Taking a break from his supporting role on Big Boi’s Australian tour, Brooklynite (no kids, he ain’t no pom) Theophilus London took to the Oxford Arts stage in a whirlwind of sequins and swag. Kicking off the set earlier than expected meant that this fan girl sadly missed stand out tracks I Stand Alone and Wine & Chocolate but was happily consoled by the fresh beats of Girls Girls $, one of his few hip-hop-heavy tracks. Because a hip-hop artist he is not. Not in the conventional sense anyhow. Like many innovative musicians of today, London is a genre slut. He gives it to soul and funk to make hip hop jealous and then sticks in a hard indie guitar line to bring it all home, where he’ll coo melodious pop til the sun rises … or whatever.
I’m not the only one getting steamy for the London flavour either. He’s found fans and collaborators in Mark Ronson (Hey Boy anyone?), TV on the Radio and Solange Knowles (Bey-bey’s baby sis) to name a few. In fact, I first discovered this self-proclaimed guru of all that is awesome on his friend’s blog, the equally cool photographer / DJ / creative director Kesh Kumari (www.keshcontinues.com).
TL rolls with the best. No question. This being never more obvious than tonight when towards the end of the set he announces a very important visitor is “in da house ya’ll”. As hundreds of heads swivel in the direction of the door, Big Boi, sir Lucious Leftfoot himself saunters through, gold chains gleaming, entourage in tow. Yeah, shit just got realz.
It wasn’t long before the big man made his way to the stage and proceeded to not only join in on the set, but turn it into a Big Boi show. Really realz.
OutKast and Chico Dusty hits were rolling off the walls and the late night crowd collectively losing their shit as London looked on, beaming from the merch stand at the back of the room, feeling like I was in some mad grimy hip-hop club, deep in the heart of Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve, I threw back my drink and gave in to the room.
Mmmm I heart Weekend Wednesdays.