Boom Bap Festival is set to return for its fifth birthday at the end of July 2016. The rap and grime orientated festival will once again return to its convenient location of Mildenhall Stadium in Suffolk. We went to the festival last year, read the review here, and we were more than pleasantly surprised at what was on offer. Alongside UK hip hop heavyweights such as Skinnyman, Foreign Beggars and The Four Owls there were artists from across the pond such as Earl Sweatshirt, Ratking and Homeboy Sandman. They even had some grime in the form of the man of the moment Skepta.
This year’s festival, alongside the cream of the UK rap scene, will feature one of the most talented and controversial names in the history of rap music: R.A. The Rugged Man. Being blacklisted by labels in the 1990s has not killed his desire to wreak havoc at live shows wherever he goes. Rugged Man will also be accompanied by his incredibly talented protégé A.F.R.O. (a bit more manageable and less of a mouthful than his full name All Flows Reach Out). R.A. is quite a character and has a variety of styles and content as demonstrated on songs such as Uncommon Valor and Definition of a Rap Flow. New kid on the block Da$h will also hit the main stage at Boom Bap; to be honest I didn’t know much about him but he does have some solid tracks such as Seymour.
2016 appears to be the year of reunions at Boom Bap Festival. Firstly the legendary brothers from Highbury Chester P and Farma G reunite as Task Force; for quite some time Farma hasn’t done the live shows and has instead Task Force performances have featured his talented son Remus. There’s not much to say about these guys that hasn’t already been said, they certainly comprised a large chunk of my music collection growing up. If you’re less familiar, listen to songs like Cosmic Gypsies, Grafforiginees, Battlecats, Tears On My Pillowcase and basically every other song they ever recorded. Phi-Life Cypher will also be uniting as one to perform for the crowds. The group from Luton disbanded a number of years ago but their talent is unquestioned, we’ll be thoroughly looking forward to catching them this summer. If you want some research material, give their album Millennium Metaphors a listen from start to finish. The sad passing of Mark B touched many as he had certainly paid his dues and was highly respected. His partner in crime, Blade, be in Suffolk to rock the microphone and most likely pay tribute to the late producer.
High Focus Records, a synonym for this flourishing period of UK hip hop, will also have some names on the bill. Ocean Wisdom (see Walkin’ and Splittin’ The Racket), is relatively the new kid on the block but he’s blown us away. He has a new album dropping on 22 February called Chaos 93, wholly produced by Dirty Dike who is also performing.
Last year, we saw Skepta live on the main stage at Boom Bap Festival and the inclusion of grime was certainly welcome. This year, D Double E and DJ Logan Sama fly the grime flag. The former is a certified general of the grime scene from its earliest days. The latter has played a huge part in bringing grime to the masses and continues to be taste maker.
There’s obviously a lot more on the bill and more names to be announced. However, we suggest you secure your ticket as soon from boombapfestival.co.uk before the £85 early bird tickets sell out. If you enjoy your rap music you will not be disappointed and as fans we have a duty to make we attend so that more events like this are financially viable. How’s that for a couple of incentives? See you there.