The Four Owls @ 02 Academy

The Four Owls have been revolutionising the UK Hip-Hop scene for some time now, gaining millions of views on Youtube, as well as topping the iTunes hip-hop chart with their latest offering ‘Natural Order’. Sheffield was finally graced with their presence when they visited the O2 Academy April 4.

The night kicked off with some classic beats provided by Sheffield’s own Quality Control DJ’s and Andy H, warming the crowd fittingly for the hip hop showcase to come. Next up was Ocean ‘Spitz’ Wisdom, a last minute replacement for the unwell Onoe Caponoe. Wisdom certainly trumped the disappointment of Caponoe’s absence, delivering viciously potent and undeniably fresh rhymes. By the time Wisdom dropped the track the crowd had been waiting for, ‘Walkin’, the crowd were sufficiently hyped, and it was time for the Owls.

The combination of Leafdog, BVA, Verb T and High Focus head honcho Fliptrix took to the stage to a raucous reception and immediately flew into two classics from the first album, sending the crowd into a frenzy as they sung along to the classic lines ‘Be original, don’t copy this material, use your own voice and make sure it’s lyrical’.

Flipping between old and new, the first track played from ‘Natural Order’ was ‘Silent Flight’, already becoming a classic in its own right, with the audience already knowing the main hooks. It was the final track of the Owls’ set, the DJ Premier produced ‘Think Twice’ that really brought home the Hip-Hop, and the crowd made sure this was known; hands high in the sky and necks’ snapping back and forth throughout.

There was enough time for us to enjoy classics from each of the Owls’s solo material, BVA with his mushroom laced ‘Crazy Trips’, Fliptrix making the crowd raise their lighters to the smoke enhanced ‘The Highway’, Verb T’s crowd moving ‘Where You Find Me’ to the final and most well-received song of the night, Leafdog’s ‘Some People Say’.

It was a great night for Hip-Hop in Sheffield and with the crowd as enthused as they were, I am sure this won’t be the last time that Sheffield is graced with the Four Owls.

Words: Tyrone Scott

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