I know Hip Hop, I live it, I breathe it, I do it. I love it as much as when I first discovered it, but I’ve been schooled on it, went to college and graduated from the university of rap. As a DJ I’m as passionate about new Hip Hop as I was when I used to hit up record stores or harass record companies for promo vinyl.
This is probably why I find the Afrobeat genre fascinating, its still new to me, I’m still discovering it. The music is different, everything from the song structures, drum patterns, and melodies to the baselines are unpredictable.
Working with my good friend D’Banj a few years back opened my eyes to the levels of musicianship and creativity within the Afrobeat genre. The majority of the UK only knew D’Banj for his hit single ‘Oliver’ and when the Wireless Festival announced that he was on the line up I wasn’t sure how he was going to rock an 8000 capacity tent for 30 minutes with one single. He told me he was going to use a 18 piece band and I was like ‘Why?’…..then I saw him perform.
That performance was a lesson for me. D’Banj rocked the capacity crowd from start to finish, his band delivered the definitive Afrobeat performance with flawless expertise. Judging from the crowd reaction, 30 minutes clearly wasn’t long enough for the newly acquired middle England fanbase.
Many Afrobeat artists have emerged from Nigeria and across Africa. Premiere artists such as Wizkid and Davido are edging closer to global domination, whilst Mr Eazi together with the UK’s Eugy have owned the summer with their genre defining smash ‘Dance For Me’. I wanted to hook up with Eazi because I’ve seen what ‘Skin Tight’ does to a club. I saw what his music did to the crowd at the Wireless Festival this year, and I’ve heard people talk about him like he is some kind of mythical figure who is huge in Nigeria and blowing up the UK.
Mr Eazi is an exciting artist, incredibly confident but not that cocky type of confidence. He has that authoritative type of confidence which may explain the secret to the success of his cultural takeover of the UK.
Mr Eazi has an international overview which is rare for an emerging artist. He describes London as a “Hub of different cultures” and understands how to break music in London, Accra, Toronto, Lagos, etc. He recently sold out the Forum in London with his ‘Life is Eazi’ show…that’s 2300 people who paid to see him. Most signed UK artists cant pull that kind of crowd in their own Country, and he is already planning to put on a show at the Brixton academy which holds 5000 people.
For me this podcast is as important as any of the previous podcasts with Stormzy, Alan Kingdom, or Yo Gotti. Eazi is changing the game across several different continents at the same time. He is influencing our sound and working with our artists. Without any kind of deal or US co-sign he is a self made international artist, breaking his own records…with ease, or as Mr Eazi nonchalantly puts it, “We just vibe as the wave carries us”.
Subscribe here for future episodes of the ‘Hip Hop Raised Me’ Podcast.
‘Hip Hop Raised Me’ the book will be out on October 6th via Thames & Hudson, and is available to pre-order right now, right here.
To coincide with the book, the official ‘Hip Hop Raised Me’ 3 x CD compilation album is out on October 7th and available to pre-order. Tickets to the ‘Hip Hop Raised Me’ show are available to purchase now via www.gigsandtours.com.