Skepta & Friends 'Shutdown' London As Grime Has It's Time With Apple Music
What. A. Moment.
"*WARNING* You’re about to board a grime rollercoaster. There’ll be high speeds and multiple loop-the-loops. Don’t expect to catch your breath for the next 90 minutes" - should have been the pre show announcement to prepare us for the epicness we were about to witness on Friday night (2nd December).
Semtex warmed up nicely with some guaranteed crowd pleasers including Drake and Desiigner. As he wrapped up the anticipation started to build... the gig was being live streamed by Apple Music so there was no allowance for grime time. Sure enough, at 9pm on the dot Skepta came out dressed all in black with his hood up and head down and began the show with Konnichiwa.
With the ticket promising special guests we were all on tenterhooks to see who would be joining the main man on stage and we didn’t have to wait long. Keeping it in the family, Skepta’s brother JME was the first guest to make an appearance for an energetic rendition of ‘That’s Not Me’ which hyped the crowd. We didn’t have to wait long till another guest appearance in the form of Wretch 32 who joined Skepta for ‘Liberation’.
Skepta owned the stage for the next few tracks going through favourites from his number one, Mercury prize winning album. From 'Corn On The Curb' (without the expected Wiley cameo) straight into 'Numbers' then to 'It Ain’t Safe'. By this point the crowd were putty in his hands so when the screens turned to Landlord and Giggs came out - it was almost too much. From here on in sh*t. got. cray. After 'Whippin Excursion' JME made his second visit to the stage for 'Man Don’t Care' followed up with none other than man like Kano walking out for '3 Wheel Ups'. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was one very special night which was secured by Giggs and Kano doing a track together.
That wasn’t the end to the appearances - before heading into the next track Skepta shouted off stage ‘Wait did Novelist get here?' with confirmation he had he went straight into 'Lyrics' with Novelist bouncing out on stage to join the party. Skepta then dedicated the next track to the ladies which meant it could only be 'Ladies Hit Squad' to the crowds delight joining in with a chorus of ‘swag swag’. Legend D Double joined Skepta on stage for this one giving a shout out to the Newham Generals.
The guests kept coming with Shorty joining Skepta for 'What’s Going On' straight into 'Detox'. Just when we thought there couldn’t be any more surprises in store non other than Lethal Bizzle appears to perform 'POW' with Skepta and JME. This was followed straight by 'Worst' with the Section Boyz crew taking over the stage. Coming to the end of the show Skepta reminisced about when he used to be at Ally Pally feeding the ducks before launching into the very apt 'Shutdown'.
In true BBK style the show ended with the whole crew swarming a stage covered in flames for 'Man' and Skepta standing centre stage on a burning car. What a finale. The emotion was clear both on stage and off the crowd and it was clear everyone there felt a real part of something.
The night was a moment for grime, moment for London, moment for British talent, moment for the music industry, moment for BBK, moment for independent artists but first and foremost a moment for Skepta. SHUT DOWN!
Skepta @ Alexandra Palace Set List:
That's Not Me (ft JME)
Ace Hood Flow
Wretch 32 - Liberation
Corn On The Curb
It Ain't Safe
Giggs - Whippin Excursion
JME - Man Don't Care
Kano - 3 Wheel Ups
Lyrics (ft Novelist)
Ladies Hit Squad (ft D Double E
Shorty - What's Going On
Detox (ft BBK)
Lethal bizzle - Pow
Section Boys ft Skepta - Worst
By Roberta Hickey
You can watch the whole show on Apple Music now.