Red Bull are now infamous for their music related antics. From huge sponsored tents at Bestival to branded nights at the small and intimate Macbeth of Hoxton, the global energy drinks label has grown vastly in its pull and influence.
On the 21st of October London’s own Jay Prince released ‘Smile Good’ his new uplifting “honeyed-hip-hop” mixtape, and his headline show at the tiny Macbeth was to serve as it’s album launch. After opening up for gigantic acts like Jess Glynn, and selling out KOKO regularly, it was refreshing to see such a big act, at the top of his game, in such a small venue. This was to be an up close and personal experience, and definitely not a tiny obscure dot on a huge arena stage.
The Macbeth is very East London. What was once an a-typical working-man’s pub has been turned to a hip venue for equally hip twenty-somethings to come along, and get their rocks off all through the week, Monday to Sunday. As well as pulling together a great line up for the evening, Red Bull had their all- encompassing branding plastered all over the walls, and the drinks venue was completely centred around their famous vodka mixer.
Supporting Jay Prince was a group of incredibly talented producers, DJs and rappers, including 808ink, a London duo who blew up the stage with an incredibly strong flow and bounce. Their synth heavy, dance-influenced hip-hop got the room two stepping in unison, and managed to create a party atmosphere, well above the realms of a usual support act.
When Jay Prince bounded onto the stage, he launched straight into his new material, and stuck mainly to it as his set progressed. Opening up with ‘The Beginning’ from his new mixtape, he chanted it’s hook to the crowd; “smile good”. He managed to create a positive atmosphere from the get go, which was emulated by a crowd entirely comprised of devoted fans, old and new. Following up with his classic tune ‘Good Right’ now, and skipping lightly over to new material again, he maintained the bounce, flow and soul that he is famous for. As well as focusing on vocals, Jay Prince also creates his own melodies, which pay homage to a more soulful variety of hip-hop.
The Macbeth, the support acts and Jay Prince himself all delivered fully and completely, and managed to get an otherwise sedate Thursday night crowd jumping.
‘Smile Good’ is out now via Spotify.