SplitProphets & Jman – 08/02/13 – Cellar Door

Datkid (Credit: Wordplay Magazine)

Angry, gritty, and energetic are three words which could be used to describe Bristol-based UK hip-hop collective SplitProphets. When emcees Datkid, Res and Upfront turned up at Exeter’s Cellar Door last Friday alongside DJ’s Badhabitz, Fingerfood and fello Brisolian lyricist Jman for a night of live hip-hop and cyphers, it was always going to be chaotic.

PosterHaving made a firm imprint on the scene in 2011 with the release of their first LP Scribbled Thoughts, and with a plethora of high quality releases throughout 2012, including Datkid’s solo album Home By 8 and Upfront’s The Sound Of Evolution EP, SplitProphets have become known for a sound which combines anger and frustration at authority with well thought out rhyme schemes and crisp production. A 10-strong crew made up of emcees Upfront, Res, Datkid, Paro, Prime, T-Visionary, Billnext, Blanka and Luke Rhyme and Reason, and Producer/DJ Badhabitz, it is the variety of styles present within the group that has been a defining factor in their success.

Jman took to the stage to perform a selection of his material, his drum and bass background providing the crowd with that fast, double-time flow. His set concluded with his newest release, the hilarious and slightly disturbing Father Figures (featuring Res), which was a perfect way to introduce SplitProphets on to the stage. The atmosphere in the crowd was highly charged, and the three emcees rattled off tune after tune from their discographies –  sharp discordant tracks like  Yippy Ki Yay played alongside some of their classic material, most memorably Res and Datkid’s Drop of Poison and Spracycan Molesters which both proved to be crowd favourites and got the entire room heaving.

As the set progressed we were provided with some exciting new exclusives from forthcoming release Drugs, Booze and Dental Issues. “It’s dropping real soon” we were told- it will be the first vinyl release from the SplitProphets joint and unfortunately the release date has been pushed back twice already due to printing issues. After closing the set with the bouncy Comparisons, the night finished off in a lively manner with a cypher, every emcee showcasing their individual styles and ability.

Despite the wet weather (the Cellar Door had recently been flooded) and small-ish crowd, the SplitProphets crew succeeded in igniting the venue and left people hungry for more – if their performances are anything to go by, the next release will be a must-buy when it eventually drops.

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GOODIER

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