Review: DJ Maseo returns to Ipswich as part of UK tour ahead of the launch of De La Soul’s new album

DJ Maseo at Pump & Grind

DJ Maseo at Pump & Grind - Credit: Archant

Proving that music can span the age divide, there was a diverse crowd at Pump & Grind on Thursday night as they hosted De La Soul’s DJ Maseo.

DJ Maseo at Pump & Grind

DJ Maseo at Pump & Grind - Credit: Archant

Remi Morrison, of Red Cactus Media was there and here she shares her view of the night.

The age range of the 300-strong crowd was diverse and included local artists Flexx Tyler plus Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisolm, all enjoying a night of old school hip hop.

The crowd were recipient from the start as all knew this was a great moment for Ipswich.

Once the Old School Electro kicked in DJ Maseo had the crowd eating out of his hand. It was a theme that continued.

He announced: “This is the moment to play the music that influenced De La Soul.” With support from Paulo and Jimmy Green on the decks, he played Eurhythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’ David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ whilst mixing with ‘OPP’ by Naughty by Nature and Slick Rick classics .

There was even a moment where he freestyled over the intro to ‘Rapper’s Delight’.

Most Read

Throughout the night I spoke to various people, just to get some vibes and here’s what they had to say:

Maseo closed with a nod to the new De La Soul album, featuring Snoop, Damon Albarn, Usher, Lil Dragon, Two Chains.

He said: “It’s a really diverse album and it’s special De La Soul album. No matter what make sure you support your own people and what’s real local to you. They need it as they wouldn’t be anywhere without it,” before dropping in a new single from the album, which is out in May.

I’m one of those of people who got the best of worlds growing up in the 80s and 90s; too young to remember specifics in the early 80s but old enough to feel the positive movements happening in the music industry. I remember seeing De La Soul’s Me, Myself, and I video, thinking who are these guys? Why is there a vinyl in that guy’s head?

And after his performance, I had a chance to catch up with DJ Maseo. Yes, I grinned and nodded… I might have even hugged him.

He urged fans to pay more attention to local artists.

“I was always tell fans as much as you like artists abroad, take the time to recognise your own. Get into your own scene. Hip Hop is a lot bigger than the United States. I’ve been coming to the UK for almost 30 years. I watched Hip Hop reach to a certain point and then something else, invents to be a sub culture of hip hop whether it be grime or drum and bass things like that. The beauty is watching new things being created.”

He continued: “This is the second time I’ve come to Ipswich; I came over and toured with Afrika Bambaataa and Danny Automator maybe 2000/2001. Now UK MCs, the music has always been great but UK MCs have finally found their voice. They are truly embracing themselves, which is nice to see.

“Once a upon a time some artists tried to sound like New York artists. Now they are unique, I can tell that grime is their thing and there is no American rapper that can pull that off (he laughs) maybe Jay Z can maybe pull it off as he comes from that fast rap style or Twister, only a handful. Just the dialogue is enough though. You guys use a lot of syllables when you talk now add that to rapping; now that’s something.”

He laughs again and it’s infectious.

Sarah Topple was among the fans there on Thursday and she said: “I’ve lived in Ipswich for a long time and I was a student here. This is fantastic he’s kept 300 people dancing for nearly three hours. It’s changing and it’s brilliant. My daughter and her friends are here and shows music is for all ages.”

Afterwards, Remi caught up with DJ Maseo.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter