Kojey Radical – KOKO, London

On another rainy Tuesday evening, Kojey Radical blessed the sold-out stage of London’s KOKO for the final note of his Can I Speak UK and Europe tour. Following Etta Bond’s sensual performance, the only human being capable of pulling off a bright red beret entered the stage dressed in a full-on khaki outfit. Kojey Radical being who he is, the jacket did come off.

The UK rapper blessed his fans by performing a variety of his songs, from his poetic yet grime words to a heart wrenching spoken word solo. Even though Mahalia wasn’t able to join the audience to sing along Kojey Radical on their song “Water”, the fans of the performer sang their hearts out. The Hackney-born artist also celebrated London’s drum and bass vibes by performing his collaboration with MJ Cole, “Soak It Up”, who wasn’t present either.

Kojey’s fans were offered the surprise visit of Ghetts who performed his track “Black Rose”, which celebrates fatherhood and the beauty and strength of the black community, but specifically black women. The singer also invited one of the UK’s first prominent MC’s, Wretch 32, to perform his track “Colour Purple”.

The East London rapper has a way to make his lyrics so powerful and conscious with a dynamic musicality. He translated this strength on stage, by opening up about his own mental health, depression and paying tribute to his deceased friend, Harry Uzoka. The model was stabbed in the heart in an altercation back in January.

With his positively intimidating presence, Radical remembered his friend while wearing a custom-made denim jacket by artist Emmanuel Unaji. The change in fashion was obviously accompanied by a different beret, a grey-blue one. But picture a room filled with more than a thousand people, standing in silence, supporting Radical through this expression his feelings. On stage, photographs, short videos and snaps showing Uzoka by himself and accompanied by Kojey Radical were shown in a mosaic screen installation.

The rapper empowers every single human being who listens to his music. His melodies, tailored to each word he expresses, are what makes him stand out. But on that rainy Tuesday evening, unless you were sucked into a mosh pit, it felt as if Kojey Radical was sharing his story, his feelings with you individually. Following an emotional rollercoaster, the singer shared how he will always be there for anyone who reaches out to him – whether it’s in times of sadness, joy or just for a friendly chat. So if you’re looking for someone to talk to or simply someone to listen to you in time of need, slide in those DMs.

Photos: Nour Hassaïne