#REVIEW MoStack delivers engaging performance at Camden’s Jazz Cafe


MoStack is an enigma. When the North London rapper dropped No Buddy in 2014, there was a clear sense of paranoia emitted that has continued in his choice to cocoon himself in anoraks and fur-lined jackets. This is all while wearing sunglasses. However, the charisma of MoStack has been undeniable from the start, even in music videos where this fear of being bait is the running theme (So Paranoid ft. J Hus.) As his appeal has risen over the years, a willingness to adjust his trademark look has been donned in the form of see-through glasses. At least for live performance, which he has accessorised himself with for Amp Sounds presented by Annie Mac, at The Jazz Cafe in Camden, London.

The unique flows and style that put MoStack in his own class are at once felt as he steps on stage, drawing from 2017 mixtape, High Street Kid. There is anticipation for a tune out of this tracklist –  No Words – a feature with South London’s Dave that forced even the most resistant to Rap to listen. “Dave’s not here today”, he confirms. But that’s okay, as after a long run of features that have led listeners to believe MoStack is the key to immediate bangers, solo MoStack is enough.

In what seems like a commitment to swag out in perpetually fresh tracksuits, noticeable is his bubbly performance persona – almost a contrast to how we usually see him. Excessive clothes coverage screams antisocial, but the performance is engaging and entertaining, particularly when he invites two fans onstage. As he bounces from You Buy Balenciaga’s to Ussy Ussy, Screw & Brew and even Fisherman from J Hus’ Common Sense album, the transitions are seamless and it’s clear by crowd reaction that he is on job. The Jazz Cafe caters to music, but is also a place for casual dining in a highly intimate setting. When you momentarily forget you even ordered food, this is an indication of a good live act. Stage presence does not always mean doing the most – artists are just expected to capture attention and hold it, no matter how many times a song has been performed. With a trail of memorable tracks behind him, this could have easily turned into crowd karaoke. The people wanted pull-ups – more, understandably. As Birmingham rapper and frequent collaborator MIST dropped his album Diamond In The Dirt today, with 2 features by MoStack, you’ve got it.

All eyes remain on MoStack, a musician that has now become synonymous with hits. So while identifying the rapper moving incognito is standard, Mo can run, but he cannot hide.