Yungen LIVE @ O2 Academy, Islington 6.11.14

2014 has been a huge year for South London rapper Yungen. Having appeared in the BET UK Cypher, had a mention on Wiley’s final solo album and been interviewed by our good selves, 2014 also saw the Play Dirty member release his own mixtape Project Black and Red to huge critical acclaim. To support that release, the O2 Academy in Islington played host to the sold out Black and Red show and it is fair to say that the night was intense from start to finish.


Opening with tracks from his previous mixtapes, Yungen bounded around the stage with a youthful energy, boosted by the adoration of the heaving crowd stood in front of him who passionately sang and rapped every word along with their hero. The set soon moved onto Yungen’s most recent release and that saw the first guest appearance of the evening. Coming on stage to perform their collaboration ‘Big Man’ from Project Black and Red, Stormzy’s appearance sent the crowd into an even louder frenzy whilst the tight on stage connection between the two rappers made their performance even more special.

Stormzy’s wasn’t the only special guest we saw make their way to the stage as other contributors from Project Black and Red including G Frsh, Krept and Konan and Sneakbo all arrived on stage throughout the night to perform their respective collaborations and ‘Kisses For Breakfast’ singer Melissa Steel made a special appearance to perform ‘The Moment’, as she did in an exclusive acoustic performance for SB.TV and it was definitely one of the highlights of the set. The crowd were also treat to some performances from the guest artists including Stormzy performing ‘Not That Deep’ and Krept and Konan performing ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ which almost took the roof off the place.

Not to be outdone by his fellow artists however, Yungen’s passion for performing and desire to ensure the crowd enjoyed their night and felt part of an amazing show was evident throughout. Providing half of the crowd with red rags and half with black rags to create a living, visual representation of the whole Black and Red theme was also a great idea and once the footage of the show is released, will provide a powerful image.

The star of the show was always the man whose name was on the tickets and Yungen looked like he enjoyed every second of what was, in fact, his first ever solo show. The support that his fellow artists showed him on stage showed how much they all respect him and how much of a high regard they all hold him in. With all eyes on the twenty one year old, he made the most of his turn in the spotlight and with demand for another live show bound to be high once word of mouth spreads about the success of this one, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this hugely talented rapper in 2015.

Matt Tarr

Matt Tarr

Matt Tarr

Urban Music Editor
With grime and hip hop being major influences on him growing up in South East London, Matt's passion is urban music but over the years he has gathered a hugely diverse taste, ranging from Wiley to The Smiths by way of Machine Head, that has made him a very open minded individual.
Matt Tarr