The Uk Rap Up With Tobz
The month of April got off to a pretty disappointing start, with the crushing news that the second annual OMAs (Official Mixtape Awards) was called off by the Metropolitan Police. The event was only days away when they claimed that the ceremony was supporting "criminals", despite the fact that last year's ceremony went ahead without any issues or controversy...
In a fledgling scene trying to advance, situations like this have sadly become the norm over the past few years. As of right now, latest news is that a new venue has been found and the OMAs will be commencing soon. Ironically, mirroring the shutdown of the actual mixtape awards, the scene has been unusually quiet on the mixtape front. It seems the big names are prepping their summer releases and are content with dropping freestyles and warm up singles to keep the buzz going for now.
Something interesting that took place was the release of Mike Skinner's memoir, 'The Story Of The Streets'. Whilst reading, it became apparent to me that the glory of the book came not just in the highs he reached in his career, but also the lows and the struggles along the way. I realised that any artist lucky enough to have had a long and seasoned career in the game will most certainly come with an abundance of stories to tell. Skinner is in a category no different to many others in the UK rap scene.
Giggs, JaJa Soze, Skinnyman, K Koke and Klashnekoff have been on their music grind for at least a decade. If the initiative is taken, I have no doubt that the demand to hear and read about their experiences is there. Another artist who regularly explores a different facet of his talents is Peckham's Buck, real name Michael Maris, who is already a much regarded actor in his own right. April saw the release of the impressive promo trailer for 'Victim', a full-length feature film co-written by Buck. The film will be in cinemas nationwide in June, so be sure to go out and support it when it hits the screens.
As of now, it’s so important that we show that the scene doesn’t begin and end with the simple infrastructure of music, radio and video. There are so many avenues to encompass; ultimately the goal is to create a UK rap culture, an overall identity. It wont happen overnight, as the OMA experience shows, there will be obstacles (even from those you would think should be lending a helping hand) but we need the right people to be putting down the foundation work from now.
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)