Just six days after releasing his highly anticipated full-length mixtape ‘Content With Content’, Zuhair “Big Zuu” Hussain filled out O2’s Islington Academy for his headline show. Set to perform the new tape amongst some older classics, the West London star put his own stamp onto a traditional grime set.
Part of the new generation of Grime MC’s, the twenty-three-year-old brought a show to North London like no other. With multiple support acts to get the audience hyped, the crowd began filling out thick and fast as the time loomed for Zuu to take centre stage.
The simplicity of the night felt like a breath of fresh air within the scene as Zuu took to the stage in a no-frills manner. No build up, no drum roll, just walked out from behind the backstage curtains and introduced himself.
Whether it was down to nerves or sheer excitement, Zuu stared out into the crowd that he had managed to pull. Repeatedly thanking the audience for their attendance, love and support through his career before kicking off the night with Intro (Tension) from his new Content With Content tape.
Working the crowd effortlessly with his lovable charm and commanding presence, he cracked jokes whilst giving shout-outs to his mum who stood amongst the fans. His energy and enthusiasm seemed endless as he spat through his well-loved tracks buoying up the sing-along-crew to get involved with every chorus of his hits.
The atmosphere quickly turned electric as P Money ran out on stage to perform his verse in their track, Elevation. He wasn’t the only guest that Zuu had brought along to the headline show as JME walked out on stage only a few tracks later. Taking a seat on the stage JME declares “this is theatre, this is mad” as Zuu reveals to the audience how he used to watch JME perform in raves and has now reached a point in his career where he works alongside his idols.
As a fan watching on, you felt like a true part in Big Zuu’s journey. He spoke about how far he’s come and encourages the crowd to follow their own dreams. “This shit ain’t easy but as long as it goes to plan, you have to roll with it and not give up”, Zuu told the crowd time and again, as he explained the meaning behind his new mixtapes title.
The combination of thought-provoking grime lyrics alongside melodic hooks kept the set flowing in all the right places keeping the crowd wanting more. As his set came to close he called out for his ‘mandem’ to join him. A group of 20 strong flooded the stage including P Money, JME, Novelist and Zuu’s family.
Proving his melodic flow throughout his set he made sure that his bars weren’t lacking as the mic was chucked between artists in a ferocious flow over a seemingly endless stream of instrumentals in classic grime style.
With his combination of melodic beats and quick-fire delivery of impassioned lyrics, Big Zuu is not an act you should ever turn down an opportunity to see. Three projects deep into his career and the MC has so much more left to explore. Just getting started in experimenting with how far he can push the boundaries of his music, he is one to watch. He’s doing it B.I.G.