Welcome to the South Easy
So I sent Slipjam boss Tom Hines a message on Facebook asking if he wanted to write something about the eleventh annual Hammer & Tongue Poets vs Slipjam MCs night this Thursday. Having never been to any of the proceeding ten I’m intrigued by it this year cos I’ve a few Facebook friends down to go who I’ve never seen at a hiphop show in Brighton before. I guess they must be there for the poets, then. But what exactly is a poet? I always thought emceeing is just a form of poetry, so effectively the night is ‘poets versus poets‘, so what is it that distinguishes the poets who call themselves poets rather than rappers? It can’t be sophisticated rhyme schemes cos I know plenty of emcees who go overboard in that sphere. Is it just cos they spit their rhymes without a beat? Or is that preference incidental? A cover for real differences of attitude, class? Emcees keep it real where poets are pretentious twats, that kind of thing?
See, I’ve more questions than answers on this one, which is why I tried to hand over preview duties to Tom. “Do you want to write a piece?” I asked. “Failing that I’ll bash out something” I added, hoping the threat of my clueless semi-literate drivel might inspire him to new heights of verbal dexterity in service of The 273. It didn’t work.
So I’ll have to wait until the actual show to get some answers, even just a few more pertinent questions perhaps. In the meantime I can read between the lines of this excellent piece about last year’s event over at The Arts Desk and make my guesses. Something to do with latent sexism, apparently. Not a good idea to tell a woman she smells like tuna. Oh, and I can give you the info on the Facebook page. The promise of “stereotype-smashing, cap-flexing, ink-smearing, shit-flinging, fist-pumping, lyrically insane BRILLIANCE!” The promise of Hinesy Hines, Jon Clark, Professor Elemental, Gramski, Bobby Johnson, Enlish and Gi3mo representing for the emcees and six folks I’ve never heard of performing for the poets.
It’s at The Concorde 2, doors open at 7.30pm and the entrance fee is £3 Be there, folks.