LIVE: De La Soul @ Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
Celebrating 25 Years Of Hip-Hop
Hip-hop heads old and young converged on Shepherd's Bush Empire last Thursday (May 1st) to witness what can only be described as something quite legendary and something truly unforgettable: De La Soul, the three man, trail-blazing crew from New York played a one-off show in London to celebrate their milestone 25th anniversary, and woe is you if you missed it.
It was possibly the most fun everyone in the venue has had at a gig. The three emcees are genuine masters of ceremony, living up to the name of their craft, leaving no inch of the stage untouched, and ensuring they heard every voice in the crowd during their numerous entertaining back-and-forths. It turns out, after a bit of inspecting by Trugoy, the most vocal faction was that of the over-30s, those that grew up with them in their younger days, but there were just as many youngsters present that weren't even out of the womb when their seminal debut '3 Feet High And Rising' was released.
The first deafening roar of the night was a result of the brass-driven intro of 'Potholes In My Lawn' being dropped by Maseo, and the volume in the venue reached its peak when the forget-your-troubles tracks 'Eye Know' and 'Me, Myself, and I' followed. Everything inbetween was a medley of their other golden material like 'All Good', 'Oooh', 'A Rollerskating Jam Named "Saturdays"', 'Ring Ring Ring', right up to 'Feel Good Inc.', their collaboration with Gorillaz, for which Maseo quite literally jumped out from behind the decks to take centre stage, embodying the group's undying vibrancy in both their material and as performers.
Regrettably, it was over all too quickly, as most nights are that are filled with unadulterated fun. Trugoy, Posdnuos and Maseo are legends, there's no arguing that. They broke down barriers to make hip hop more accessible at a time when it wasn't as widely accepted as it is now, ensuring the artform's longevity, and paving the way for many of the hip hop acts that fill our airwaves today.
The night was summed up by Trugoy asking Maseo, almost insultingly non-chalantly: 'so what we doing next?'. No one cared. Everyone just waited with baited breath because they just have that catalogue, they don't need a set list. They are all about da inner sound y'all, and the 2,000 lucky ones that were part of this night now hear that loud and clear.