Bugzy Malone has come a long way since I first stumbled across him when looking up freestyles on the YouTube channel ‘Fire in the Booth.’ Even then in 2015, he knew he was going to be bigger than just Manchester when he told Charlie Sloth “Why do I always laugh at MC’s? A king will always laugh at a jester”. When I saw he was playing at Newcastle’s o2 Academy, I jumped at the chance to see the ‘King of the North’ in action and he didn’t disappoint.
Bugzy Malone, coming out on stage above screaming fans with muscles practically popping out of his tracksuit, is one of the most diverse grime MCs performing at the moment because of his range. While he performed powerful, punchy tracks such as ‘Warning’ off his new album B Side with swag, braggadocio and a banging bassline, he also has music displaying his weaknesses and mental health problems such as ‘Moving’ and ‘M.E.N.’
The Mancunian has a down to earth vibe about him which relates to all his fans, and this is reflected by the diverse age range in the crowd. ‘Moving’ in particular quietened down the crowd who swayed as he said “I remember the days when I couldn’t come out my house because I felt so low”. In ‘M.E.N,’ he sang that “it turns out no matter how many tracks I make I still can’t handle the stress”. But make no mistake, Bugzy Malone knows that he’s put ‘Manny on the map’ with his music.
Bugzy Malone also had some lighter tracks with a bassline similar to some of AJ Tracey’s summer tracks, such as ‘Drama’. The summer vibes track with Kojo Funds, although he didn’t perform it, is another example of the range of music Bugzy Malone is capable of creating. The energy of the crowd was at its height during ‘Through the Night’ with DJ Luck and MC Neat. ‘Bruce Wayne’ got the crowd going as the crowd shouted “Batman ting” for the chorus and got me and the rest of the crowd pumped.
Seeing Bugzy Malone is an emotional rollercoaster as you hear about depression, loneliness and growing up without a dad, but then feel the height of confidence when seeing him perform his big tracks. This is what makes Bugzy Malone such an interesting artist to see live as you are up and down and up again in the same show. I would highly recommend seeing this artist if you want to see the height of grime.