Live: Chip @ The Roundhouse, London
In his first show of 2018, the grime veteran shows he truly is in a league of his own.
With Chip shutting down KOKO last September, the North London MC once again brings the fire to The Roundhouse. Clad in a Moschino sweater and tracksuit set, sunglasses and signature gold chain, the 27-year-old rapper born Jahmaal Noel Fyffe, shows he means business as he enters the stage and announces, ‘I don’t wanna see anyone sitting down’. With his effortless swagger and unabashed self-assurance, Chip sends a volt through the crowd, and within seconds, everyone is on their feet.
The atmosphere is exhilarating, and the already charged crowd grows electrified with his eclectic track list from his 10-year catalogue, from 2006 classics Who Are You and Fire Alie to 2017 banger Honestly, particularly when Chip presents an array of features from Lotto Boyzz and Not3s on No Don (Remix), Ghetts on Gets Like That and Yu Zimme (Remix) with Stylo G.
Showing his ‘versatile style’, moments of intense concentration when Chip goes hard on his bars are interspersed with carefree instances, in which his flows seem to fall off the tip of his tongue. He surprises first with an impromptu outfit change into a Dolce and Gabbana black tee and tracksuit, then with his emotion on tracks Hit Me Up and About Time with Kojo Funds making a cameo. He brings back the vibes with Every Gyal, inspired by his Jamaican heritage, as well as old-school anthems, Chip Diddy Chip and Champion, sporadically offering the mic to fans who impressively deliver full verses much to his delight. Dancing around the stage with an ever-excited expression on his face, Chip undoubtedly loves his craft. Despite his cheeky attitude, Chip declares ‘man’s humble’; his gratitude and modesty reverberating with the thanks he gives to each member of his band (who impressively pull off the set with only four days of rehearsals), and most of all to his fans, as he praises all in attendance with ‘I thank all of you lot for coming out, I swear to God.’
The set reaches its climax when Chip brings out Giggs, for their Amazing Minds collab, before persuading the Landlord to perform grime anthem, Whippin’ Excursion, sending the room into a frenzy of gun fingers, phone lights and makeshift mosh pits. Chip shows his playful side when he orders, ‘Security, don’t hold the supporters back’, much to the excitement of his fans. Before rounding up, Chip performs his notorious Westwood 2007 freestyle, displaying a razor-sharp lyricism that seems impossible to have emanated from his 16-year-old self.
From underground sensation to international pop star to grime veteran at under 30 years of age, Chip rightfully proclaims, ‘We made The Roundhouse our kinda settings’. As he walks off stage with the same confidence and energy he entered with to ringing applause, Chip shows that ten years later, he’s still well and truly at the top of his game.
Words by Mireille Harper. Photos by Ellie Ramsden