London’s backstreet venues such as Chip Shop, Brixton hold such power within the nightlife community, hosting events like The Pit London’s open mic cypher for young people who are extremely creative and who want to throw themselves in when it comes to music or events.
The Pit London founded in September 2014 is described as the ‘brain-child’ of music promoters. Childhood besties Tramell Mugarura and Alfred Afari formed the Pit London to help young people fulfil their dreams by organising events that mix unknown upcoming artists with industry professionals to boost the possibility of these young geniuses achieving their full potential in the UK’s capital. Not only hosting legend events such as smoke room sessions, the Pit London holds a radio show on Reprezent Radio once a month including upcoming music and industry info creating a urban unknown music community who regularly get involved with these events.
Taking over Chip Shop Brixton, Coldharbour Lane, the Pit London hosted their third open mic cypher on March 28th 2019 introducing young passionate artists to the spotlight by allowing anyone to jump on mic while Darkstepper (Tramell Mugarura) created bass-line gold on the decks.
Getting inside will be no issue, applying online to RSPV via The Pit London’s Instagram, the ticket comes free along with a influential push to spread your bars across Brixton’s community, enlightening all unknown artist with an email before arrival stating ‘This is a cypher format so the mic will be on rotation. Please pass the mic after a 16 or 32, come with your hardest bars’ boosting many urban egos from across the country.
The venue Chip Shop was intimate and unique giving a realistic spin on a restaurant/bar, the walls plastered head to toe in graffiti art and pictures of famous hip hop legends it’s a key spot when visiting Brixton. Not giving you room to hide the event started slowly filling up with artists and intrigued rappers the expected number of attendants was around 120 members which started looking believable. Around 8pm and the first brave self-taught musician stood up and grabbed the mic, from that point on, the room roared! No one could stop moving or gassing up the raw lyrics as they were spat so passionately by each member trying deliver and influence people on their style and groove.
Kaspar, Comma Kaizer, Aggyd_ and B. Coleman were all very memorable artists throughout the course of the night, each bringing something different to the mic, the styles were fresh and new and 100% upcoming. Each of these artists only having a taster into the music industry and seemed ready enough to indulge deeper into the hip-hop scene, spitting bars faster than many well respected rappers, it’s shown the raw real music is kept within these underground open mic nights.
Headlining acts included Cloude Atlas; a pair of energetic pals MP Dilla and Star Lux trying to make a stand in the music industry combining upbeat hip-hop beats and fast paced lyrical spitting, the pair started out in 2015 and are trying to grow a following within the UK's capital. Having played at venues such as Camden assembly and releasing ‘Drop Inn’ a 2019 single that brought such a happy chilled out vibe to the event, the couple took a stand in the underground scene. MP Dilla stated ‘you know how the Americans do it, it would come from underground things and it seems to expand from there and we respect that man’ highlighting how the support around these underground events are massively inspirational.
The second headlining act Eerf Evil; a curly haired confident artist who truly believes in the underground music scene demonstrated how being on mic was no hassle, he had already sold himself as an experienced musician as his hand touched the mic. His lyrics were so connecting and memorable the talent demonstrated was at such a high class level everyone in the room was asking his name by the end of the set. By putting one foot in the door Eerf has been lucky enough to release a 2018 album called Calculated Outcomes and this year he created his own music video for ‘Polarity’. In a Modele interview Eerf says ‘without nights like this upcoming talent can’t get on things, it has to happen, it’s one of those things and I feel privileged to be a part of the community and to enjoy nights like this, this is the community that man came up on’ really symbolising how important night like this open mic night and organisations such as the Pit London are truly a blessing to young people.
Towards the end of the mic sessions many people congregated and applauded one and other like they had been lifetime friends or fans but in reality these ambitious, talented, influencing young people are supporting the raw material that is so creatively formed by one and other and the love felt in the room and the end, was like no other. Organisations and venues across London should congratulate these underground events like the Pit London’s open mic cypher for bringing a well-respected community feeling to the music nightlife scene of London.
Photographer Zara Hunter.