News 28 August 2017
Author: Alex Griffin

Here’s what went down at the Boy Better Know Takeover

28 August 2017

On Bank Holiday Sunday, amidst the beginnings of carnival celebrations in West London, Boy Better Know began their takeover of the o2 Arena.

BBK kicked things off – quite literally – in a game of six aside versus YouTube crew The Sidemen, marking the start of what was evidently not just an ordinary show right from the get go.

Radar Radio held down a stage with a slew of guest DJ’s, as well as MC’s like Big Zuu and Capo Lee, while Julie Adenuga introduced her brand new Back 2 Back concept, fusing two artists into performing as one act.

The Den – captained by Boy Better Know’s very own Frisco – curated their own stage too, which saw the likes of the legendary Donae’O on stage, as well as a typically high energy performance from Ghetts.

As the evening drew closer, everybody headed over to the main o2 Arena area, where Tim Westwood warming up the growing crowd in the huge space.

Songstress Mabel was the first live artist on stage and she showed off her growing potential with a performance of her rising hit “Finders Keepers”. Chip was on hand next to grace the stage with an assured appearance from the veteran MC, who had more than enough hard hitting fresh material from his latest album League Of My Own 2.

French rapper MHD took things left slightly with a set of tracks nearly all written entirely in his native tongue, but the tens of millions of views he’s raking in online – as well as the reaction from the London crowd – showed he’s truly got international appeal.

J Hus was back in his element after a year of touring across the country at his own headline shows, as well as every festival under the sun, bringing an immense amount of energy onto the stage with him. From classic joints like “Dem Boy Paigon” and “No Lie”, to hits lifted from his debut LP Common Sense, Husla had enough bangers under his hat to keep the crowd gassed through out the set.

BBK premiere new track at historic #BBKTakeover

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It wasn’t long though before Boy Better Know came out to the crowd that, at the base of it, was there for them. This was their night on the history books and boy did they know it.

The amount of classics between Skepta, Jme, Frisco, Jammer, Shorty, Solo 45, Maximum and Preditah is unprecedented and their lasting impact on underground music and beyond was on full display. “Shutdown” is yet to show any signs of ageing; “Man Don’t Care” still provokes one of the biggest reactions of all time; “Too Many Man” gets a dance going like it’s 2009.

Even Wiley was in the building to shell – understandably still something of a surprise – looking on at just how far what he created has come.

As if they couldn’t hold their own as a unit, the special guests they drew for sent the crowd into raptures. Lethal Bizzle blessed the stage for “I Win”, Giggs joined Jme for “Man Don’t Care”.

From there the stage erupted. Flying in straight from Reading Festival, Giggs brought out Drake – a long standing fan of both Boy Better Know and the UK music scene generally – for a fiery performance of their collaboration “KMT”.

The Boy Better Know takeover was all in all a historic moment for both the legendary clique themselves and UK music as a whole. Packing full an arena the magnitude of the o2 is no small feat; BBK forever!