Home Grown – The Story of UK Hip-Hop

Earlier this year I was approached by Urbis to help research and curate an exhibition plotting the history of UK Hip-Hop. Despite the infinite scale of this mammoth task and the lack of time and funding, I couldn’t say no! I’ve been a fan of UK Hip-Hop ever since I discovered Son of Noise, Gunshot and Shakka Shazam


I worked alongside Andy Brydon, their in-house curator (responsible for previous shows such as Factory Records, UK Punk and The Black Panthers) and James McNally – UK Hip-Hop’s answer to Norris McWhirter, having written for Hip-Hop Connection for many years as well as being the proud owner of both an obscene record collection and a photographic memory. 


Basically, they did all the hard work while I rang round everyone I could think of to ask for contributions in between reminiscing about the likes of Bridlington ’89, Bad Meaning Good, Barton Hill, Bushkilla and Barry Blue


I missed the opening night due to illness, which is why this post is so overdue. The show runs until March 2010, so if you’re interested in seeing a supermarket sized room full of the contents of nuf B-Boys’ shoe boxes + some incredible photography by the likes of Normski, Al Baker, Beezer and Steve Double, you’re in for a treat. Highlights include: Cookie Crew’s belt buckles, plenty of Dance Energy footage and early Shut Up & Dance flyers from when they were a breakin’ crew… 


On top of the official thank you list from Urbis, I’d like to give extra thanks to: Peter & Paul, Jehst, Junior Disprol, EH?, Mikey Don, Benji Reid, James Lebens, Clare Tavernor, Kilo, Aroe, Steam 156, Will Robson Scott, Alex Fakso, Huw 72, Benjamin Hatton, Tek33, Part 2, Damian Harris, Trevor Jackson, Dan Larkin, Son Records, Juice Aleem, Zach Turner, Rob Fever, Ben Harris, Felix Braun, Charlie Dark, Dan Greenpeace and DJ Yess for all their hard work and for really coming through on this one. Thanks Guys! 


I’d love to see this show tour the likes of the ICA or Barbican, backed up with a proper publication and documentary. Fingers crossed, it may well happen…