Rapper Lowkey‘s album launch party took place at the Garage in Highbury last Friday (October 21), full to capacity after the success of his new album peaking at number seven in the iTunes album chart and number one on the hip hop iTunes chart. The line up if nothing else would appeal to hip hop heads with the event hosted by Jonzi D and BBC 1Xtra’s Charlie Sloth with music provided courtesy of DJ Gone and Choice FM’s 279.

Warm up performances came courtesy of London MC on the come up Crazy Haze who soon got into his stride on stage giving us a passionate performance, Awate who also doubled up as Lowkey’s DJ, fellow Peoples Army general Logic, a some spoken word fire from his good friend, political activist and journalist Jody McIntrye and a set from the first of the surprise guests Akala.

At around half 10, Lowkey took to the stage with smart phones, scarves and kufiya’s in the air performing a string of tracks from the album, debuting the title track “Soundtrack To The Struggle” before getting into the better known tracks including “Terrorist” and “Hand On Your Gun.”

After dropping some bars from “Fire In The Booth” from Charlie Sloth’s 1Xtra Hip Hop show, “Alphabet Assassin” from his first album, and Top 1 Selected – his bite back to MTV he brought out none other than Ghetts to a rapturous response from the unsuspecting audience – a surprise due to their past exchange of words derived from MTV’s Top 10 MC list but a statement to show the two in support of each other despite the history.

Back into his picks from the album, he went into “Obama Nation”, “Too Much” featuring Shadia Mansour who provided class vocal duties and the sombre ‘Haunted’. ‘Obama Nation Part 2’ which featured a rowdy guest appearance from Black The Ripper, instructing a call and response from the more than willing crowd, finishing the night with the anthemic “Free Palestine” and “Million Man March”.

If you missed the night, Lowkey goes on the road for seven dates around the UK in November – check out his tourdates below:

4/11 – Brighton, Concorde 2
8/11 – Southampton, The Cellar
10/11 – Nottingham, Polish Eagle Club
13/11 – Birmingham, University of Birmingham
17/11 – Leeds, The Cockpit
21/11 – Manchester, Manchester Academy 2
26/2011 – Derby, Kohinoor Banqueting Suite

Photography by Rakiya Shay [@RakiyaS]