Hip hop can also be funny. As much as you can’t even imagine.
Chali 2na yesterday’s gig at Cargo was a mixture of good music, hip hop attitude, friendship, happiness and good feelings.
Dj Charlee Brown was playing some classic hip hop tunes while people was arriving to the venue. I was on my own thoughts sitting down on the edge of the stage when Chali and his crew came through the door on his way to the backstage. He looked at me and put his hand on the heart and afterwards shaked my hand. I said ‘nice to meet you’, and he draw a big smile on his face.
That attitude is what I like to feel from the rappers. I like when artists make you feel like one of his mates. And clearly, Chali 2na makes you feel this way. I saw once Jurassic 5 in Madrid and I remember that gig as one of the bests hip hop shows I’ve ever seen.
The support bands
Yesterday, there were two support bands. First entrusted to break the ice and put people in the mood was Teef and his Dj. He opened his concert with a Fantômas tune that really surprised me positively. Teef did a good show and he really achieved the challenge of making the people start to dance, get closer to the stage and starting to feel that they actually were in a show. His music was a kind of UK garage, dubstep, drum n’ bass, hip hop and some metal influences that makes it really impressive. Teef’s got a raver-punk attitude on stage that knocks you out.
After another 15 minutes hip hop session by Dj Charlee Brown, Lazy Habits were the next band to hit the stage. They’ve got an original formation: drummer, percussion, dj, bassist, two horns and two mc’s. They play a rarely seen hip hop, which intends to be carefree and easy, focused to party and enjoyment with funny lyrics. Once they’re on stage you can notice they’re British, and in a kind of way that’s what I liked most of them. Sometimes hip hoppers try to imitate americans and they don’t show a strong personality. Lazy Habits though, shown they can adapt the american hip hop style into the British lifestyle.
Big up for the fisherman
After them was time for the main artist of the night: Chali 2na. He hit the stage at 10pm with a three-members band and another MC supposed to be Chali’s brother, though I don’t know if he really was his brother.
Chali’s gig was great. He devoted himself to all the audience at Cargo. He started playing a few songs from his brand new album Fish outta water, but also played some stuff from the Jurassic 5 discography with special stress to songs like Freedom or What’s golden.
Chali’s lyrics have always been a duality of fun and conciousness, trying to be close to the listener empathizing with him or her by telling stories that happen to the common people. He focus any topic from a different point of view and that makes a big difference, and there’s also the fact that he’s got a unique style. Chali’s voice sounds strong, with personality and flows easily over the music.
The band that’s touring with him needs to be specially mentioned. The bass player uses a seven string bass guitar, and he really enjoys what he does on the stage. The drummer is perfectly coordinated and has got skills that go much further than hip-hop. The keyboard player brings the melodies to the tunes and also controls the synths. All together sound like if they were many more musicians.
They did several solos, and played different styles of music, from funk to blues, from classic to pop, from rap to frantic ska… It really was a nice party and the people recognized so by applauding and showing love and respect to a guy who is a music brick-worker. And after the show he stayed with the people to meet them, take pictures and sign autographs.
And yeah, as it couldn’t be in any other way, there was a music blink to Michael Jackson: they played ‘I want you back’.
Great night, great bands, great venue.