Tinie Tempah - O2 ABC, Glasgow, Tue 23 Feb
Londoner turning grime scene credibility into commercial triumph
Around a decade ago the notion of a British MC storming the charts was as good as laughable. Now Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Example, Chipmunk, N-Dubz and the rest shift hundreds of thousands of records, and the future of UK hip pop is so assured that Mike Skinner can afford to take early retirement.
Dapperly bespectacled Londoner Tinie Tempah is the latest rapper to turn grime scene credibility into commercial triumph. His massively successful year in pop – which has seen him score three number ones and shift half-a-million albums – was capped with a double win at the BRITs, a triumph he celebrated here by getting a young female fan to victoriously wave his two statuettes aloft while he sang ‘Invincible’.
Tempah’s young, studenty, heavily Topshop-attired fan base couldn’t have cared less that there’s barely a thin sliver of difference between the 22-year-old and his above-mentioned contemporaries, as they partied to the cheesy house beats of ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’, the watered-down drum & bass of ‘Frisky’ and dub-inflected Best British Single winner ‘Pass Out’. But as the hip pop field becomes ever more crowded, will they still love him tomorrow?