As yet another hip hop icon rolls into Liverpool, Getintothis’ Michael Fowler sees MOP set the Kazimier alight.
Liverpool has been truly spoilt for the hip hop legends that have passed through this year, we’ve been lucky enough to bear witness to Chali 2na, Dead Prez, Ghostface Killah to name just a few, and each act has set the Kazimier alight.
In comes the second to last massive gig of the year (Method Man and Redman arriving this Sunday, of course) in the form of perhaps hip hop’s most angry pairing, MOP, the duo consisting of Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame.
Getintothis remembers MOP best for their 2000 album, Warriorz, which was the perfect mix of incredible backing samples and the thug wordplay your mum didn’t want you to hear.
The night started well, leading with DJs Dalema and No Fakin’ putting in some good time on the turntables, followed by the awesome set of Black Josh and Lee Scott.
Black Josh is one of the most exciting rappers GIT has seen in a whole lot of time, his slowed down stoner rap harks back to the best American hip hop of the 90s and the dreamy style of Mos Def. His lyrical wit stood out, “If bitches be Pokemon, then I’m Ash Ketchum.” Yes, he’s no pioneer, he’s not stamping the misogyny out of hip hop anytime soon, but that was pretty funny. You also have to give credit to any rapper who plays a song about Paul Scholes in Liverpool and still keeps the crowd on his side.
Lee Scott and Black Josh make a good pairing and bounce off each other well. Lee’s approach is more aggressive and less charming, but his wide range of influences and inspiration, 80s horror films, the Illuminati, Manchester and even dietary requirements, make for some pretty cool tunes. Stand out track, Yes He Did, gets heads nodding.
MOP finally arrive on stage at half 12, they’d already played in Manchester that night but they saved something special for The Kazimier audience. Lil’ Fame came on sloshing Wild Turkey Bourbon into the mouths of the front row like a hip hop Jesus and Billy Danze was pouring what looked like Hennessy into more thirsty throats.
They kicked right into Cold as Ice, the irresistible bass line getting the crowd bouncing, then flowed through their set using Dead Prez’s Bigger than Hip Hop backing track reminding the Kaz audience of stic.man and M-1’s visit earlier this year.
The highlight from MOP’s latest album, Street certified, released last month was Shake Em Up, which does what it says on the tin and a mosh pit began to swirl. Upon hearing the horns of Ante Up, everyone then went wild, MOP putting every drop of energy they had left into the awesome aggression that the song deserves.