The 28th of October saw 808INK’s baby come to life, 8pm at Birthdays in Dalston. His name is Billy. The birth was a gully affair. As we all knew from the time that his coming became known, Billy was going to be a heavy baby and we were all to carve out the space to accommodate him. A child like this had not been delivered in London before, he was announced on the 8th of October and within 20 days it was time to meet him.
I rolled up to the venue around 8pm with a few expectations. I expected a gross amount of energy, I expected intense moshing and sweat, a lot of sweating. What was delivered is what I had anticipated, and in some cases more. Billy’s Pop Up was the celebration of the birth of a new addition to the Gully. Nihilismus, Neverland Clan and Denzel Himself came out to commemorate and of course to showcase.
First to take to the stage were Nihilismus, a collective that consists of Benny Mails, Darie Street Soul, Fidel, C John Star and Ce$ta. Benny Mails took centre stage and caught the attention of those of us in the audience who began to fill up the space in front of the stage. It was a relatively relaxed vibe to begin with; heads nodding, necks bopping and shoulders alternating in direction, the audience listening. Until the 808INK lads (Mumblez, Charmer and Anubi$) returned to the venue from grabbing a bite to eat and began to get the room moving.
As their Lundun Associates were performing, 808INK (alongside members of B.E.V Gang) were working on accelerating the energy levels. Jumping on stage, standing amongst the crowd but locking eyes with and “hyping the homies”. As they became more and more gassed, their delivery increased in passion and intensity. Eventually all those that had gathered for the birth of Gully followed suit and the moshing began.
Ryan Hawaii, Producer Omelet and Okimi Nine behind the camera, came out to represent Neverland Clan. Which begged the question, where was Daniel OG at? The man with the plan was missing from the set but his clan ensured that the show went on. They performed tracks from The Playstation EP and Daniel OG’s Art Attack EP.
In between performances DJ Stallion was on the decks, spinning Section Boyz Lock Arf’s and Busta Rhymes Know What You Want’s. As usual, the smoking area/the Birthday’s entrance became occupied during each interval but this time the majority stuck around because a surprise special guest had been announced.
I vividly remember ‘Himself pausing during ‘Thrasher’, uttering “This, is a mosh pit” and then demonstrating by running into the pit and ferociously swinging arms. This here, from this point onwards, is where it all got incredibly electric. Bottles smashed, drinks splashed, elbows flew, bodies fell and got straight back up.
Birthday’s closes at midnight and time was running out whilst 808INK we’re yet to perform. After seeking out Mumblez Black Ink, Billy’s parents came on stage. DJ Stallion spun Q’d Up and 808Charmer introduced the set by pronouncing the order of Lundun “Let me tell you suttin’. Round ‘ere it’s dog eat dog, yeah? It’s dog nyam dog, yeah?”.
808INK’s set was like an adrenaline rush. Like reaching the front of the cue for a rollercoaster, you know it’s going to be fun but at the same time the night was coming close to an end. When you’re on the ride you’re living in and enjoying the moment (unless of course you’re more of a spectator than a participator). From the Billy’s Home album we heard Q’d up, Billy, Crooked Bad and the one that almost got away Suede Jaw. The last two of which acknowledged Kojey Radical’s presence. Mumblez spits “plug this Opium through your speaker, you’ll listen deeper” on Crooked Bad and he offered a nod to Kojey who “bruk it down” during ‘Suede Jaw’.
If you missed the night, I have placed a few 30 second snippets below. If you’re a fan of their music, 808INK are most definitely worth seeing live. Having experienced Billy’s Home live, I am now personally able to attach memories, and apply all of my senses when listening to the music. I can add to my mind’s picture of the sound, as you should be able to when you go to any live show.
For those of you that couldn’t be there, worry not for there is another opportunity. On the 26th of November 808INK will be performing at Cafe 1001 in Shoreditch, alongside Nihilismus, Ojerime, Lash Van Negro and others.
— ELLE CHAPO (@fuckingelle) October 29, 2015
— £55.2million (@RICHHSAVAGE) October 29, 2015