In the summer of 2018, local rappers ‘Dockem and Malone’ released the music video for ‘Get Right.’ I cannot put into words the feelings that this moment conjured up for me. The newfound knowledge that two people from my hometown were making moves as rappers suddenly made my dreams seem within reach. My small, seaside city no longer felt detached from the big music scenes in London, Manchester, and Birmingham. I was in the same world as them, and the bridge between us had its foundation built. A spark was ignited.
Stemming from this initial spark was a journey that has culminated (so far) in two mixtape releases, 3 music videos, and a vast array of new like-minded connections along the south coast. I never imagined that I would be lucky enough to be a part of a movement that echoed the rise of Hip Hop from the streets of New York. Members of the Hip Hop niche knew they had something special; it was only a matter of time before the rest of the country caught up. I know many young artists along the south coast find inspiration from the bubbling energy of the Bronx in the 1970s.
Amid the vast ocean of young, ambitious creatives, I have taken the time to reflect over my experiences and came to the following conclusion: the south coast Hip Hop and creative scene is next up. To confirm my feeling of an inevitable breakthrough, I’ve taken inspiration from Reverb Nations article on ‘How to build a music scene,’ to prove it really is just a 'matter of time.'
‘Impactful music scenes can only happen once musicians make the effort to attend each other’s shows and spread the word about the music being made by other artists in the community.’
"There’s no making it ‘big’ without your hometown’s backing"
Every artist knows there’s no making it ‘big’ without your hometown’s backing. I believe the relatively small size of Portsmouth and other cities on the south coast will accelerate our growth. Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in the United Kingdom, rising artists catch on like wildfire, becoming local phenomena faster than they would in larger cities. A distinct lack of sub-scenes means a sense of community dominates, ensuring ‘musicians make the effort to attend each other’s shows and spread the word about the music being made by other artists in the community’ – In Hip Hop’s golden age, sub-scenes were vessels for competitive energy which often hindered collaboration.
"Strong work ethic, loyalty, and trust are personality traits most of the music scene looks for in artists, and there’s no better place to develop them than in a small, active music scene." ~ ReverbNation
The rising energy doesn’t just end at music, it branches out into fashion, photography, videography and the arts. Now, more than ever, there’s plenty avenues for local artists to gain experience with stages, studios, and cameras: start up fashion brands collab with local musicians; event companies host nights showcasing the local hip hop scene; music studios help capture sounds professionally, and visual artists (videographers and photographers) help actualise the artist’s work in visual form.
I believe the perfect upcoming music scene is a breeding ground for sparks that ignite inspiration in the local creative youth. There are so many talented people within the south coast scene and I encourage readers to use the comments as a space to name and uplift said members. Over time we’ve all started to do for each other what Dockem and Malone’s video did for me, pushing all of us closer to greatness. I hope this article has captured the essence of my love for the local scene. If you haven’t already, go check out our shows, artists and events - you won't regret it.