Hip Hop Kemp 2005
HIJS was overal in de zomer eerst Dour, Londen, Splash en nu waren we op Hiphop Kemp. 3 dagen non stop hiphop, goedkoop bier, mooie vrouwen en dope acts toch?
The original plan was to rent a minivan and head over to the Czech Republic with our feet on the ground. This plan eventually fell to pieces when we found a low cost flight to Prague, and the new masterplan was to rent a car on our arrival and drive it to the city of Hradec Kralove, where the action was going to take place.
5 HIYF goons got together early in the morning to head over to the airport. On the train was boss Yid, living legend DJ Mista Sweet, our favorite goalkeeper Pete the Pornkid, and yours truly. But wait.. That’s only four. Where is the fifth goon? Calling up on our photographer Nick Namelijk, we didn’t get an answer. Apparently this was not the first time this malaka was late, so we just hoped to meet him at the airport and see if he would make it, and he did, at the last moment.
Getting off the turbulent and possibly one of the scariest flights of my life, we rented our bright red Ford and started heading over to Hotel Paola where we would reside for the next four days. Not knowing exactly where it was or what it looked like, we were in for a treat.
Hotel Paola didn’t only look like a porn hotel, but actually was one. Don’t get me wrong, there were no hookers or crack heads running around the place, but the bed and jacuzzi in this joint was just too erotic for any normal hotel. The owner of the place told us that many movies were shot in our pimped out room. I’m not joking!
The first night of our trip consisted of hitting the city and drinking the local beer. Not only was the food and beer very cheap, but it also tasted quite nice. We all decided to move to the Czech Republic as soon as possible. I even applied for citizenship the next day and was given the name Borislav Kafka.
Not getting much sleep thanks to the 4 drunk HIYF heads, I put on my earphones and escaped into the Rhymesayers planet, only to wake up 5 minutes later because Nick Namelijk kept on harassing the girls .
We arrived around 14:00 the first day of the festival to a blazing sun and half naked girls walking around the festival area. Alright, after Splash this place didn’t look too impressive, but it was nice to see how an old airport had been fully transformed into a festival area with the old hangars turned into separate party areas. That was nice, but unfortunately the sound at the main stage was laughable, which was a big downfall.
The big names for tonight were DJ Vadim and Inspectah Deck. Vadim had visited Holland before and is known to produce quality work but Inspectah on the other hand isn’t really known to give a killer performance.
It was still early, so I decided to roam around the festival area and czech out (ha!) the German vinyl booths. I managed to get a first release Black Helicopters 12" for 9 Euros and some other rare Atmosphere shit for around 12. Not bad at all.
Compared to Splash, the food at HHK was not too much better. There was your regular doner kebab and hot dog stands but besides that, nothing too special. At least at Splash you could get some African tribal food. But when comparing prices, HHK was MUCH cheaper and therefore better than Splashimus. So forget what I just said because the food at HHK was so much tastier when compared to Splash. Stupid rip off Germans.
Skinnyman was the first act of the day that I could understand. Apparently this gentleman has a following in the UK but I had never heard of him. Not surprised either, because it didn’t do much for me. I don’t want to sound like an asshole who doesn’t like anything, but UK hiphop absolutely does not move a single muscle in my body. The pingy beats and the British accent just kill the mood. Nevertheless, the crowd seemed to enjoy the literally skinny man who rapped about inequality and other verses about human rights and such. Mwah, go work for Amnesty International or something if you really want to “make a difference”.
“DJ Vadim presents One Self” is a kind of wrong name for this act. That is because of the absence of a very important name: DJ Woody. One Self consists of MC’s Blurum 13, Yarah Bravo (a most beautiful lady with the cutest eyes) and the man himself, DJ Vadim. Although I love him to death, Vadim was the man that did the least on stage. The show was completely dominated by Blurum, Yarah, and the amazing DJ Woody. These people are coming to Holland soon, so make sure you check them out. Amongst the heart-thumping songs they performed was “Bluebird”, a laid back track with a nice hook sung by Yarah. Woody commenced with his championship winning turntable skills to make the show a complete success which had the crowd wanting for more when it ended.
Now I’m going to say some wonderful things, because it was time for Inspecta Dick.. uhmm, Deck to hit the stage. Not only did this guy’s manager kick us out of the backstage area (while we were doing the DJ Vadim interview!) but he also ran around the place acting like he owned it. Not cool. It was even worse to see the organization comply with every single one of his demands.
So, Inspectah Deck took the stage and what a surprise: he was using other Wu members’ beats to hype up the crowd! Gee, I didn’t witness that with Killah Priest and his gang in Haarlem right? Of course I didn’t. And wait wait: You don’t expect me to tell you that the manager invited girls on stage to dance with Inspectah right? I mean, that would be played out as hell right? Riiiight! Hold on, hold on! Of course Inspectah’s voice did not go out of tune after 4-5 songs right? That wouldn’t be professional would it? But yeah, all these saddening things happened but the Czech crowd didn’t seem to mind. I don’t blame them either, because we get to see more dope shows in a month than they do in a whole year. Arrogant? Yes. Sad? Yes. Should Inspectah quit rap? Definitely.
The show that was put on by the Inspectah was simply embarrassing for a headliner and there really isn’t much to comment upon. Taking the stage and screaming “Whattup PRAGUE!” immediately reminded me of the Eminem incident in Rotterdam. Pfff, what an overrated man, I’m sure that at least two more dope acts could have been booked with the money invested in the Deck. Oh well, there’s always next year.
Looking at the lineup Saturday was probably the least attractive for the non-Czech or Polish heads attending the festival. The only act that I was looking forward to was Masta Ace since I didn’t really know the others.
So we hit up the festival area a bit later today knowing that we wouldn’t be missing much. Extensively taking our time with Czech chicken n’ beer, we made it on time to check out the Zombi Squad. Our initial plan was to go a bit earlier to see the Waxflowers, but things didn’t go our way and we ended up arriving late.
The Zombi squad is a duo from Groningen which the new school heads don’t really know about but apparently they were quite big back in the day. The sound system was messed up and the two gentlemen had a difficult time in the beginning trying to get the Eastern European crowd into the mood. It did however turn ok at the end when MC Sherlock let his voice be heard on the mic, and the people were immediately won over. You could easily tell that this man had been doing it for years, because he worked the mic well and got the somewhat difficult crowd bobbing their heads in a short time. This duo is working on a new album, so make sure you keep your eyes out for the Zombi Squad who bring the old school roughness with a new edge.
The Foreign Beggars are a crew from the UK (which caused me to have my doubts at first) but I was pleasantly surprised by the Indian MC “Orifice Vulgatron” who blasted his rhymes possibly faster and more articulate than Twista. I have to say that the busy crew would be nothing without this man and you can imagine a sort of Iron Click with a bit more talent and more polished beats. HIYF conducted an interview with the Foreign Beggars after the show, so make sure you check it out. I’m afraid I wont be able to tell you which songs these guys performed because I was seeing it all for the first time but nevertheless, they were your underground English act with a lot of grime and uber-fast BPM’s.
Masta Ace would HAVE to be good, or else this festival was going to be a bust until now. Going backstage and conducting our interview, I saw somebody else hanging out with Ace. It was the one and only freestyle king Wordsworth and this cat wasn’t even on the lineup! The crowd was going to be in for a dope show, I could already sense it.
The Ace had performed at Scribble Jam a week earlier and had just flown in to Prague that same day. The professionalism was top notch with this MC who showed no signs of being tired or jetlag. From the first minute of his set to the last, it was obvious that Masta Ace was going to be the #1 highlight of this festival. I didn’t care that Non Phixion and Last Emperor were performing tomorrow, because there was no way that this show was going to be topped off.
The MC not only performed his classics from albums such as Disposable Arts and A Long Hot Summer, but he also incorporated fun things like hosting his own game show live on stage and asking the crowd who their favorite MC’s were. The set continued with classics such as “Don’t Understand”, “Games”, and “Take a Walk”. The performance was really stellar, and I’m definitely checking out this man when he comes to Holland again. It was also dope to see the track “Beautiful” being performed with Wordsworth. Ahh, this show was really great, I’m seriously speechless and the set ended with an acapella version of “No Regrets” that had half of the crowd in tears. It was simply beautiful, thousands of people rapping along to the Masta and feeling the emotions. Po po po to the Masta!
The last day of the festival was a promising one. We would see our pride and joy MOD the Black Marvel with his Supercharger crew followed up by the Last Emperor and Non Phixion.
It was around 18:45 which meant that MOD should be hitting the stage but the extravagant crew was nowhere to be seen. This was unusual, because it was improbable for these guys to miss their show since we had seen them hanging around the festival area yesterday. Then came the news that scared us to our wits… Apparently the guys had an accident and therefore they were late. Luckily nobody was injured and the crew would commence with the show an hour later.
The MOD set was a bit different than the one we are used to. Of course, the bangers from the Campaign album were played, but also a lot of new shit was tried out on stage. The gentlemen looked like they were ready for war, and that is exactly what they brought to the stage. A lot of aggressive raps along with literally going into the crowd made the Czech crowd go wild. It was crazy to see the people almost fighting over the free CD’s that were thrown from the stage. The MOD set finished off in style with “Bilderberg” which was also the track that got the most love. Good luck to the guys in their effort to win the Grote Prijs this year!
Cherry Hill is a name I wasn’t too familiar with, but seeing that they were from the States, I wanted to check them out. Cherry Hill is a band with the front man Nie Cherryhill who used to tour with groups like Living Color. Story has it that this man ended up in Prague, and decided to get some musicians together in order to create this band. To be honest, it wasn’t too inspiring and didn’t differ much from your average live hiphop band that we already see in Holland. Not too inspired, I went to eat a chicken sandwich and wait for the next act: Last Emperor.
Last Emperor got a lot of love from the crowd the moment he stormed the stage. The one man army proved to all the “busy” acts with 10 MC’s on stage that all you need is one mic and a DJ to do things right. Rocking the stage for nearly an hour, he opened up with “Echo Leader” to be followed up by bangers such as “Suzie Wong” and “Secret Wars”. We were all happy with these tracks but ultimately disappointed by the new song he performed which was supposed to be on his upcoming project. Produced by the Beatminers, this track had a cliché chorus and wasn’t too impressive. HIYF managed to interview the Last Emperor after his set, so keep yours eyes and ears open for the next update.
Non Phixion was the absolute headliner of this festival. It was also an absolute disappointment that the headliner absolutely did not show up. Yeah that’s right, Non Phixion did not come… There are many stories floating around regarding why they didn’t show up, and the most prominent one seems to be that the staff of Delta Airlines messed up in informing the men where to be at what time. I personally don’t know what to believe, but I do know that Non Phixion are serious when it comes to performing and contracts and all that. It was a shame, but that’s life and nothing can be done about it. The Czech heads shouldn’t be too sad because they are apparently scheduled to perform in Prague soon.
Although the sound quality and the majority of the performers were not of world quality, it is still possible to have a very good time at HHK without spending too much money. My advice would be:
- Go the Czech Republic a couple of days earlier, spend some time in Prague
- After that, go to the festival in Hradec Kralove (but book a cheap hotel instead of using a tent)
- Make sure you go with at least four people.
- Be prepared to drink, you will be doing a lot of it
Follow these king pimp commandments, and you are bound to enjoy yourselves for a week or so.
Highlight: Masta Ace
Worst: Non Phixion not showing up
Toilet: Dixie Style
Damage: 30 Euros for 3 days