The relationship between individual fans and the collective, as well as between said fans and their artists, is paramount in rap culture. Stories of shared experiences are what bind the most dedicated fans to their musical idles.
The call-and-response of AJ Tracey’s name before he even took to the stage, therefore, set the precedent for the rousing unity of audience and artist that was to follow. Skipping effortlessly through the lyrics to each track, Tracey demonstrated his ability to toy and play with words in gymnastic fashion, while the rumbling bass was punctuated by ticking synthesised drums.
The crowd responded in kind, bouncing like popping bubbles as Tracey paced about the stage, backed by spaced-out graphics of melding, rippling, merging colour. Bemusing pasta-related graphics aside, AJ Tracey put on a display of British rap that did himself, and the movement as a whole, very proud indeed.