The Game / Flipsyde - Manchester Apollo - 24.7.05
The Black Panthers and Che Guevera flags are draped across the speakers and decks as Flipsyde take the stage aligning themselves with the greats. Rebel outsiders all the way, Oakland's Flipsyde bring something fresh to the hip-hop and scene and while it's easier to compare their rock-rap crossover with Run DMC and Aerosmith or more recently the likes of Limp Bizkit, it's so much more than that. The guitar licks are drenched in latino flavours courtesy of Dave Lopez and at times when the distortion is laid on it takes on the sort of industrial breakdown we'd expect from Trent Reznor. Piper on the other hand has the bashful energy of a showman and warms the crowd up while spitting rhymes straight out of the mind of Huey Newton. It's an exhilarating ride and with Snoop Dogg supports behind them and the Anger Management Tour still due it won't be long before Flipsyde are established names in the UK!!!
Last time The Game was on these shores all was rosy, life was sweet and it looked like this Compton playa had business taken care of. Of course if rumours are to be believed the 50 Cent / Game feud is nothing more than a publicity stunt to sell a few more units, but we've all seen the route these beefs take with the likes of Tupac and Biggie being casualties of the game. While Fiddy's playing in the Candy Shop, The Game is keen to prove his gangsta credentials by bringing back the spirit of NWA and old skool hip-hop. For half of tonight's audience it's something fresh and exciting, for the other half, the old skool hip hop heads it's a cartoon-ised version of what's been before but drenched in nostalgia it's still an infectious force to be reckoned with.
With just one album, "The Documentary", behind him tracks are thin on the ground, drinking games are played out to beef up the set and if it was down purely to music then the Game would be floundering in comparison to the Snoop Dogg show a couple of weeks back. In terms of the show the energy coming off the stage is kinetic and alongside the hits "Hate It Or Love It", "How We Do" and "Dreams" he pulls out all the stops when Flipsyde return to the stage for some straight up rock music.
Whether it's a smart move to diss 50 Cent on stage in the UK is up for question as the call and response of "50 Cent can suck my dick" is my with at best a muted response. Over here in the UK don't have the same loyalties to the East or West Coast - it's just good hip hop or bad hip hop and with Fiddy being around for longer given the choice most will stick by their first OG rather than the new kid on the block.
It's going to be an interesting few months in hip-hop, but as we all know you're only as good as your last record. Will Dre stick by 50 or The Game and will the Game follow up "The Documentary"?
Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest www.shirlainephotos.co.uk
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