BBC Three’s The Rap Game UK is back for series 2 and the BAFTA-nominated series is set to be bigger and better than ever.
Once again, Krept, Konan and DJ Target are set to mentor and judge six rap hopefuls who will compete to win a single record deal from Krept and Konan’s Play Dirty Label.
Across six 60-minute episodes which will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer from the 22nd of October, we’ll get to see the MCs move in together to a luxury Birmingham penthouse and get put through their paces as they take part in a series of challenges which will put their talent, rhymes, work ethic and potential to the test.
As we wait for the series to start, here are the six contestants.
Hailing from Birmingham, DDroid was previously a part of the Wavy Gang duo but now the artist is going it solo with his “versatile” style of “melodic rap”.
The artist’s track “Big Mistake” which dropped at the tail end of last year generated lots of buzz and now the Brum hailing talent wants to try his hand at winning the coveted Play Dirty Record deal.
DDroid says, “I want to learn the technical stuff… the cons, the pros of the industry. I want to go in-depth. I want to learn how to be a better person and rapper. Like in the clash challenge – if someone sends for you, how are you gonna feel? How are you gonna respond? The competition goes in-depth into the different aspects of the music industry as a whole. It’s gonna be a learning curve. It’s all about what I can take from it – it could mean a lot for me. Win or lose, I’ve won.”
Calling Leeds home is former professional football player Graft.
Taking his talents off the pitch and on to the mic, the former MOBO Unsung winner is ready to show viewers and the judges his talent.
Graft says, “I’m here to win. Whenever I’m involved in something, I play it to win and I play it to better myself. I want to demonstrate all of my capabilities to everyone. I’m here to grow as an artist and I’m here to have a really great time. I think that hunger comes from my sporting background – I love to learn and progress. I love to see myself levelling up in everything I do. I’m hungry to win, learn and succeed. I want to be the best person I can be.”
On his musical style, Graft adds, “I’m versatile. I’m energetic. My music involves a lot of content that is relatable and real. I pride myself on being different to what other people are rapping about. There’s a lot out there. I’ve got flows, metaphors – my stuff is intelligent. I’ve got something for everyone.”
East Londoner Lesia comes from a musical background as her Mum was a funky house singer. Lesia also trained in the performing arts.
This young artist wants to swap her day job as a property inventory clerk for the big stages of the world as a rap star and BBC Three’s The Rap Game UK might just be her chance to do it.
On her motivations for applying, Lesia says, “I want to improve myself as an artist – figure out my strengths, weaknesses. Obviously, we’re being mentored by some of the biggest in the UK right now – so to be able to take advice from them and get that exposure is amazing. I wanna learn about their artistry while I’m here.”
Lesia is right of course. Confirmed mentors include Aitch, Yungen, Ms Banks, Kenny Allstar, Rapman, Wretch 32, Young T & Bugsey, D Double E, Deno and Jme.
With her “soulful” and “melodic rap” style, Lesia is hopeful that she will win the competition.
“I know I’ve got bars”, she says, “I know I can write very well. This process has stretched me in terms of being able to deliver a strong performance with a 24 hour turnaround. In my everyday life, that’s never been necessary. It’s preparing me for those situations in the outside world, when I’m doing music in the future.”
Rapper Micahh’s sound is afro-trap and the artist wants to bring the popular European genre to the UK.
After experiencing homelessness, Micahh has used his experiences to fuel his music and the rapper is ready to win and take on BBC Three’s The Rap Game UK.
“For me, when I am making music, it’s therapeutic to me. There’s nothing that it comes second to. Music is everything. In my music, I tell my story and what I’ve been through. I put my pain in there and I put my experiences in there. So when I’m doing anything to do with music, whether it’s performing or recording, it’s an outlet for me.”
Micahh adds, “Rap is so important. Rap has been a part of my life from the beginning of time. As soon as I can remember, rap has been a part of my life. What it means to me personally…. It’s rhythm and poetry. It’s the new voice. Rap is how you can get your point and your message across. Rap is a voice.”
Scotland’s Shogun might be a familiar face thanks to his time spent touring with rappers like Nas in Glasgow as well as his past BBC Three documentary.
Now the rapper wants to prove that “Scottish people are true lyricists” as he plots to take the UK rap world by storm by winning the coveted Play Dirty deal.
Shogun says, “I love being able to say whatever I want, whenever I want – and get paid for it. I love rapping for the fact it can change people’s lives and give people a way to vicariously escape their own lives. That’s what I listen to rap for. It takes me places and gives me father figures and points of reference that I didn’t have before… listening to an album or an EP. I love rap for the persuasiveness it can have.”
He adds, “Rap can influence entire cultures, not just single individuals. I want to try to be a part of that. I love it. I wouldn’t have anything else to do if I didn’t rap. I’m not good at anything else.”
On his Scottish background and his motives for taking part in the series, Shogun says, “Whether I seem right, wrong or on the fence… I wanna try and truly give people a sense of what it’s like to be in Scotland, in my own little cryptic way. But, like I say, as my style is more refined and my maturity level is higher, I am able to put things into words that I wouldn’t have been able to when I was first being noticed. Hence why I’m here – to reintroduce myself.”
Zones is repping Kent and is ready to prove her worth and talent in the male-dominated world of rap.
With UK female rap seeing a resurgence right now with several shining stars fronting the movement, Zones says she’s next up and is ready to rep for the LGBT community too as an openly gay woman.
Zones says “I want to showcase my talents. I’m a versatile rapper – I don’t really think there’s a sound like mine out in the market now. I’m very different. Right now I’m the underdog – no one knows who I am. I’m gonna put my face to my name. I’m gonna show the greatness that I’ve got.”
She adds, “Music is my zone. Music is my peaceful state of mind. Music is important to me. It’s like freedom in my mind, do you know what I mean? It can help you adapt to any state that you’re feeling. It can help remove you from certain states that you’re feeling in. I feel like music is an expression of my feelings.”
On her sound, Zones leaves us in suspense. She says, “I don’t have a specific style. I’m versatile. I can change anytime. I can jump on any beat. According to my mood, I might write a different type of music. I’m always surprising people.”
Watch the first episode of BBC Three’s The Rap Game UK on Thursday 22nd October at 7pm on BBC iPlayer.