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Lifestyle & Leisure

40 years of Irish hip hop

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020 2:32pm

A new documentary chronicling the journey of hip hop in Ireland over the past 40 years will premiere on RTÉ One tonight.

Presented by Red Bull, ‘Origins: The Story of Irish Hip Hop’ has been in the works for several years and is the most comprehensive oral history of the genre’s Irish lifespan to date.

The 52-minute documentary, produced by Collective Films, features interviews with journalists, music industry figures, musicians, archivists, fans and more, as they explore the reasons behind the booming Irish hip hop scene in 2020 and how exactly it came to be.

The documentary goes straight to the source, telling the story of how hip hop slowly infiltrated Irish culture over the course of four decades, going from a niche underground genre to one that is nipping at the heels of mainstream channels today.

One section sees actor Emmet Kirwan and rapper/author/podcast host Blindboy discuss how hip hop became a voice for the Irish working class, and how the playing field changed when artists found the courage to rap in their authentic accents.

In another part, London-born Maverick Sabre speaks about how hip hop helped him to fine-tune his identity, growing up with both an English and Irish perspective.

Also featuring are Jafaris, Denise Chaila and God Knows who discuss the infusion of their African backgrounds with their Irish upbringing and how it impacts their music and the stories they tell in their songs.

Those au fait with Ireland’s hip hop scene will see a lot of familiar faces throughout the documentary, while it also attempts to introduce a wider Irish audience to a genre that has been here for many years, but is only now really having its moment in the spotlight.

Artists featured include; Biig Piig, Breezy Ideygoke, Collie Costello, Damien Dempsey, Denise Chalia, DJ Flip, Emmet Kirwan, Fehdah, Frankie Grimes, Scary Éire, DJ Mek, God Knows, Jafaris, Kneecap, Kojaque, Lethal Dialect, Luca Palm, Mango X Mathman, Mark Murphy, Maverick Saber, Messiah J & The Expert, Mr. Affiliate from J.B2, Murli, Nealo, Ophelia, Rob Kelly, Strange Boy, Blindboy of the Rubberbandits, and Yamma Yamma.

Origins: The Story of Irish Hip Hop premieres tonight, Thursday 3 September, on RTÉ One at 10.15pm and will be available to stream on redbull.com from 11 September.

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