Flatbush Zombies Meechy Darko goes it alone in stripped back night of mosh pits

Meechy Darko at Colours Hoxton reminded me of the shows that got me hooked on live music.

Real name Demetri Simms, Meechy followed the mould of a select few US rappers who couldn't wait to take their limited discography across the pond to British hardcore fans, waiting to recite every lyric back to them.

You'd be forgiven for not recognising Darko's name, after all Thursday night in London was only the Brooklyn native's third ever solo show.

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US Hip hop fans may however, recognise his deep and gritty voice from the popular trio, Flatbush Zombies who joined forces with Pro Era's Joey Bada$$ in 2019.

Their Beast Coast collaboration, Left Hand went down especially well in east London on October 13.

New to performing on his own, Meechy may be, but there was nothing rookie about his confidence or stage presence – the 32-year-old looked very much at home. That's despite his funny admission of not knowing what to do in between songs.

It wasn't just the size of the venue which brought back memories of gigs I frequented a decade ago, it was the American DJ barking "London, make some noise" – call me weird but I love it.

With everything stripped back to one rapper and a DJ, we in the crowd were not witnessing a show anymore than we were a part of it. Meechy made that clear early on by darting of stage with the mic to spit among the masses.

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It's been a while too since I've found myself in a mosh pit – unwilling or otherwise – and truly soaked in the energy of fans who mirrored the aggression consistent throughout Darko's debut album, Gothic Luxury.

Have you really been to an up and coming rapper's show if no one has levered you off the floor, having tripped on a bloke way too drunk to hold his own in among the friendly argy-bargy.

In fact with mosh pits being created every other song, practically every time I looked round the lad had taken a tumble but remained jovial with each hoist to his feet.

Gothic Luxury is a fantastic album and one my increasingly stagnant 2022 rotation desperately needed, not least for the gym.

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Lost Souls features Denzel Curry and Busta Rhymes. Rappers Kirk Knight and Freddie Gibbs also feature over the 13 tracks but it's a shame not all 50 minutes of the project were brought to life on stage.

Songs Hennessy & Halos, Kill Us All, and On God went down a treat, particularly the hook of the latter: "Twice upon a time, there was a boy who died. Don't you dare laugh, 'cause that boy was I, no lie. On God, uh-huh."

I was in disbelief when Meechy called time on his set because he really left everyone inside Colours Hoxton yearning for more.

Put this rapper on your radar and keep an eye out for his return to the UK. When the time comes Meechy will hopefully have another project under his belt to extend his fantastically raw, yet criminally short 40 minute set.

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