Last night's Red Bull Culture Clash brought London to a stand still, or at least that's how it felt from where I was stood, pinned between the shoulders of jumping Boy Better Know fans in one of the city's hugest venues. 20,000 spectators were in attendance at Earl's Court to see the legendary grime crew compete against A$AP Mob, Jamaican soundsystem Stone Love, and Rebel Sound (i.ee David Rodigan, Chase and Status, Shy FX and MC Rage coming together specially for the event).
The Culture Clash is a night of stand-offs and stiff competition. The "clash" part is no joke, as the four crews each bring out secret weapons that can include original tracks, remixes, special guests and—best of all—insults for four intense rounds. Last night we saw BBK bringing out Lethal Bizzle, Rebel Sound and A$AP Mob attempting to steal BBK's thunder by spinning Skepta and JME's hit "That's Not Me," Stone Love playing a sweet dub of "My Boy Lollipop," and this writer almost getting crushed by thousands of BBK fans erupting to "From The Ends."
With thousands more tuned into the action online, each round's winner was decided by an enormous audience vote, and ultimately Rebel Sound took it home. But that's far from the end of the story: here's who we'd be handing out trophies and wooden spoons to if we were left in charge.
You know it's about to be a great night when Jammer shows up as his alter-ego in head-to-toe lycra.
Okay, so the A$AP Mob DJ’s tee did raise a smirk with its brazen slogan—but if you’re going to call out Hov like that, then you probably shouldn’t also use two of his tracks ("PSA" and "Niggas In Paris") in one of your peak moments of the clash.
BBK went (kind of) reggae on us in Round 3, which made us feel some type of way.
Rebel Sound, as well having come armed with dubs feauring the likes of singers Delilah and Emeli Sande, also slayed with a custom “We Found Love” dub. In fact, there really wasn’t any question who was winning the dub war overall from the moment Rebel Sound were introduced as being “armed and dangerous” by stoic broadcaster and British institution Trever McDonald in Round 1.
Obviously it was all theatrics, but Tempa T’s moment of grime betrayal by coming out on Rebel Sound’s stage was the set-up for one of my absolute favorite chants of the night. “When I say Tempa T, you say prick—TEMPA T!” instructed a disgruntled BBK. “PRICK!” the crowd screamed back. It was so basic it was beautiful.
By Round 4 it was clear that A$AP Mob weren’t going to be able to turn the clash around to their favour, but they went out hard with Danny Brown and House Of Pain.
#AsapMOB #HouseOfPain #JumpAround #redbullcultureclash
A video posted by @jenmeaddict1 on
Lead Image: Red Bull