|Chrome & Illinspired live @ the BBC|
The twosome took over BBC Norfolk's studios live last night (Saturday 22nd) and spoke to the show's host, Sophie Little about where hip hop has been, where it is and where it's going regarding the Norfolk locality.
It's a great insight from a pair of guys who Norwich can be thoroughly proud of for keeping the true hip hop ethos, or b-boy mentality throughout their lives. They rightly describe the area as being rich in hip hop history and myself being a relative newcomer to this glorious land of farmers, tractors, hill-less geographical splendour, not to mention three-eyed, incestuous, web-footed simpletons (some of which is not true...), I was mightily surprised when I found it out for myself.
For those of you at their wits' end with me endlessly spouting the goodness of this pair then I duly apologise, but I only speak the truth, call it how I see it...etc...
I happen to be living in a very lucky area as all aspects of the culture are at my doorstep - well, not literally for me as I'm 20 miles east of the whole shebang but a short car ride and I'm in the South Bronx of UK Hip Hop. Cough.
There is a Hall of Fame in the city which is all based around the area of the unused office building in Anglia Square. There was a great Alan Partridge piece done here by GNASHER last Summer to coincide with the big screen movie which was just round the corner. Also if you are visiting the city don't forget to check out the underpass at Grapes Hill where STEP39 amongst many others, regularly paints some breathtaking pieces.
There's a regular monthly (and FREE) hip hop night (No Half Steppin') held at The Rumsey Wells pub (downstairs...I may have mentioned this before...) with Chrome and DJ Just-1 on the decks and Illinspired hosting. There is usually a guest dj each month and sometimes some freestyling from Chrome and Bill - you may be lucky and see Paranoid Parker upon the mic one month dropping fierce verbal bombs.
There is a b-boy/breakdance class that Chrome alongside others helps to teach and some of the students drop in to the No Half Steppin' nights to show their stuff, and they are good.
DJ Just-1 hosts The Hip Hop Sessions show on Norwich's Future Radio each and every Tuesday night at 10pm with special guests DJ MR EPS and the ubiquitous Paranoid Parker.
And even though East Anglia is located in an area on the edge of Britain that one only visits on purpose rather than on the way to somewhere else, there are a lot of big hip hop acts visiting the city - Public Enemy, Lord Finesse, Master Ace, Ultramagnetic MC's, Pharoahe Monch and Premier to name some of the more recent ones - so we are never left out.
In a nutshell, the historical relevance of Norwich hip hop is almost solely on these guys' shoulders insofar as being in the limelight - the poster boys of the culture if you will. However it would be remiss to mention that there are many, many others, however small, that add up to form a large underground presence committed to keeping our artform alive and well.
It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at.
That's how I'm livin'.
- To listen to the Chrome & Illinspired BBC Radio Norfolk show you can listen to it here for a limited period.
- Alternatively you can listen to it here for ever!
(Insecurity of the First World)