Officially Kojo..Live N Kicking At The Hackney Empire
Londoners from North, East, South and West filled out the Hackney Empire on both Friday 20th and Saturday 21st January. The occasion? Well if the location and dates haven't tipped you off ....Kojo the Comedian's 'Live N Kicking' of course!
This was his first stand up show in London in years since he's been moonlighting as a DJ on Choice FM's breakfast show and swanning off to the States to hang with the likes of Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle and Uncle Russ - Russell Simmons.
"Like Rocky, Kojo came on stage amped up by his fighting music, Meek Mill’s ‘I’m A Boss’."
We were invited along to Saturday's performance, a v. big deal as not only was it being filmed for his first ever DVD but Saturday 21st was also his birthday...awww bless! Naturally the celeb set were out in force to support and help celebrate. Milling through VIP we bumped into Jimmy Akingbola - can I just say, what a cool guy!! Other A-list friends included Charlene White, Simon Webbe, Femi O aka Snakeyman, Ricky Norwood (Eastenders' Fat Boy), Jamelia, Lisa Mafia, Jasmine Dotiwala and lots more.
We were having so much fun in VIP we missed the first supporting act! Soz Angel but all reports of this recording artists' performance were good. We got to our seats just in time to see one of our HM faves Mr. Cee. As always Mr. Cee was on top form with his quick wit and story form comedy. Addressing a number of topics including the trials of babyfather's and relating it to his experiences as a Dad and a son. Dressed for the occassion in a well cut, slim fit grey suit (keeping it grown and sexy) Mr. Cee did much more than warm up the crowd. We hope to see you headlining soon Mr. Cee!! We'll be front row and centre!
Next up was a newbie to me, Maureen Younger. If you haven't seen Maureen's stand up please do! Maureen Younger is HI-LARIOUS!!!! From pretending to be preggers to get a seat on the train to being a cougar. There were no holds barred with her set. As she stated she's been doing the black comedy set for a "hot" minute and is usually the one white woman amongst a roster of black male comedians. Whilst this may get a few double takes when she first steps on stage she confidently and comfortably owns the stage. Quite frankly her being white is not and should not be an issue but she works it into her set to put any doubters at ease. Hackney Empire loved it.
The last supporting act was Angel's Island Records label mate Cleo Soul. You may recognise the name as she's on the come up and is def one to watch out for. Performing a cover of Chris Brown's 'She Ain't You' and her own joint 'I'm Ready', Cleo showcased her powerful voice. Although struggling slightly with sound issues Cleo still made an impression.
After a short intermission it was time for the main event! Like Rocky, Kojo came on stage amped up by his fighting music, Meek Mill's 'I'm A Boss'. He went in on everyone and everything; the rioters - Hackney in particular it being his manor an' all, the Blackberry crash, Audley Harrison, the John Terry affair, sex, club culture, relationships, having African parents. It was all fair game, and whilst it was in jest there were underlying messages especially where Kojo addressed the riots and politics. The riots particularly touched a nerve with the self coined Fresh Prince of Hackney. Having been borne and bred in Hackney he was particularly upset and frustrated with events that took place there last summer. One of the reasons he decided his show would return to the Empire.
I think I speak for all that filled the Hackney Empire that night when I say... Welcome Back Kojo!! I beg oh, don't leave us for so long, ah I don't care if P. Diddy Daddy himself calls, YOU NO GO GO!! Ok maybe not all of Hackney Empire but the Africans sure were thinking it! THEY WERE!! Anyway Kojo you get the gist, London loves your comedy so a few more stand up shows won't go amiss!! Add that to your New Year's Resolutions - no it's not too late for resolutions.
If you missed the Fresh Prince reclaim his crown - well not so much reclaim, don't know that there were many contenders to the Hackney throne??!!?. So anyway my point is the Live N Kicking video when released will def be worth a watch if you missed the show. Espesh as it should have some hilarious VIP shenanigans - lookout for Ricky Norwood's shout out, too funny, hope it makes the cut, it's priceless. Keep tuned in to Kojo on Choice, his twitter @OfficialKojo or of course Hotminute for the scoop on when the vid is released.
Kojo you sealed the deal! You were most definitely LIVE and sure as hell KICKED ASS!
Words: Enam G
Photography: Jey Flash