I’m writing a half-arsed review for the little trip I had to the Czech Republic, when I went to the music festival ‘Hip Hop Kemp’ from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st August 2011. The ticket cost me €57 for the full weekend. It is one of the biggest hip-hop festivals in Europe and was held in Hradec Králové (yeah I can’t pronounce it either) which is 1 hour and 40minutes outside of Prague. I met my partner in crime Jonny a.k.a. ‘XyM’ out there in Prague as he flew directly from London.
It was decent sized site and was quite busy. The site was at a disused army base hence there were aircraft hangers around which were halls hosting different things like graffitti, break dancing, reggae, etc… There was the opportunity to play street basketball and watch girls wrestling in chocolate, as well as a massive tomato fight. Some of the stuff was different and bizarre.
The People – They came from all over Europe, but the Czechs (as you might expect) and the Poles made up I reckon 70% of the people. Most people spoke English. Then there were pockets of Slovaks, Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians & Brits. During my time at the festival, it felt like I was at a Nuremburg Rally – such was the sheer number of Aryans there. I reckon 99.8% of the fans were white and most were blonde hair and blue eyed but to be fair everyone was sound and me and Jonny had no trouble whatsoever. The atmosphere was pleasant. There were less ‘wiggers’ and ‘wanksta’s’ than I had originally imagined there would be.
Price wise – everything was reasonable, I didn’t feel ripped off.
Currency – you could only spend in their currency which is the Koruna.
Food – decent options for food – pizza’s, kebabs, falafel stands, burgers, chips, pancakes and a few more things which I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Drinks – poor options for drinks. 1 type of beer, flat cola in a small plastic cup, orange juice in a bottle which tasted of crap, still water in a bottle and finally sparkling water. What me and Jonny should of done was go into the town during the morning (before the acts perform) and buy shit from a supermarket.
Camp site – decent enough, nothing got robbed from my tent, although I did carry my passport and plane ticket around with me all the days to be on the safe side.
Toilets – port-a-loos – horrible as you’d expect.
Showers – you had to normally queue for between 45 mins and 2 hours and was difficult to get the token into the shower for use. Also only a trickle of water came out which pissed me off.
The music was decent no doubt, apart from all the Polish, Czech & German acts who performed.
These were the acts I saw (rating’s of performance in brackets – Uz’s/Jonny’s)…
THURSDAY – WILDCHILD – Was pretty good but kept bringing out his son – Baby Bugaloo to dance which was badly annoying (7.0/5.5)
SNOWGOONS – Very good (8.0/8.0)
ARSONISTS – They were superb, all they songs they performed were excellent (9.5/9.0)
ODD FUTURE – These guys were a joke. The beats were whack and his rapping terrible. I walked off about 3 songs. (3.0/2.0)
FRIDAY – PHI-LIFE CYPHER – Superb, well better than when I saw them in the Magnet in Liverpool. They have some serious skills (8.5/9.0)
RA THE RUGGED MAN – Again superb, I was looking forward to his performance and he didn’t disappoint. (9.0/9.0)
PHAROAHE MONCH – Good variety of songs but the sound system was terrible. You could barely hear him and i’m a fan of his (6.5/6.0)
LOOPTROOP ROCKERS – I never heard of them, but Jonny was hyping them and they were pretty good to be fair (7.5/7.0)
M.O.P. – Headliners on the Friday night, and I wasn’t personally feeling their performance despite they having a reputation for being high energy. Started their set with Cold As Ice and finished with Ante Up (7.0/6.0)
SATURDAY – GUILTY SIMPSON, SEAN PRICE, BLACK MILK – Did a mixture of songs, some decent word play, nice beats, decent performance overall (7.0/6.5)
HEAVY METAL KINGS (Vinnie Paz & Ill Bill) – This was the act I was most looking forward to see and they didn’t disappoint. Great collaborative act (8.5/9.0)
METHOD MAN & REDMAN – Headlined the Saturday night and were surprisingly excellent. I’m not a massive Meth fan although I do like Red, and I only have one of their collaborative album – Blackout (which i’ve barely ever listened to). Even though I didn’t know many of their songs, they were bangin’. Excellent stage presence, excellent energy, and they were on point vocally. Method Man spat some of his verses from Wu-Tang Clan songs while Redman sang some of his solo songs (8.5/8.0)
I’d give this experience an OVERALL RATING of 9 out of 10. I got to see Prague a little bit which is a beautiful city. It was a good atmosphere at the festival site. Loved the music. Everything was reasonably cheap. The people were great, never felt unsafe at any point. No knobheads there whatsoever. Although I didn’t enjoy camping, the showers were terrible and the Poles hijacking the freestyle corner were minor annoyances.