ocean wisdom

Gig Review: Ocean Wisdom Rides The Waves On His 2021 Tour at the O2 Academy, Birmingham

In Grime, Hip Hop by Vicky Thompson

After cancelling his 2020 show due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Camden-born Brighton-bred rapper is back with a vengeance on his 2021 UK tour this October.

On the 19th of October, Ocean Wisdom arrived at the O2 Academy in Birmingham to perform his latest set, including supporting acts from Splurgeboys and Eyez.

Before taking to stage, his incredibly unique name illuminated the room with his signature graffiti font causing fans to anticipate what was only to come.

Both supporting acts set the tone for the energy that Ocean was about to deliver, and at around 9 pm, Ocean took to the stage, and you could feel the lights getting brighter and the room getting hotter from the excitement brewing below deck. Ocean Wisdom entered the stage with a smile and kicked off his first track with ‘Blessed’ from the 2019 EP Big Talk featuring Dizzee Rascal.

Performing most of his tracks from both his latest 2021 album Stay Sane and 2019 EP Big Talk gave him the chance to solidify himself as the character he has evolved into since the previously signed High Focus days.

With his plain white tee and bright orange Camden-based Cyberdog pants, he carried a real sense of warmth and nonchalance with him, as if he was trying to show us who he now is with a great deal of conviction.

Wisdom displayed nothing short of incredible stage presence when using the whole stage to connect with his fans. He also took the time to big up the most hyped-up fans in the crowd in between sets. Having been inspired by beatboxing within his lyrical flow, his projection was assertive, yet his flow was percussive.

The rapper is recognised as the fastest rapper worldwide, and he certainly did not fail to live up to that title in this tour. Giving us flow after flow and beat after beat with such flawlessness, the crowd danced and bopped in unison – something that is so special about rap gigs. The perfect ping-pong effect that Ocean had between himself and his fans created an abundance of awe in the atmosphere.

The O2 Academy in Birmingham was a relatively small venue which made the show feel very intimate, up-close and personal. The performance felt like you were there with him rather than watching him. The show felt just like he was amongst his peers than on a stage above everyone.

Despite only performing for one hour, he still found the time to deliver a range of songs, including Shorty Gud, Ting Dun, Brick or Bat and Revvin’ featuring Dizzee Rascal. Ocean connected with his fans on stage, but he also took the time to post and re-share his fans’ posts on his social media platforms, which added to his humble generosity to treat his fans with respect and gratitude.

Not only did he deliver energy, but he delivered an incredibly humble and human performance both on and off stage. The only criticism was that it just wasn’t enough for them! The fans were still screaming his name for more even after he left the stage.

Ocean Wisdom knew just how to surf the waves of this 2021 tour, and something tells me he’s only going to get bigger and better. With such a percussive and effortless flow and a charming and humble personality, the fish that Ocean Wisdom will have to fry is only getting bigger and better by the day.