Published: 21 April, 2011
by ROISIN GADELRAB
WHO said genuine hip-hop is the domain of south London? Camden may be the natural lair of the guitar-plucking indie kid but it’s fast becoming a credible rival to Brixton when it comes to quality rap – both old school and decidedly much newer school.
These days anything slightly urban is no longer confined to the Jazz Cafe, which continues to host the gold standard acts for which it has become famous.
It’s just as likely that visiting rappers will play Koko, Electric Ballroom or, in the case of Ghostface Killah, Proud Camden.
Take a stroll down Kentish Town Road over the next couple of months and you’ll find some of the biggest names in the world bringing their hip-hop vibes to HMV Forum.
First, tha DoggFather himself, Snoop Dogg launches his album Doggumentary – the permutations of the moniker knows no bounds – on May 17.
Then, on June 11 and 12, the stage will do well not to buckle under the heavyweight players that make up the Wu-Tang Clan.
Snoop has picked Kentish Town to debut his 11th studio album and is bringing a bunch of as yet unreleased special guests to the party.
Countless international producers including Damon Albarn, Gorillaz, DJ Khalil and Kanye West worked on the plaited rapper’s latest album. Doggumentary chronicles Snoop’s long career – nearly 20 years in the business – and will be a useful aid-memoir to established fans as well as a convenient pocket history for a whole new generation.
The Long Beach star’s long been a fan of Twitter and now he’s using his social media prowess to “doggument” – yes seriously – the album’s progress online.
He has launched the obtusely labelled #PuffPuffPassTuesdays campaign, where he releases exclusive clips and tracks to his 2.5 million Twitter followers every week and is giving unprecedented access to his inner circle via his frequent Ustream sessions.
And did you know his real name was Calvin Broadus?
The second and arguably more significant hip-hop show to hit the Forum this summer will be the might of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Over the years, RZA, GZA and Ghostface Killah, among others, have appeared separately in Camden Town but to have the collective together at last is what we’ve been waiting for.
In their first tour together in four years, Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa, as well as the aforementioned trio, should all be there.
Significantly, absent will be Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004, but his son, the aptly named Young Dirty Bastard will take on the rhymes of his father.
Yelawolf, recently signed to Eminem’s Shady Records label, will also support.