Band on the Wall, Masta Ace, Stricklin, Wordsworth & Marco Polo.
May 6th, 2012; Masta Ace returned to the UK for the first time since his Disposable Arts Tour back in 2001. He gave the fans (estimate: 600 people) an unbelievable show whilst taking time out to reflect upon MA Doom: Son of Yvonne and a number of other memories. Surprisingly, he even took time out at the end along with Wordsworth and DJ Marco Polo to meet and greet fans, signing anything from people's bodies to clothing.
It all started at 7:30PM. The doors were closed when we arrived before 7PM (doors opening at 8PM), so we had to return later on. As we did so, we got a drink and waited for the doors to the concert hall to open. Whilst waiting, we were surprised to see Masta Ace stumble through the venue as though he was one of the fans. He stopped by to take a photo with a fan before heading on out of the venue.
An hour and a half later and the doors opened. We headed on in and opted for a clearer view of the stage and DJs from upstairs.
The D.J. Digit and Mikey Don set was hardly a floor filler...
After a 90 minute set from DJ Digit & Mikey Don, a set which included many hits from the Juice Crew era and other NY boombap, Wordsworth took centre stage.
Wordsworth owned the stage, instantly making fans with those who were unfamiliar.
Wordsworth Freestyled his way in to the venue, spitting rhymes about local teams and the Olympics in true hip hop fashion. Spinning hits from Mirror Music and his upcoming 'The Photo Album', which features production from Apollo Brown, Wordsworth was in tune with the crowd and definitely picked up the atmosphere from the lack-lustre DJ. The June 12th release date for 'The Photo Album' was irrelevant at the venue, as Wordsworth informed fans that his album would be available after the venue - needless to say, we picked up a signed copy from him directly after the gig. I said how much I enjoyed the Apollo Brown collab and he told me that Ace was on a track produced by Apollo on the album - so I'm looking forward to playing it when I finish writing this.
Single Produced by Apollo Brown:
Following Wordsworth's performance, the hyped crowd awaited Ace who surprisingly took to the stage in a relaxed manner, choosing to look at the ground for a minute plus as he slowly proceeded back and forth across the stage, rapping about his feelings towards rap. This act, as it can be described was just for an artist of such calibre. He didn't take long to introduce his fellow emcees and resident D.J. however, breaking down the area each artist represented starting with Canadian D.J, Marco Polo before introducing long-time collaborator, eMC's Stricklin.
Stricklin' joined Ace throughout the event, performing many of their collaborations
Flowing through A Long Hot Summer tracks such as 'Da Grind', 'Good Ol' Love' and 'Beautiful', Ace also reintroduced Wordsworth to perform some of eMC's greatest hits from 'The Show'. Continuing through his 5-solo-LP-strong catalogue, Ace asked the crowd if there were any 'Underground fans up in here?' before dropping into his classic verse from CunninLynguists' track, 'Seasons'.
As Ace stumbled across his greatest tracks, he also plugged MF Doom collaboration, Son of Yvonne, which is set to drop soon. Breaking down the album, Ace talks about the concept and raps through the album-titled track, Son of Yvonne, which sounds like a future-classic (apologies for sound quality, shot on an iPhone 4):
Masta Ace breaks down concept for Son of Yvonne (MA Doom) project:
Son of Yvonne - Brooklyn Bodega Radio Rip:
Overall, Ace and his crew put on a great performance and one which I'll hold in high regards alongside other pioneers that I've been blessed enough to see over the years. I'm looking forward to the MF Doom collaboration now, more than ever. Now, I look on to Friday's Rhymesayers' event, Brother Ali with Grieves. Stay tuned.