The UK rap scene is going from strength to strength, with afro trap and drill artists gaining millions of fans, views and listens. However, although these two particular strands of UK rap are receiving increased amounts of attention, there is also a wide range of upcoming artists that use a more traditional hip-hop sound, and the person leading the way is undoubtedly Ocean wisdom. The young, Brighton rapper is one of the most talented MCs to arise from the UK scene and with the help of High Focus records has begun to build an impressive following. The up comer initially gained plaudits for the speed at which he could rap, with an article detailing how he could spit faster than Eminem; however, Wisdom is much more than just the party trick of rapping fast. His array of flows mixed with potent, clever lyrics makes him a standout artist with a clear future ahead of him.
10th may saw him play his biggest show to date; selling out the electric ballroom in Camden. The energy was immense even before Wisdom hit the stage, with a stellar line up of opening acts. Kamikaze was first to hit stage with a killer grime set that had the crowd bouncing. His unique flows over classic grime instrumentals were the perfect way to warm up the arena and he was followed by Sleazy F who seemed to have an abundance of fans in the building. Personally, this was my first introduction to the rapper, and was instantly drawn to the rapper’s knocking instrumentals and stage presence. Grime legend footsie also made an appearance, blessing the crowd with his ‘wheel up’ bars and a stellar performance of the Newham Generals classic ‘Hard’.
With energy high, thanks to the opening acts as well as large amounts of alcohol, and perhaps some other substances looking at some of the attendees, Ocean Wisdom took to the stage. It was clear to see that he did not come to play games; with his high-octane flow gassing the audience. Being able to pull off a flow like Ocean’s in a live setting is no easy feet and his breath control is outstanding; something only a handful of rappers can manage. ‘Bat and Ball’ was a particular highlight for me, which the catchy chorus being recited by the entire crowd.
Ocean also brought through some special guests, with the first couple being UK hip hop legends Rodney P and Jhest, who aided Wisdom’s performances of tracks ‘Righteous’ and ‘Less is More’ respectively. Paying homage to some of the original UK rappers seems rare in the scene so it’s refreshing to see a new school rapper buck this trend. These UK hip hoop legends, were followed by grime royalty in the from of P money and Dizzee Rascal, who both brought their A game to show exactly why they are held in such high regard.
‘Revvin’’, ‘High Street’ and ‘Ting Dun’ were my highlights of the night, and Ocean Wisdom put on an extremely impressive show. I only hope that his popularity grows, as we need to make sure that we are supporting true talent coming out the UK, and not many are more talented than Ocean Wisdom.
Written By: Daniel McNab (@DNabs)
Photo by: Arron Watson-McNab (@FacesPlacesLaces)