Finally after months of hype, the weekend unofficially dubbed ‘Wireless Weekend’ had begun. From 11am on Friday the first of what would be 100,000 revellers over the weekend showed up to see some of the biggest names in hip-hop and grime perform at a sell out event.

Friday was headlined by Chance The Rapper, supported by Bryson Tiller and G Easy. Holding it up for the UK was a strong line up of UK Rap and Grime artists including AJ Tracey, Big Narstie, Geko and Steel Bangles.

Big Narstie – Photo by Jordan Hughes

By the time Saturday came around the party was in full swing. Section Boys kicked things off with high energy set on the main bringing out underground/soon to break out artists Drilloski (of Harlem Spartans) and SL VP, which set Twitter ablaze.

MO Stack absolutely killed it – reeling of hit after hit, from Liar Liar, To Screw and Brew and Ussy Ussy He even took time to bring his family out, including his mum and sister. He even brought out long time collaborator Mist.

Dave gave an emotional performance, opening his set up with an emotional performance of ‘panic attack’ of his six paths EP this had brought Dave to tears and really moved the crowd when he started to discuss his brothers current prison sentence and his warning message “I’m telling you beef isn’t worth it, my brother is doing a life sentence for an attempted murder stabbing” Dave then continued his set performing his hits (Samantha, wanna know, 100M’s and JKYL+HYD) 

Young Thug also brought out Kojo Funds on the main stage – another sign that UK Rap is fast approaching and even exceeding what US Rap is doing now.

Skepta was last and his set was phenomenal. The whole of BBK plus DdoubleE, A$AP Nast and A$AP Bari aka Young Lord joined him on stage. He performed most of ‘Konnichiwa’ and some of the his classics this also included a 15 min set where BBK just did a classic grime set, bringing back echoes of their early days on pirate radio.

Photo by: Lauren Maccabee
Photo by: Lauren Maccabee

This went down well amongst the old school grime lovers heart melt in the crowd. The crowd was great everyone was racing to get in the front, it was all love. Skepta ended his set with ‘Man’. Displaying the rainbow flag at the end was a powerful statement of how far Grime has advanced and matured as a genre.

Finally Sunday – the final day arrived and in the same way as past Wireless events – things were going to go out in style. Manchester rapper Bugzy Malone gave a strong performance, showing that he has plenty of fans down around the London area.

Meanwhile over at the Pepsi Max Stage Kojo Funds showed why he was man of the moment, and dominating the urban airwaves and Youtube.

Every track he dropped banged – but the biggest reaction was to arguably his biggest track – Dun Talkin’ where he was joined on stage by Abracadabra.

Wireless veteran Wiz Kid gave a feel good set performing all his hits – Come Closer, and even managed to bring out Yxng Bane and Tinie Tempah.

Steff London gave a mad performance – the highlight being when she got some of her fans to join her on stage for her performance of ‘Real Ting’.

Tory Lanes shut down his set at the main stage with his unique blend of singing and rapping. However as the evening drew to a close, after the UK acts had done their thing and shut it down the crowds began gathering around the main stage for hip hop legend Nas.

Nas knew what he was doing. With his extensive back catalogue plus the legendary classic Illmatic, there was no need for him to be creative. Dressed in casual sportswear with gold jewellery around his next he just kept it simple, breezing through hit after hit the crowd following every word. He knew what the people wanted. He also stopped to pay tribute to recently deceased fellow New York rapper Prodigy – performing Shook Ones. The final twist of the performance was when he brought out Damian Marley, and they both performed distant relatives. It was a little disappointing he didn’t perform Jamrock, but you can’t have everything.

Finally the headliner, the Weekend came on. Mr Steal-yo-girl in the flesh his Michael Jackson channeling falsetto drifted over new school alt-rnb, Prince inspired pop funk and house music, captivating every female in the audience. When he said how much he loved London all you heard were screams from adoring fans. If you brought your girl to that set for the hour or so he was on, she was no longer yours.

Photo by: Sam Neill

Last year it seemed like Wireless had lost its way – with an overwhelmingly negative response to the 2016 line up, however this year it has come back stronger and we are already excited for 2018.

Hashtag: #wirelessfest
Instagram: @wirelessfest
Twitter: @wirelessfest

2018 TICKETS will are now Available at 11/7/17 at 10am via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wireless

Words by Adwin [@UKGrime] and Gurdev Tumber [IG: @gurdevtumber twitter: @gurdst]