PERFORMANCE: Lil Kim Brings Brooklyn to London's Indigo2 With The Help of Eve and more
When a friend of mine, who happens to be the biggest Lil' Kim fan on the planet, told me about her being in town for a show- I had no interest in going. Now, I like Kimmy Blanco but this past summer I had spent £100 to watch her NOT perform at Lovebox after she failed to make it to the stage on time- Allegedly. However, knowing that it was a Musicalize event (the same team who brought Brandy over earlier this year) and that the "Pitbull In A Skirt"- Eve would be there, my arm was twisted into attending.
Musicalize very cleverly manage to shoe horn in a few carefully selected homegrown acts in before the main event and in this case it was the turn of actress/rapper Paigey Cakey, Leggo Man- G Fresh and rising urban superstars Krept and Konan. For some reason they chose to keep the house lights up for all three of these performers- a bizarre decision that clearly left the audience and in turn the acts, a little reserved from getting fully involved. Whilst all three managed to hold their own in a room full of people who clearly had little interest in them- a special mention should be made of Krept and Konan. The south London duo have had a great year, demanding the attention of the major labels by independently launching a mix tape into the UK top 20. I think as soon as they master exactly how to manipulate their sound away from the Drake/Meek Mills-esque party anthems they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Our first headliner Eve came to the stage to rapturous applause which served as the first reminder of exactly how commercially successful the rapper was. She walked us through past hits "Who's That Girl" , "Let Me Blow Your Mind" and crowd favourite "Gangsta Lovin'". The absence of global superstars Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani was to be expected but what the crowd didn't bet on was how little they were missed with Eve showing off an accomplished set of pipes! Flanked by two dancers Eve rarely strayed away from the hits we know and love her for performing just two cuts from her most recent album "Liplocked". Whilst the new London resident put on a great show, its hard to fathom a need for Eve in this modern day hip hop landscape. She is neither lyrical or outlandish enough to compete with many of her contemporaries. But hey, for those of us who watched her hit sitcom "All About Eve" there's no doubt she is both likeable and multifaceted and with that amount of talent i'd be stupid to count her out completely.
Unlike Eve the headliner of the show Lil' Kim is known for being both outlandish and stellar lyrically. Beefs and image issues seemed to have taken the shine off such selling points recently but over the past 9 months or so it seems the Queen is focused- doing various tour dates over the US. Finally she arrived on UK soil with the show and emerged on stage to an intro worthy of the other Queen B- Beyonce. Well, ok- it was definitely the Primark Carter experience but you can't knock her for trying. With a video crew/photographer. 6 dancers, a full band and 2 "flag carriers" she certainly went for it. Whilst it took her a minute to get into her stride (3 breaks, for 3 songs) when she was good she was very good! You forget how potent Kim's hits really were. From the hip hop golden era "It's All About The Benjamin's" to club classic "Jump Off" and who can forget the reggae tinged "Lighters Up".
So OK, it wasn't perfect- there were a few hiccups from the band, she can't dance like Ciara or even sing as good as Eve. But what Kim does do is what a lot of (especially hip hop) performers don't and that's strive to give a good show. We got an entrance with a fanfare, routines, a band, lights and enough personality to keep everyone engaged for an hour and a half. Now, if she could only come out with a song worthy of the blind admiration her fans seem to bestow on her she could be an back on track- and who knows, maybe snatch a pink wig on her way back to the top!