to fuse his influences. He even called fellow Bebble Rock artiste Koro Fyah to the stage to perform “Betta Mus Come”.

Kabaka Pyramid

Kabaka Pyramid

Koro Fyah & Kabaka Pyramid

Koro Fyah & Kabaka Pyramid

Kabaka Pyramid left the stage with the crowd wanting more, and this was evident when the host, Simo-B, was greeted with calls from the audience for “one more tune”. Then the track for a song entitled “BP Meets UC” – a four-year-old collabo by Nomad Carlos featuring Five Steez, Kabaka Pyramid and The Sickest Drama – started playing, and each artiste took to the stage to deliver their verse from the song, which is well-known within local hip-hop circles.

The Sickest Drama, Five Steez and Nomad Carlos then performed “Kingston Invasion”, a song released online to promote the The Takeover two weeks prior to the event. They chanted the chorus together and took turns rapping their verses to the delight of dozens of patrons who stayed until the very end of the event at approximately 2:00 a.m. They thanked the audience and all who assisted with the event before exiting the stage and mingling with the crowd.

Patrons took pictures with the artistes and engaged in conversation as the event’s staff and volunteers began cleaning and clearing the venue. The words on the tips of everyone’s lips revealed just how impressed they were with the entire show.

Words: Contributed
Photos: Yannick Reid

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