It all started with a TV show. In 2014 friends Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp, Asim Chaudhry and Hugo Chegwin sparked up the concept which eventually became something called, People Just Do Nothing. Now in it’s fourth season, the mockumentary follows pirate radio station Kurupt FM, which emanates from a tower block in west London. The show chronicles the haphazard adventures of the station’s ‘staff’, with its slapstick humour striking a chord with modern audiences. Following the success of the show, Kurupt FM evolved from the screen to the stage, with the cast touring venues and festivals all over UK. Their music is far beyond the stage of being parody, with them now having bagged a space on Grim Sickers’s ‘All Star Remix’ alongside Grime legends P Money and President T, along with their own standalone tracks.
Kurupt are a part of a wider trend for comedians to hit the mainstream music industry. One of the men of the minute Big Shaq (rap alter ego of comedian Michael Dapaah) has amassed over three million streams on his single ‘Man’s Not Hot’. Love Island duo Chris and Kem recently released their debut single ‘Little Bit Leave It’ via Relentless Records. Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s happening, and the Weird Al Yankovic style of parody music is in.
Kurupt’s latest triumph was this week headlining Camden’s iconic venue the Roundhouse, supported by Rude Kid, P Money and Mike Skinner. Spanning over two days, the shows are an important milestone in the garage crew’s already impressive roster of performances. Having spent the summer doing the festival circuit, their headline show is the cherry on top of a memorable string of performances. We hit the show on the Wednesday evening.
Unfortunately not arriving early enough to catch any of the support acts, they have clearly done their job well – the beer has been flowing (I can see most of it spilt on the venue’s floor), and the crowd are thoroughly energised. As Kurupt take to the stage, the show resembles a rave more than a standard gig. Working their way through genres, it is not long before the crew throw a respectful nod to the late Master Ace, who sadly passed away this week from a brain tumour. After turning down the lights and getting everyone to hold up lighters and phone torches, they launch into Pay As U Go bangers in an apt musical tribute.
The energy then proceeds to turn up even further, as Decoy goes into a bashment set. The rave influence of the group’s set seems to have made this show particularly booze driven – as I look around in the audience (I have pushed my way close to the front by this point), the vibe is more 4am in da club than the usual gig environment. I find this a unique and appealing part of Kurupt’s influence. Though the group may have started as a parody, the enjoyment and energies of the audience are very much real.
As I’d seen the snapchat and Instagram stories from the evening before, I was ready for the set to be teeming with special guests. First on the roster is Stylo G, who launches into a barricade of bashment bangers, including (of course) his iconic track ‘Call Me A Yardie’. Having grown up on this song, this moment is probably my highlight of the entire evening. This is followed by a completely (and hilariously) change in tempo, as the stage clears for Chabuddy G to perform a Kurupt style solo rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’.
After this short interlude, Steves takes to the decks for a fiery old school Grime set, with tracks such as Treble Klef’s ‘Ghetto Kyote’ receiving particularly strong receptions from the audience. Keeping up with the Grime spirit, our next guest is north London emcee Capo Lee, who delivers a booming performance of ‘Mud’. In between Kurupt tracks we are then blessed with performances from Big Narstie and D Double E.
As the evening draws to a close, the crew continue to throw out the classics, with Shy FX’s ‘Original Nuttah’ inspiring drinks to fly and a well deserved wheel up. MC Grinder is feeling himself by this stage, proclaiming to the crowd that he is the ‘best mc in the world’. The group close the night with the Spooky remix of their single ‘Get Out Of The Way’, which an enthusiastic crowd chant all the way past show closing time and out of the Roundhouse.
Filled to the brim with special guests and high octane moments, Kurupt turned a legendary London venue into a rave, and we loved every minute of it.