Een nieuw festival in Rotterdam. De kunst van hiphop of de kunst van bestolen worden? Dit was een nacht die je niet snel zal vergeten (Tekst: Engels).
Entering the Off Corso, I was hyped! The venue looked beautiful and seeing Non Phixion for the fourth time would be even better. Not forgetting DJ Kool Herc ofcourse. Kool Herc! In Rotterdam! Damn!
The organization informed us about the festival and said that the opening acts would hit the stage around 20:00 while Non Phixion would perform at 23:00. Reason enough to hit the venue at 22:30 and check the scene out.
The first disappointment was the moment we met in front of the Off Corso. An A4 printed paper read “Kool Herc Will Not Be Performing Tonight.” Seeing the disappointment on DJ Mista Sweet’s face there was nothing I could do but sigh. Hiphop promoters….Blehhh… After entering, I was afraid that the show would be over before we even arrived. There were around 50-60 people inside and this was a festival that had around 8 acts performing that Friday night. Could the attendance really be this low? Why?
The first thing I wondered was “Is the Rotterdam crowd aware of the evening?” To host such a big event and not put “NON PHIXION” in huge letters on the flyer is a big mistake. If the headliner is not even promoted fully, how can you expect a large crowd to turn up for unknown acts like Iron Click and Al-J?
The first act hit the stage around 00:15 and I was not impressed. Music Mystro from the UK (a gentleman I had never heard of before) performed with static rhymes that were unimpressive. The use of Sean Paul beats did not help much either. But I did not get upset. I mean, Non Phixion would be performing soon… right?
In the meantime, DJ Fanatic hit the stage and spun some old banger hits from Big L, Gangstarr and Wu Tang. It’s good stuff but actually I wanted it to end because so many performances were still to come.
After Mystro, another unknown English act hit the stage. They talked about their 25 inch penises and how dope that was. This is when I started thinking to myself “Oh no, is everyone on the flyer gonna perform here tonight? But that would mean that we would be stuck here until 06:00… But that’s not possible… Is it?”
Well ladies and gentlemen, it surely is. SO MANY acts started hitting the stage that I lost count. Im sure some of them were dope but at around 03:00 I really started getting sick and tired of this. For me personally, Kypski was the highlight of the evening. After so many monotonous rap performances, this man killed it with his song selection and dope instrumentals. He was a bit offbeat with his scratching, but nevertheless it was dope to hear “Shitty Bum” being played live. It was nice and refreshing to say the least.
It was time for no less than three crews from Rotterdam in a row. Iron Click, a relatively new and unknown group rushed to the stage, shouting “We need more mics!” Holy shit, they certainly did need more mics, because there were at least fifteen people on stage! After a few minutes it appeared that only a few of the guys on stage had something to say, so the added value of the 10+ other peoples there remains a mystery to me. Iron Click’s beats sounded nice and raw, and the crowd reacted quite well to them, but the show in itself left a lot to be desired though. Like the rest of the evening, it was in one word: chaotic. Well, back to the oldschool then, with Asic & Bionic and Supersonic Cru who laid the foundation for Rotterdam Hiphop back in the mid to late 80’s. Asic & Bionic only performed three songs (this was the standard back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, ed.), but these three songs were very convincing and the crowd enjoyed themselves thoroughly. By now all Rotterdam heads gathered at the front of the stage, because the legendary Supersonic Cru’s intro was put on. Supersonic Cru, with Def Rhymz, entered the stage and the crowd literally jumped for joy. The show was very entertaing and reached its climax when two Bad Boys (Oldschool Rotterdam crew, with breakers, graf writers, mc’s and dj’s) displayed what breaking is all about. It was just great to see a part of hiphop-history live on stage again. When looking at the show more critically though, Def Rhymes had completely forgotten his rhymes and was a bit lost on stage, but nobody really seemed to care. It was so fucking dope to merely witness this show that the rest didn’t really matter.
Then it was time for Belgium’s biggest crew: Starflam. The succesful crew from Liege, minus member Balo who has just left the group, put on the most complete show of the evening, to be honest. The set was tight, diverse and didn’t get boring for one second. Starflam’s show was the perfect warm-up for Non Phixion, maybe the evening was saved after all?
You can imagine the stress I’m experiencing right now. It’s past 04:00 and new acts are constantly hitting the stage. Around 05:15 I looked over at my buddy who was sitting next to the huge speakers. Then I witnessed something I had never seen in my life. While the bass was thumping from Turkish mc Al-J’s set, my friend was lying down and was sleeping like a baby. Ladies and gentlemen, only “The Art of Hiphop” can do something like that to a person. Not to say that Al-J was wack (which he wasn’t, it was better than I expected) but everyone was so tired that people were resorting to laying down on the lounge sofas and chillin’ near the corners of the venue.
It was finally 04:45 and the moment we had all been waiting for was about to happen. By this point in time, my eyes were bloodshot red, my legs were hurting, I had spent around 20 euros on Red Bulls, and I was contemplating on becoming an R&B head…. BUT… It was time for NON PHIXION!
Starting the set with “CIA is trying to Kill Me” the nosebreakers were moshing up the place. It was funny to see some heads seeing Non Phixion for the first time, because hearing comments like “Yo, you guys need to chill, stop pushing around man” made me want to smack people around. Happily moshing our way into the 5th song, the mics and sound was cut! What?!
It was the moment we feared. The organization actually turned off the mics because they had passed their time schedule! Now I was really about to lose it. Waiting and watching different acts for the past 6 hours, my only reason to stay in that crappy place was Non Phixion. Only seeing the men from Brooklyn perform for 20 minutes really killed all of my aspirations of seeing them for the fourth time. At least Sabac was dope enough to rap without his mic while the crowd finished off the chorus to “It’s Us”. The concert finished off with the crew promising to return to Rotterdam with Necro. I pray that that gig won’t be organized by the same people.
I mean, this festival was so ridiculous and braingashing, I’m just going to get out of all of my journalism ethics and talk about the real highlight of the evening. It was not Non Phixion’s 20 minute set, Kypski (I know a couple paragraphs ago I said that he was the highlight but forget it), or Supasonic Crew. It was the girl behind the bar. If you are reading this (which you probably aren’t) just want to say that Im the guy who ordered several drinks from you even though your colleagues were free. I know Im just another customer to you but I really want you to know that you are the prettiest girl that I have witnessed in my 21 years of living and I would give up everything I have just for a conversation with you…. As you can see readers, by 04:00 I had lost my mind…
I ended up going to bed around 06:30am with the feeling of really being ripped off. All the frustration and anger built up inside of me but the thought of the bartender girl eased me into a long and deep slumber.
Meer info: http://www.artofhiphop.com
Hoogtepunt: Kypski-Starflam-Supersonic Cru
Toilet: 50 Cents (!)
Damage: 20 Euros!