WHAT WENT DOWN @ OG KEMI’S [@longlivekemi] HEADLINE SHOW ft. [@ZinoVinci] [@bibsama] [@bloodboypierre]

After selling out in two days, OG Kemi’s headline show boasted a lineup of some of the UK’s finest rising underground talent. He was supported by Zino Vinci, bib sama. and PIERRE, with a DJ set from LFTONRED. 

Dripped out in Corteiz and North Face, Zino Vinci’s sample-heavy beats and slick flow were the perfect way to get a crowd to warm up. He took confident strides across the stage, bouncing along to the fluctuating BPMs. Honestly, I know he’s from Newham but from his performance, I can really see him fitting right into the music scene in New York. When he performed ‘Studley Road’, the beat would come to a halt for a couple of seconds as he’d continue to spit, emphasising the bars and impressing the crowd. ‘Make Money’ was sure to elicit nostalgia from the crowd as the sample proved familiar. Saving the best ’til last, he closed out his set with ‘CEO of the Friendship Group’. The room had filled up by the time he was finished.

bib sama. turned The Courtyard Theatre into a spaceship, something about each element within his futuristic production really immerses you into the soundscape when he performs. Jumping with high energy and rocking a G*Stina beanie and a Rhude camo jacket, he’s as dynamic as he is fly. He previewed an unreleased song, called ‘I CAN’T DIE YET’ proving his ability to come up with an infectious hook. Definitely a hyper rap tune you’re gonna want to look out for in the coming months. He had the crowd jumping as lights flashed as he yelled into the mic, counting them in. For the grand finale of ‘TAKE ONE!’ he bounces as he repeatedly says “This ain’t the drop!” in time with beat’s build-up. When the beat drops the crowd goes nuts – it’s just something about that “I could never lie / When I say that I’m really that guy,” lyric that gets the people going.

PIERRE’S melodic rapping over melancholic beats combined with his animated stage presence won over the crowd. Despite the hi-hat heavy beats, the vibes he brought were a lot more mellow and perhaps even a little emotional in places. Regardless, his performance triggered a wave of movement through the crowd with people jumping, singing along and waving their hands in the air. He teased some unreleased music that one can only assume is off of his upcoming EP. He also performed popular songs of his such as ‘Yay’, ‘needany1’ and his latest single ‘Taking L’s’.

When OG Kemi entered the stage he’d enlisted Salskilives as his hype man as they both got the crowd psyched, jumping care-freely on their count. OG Kemi encouraged a mosh pit as his friend, Cal1sto was about to join him on stage. As Cal1sto spit his potent bars into the mic, OG Kemi would back him up with adlibs. He then rapped over the soft jersey club rhythm of ‘serenity’. His deep voice boomed into the microphone. He got us to turn our lights on for his next special guest, TBO. He performed his song ‘MILAN’ which loops the first four bars of ‘Get Ur Freak On’, it had everyone so gassed the DJ had to wheel it up. Detailing about the designers he likes to adorn, he performs ‘HEREDITARY’. 

photography by @moi.digital

The crowd began to chant “Kemi! Kemi! Kemi!” as the DJ pressed the cue button on the decks in time with the chants before pressing play. He brought on Blame Steez to perform their remix of ‘SHIRT’ by THOTTWAT. Allowing him his own time to shine, he performed ‘Stick Up’ as all hands went in the air. He ushered us to put our X’s up as ‘#pornography #realeater’ faded out and the bounce of ‘i don’t sell drugs anymore’ took over, hands were raised and gun fingers waved in the air. They started dashing out T-Shirts as the crowd scrambled to catch them, some even taking them out of their packaging and waving the prized possession in time with the music.

The mosh hit its peak when ‘v for veneta’ came on, and the voice note from the outro introduced the song as the crowd started to go crazy. Everyone on stage put their arms out and started riding the wave of the strings in the production. The crowd won’t let him go and he does about three “last songs”, finally saying goodbye after ‘OOO WHAT A SHAME’. 

As much fun as I had, I definitely feel like performing with instrumentals would’ve elevated his performance. It was heart warming to see him share the stage with his bredrins, allowing them their own moments to shine and giving a space for his fanbase to discover them if they hadn’t yet. He definitely unleashed chaos, amping up the crowd and allowing the menacing beats he spits over to harness the crowd’s energy.