The Red Bull Culture Clash event at Earls Court on 30 October, was the best event I’ve experienced in a long time. The fact that I watched the event on live stream couldn’t take away from the experience of watching veteran DJ David Rodigan school a new generation in the art of clashing.
Four big sound inna one big land
De boom sound a play de other three team gone
Ring the Alarm – Tenna Saw
Rodigan came together with Chase & Status, MC Rage and Shy FX to create a sound system exclusively for the Red Bull event. You could tell from Rebel Sounds first salvo that they had come prepared as Sir Trevor McDonald came out of retirement to announce the slewing of rival sounds UK Grime collective Boy Better know (BBK), US Hip Hop crew A$AP Mob and Jamaican veteran sound system Stone Love.
I had to create a playlist as I’ve yet to find a channel that has the whole event. But these videos give the full flavour of the night.
Shots were fired and the opposition should have taken heed from Rebel Sound’s first round that they came to par not to play but it wasn’t until the last round that young guns A$AP Mob came to understand what clashing was all about. They brought out House of Pain to do their infamous song Jump Around (even I was gassed) but it was too little, too late. Now they know: Rule one of Sound Clash demoralise and disorientate your opponents.
For a moment it seemed that BBK’s Skepta was getting emotional as Rebel Sound pulled Tempa T out of their box of tricks. Tempa came out in a red boxing robe and had ‘Bait’ written across his t-shirt. I laughed hard. BBK appeared to lose focus for a while and Tempa started trending on Twitter as people called him out for snaking and not repping BBK. The fact that Tempa had been touring with Chase & Status all year was forgotten as people lost their minds. It was pure entertainment for me.
— Red Bull UK (@RedBullUK) October 30, 2014
BBK did bring the sound and a bag a man dem (basically anyone who is anyone in grime) they went in on Tempa T which was fine but when they told Rebel Sound to stop talking about Jamaica, Rodigan had to school them about the history of Sound Clash. So if Boy Better Know didn’t know they bloody well know now! It was good to see Lewisham’s own Novelist on stage with the BBK crew and admittedly, if BBK hadn’t been clashing against Rebel Sound, I would have been behind them 100% to win.
It appeared that A$AP Mob had failed to read the rules of clashing and came to do a concert and all crews slated them for it. Rodigan at one point told them to collect their cheque and go home. Seriously, they seemed clueless about the meaning of Sound Clash but they did drop some dubplates in round three so respect to them for that. The only thing that spoiled that set (for me anyway) was their use of scantily clad twerking females. That was so lame and desperate.
BBK on the other hand had no excuse, as they had been to Jamaica this year to learn about clashing. They should have been prepared to be thrown off their game a bit. Their round three left a lot to be desired to be honest. They didn’t have the best diss lyrics but they did shame David Rodigan by playing an old Peter Andre, Mysterious Girl tune that Rodigan had dropped sometime in the distant past. They reduced the set to age jokes and admitting that they didn’t have any tunes from their competitors because their tunes ‘are so shit’. More a playground diss than a Sound Clash battle.
Stone Love are veterans in the game but they didn’t read the 20,000 strong crowd very well but nuff respect goes to them still.
BBK won the 2012 Sound Clash and maybe they expected to win it this time round. I think they and A$AP Mob were sufficiently schooled and will come good for any future sound clashes that they take part in.
Watch the videos and catch jokes as Rebel Sound brings dubplate after dubplate including the Emeli Sande dubplate that the crowd and the people watching live were absolutely not ready for. I had to do a chair slide myself. Could anything beat Emeli Sand swearing and parring the opposition?
I had the biggest laugh when Rebel Sound dropped the Sigma Nobody to Love dub at the end. ‘Your sound is so tired, your losing, your dying but no one gives a f*ck’.
I tweeted that David Rodigan was the scout of be preparedness and Rebel Sound proved me right as they played winning dubs when it was announced that they had beaten the competition. #Goodtimes
Apparently there were copyright issues regarding some of A$AP Mob’s set in round one so videographers had to remove those clips.