live review: Knucks

words: Lauren Demir

photos: David  Franco

Feat favourite Knucks had his first headline show at the Hoxton Kitchen in celebration of his latest project NRG105. The night was busy with from the get-go, with people steadily bustling in from when the doors opened. Despite the numbers, the night had chilled vibes with the Nigeria vs France game in the foyer and the show hosted by his sister; it had the familiarity of being with your extended family.

Kadiata was the supporting act for the night. A seasoned performer, he is always a pleasure to watch bringing a whole load of energy and list of absolute bangers. He performed Pornhub Freestyle, On Tap, Margherita, Art Hoes and brought out Sam Wise to bless us with When The Sun Comes Out. Although everyone bought their tickets to see Knucks, we were fortunate to get a glimpse of the artists in the scene who excel at what they do in their own lane.

Knucks followed, coming out with little fuss. Dressed casually in grey tracksuits and a sweat shirt, his comfort and confidence oozed out and you could tell he had been waiting eagerly for this day. Starting with Big Kahuna Freestyle, Knucks went through old songs and new back to back without any pauses. And considering his catalogue consists of straight rap songs, many of which have only been out for a week, the audience were engaged hanging onto every word and recognising every song. Appearances from Mirra May, Oscar #WorldPeace and Wretch 32 added to an already excitable audience, with Wretch declaring Knucks ‘The smoothest in the game.’ He proved this when a live saxophonist joined him to play alongside Home, straight into Vows, causing the audience to erupt.

A big theme on the night was family and that’s honestly what it felt like. Many there had been fans of Knucks from the Killmatic days and it was exciting to finally get to see him at his own sold out show. Despite how packed and sweaty it got, the crowd maintained enthusiastic and where happy to be there. Most importantly though, this night was homage and a testament to Knucks manager who passed away, NRG. With the imprint that he has passed on, Knucks is destined for greatness after witnessing his control of the crowd and fan engagement. The north west London artist who has taken 'no day’s off', is reaping the results from his work ethic and its more than deserved. Make sure to listen and NRG105 if you haven’t already and if you weren’t lucky enough to see him live don’t miss him performing again in September. #LONGLIVENRG