Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1083

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Live

DJ Yella + Lil Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/717

DJ Yella: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com
DJ Yella: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Yella: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com Mystery man @DJ Yella & Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul DJ Yella & Lil' Easy E: O2 Academy Islington, London 27/7/17 @bluesandsoul.com

There's no doubting that NWA were one of the most groundbreaking hip hop acts of all time, with "Straight Outta Compton" having arrived on the scene with all the subtlety of a hand grenade.

Nearly three decades have passed since the record which was to outrage and delight in equal measure, but a movie of the same name has ensured a new generation's interest in their work.

In 1995 founding member Eric 'Eazy E' Wright died from an AIDS related illness, stunning the hip hop world.

Twenty-two years later his friend and former NWA band member Antoine Carraby, best known as DJ Yella, is still keeping his music alive.

For his UK tour, he joined forces with Eazy E's oldest son, Eric Darnell Wright Jr, who fittingly goes by the name Lil' Eazy E.

The crowd at the O2 Academy in Islington was small but enthusiastic.

Yella took his place behind the decks accompanied by a hype man wearing a balaclava and brandishing a bottle of vodka, from which he swigged and periodically poured measures for audience members.

The NWA legend, who was brought into the group by Dr Dre, set out to take the audience to the early days of hip hop, with classic Snoop Dogg and 2Pac among the records he spun.

The crowd may have been a bit baffled by the balaclava-wearing guy onstage - was he going to rap? Was he a dancer? - but he swiftly exited when Lil' Eazy E was announced by Yella.

Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his father's image, Eazy E Jr bounded onstage sporting shades and large chains.

There followed a quick-fire round of his dad's hits, including "Fuck The Police", "Straight Outta Compton" and "For The Love of $".

Lil' Eazy E is a decent rapper in his own right, and an engaging presence onstage.

Unexpectedly the show ground to a halt when Yella announced the duo would be posing for selfies with crowd members.

Plenty took them up on the offer before the NWA legend returned to the decks and delivered more classics.

With NWA in the spotlight again, now's the time to capitalise, and at the age of 55, Yella clearly isn't keen on settling down quietly.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter