Islington's Young Blessed Gifted sets up hip hop concert

Young Blessed Gifted

Young Blessed Gifted is to throw its third hip-hop event - Credit: Young Blessed Gifted

Islington-based event organisers Young Blessed Gifted has dedicated its third concert to shining a light on emerging hip-hop artists.

The company is partnering with technology firm SoapBox Islington Youth Center to throw an event starring six London-based artists of R'n'B, grime, and drill.

Originally from Islington, 26-year-old founder of Young Blessed Gifted Eli Belmar has been nominated every year since 2017 to perform and write at the European Youth Parliament Festival in Strasbourg.

Now living in Hackney, Eli organises events to support young artists. He said: “The theme of my previous event was bringing the two genres together, grime and drill, to show unity.” 

For newbies, drill and grime music belong to the hip-hop world. Grime originated in the East End in the early 2000s, it took its roots on pirate radios - like rock’n’roll - and has now spread worldwide thanks to artists like Stormzy.

Drill music comes from Chicago, it’s slower and in some way, darker.

If both genres were often linked to violence and accused of promoting criminality, they became a healthy place for young people to invest their creativity and rhyme their realities. 

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Eli said: “They talk about their everyday life, if their reality is violence, drugs and jail, that’s what they’ll write.”

“Music is an avenue of independence,” Eli added. Creating a source of income aside from their main one, young people find an escape with music. However, support is lacking. 

“In Islington and Hackney, there is a downfall of youth provision, there aren't many activities for young people. But there’s also a splurging creativity,” said Eli.

Eli, also known as ‘Impact’ in his community, is willing to show a different way of understanding rap music and its sub-genres.

“I want to create a platform to give artists more opportunities, and provide them a real creative experience,” he said. 

On December 1, the show will take place on Old Street in Islington. Headline grime artist Velli will be accompanied by Ruby Rose, S Grabz, Premelvz, Cheeze, P-Lay and Jaymaker.

Bookings here: https://fixr.co/event/729845713

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