Red Bull Culture Clash 2016 Ft. Alcohol

Just so I can set the scene, and you can somewhat understand the reason behind my tone, I want to let you know I’ve been pondering this whilst still swigging alcohol in my mouth. Big Narstie is now one of my favourite humans alive, next to Chance The Rapper & James Blake. Let’s just say I connected with a stranger mid-skank.

Welcomed by tropical Red Bull (and a triple shot of rum), it isn’t a bad start to the evening. I’m on 11% battery after the second round of drinks and I’m annoyed. My friends and I discuss possible special appearances from Canadian natives, and who’d take home the sought after sound horn trophy this time. Ego spoiler alert: my Sia dub and Popcaan et al win was correct.

The general consensus is grime when asking “what sound is running the land?” But, with Drake’s recent venue sweating, hot-stepping tracks like Controlla and One Dance, and Mixpak doing the dirt, I’m thinking Notting Hill Carnival is going to be a sweet one in August. The familiar thudding countdown introduces Roy Hodgson’s 11-ish-a-side-squad, adorned with side pouches and five panels. It’s like being at Stratford Rex in 2005. ‘Pressure Drop’ gets Wiley, and the “YeYeYeYeYe” don delivers the full force sing along from the off — yet he sadly didn’t manage to unmute Griminal. Confetti falls (prematurely), before Chip reminds us he couldn’t run out of bars. Stormzy continues the fire from early on, touching stage and getting wheeled before he even touches mic. Safe to say everyone was waiting for the Ghana man to say “don’t make man have to go back to Culture Clash,” and yep, it was on point. Solo 45 puts a finish to the display with his patriotic ‘Feed Em To The Lions’, but when I saw that he wasn’t topless, I quietly knew that meant problems for Eskimo.

Mixpak are looking squad heavy with Dre Skull, Tony Matterhorn, Spice, Kranium and them man there. That cloth. Sound cloth alert. Mixpak hits us with the Soul II Soul dub ‘Belly’, setting the scene for the big money buffet plates to follow. They don’t want to go out like A$AP, clearly.I’m pretty sure dubplates aren’t meant to be played until round three, but they had ’em firing from the off. Also pretty sure the flurry of dancehall vibes (followed by Kranium’s PA) made the girl infront of my instantly wet. I thought it was how athletically streamlined I look in my PSG tracksuit, but I guess not. Once I’d heard ‘U Know My Style’ by Big Tobz, I knew was going to be a very mad night.

[Insert Mitch’s tracksuit picture]

The Wiz Khalifa spearheaded Taylor Gang are already doing much better than their American associates from two years ago did by the time the DK Khaled finished his intro, singing ‘Jab to the side” and the crew-entitled anthem. “Poptart,” and “[Chip] you weak as hell” had me in bits… poptarts lol. Back to the review, Ty $ swerving the Maserati into dubstep, Ferg’s ‘New Level’, and Travis Scott’s ‘Antidote’, were my favourite dubs of the night and reassured that the murmurs about them being dickheads weren’t justified. They lacked competitive hunger, but were off to a good start. Check the fader on this one.

UKG eradicated everything with their Danny Dyer intro. Danny Dyer was the MVP of the whole show. Darkness dropped into a sea of hands for the garage history lesson. Majestic’s hosting was the best I’ve seen in a while — on job. I wish more dances were open to hosts, but I digress. Authentic ravers. Classics. Definitely a London ting. Kyla’s execution was lacking, but you can’t really argue with a trip down memory lane when you hear So Solid classics. Majestic was on job, have I said that already? Ending with a Solo flip of ‘Why the fuck you lying?’, their set was good but allow having your top off for the whole clash Harvey. UKG ON IT.

I can’t lie, I’ve sobered up and remembered how long it is to write a detailed review. So I’m gonna condense round 2–4 into some key moments. YouTube killed the written review star, but shout outs to my memory.

Mixpak with 15 minutes of shellington. Sneakbo with the hood classic. Murder she wrote was being rewritten. Kranium dashing out fuck you. Quick mixes for the counter action. Oi you see Spice though? Bad girl. Comes out to do the splits then lets us all know “Wiz Khalifa eat my pum pum”. Then more fire with the lock art remix saying she’ll chop off Wiley’s penis. ONLY MAN SHE WAAAAAANT had me reaching for my earplugs. Poppy came out to activate. Really, you should go on YouTube and watch it all.

Black Chiney reminded us he’s got dubs forever despite TG lacking unity on stage. The ‘No Type’ dub was spiritual. The ‘Cut It’ dub was spiritual… Uplifting even. Joey Basass came to microphone wreck it.

UKG did the confessions of Wiley comedy short of him sniffing crack. Hilarious. Majestic got on to TG for bringing out a MacBook. I’ve lost my mind at this point; dubs on dubs. Gracious K with the vault migraine skank. Wretch with a couple of words. Harvey, still with no top on, getting gassed. Too much finesse. Harry Shotta and the SASASA gang with pure gun finger danger. I’m very much at the point I hit intoxication that lasted to not too long ago.

Wiley started saying UKG had won t until Lethal Bizzle came out with the pure venom. Rari workout and Pow for the palpitations. D Double E came to resurrect it with Street Fighter. Newham Generals & P Money turned Goku real quick. Discarda got the wheel of the night with Water Boy. Ghetts had more than Esco’s spirit when he screamed ‘CULT FOUR FIVE’. The east London G and Kane back to back. Fuda pulled a blinder though uncontrolled. Safone repped and you can see the joy in his face. Can’t remember specifically but Fekky must have caught another mare. Eskimo bagged it.

Amber Rose with the introduction talking shit. Krept & Konan won with their timeless dub because I’m sure they would have preferred to come out but hear this… Wireless told Red Bull ‘my dawg, you know when out festival is. Do CC in August init’. Red Bull were like ‘mmm, mmm… I hear that’ then proceeded to do it in June. Par. Subsequently, any act booked for Wireless would have been sued for coming out at Red Bull. Anyway, research was done on Taylor’s part and Stylo G managed to bring out Ice Kid. We all saw Chip’s pain in the eyes. I don’t know who in production went to the school if pagans but they panned to Jahmal’s face so fast. Vines EVERYWHERE. Ice Kid is back(?).


Big Narstie had a performance that should keep us in the EU.

Conar Maynard must have cut a nice cheque to actually get paid to sound like Bieber for once.

Ed Sheeran is the original don. ‘So Solid don’t get pull ups like they used to’

Adele aka Shaez Universe?


Solo 45’s accapella was monsterous.

Thinking back to it, Stormzy can and should sell out the 02 on his own.

The Jess Glynne dub was tired.

Fekky had the worst performance because it seemed like he had his own agenda. Eskimo forgot about formation. Team effort? Missing.

“Kill Dem Boys” was banter from Wiz said ‘you can’t get this dub… I MADE IT!’

Jazzie thought ‘fuck this, I’m never going to be here again’ and went for it.

Mixpak should have played ‘I Luv U’ and at should have got a dub from Kanye West.

NO ONE BROUGHT OUT R.S!!!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!

Poppy said suck your mother to Fekky. I can’t think where that is ever a joke.

All n all, it was good to hear our music in such a setting. Mixpak definitely deserved it and I called it because I’m the guy with the ears and people need to stop sleeping or I’m going to tap on shoulders. Ben Patterson form Virgin EMI in marketing owes me a job. I had fun not staying on stage and actually enjoying it with my peers in the crowd getting licked. Shout out all the strangers I danced with. Strangers with rhythm >>

Any final words Ralph? Eskimo Dance lacked unity and a clear game plan. Would have loved to see our Jack Dat & Big Zuu on stage. Without Logan… Then I don’t know. I took another drink and I don’t know why so I’m just going to send this to JB before I say… More.