Offie Mag are coming to town in December, bringing a host of Hip-Hop royalty to The Hope & Ruin in Brighton, including Issue One cover-star Lee Scott.
Off Licence Magazine were, in their own words, “conceived under the aesthetic and the influence of content in each and every bossman's convenience store”, and have quickly risen to be one of the most important platforms for aspiring artists in the UK at the moment. Long gone are the days where they were just a lovely looking Instagram profile, with three print issues under their belt (and more on the way), these guys are a properly full-fledged media publication. In fact, some of the biggest stars in the UK Hip-Hop and Jazz scenes owe Offie Mag a lot of thanks for the coverage they receive. People like Dirty Dike, Lava La Rue and Tenderlonius have all appeared in their print magazines, intensifying the fervour surrounding their music. But the best thing about Off Licence Magazine is their steadfast dedication to their image and branding, one that incorporates classic British sensibilities with a 21st Century metropolitan attitude, all intertwined with a kind of a DIY adventurism that can only be described as being, well, offie mag.
In just a few years Off Licence Magazine have become the go to media outlet for a wide variety of music and culture fans from across the world, something that has naturally led to the crew deciding to throw their own events too. It all began back at the tail end of 2018 for their Issue Two launch party, before a slew of gigs, club-nights and special Halloween spooktaculars over the course of 2019. Yet again these gigs have helped all manner of different artists and DJs reach a wide audience in Brighton, simultaneously fusing the local music scene into a tightly knit community. And you know what else? Offie Mag events are historically an absolute truck-load of fun, as many late night Brighton revellers will surely testify too. Up next is the Offie Mag Xmas Party, a special occasion as it is, but one that is made all the more significant because of the appearance of UK Hip-Hip royalty and Blah Records stalwart Lee Scott.
Any dedicated readers of the magazine will know that the man was Offie Mag’s first ever cover star, so this gig already takes on a huge amount of importance. The Runcorn born rapper has been active for pretty much two decades, proving instrumental in the establishment of seminal label Blah Records alongside co-founder Salar. Put simply, Lee Scott is one of the most respected lyricists and figures in the game, enjoying a hugely successful career that has seen him garner somewhat of a cult following. Tracks like “WH1PLASH” perfectly encapsulate what the rapper is about; laidback, often Jazz influenced Hip-Hop beats, with his trademark witty and heavily ironic lyrics resting perfectly on top. With brand new album “Somewhere Between Here And There” released on the 6th of December, Lee continues to prove why he is one of the biggest underground rappers in the UK, if not the world. He appears alongside revered DJ and beat-smith Sumgii, ensuring that Offie Mag have achieved somewhat of a coup with these headliners.
But here’s the thing: the line-up doesn’t end with Lee Scott and Sumgii, far from it in fact. Also on the billing are one of the most exciting new acts to come out of Brighton this year, the Hip-Hop duo Nokia Mansion, comprised of rappers Sly Fieri and Bador. The guys have been making a lot of noise during 2019, with numerous high-octane and greatly received sets under their belts, as well as plays on BBC Radio 6 Music. Take a listen to the introspective and tender “Nokia Low”, or the infectious Trap influenced “Rolling” to get a feel for what they are about – it is genuinely unique music that has been turning a lot of heads of late. Their live shows are also known to get incredibly intense, not a performance to miss on the 13th!
Elsewhere is Brighton staple Illitamin G, comprised of Vitamin G and illiterate, two long running fundamental components of the label and crew Yogocop Records. Their debut LP was released over the Summer of 2019 and quickly attracted a lot of attention for its blend of Lo-Fi stylings alongside a heavier hitting Hip-Hop style. If you like your rap smooth and sultry this one’s for you, the live set is bound to be a special one upstairs at The Hope & Ruin. Also on the bill is the mercurial Changing Currents, a young DJ and producer who has exploded onto the scene in recent times with his arsenal of originals and refixes. You never know quite what to expect from a Changing Currents set, apart from the fact that if you look down at your legs they will almost certainly be moving at quite some speed.
Another act that has burst onto the scene in 2019 is Derek d.a.c, with his debut project “Umm… Random Shit” commanding a lot of attention from across the global Hip-Hop community. The rapper’s versatility and large melting pot of influences is clearly at show throughout the work, with particular standouts being the infectious “Cheesy”. It is a track filled with clever lyricism, all underpinned by a beautifully simple Jazz inspired beat – top marks. Finally Offie Mag stalwart Brickcellphone teams up with LILTHAIPRINCE, bringing a special Pumpfake Christmas DJ set to the floor… anything could happen. Tickets sit at £10 currently, a bargain for this stacked line-up of underground music.
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