On Thursday 6th June, XOYO Shoreditch, London, played host to Zebra Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx. If you’re unfamiliar with this act, Zebra Katz, real name Ojay Morgan, 26, is the genius behind cult song ‘Ima Read’. Although the tune was written back in 2011, fashion designer Rick Owens chose to coin the phrase during his 2012 Paris fashion show – catapulting Mad Decent‘s Zebra Katz into the limelight. Here’s ‘Ima Read’, which the duo actually chose to close the show with, throwing in an impromtu remix performed from within the crowd. One word – Awesome.
Now going back to the start … Zebra and Njena first came on stage following support act MOKO (find out more about MOKO here). Zebra came on wearing no less than a gimp mask and full overalls, Njena less freaky in some aztec MC Hammer pants and black vest top. If you’re akin to Zebra Katz you’d expect nothing less. Not only is Ojay a lyrical genius, but there is always a certain amount of theatre to his act, so his creepy presence in the chosen outfit worked well. The show opened with the monotone & unwholesome number ‘Sex Sells’ and ‘W8WTF’.
XOYO was the perfect venue for the duo to headline; underground, dark and intimate. It is so refreshing to see live performers give their all – Zebra Katz and Njena made sure we were paying attention at all times. None of this Iggy Azalea crap of laying down on stage ‘because she was too tired’. The duo werked it. Njena killed it with her song ‘Needful Things’ – the song gave her a chance to show off her enviable rapping skills; while Zebra showed off his bitchin dance moves.
Zebra Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx will be playing at other venues across the UK in the next few months. They’ve just performed at Rockness Festival – INVERNESS 7th – 9th June 2013 and Parkflife Festival – MANCHESTER 8th – 9th June. You can still get tickets to watch them supporting Die Antwoord at HMV Ritz – MANCHESTER – on 21st June 2013. They are then at the O2 Brixton Academy – LONDON – on 22nd June 2013. They’re also hitting the festival scene, performing at LOVEBOX, victoria Park London and Glastonbury.
They also performed ‘Hey Ladies‘, ‘Pull a Stunt’ and ‘Y I D O’ at XOYO. It’s not often you come away from a gig feeling like the act have passed on some of their energy to the crowd – but these two did exactly that after their finale ‘Ima Read’. All in all it was an amazing show with the right amount of everything. I cant see Zebra Katz ever making it on to the mainstream unless he chose to tone down his lyrics; but I think thats all part of the appeal. The New York rapper is comfortable in the underground scene and has gained respect from his position. Who knows what Mad Decent’s DIPLO’s plans are for his future. Will we be seeing Zebra Katz collaborating with a more mainstream artist soon? Zebra supported Azealia Banks during her 2012 UK tour, and she released her own cover of ‘Ima Read’. We predict a collaboration before the year is out 😉
- Zebra Katz – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Zebra Katz: ‘Creating a strong, black, queer male is something that needed to happen’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Zebra Katz | DRKLNG (thisheartsonfire.com)