Anyone who has followed the High Focus movement for the last seven years will have seen the UK hip-hop trendsetters go from performing shows in small intimate clubs and bars to selling out some of the country’s biggest venues, including London’s Brixton Electric, where the seventh birthday party is taking place this month.
Watching them reach that level, while also growing the UK scene on a global stage, has been fantastic for hip-hop fans, but when Jam Baxter decided to throw a last minute album launch for Mansion 38 on Friday, he took things back to the ‘good old days’. And it was dope!
Held at Dalston’s 350 capacity Junction House, the night got started with Lee Scott and Trellion performing their Happy People material, as well as some other Blah Records classics. That got things going and started the heads nodding, before Baxter joined them on stage to perform the album’s first single ‘Dumb’. By this point, the venue was completely packed out and it was starting to get a little chaotic, like any good rap show should.
You could tell how well the album has been received – most people there knew every word of every verse, and even when Baxter slowed things down a touch with the excellent ‘For a limited time only’, the vibes stayed high. Dirty Dike and Dabbla were on hand to join in for ‘Chateaux in Toulouse’ and by now, the stage and the audience had become one.
You got the feeling that the artists were having just as much fun as everyone, as Baxter poured drink into the mouths around him before jumping down to start his own mosh-pit. But that didn’t result in the levels dropping, and the delivery was on point all night from every artist on stage.
A Jam Baxter show wouldn’t be complete without a rendition of ‘Brains’ which of course went down well, before Ed Scissortongue then completed the list of special guests as he joined Baxter to perform the now classic ‘Pipe Smoke’ that always brings the house down.
It was a night to remember and a launch to match one of the albums of the year so far. And all completely free of charge! Big up, Jam Baxter!
Mansion 38 is out now and available here