BBC 1Xtra Live swooped into Birmingham bringing a truck full of energy, vibes and atmosphere with a stellar link up of the best of what Urban Music has to offer right now. The show culminated in the New school Tinashe,
Jess Glynne, Fuse ODG, Sigma who all gave a good account of themselves on the night, and the World Record holding duo Krept & Konan, who have been making a lot of noise for the longest while in the British Underground Urban music scene
They really started cooking on gas earlier this year when their album became the ‘Highest-Charting UK album by an Unsigned Act’. They were met with the warmest of welcomes and, there were definitely moments of appreciation that could be felt from K&K to the audience, which is one of the best thing musicians can do; show appreciation to the people who put them where they are – the fans.
Lethal Bizzle on the other hand, is neither new nor old; he is just there. This man has created a personality that fans of Grime can laugh at and connect with. This man has one track, that any inner city area of the British Isles you go and shout POW!!! Like pop art, this simple little onomatopoeia word is met back with “Yeah I’m Lethal B” this track will always be a timeless classic that propelled Grime into the spotlight.
Mr Bizzle is one of the Cornerstones on British Urban Music, he saluted the crowd and they reciprocated the love. How many other Grime artist can count thespian Judi Dench as a fan? Not many. #DenchFamily.
Rick Ross is a walking brand, and one of the most successful rappers of the 00’s came on to stage to an incredible amount of noise. The crowd knew what they were going to get with Rick and he delivery his stage presence is there and he knows how to work the crowd. With his iconic beard that would not look out of place in one of the hipster hangouts, Rick Ross made Birmingham his home for the night. He owned the crowd.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That is the case for most, but Mary J Blige, is a bit more special than that, she made Lemon Drizzle Cake, It is well documented that life was not very kind to this woman in her former years, but she consolidated her pain and found a voice through music, and has been a beacon of excellence in her story telling and craft through music.. Mary charms the crowd with consummate ease, and slows you down as she tells you a story, in a very soulful and sassy manner. We were treated to the new tracks from her new album “London Sessions”; a collaboration between her and British based producers. She was an excellent addition to the bill, and a great final act to a good night of music.
BBC 1Xtra know the that they are always welcomed in Birmingham and we look forward to hosting them next year, with a just as stellar and eclectic line up!
Photographs: Andy Watson
Review: Chadwick Jackson