O2 Academy Leeds was home to the North West London MC AJ Tracey for the night. After a couple of EPs and singles it was time to drop his debut album, named after himself. Fans had high expectations for his album with banger singles such as Thiago Silva, Pasta, Blacked Out, Butterflies and Psych Out!.
With competition such as Dave, Yungen and Giggs dropping albums near his release it would be very difficult to stand out in the scene and in the charts. The album was well received and got number 3 in the UK album charts. AJ Tracey visited London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Dublin and other venues and brought along up and coming rapper Yung Fume as support. AJ will continue his tour into the rest of Europe and spread his lightning fast flow across numerous countries.
The sold out O2 Academy Leeds was packed from the start with over an hour queue just to get in. Yung Fume stepped on the stage and got the crowd excited but you could feel that the crowd did not care about his music, only AJ Tracey’s. It lacked energy and did not have enough songs that the crowd knew but the solid drops and lyricism helped him through that.
AJ Tracey took to the stage when the lights quickly turned off. The electronic beat of Plan B started and everyone started screaming in uncontained excitement. As the bass dropped the lights flashed red as he appeared from the back of the stage with the mic ready. As he rapped the lyrics everyone in the crowd recited them back and the crowd started bouncing as the chorus began.
The young MC was able to cause moshpits for the songs that followed his typical grime flow like in LO(V/S)ER. The pushing in the crowd went a bit too far though near the start of the show as everyone was pushed back simultaneously which ended in around 80 people on one side of the O2 Academy falling onto the floor.
AJ Tracey was also able to slow it down and have the crowd singing the words with him like in Psych Out! and Country Star and completely change the vibe in the venue when the DJ dropped the intro of a certain song. The most surprising part of the performance was the fact that there was not an encore.
Even though AJ Tracey announced that there was one song left, after he left the stage you expected him to sprint to the front of the stage and perform one more song. Instead, the dreaded white lights came up and hundreds of people left the O2 Academy at once. You could tell there was a sense of disappointment, but everyone in attendance was slightly smug that they got to see one of the most exciting MCs in the scene perform live.