Hip-hop is no longer that same rebellious subculture found in the courtyard of towering New York City housing buildings. Since its days of vinyl scratching and subway car graffiti, the rhyme-heavy music genre that is rap now reaches the ears of listeners around the globe offering not only an escape for troubled youth, but also a domain for expressing their hardships. And because of its commercialization it serves as another viable career choice among the limited job titles for the unfortunate. Growing up in one of London’s most economically deprived neighborhoods, Aylesbury Estate, Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, or better known as Tinie Tempah, thought rappers only came from America. However, after coming across a South London rap collective dubbed So Solid Crew on television at the age of 12, Tempah realized his desire to be a hip-hop artist really wasn’t that farfetched. Fast forward a few years, multiple record label signings, and appearances on various British television shows and Tinie Tempah is exactly where he dreamt he would be. Since releasing his debut single “Pass Out” in 2010, the London native of Nigerian decent has toured around the world with everyone from Mr. Hudson to Jay-Z, received a slew of international awards, reached the top of multiple music charts, and hit double platinum on his debut studio album Disc-Overy. Hoping to awaken the rest of the world to his refreshing talents and top-notch swag, Tinie Tempah links with HYPEBEAST for our always informative Essentials piece.
Photography: Ravi Sidhu/HYPEBEAST