Ain’t No Funk Fakin’ ‘Ere: Main Source Perform Their First-Ever UK Show In A Special Anniversary Tribute

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Playing your first gig in a new country is a big achievement for any musician. For hip hop act, Main Source, their long awaited UK debut last Saturday at the Jazz Cafe was truly something special.

In a decade that gave us so much rap talent, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Main Source as just another group from New York. By the time of their arrival in 1989, we already had Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C. De La Soul and Boogie Down Productions. With so much creativity on show, breaking through wasn’t easy, unless of course you knew how to “break atoms”, as Main Source did with the launch of their first album in 1991.

Making up the group back then were rapper and producer, Large Professor, K-Cut, Mikey D and Sir Scratch. Their approach, like others of the time, was to combine conscious lyrics with sample heavy production. What we got in Breaking Atoms was an LP that sounded fresh yet familiar at the same time, underpinned by the commanding vocals of the Professor himself. It was bright, jazzy, meticulous and, even to this day, remains one of the most influential rap releases of all time. Nas made his debut appearance on the album in the track, Live at the Barbeque, at the tender age of just 17, as did the artist, Akinyele.

Thematically, Breaking Atoms was full of important topics. Just A friendly Game Of Baseball may seem like a lighthearted tune, but it’s actually a cleverly coded story about police brutality. Watch Roger Do His Thing is like likewise about a learned kid from the Bronx who chooses knowledge over self indulgence and eventually gets the upper-hand on his classmates.

Saturday’s performance marked the 25th anniversary of that album. Not that you’d guess it. Large Professor looked as lively as ever on stage in a baseball cap and trackies, bouncing from side to side like that same teenager of ’91. Behind the decks was DJ K-Cut, who, again, didn’t look as if he’d aged very much. Rapping alongside the two of them was the hulk-size figure of Neek The Exotic. For those who don’t know, Neek and Professor grew up together, and have been collaborating ever since. Fans may remember him from Main Source’s Fakin’ The Funk, which famously appeared in the movie, White Men Can’t Jump.

Naturally, that was one of the first songs to kick off the night, followed shortly after by the bass heavy, girl problems anthem, Looking At The Front The Door. Other familiar drops on the night included Just Hanging Out and LP’s solo release, ijustwannachill.

Here are a few clips from the show :

Like what you see? Main Source have several other gigs coming up in Amsterdam and Leicester. CLICK HERE to book tickets.

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