Held at the Notting Hill Arts Centre, Neighbourhood was showcase event that featured some of London’s promising talent from the Urban/Black scene. It was put together by Island A&R, Benny Scarrs, and hosted by DJ/interviewer, ChuckieOnline. Their previous showcases (under Tropics Sounds) saw Dave, AJ Tracey and Ray Blk take the stage so I was intrigued to see how this one would go.
The night took a while to start but eventually kicked in with Mvngo & Lashes, a duo from east London. With the crowd being initially very stagnant, the pair were able to bring life with their fusion of Soulful, Acoustic and Hip Hop chemistry. There is surely influence from Lauren Hill but they’ve bought the trapsoul herb. Their witty humour and general onstage presence makes you favour the pair even more, you can tell they they’ve been good friends for a long time. If you wanna listen to them, their Soulution EP is a good starting point.
The DB Sound System were next. These were a Hip-Hop trio, whom at an instance, all look familiar. Then I clocked that one was Ash Catchem, one was from Piff Gang and I can’t figure out where the third one is from yet but his name is FourOnez. Their first song caught my interest as it consisted on a hook which remixed Tinchy Stryder’s classic Tingz In Bootz bar. Their overall performance was decent, however it doesn’t do justice after checking them out on youtube. Their music is wavey! Sick bars, sick beats, sick videos. They have a good a six/seven videos on youtube too. They’re on that classic wavey West London vibe, definitely check them out!
Next saw Big Zuu. Firstly, it was so good to see the youngers (and West London) fully representing for Grime, not just in their music but in them actually saying it. I feel like the youngers in the hood don’t really show love for Grime music anymore and are on the Drill/UK-Rap/Afro-Bashment sound. Big Zuu performed Ain’t No Joke with Drifter but then perused with a 10-15 min Grime set with five other MC’s. PK is one of those MC’s that stood out for me and I later realised that he’s actually from the YGG crew. Fellow homeboy AJ Tracey was also in the building and sprayed a little 16 bar. If you’re into the reloads, check out the set below with Big Zuu (&crew) spitting on Radar Radio (and lock into his Joints Show on Radar too).
Grim Sickers was next and after seeing him perform at several different shows, I feel like you either get him or you don’t get it. His fortay is in the Grime arena where people really out to rave and party, whereas the Neighbourhood was more of a showcase. Hopefully this is something he can work on but because he is definitely a good spitter, Kane and Black Bin Bag Him go down so well in the raves. As a live MC, there’s no doubt that he is precise and clear, you can tell he’s been putting his work. Not to be mention he’s close with Mike Skinner, so even if he’s not your cup of tea, he’s for sure doing something right.
The final performance saw Belly Squad taking up the stage. Cutting short for time meant that the trio were not able to perform their songs in its entirety but instead quick performances of four/five songs. You can tell that they are still new to the live circuit, it took them a while to get comfortable on stage but eventually got there. Their performance was overall good but I might’ve been disappointed if I particularly came to see Belly Squad. With them racking up some serious views on youtube, I was surpried to see that not many people came to see them. . I thought that the lack of intermission meant that most people were at the bar as they started, it’s then I realised that most actually came to see Big Zuu. I guess they had their West London crew active!
Make sure you stay locked into the Neighbourhood show on Radio Radio (every other Tuesday). Benny Scarrs’ and ChuckieOnline’s have in-depth interviews/discussions with guys who have been years deep in the music industry, talking to people who are more behind the scenes that have helped towards the infrastructure of the scene that we are now blessed with.