The Converse ‘Represent’ series has seen the likes of Plan B, Blur, Santigold and Paul Weller join in its incredible line up. Over the years the 100 Club has had so many of the greats grace it’s stage, but this man took it to the next level.
Nas has sold over 13 million records world wide, worked with everyone who is anyone in the hip-hop scene and is idolised by millions. His music speaks to you. His lyrics are simple yet genius with messages of living in the real world. Right here and now, just how it is.
With warm up artists Children of the Night, Speech Debelle and Kano he was in amazing company. Each artist taking their turn on the 100 clubs red backdrop stage, engraving their names into the long list of musicians who have shared it. Kano with his quick lyrics and sharp tongue took the crowd up a gear, nodding in synch with their fingers pointed to the sky. Joined on stage by rap master Ghetts the pair own the stage and the crowd respond. Singing every word, transfixed.
With the UK summer finally showing us some sun the temperature in the 100 Club was unreal. Likening it only to an unbearably hot nightclub in Ibiza where it is acceptable to walk about in your bikini, civilised Brits looked at each other as beads of sweat trickled down the sides of their faces. Industrial blue kitchen towel being passed around was like being given a puppy for Christmas. Those that planned ahead bought towels. Those that didn’t looked like they had just run the marathon. Led by Ghetts, men confidently took their tops off parading off their tattoos and biceps to the unimpressed crowd. They only had eyes for one man.
There is something about US rap stars that give you butterflies in your stomach. Watching Nas paraded to the side of the stage by his entourage and being passed the microphone was like watching a seamless change over in the last leg of the 100 metre relay. Before you got a chance to look twice, the music kicked off and there he was. Straight into the first track, no messing around. The guy is so amazingly talented and every person in the room (sweating profusely) joins in the lyrics to his smash hit tracks. From ‘Daughters’ to ‘Cherry Wine’ and on to ‘Get Down’ he smashes it. Here is a guy that has filled arenas playing to just a small devoted crowd, totally humble and totally on fire.
Dubbed one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time, Nas is one of the highest ranking MC’s of his generation. Now releasing his tenth album the family man explains on stage how ‘Life’s a Bitch’ is now ‘Life is Good’. Passing on his message of the simplicity of turning your life around, Nas is wise yet grounded. After putting his feud with Jay-Z behind him, he will go down in history as on of the most monumental artists of the hip-hop and rap scene. Here he was, on London’s Oxford Street. Those who were lucky enough to find a way inside the gig soaked up every single lyric. Watching on in admiration as he worked the room, giving each and every person something truly incredible. The opportunity to witness a true crafts man at work and the chance to share an evening with a guy who was bought here to make a life changing difference to Hip Hop.