Birmingham got shut down for the 1xtra Live event at the NIA on Saturday 15 November 2014. The line-up for the annual event included live performances from ‘The Queen of R&B’ – Mary J Blige, Maybach Music’s hip hop boss - Rock Ross, as well as UK favourites; Krept & Konan, Fuse ODG, Boy Better Know, Lethal B, Jess Glyne, Sigma and Tinashe as well as extra special guests on the night.
The 1xtra Live line up tore up the Birmingham National Indoor Arena in front of over 10,000 people lucky enough to get a ticket for the sell out event. Leading upto it tickets were being sold for as much as £60 a ticket via social media sites.
The highlight on the night for many was Rick Ross who came out and shutdown the place . . . the crowd went nuts. The night was complete for the ladies with Mary J Blige who went through her extensive catalogue of the R&B classics such as ‘Real Love’, ‘Family Affair’ and blessed the audience with a exclusives of her new tracks. Some of the younger crowd started to 'get off' and leave as Mary completed her set, but that took nothing away from the R&B icon's monster performance.
There were BIG performances by all artists on the night, but UK rap duo Krept & Konan sent the place into over-drive when they were joined on stage by Chip, Wretch 32 (Go cop his new track 6 Words now via iTunes), Yungen and Fekky for the remix of 'Don't Waste My Time'.
Lethal B took to the stage (in some tight trousers . . . but don’t watch dat) and heated up the arena. He nearly took the roof off with his ‘More Fire Crew’ classic ‘Oi’. Everyone was vibing, then Ozzie B and Neeko walked on stage 'Oi Oiiii'. The crowd went crazy when Lethal performed ‘POW’ and his other recent bangers . . . You could say his performance was Deeeench!
Fuse ODG took to the stage (in some BRIGHT trousers and shinnny shoes . . . But don’t watch dat either) performing all his chart topping classics. It was refreshing to see African music represented on such a massive stage as there were so many other African representatives on the night performing on the other sets. Fuse ODG had people dancing in the aisles and everyone doing their own versions of the now infamous ‘Azonto’.
The biggest crew in Grime right now ‘were inside the place!’. Boy Better Know, the boys better known as BBK (you like the tongue twister there! ;) performed ‘Too many man!’ – Oh my dayz . . . I thought the crowd were gonna start hyper ventilating! The crowd loved the vibes BBK brought to the stage and the place went 'grimey!'. DJ Maximum was on decks with Skepta, JME, Frisco, Shorty and Jammer.
I got asked "Who was the best on the night?" . . . . Bwwwoy . . . each time I say a particular act, I then change my mind! The whole event went off, and people will like different sets for different reasons based on their genre of choice. Personally . . . I liked the BBK set. It reminded me of an old skool US rap set - A real rawness about the music and set that reminded me of some old skool us rap concerts. But then again . . . Lethal B put it DOWN! And so did Rozay! Mary dun out the place . . . and Krept and Konan mashed it down . . . . Ohh, I'm confused again!
The Rick Ross After Party
Rick Ross was special guest at Electric in Birmingham. Hosted by 1xtra’s Seani B alongside DJ Silk, Demz, Asher D, Kid J, Jetza, Nightrate, Aycee and RB. The place was RAAAAAAM! Queues were mad to get in the place but when you did the vibes were crazy inside. Rick Ross had the place going crazy and some of Birmingham’s best DJs made sure everyone enjoyed their final part of the BIG 1xtra Live event.
Charity fundraiser After Party
There was a guest only charity fund raising after party for homeless kids in India that took place in Birmingham. It ended up as a 1xtra takeover. The event was a very very special rare event! All of the 1xtra crew DJs were in the place going back to back on the decks with some exclusive back to back surprise PA’s from BBK, Chip and Wretch 32. Djs in the place included Trevor Nelson, Twin B, Yasmin Evans, Clarfo Amfo, Target, MistaJam and Seani B to name just a few. Other’s in the place included FuseODG, Krept and Konan, Angel, Liverpool footballer Daniel Sturridge, Birmingham Grime icons Trilla, DJ Big Mikee and Mayhem plus many many more – The vibes were niiice! . . . and money was raised for a good cause.
If you missed any of the 1Xtra Live event, 1xta are showing highlights via their website or you can see the action on BBC iPlayer.
Watch Charlie Sloth (in his SlothPod Plane) and all the sets in full. Click here
See photos from backstage and the event. Click here