Ask any grime fan, Eskimo Dance has always been an embedded feature of the scene. Beginning as a small time club night, the event has steadily grown since it was established by Wiley in 2002. Now packing out larger venues such as Printworks London, Eskimo Dance has experienced tremendous growth whilst remaining consistent in being one of the pinnacle grime events for MCs.
With a strong lineup from start to finish, Eskimo Dance set the tone for the night beginning with DJ sets from Sian Anderson and Logan Sama. Reaching new heights, the event was not about to be watered down though. The night was full of legends and risings stars in grime, but DJ Logan Sama ensured the crowd paid homage to the late MCs who helped carry the genre such as Stormin MC.
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As moshpits gained momentum, Eskimo Dance stayed true to itself by attracting a crowd that maintained its energy and positivity throughout the night. Accompanied by Grandmixxer, some of the new gen of grime proved their place on the scene. MCs such as Lewisham’s Yizzy experienced his first Eskimo Dance, alongside PK, Reece West alongside household names such as Capo Lee. Tommy B also gave the back-to-back sets a rawness, fresh off the recent release of ‘Come Out My Way’ with Devlin.
Sharing the platform with female MCs has always been an area for grime to improve on. Unfortunately, the only female artist to appear on stage was Lost Souljah, who captured the attention of the audience with her bold and refreshing presence.
CASisDEAD was certainly one of the highlights of Eskimo Dance and no doubt a highly anticipated feature of the night. The MC didn’t disappoint with a wide offering of his back catalogue including his verse on Giggs’ ‘501 (Hollow & Heston)’ and the infamous “Pat Earrings”. CASisDEAD marked the beginning of the big hitters in grime in the lineup, not only delivering in his performance but also with his mesmerizing visuals.
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As the night went on the energy didn’t dip, it is Eskimo Dance of course! Jaykae took to the stage performing some of his staple tracks such as ‘Moscow’. A quick set from Big Zuu also gave way to another star of the night, JME when he came on stage for their track ‘Fall Off’. Donning a large black jacket with camo shorts, JME provided a healthy dose of nostalgia with tracks such as ‘Calm’ and his mega-hit of 2015, ‘Man Don’t Care’.
The stage continued to get legendary with the presence of President T and P Money, who showed that tracks like ‘Who’s in Charge?’ are cemented in grime’s history. Veteran of the scene, D Double E brought on ‘Talk That Stuff’ MC Halo.
Jammer also didn’t fail to bring a dose of craziness when he created one of the best memes of the night after being shoved on stage by someone resembling ex-Arsenal player Ian Wright.
It takes real devotion to a movement like Eskimo Dance to ensure that it lives on. Stacked with non-stop talent, and attracting an audience who genuinely appreciate the genre, the event is very much a permanent fixture of grime.
As fierce and as raw Eskimo Dance is, the night had an air of positivity and proved that there will long be a healthy appetite for the event.
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Words: Nikita Rathod
Photography: Luke Dyson
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