Tim Westwood excitedly took to the airwaves on Friday 22 August 1997 with the ‘Fat Friday’ Radio1 Rap Show. It was the opener for a long weekend of parties and a performance the following Monday that he would later refer to as the Gig of a Lifetime.
Westwood parties at Notting Hill Carnival werent simply raise-the-roof roadblocks, they were as close as the 90s generation would get to that raw energy of the park jams of the late 70s in NY. The session in 97 wasnt just gonna be another jam, it wasnt gonna be another year of guest DJs droppin bangers alongside Westwood, 1997 was the year that the live performances started. 1997 was a year at Carnival that many Londoners would never forget.
The freestyles and conversations that took place on air that Friday night were legendary, weve upped both tapes from the RRR archives.
The first 45 minutes from the Flipmode tape features a truly iconic session from the ex-Leaders of the New School MC and his crew. It is THE classic session that gets talked about, due to DJ Scratchator on the cut, and the unapologetic and relentless ‘Flipmode rip up zip codes’ freestyle. Both Busta & Tim referring to Dash as Damion several times is just bonus shits and giggles. Jigga and Dash drop a couple of World Premieres off DAT tape from the yet to be released In My Lifetime, Jigga spits a few lines from the Primo produced Rhyme no More and Damon gets his hustle on. They talk up Sauce Money and crow-bar a couple of Christión tracks. On Side B, Mr Carter is referred to as a mustard gas, mace in the face type MC by Busta and Westwood respectively.
The Sunday sessions [Family Day] would be presented as UK Day with Fallacy, Funky DL and others on stage at the top end of Portobello Road under the Westway in Ladbroke Grove, West London. ‘Grove’, to the elders of the community, was the home of all things graffiti back in the early 80s, and therefore a command center for all things Hip-Hop in London.
The Monday would feature an unimaginable line-up; as well as Chris Goldfinger and Westwood hypin the set, Jay-Z was top-billin with Damon Dash, Lil Kim and the Rocafella street team in tow. Busta Rhymes, Rampage and the Flipmode squad were next in line. Beenie Man, Red Rat & Goofy from the Main Street Crew were also on the line-up, as well as Glamma Kid and Common [Sense] earlier on in the afternoon. EPMD were also due to perform, and for all those jumping on the disturbingly mainstream endorsed twerking bandwagon of 2013, there was a ‘bass-dance competition’ for the girls [with a ‘£100 cold cash’ prize for the winner].
Big respect to all the HMV and Aids sufferers !?!