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El‐P at Scala Review

  • 4/5
  • Bands: El‐P
  • Venue: Scala
  • Gig: El-p
  • Gig date: 12th September 2012
  • Posted on 14th September 2012 by Thom

The never ending debate that all rap fans love to pipe on about exploded back into my life earlier this week. In a good way mind. I found myself milling around a moderately busy Scala in Kings Cross awaiting the arrival of one of the chaps whose name constantly pops up in the aforementioned debate...

Who is the best rapper ever?

El-P is a craftsman, actually scratch that, he is a master tactician. In regards to everything that you could hope for from any artist knee deep in the rap leftfield, El-P has consistently produced the goods. Every single record, whether it is as lead emcee or head producer has been worth its weight in gold. Each and every time and without fail.

Let's just say that myself, the gang I was with (big up Krispy) and the rest of the thousand or so Def Jookies crammed in the venue were INCREDIBLY EXCITED to witness his arrival on stage.

NY rapper (Queens to be precise) very own ginger dwarf Despot took to the stage and put in a seriously strong warm-up innings. Stood at what must be 5ft 6" (at best) and with support from only an iPad playing his beats, he commanded the stage through a furious set of 8-10 tracks. A warm up well appreciated from everyone in the venue might I add.

 Then came the man, the myth, the mystery, the legend.

El-P took to the stage as Phil Collin's classic tune 'In The Air Tonight' bellowed out over the PA. Amidst the smoke riddled stage, he appeared looking thoroughly gangster in a black velvet bomber jacket and red trucker hat. The crowd went bananas and the celebration began. 

El-P rattled through a handful of new album tracks before the smoke had even settled. He addressed the audience with warmth and gratitude, expressing his joy at London coming out and continuing to support the cause, 10-15 years on from his first musical moves were made. Amidst the new tracks came classic bangers and El-P delivered each and every with panache and swagger. All in all, this was just about as accomplished and experimentally successful a rap show as we have seen.

If the debate of 'the greatest ever' is to rage on to eternity then El-P can rest happy in the knowledge that he is always going there-or-there-abouts in the eyes of each and every member that made the trip down to the Scala on Wednesday night.

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