Thursday, 22 October 2009

Home Grown: The Story of UK Hip Hop

Home grown hip hop recognised
with new exhibition at Urbis
Home Grown: The Story of UK Hip Hop 15 October 2009 – March 2010 Urbis, Manchester Free admission

Tweeted about by Mark Ronson, described as “Jaw dropping” by DJ Semtex, ‘Home Grown: The Story of UK Hip-Hop’ – is a brand new exhibition at Urbis in Manchester. ‘Home Grown’ focuses on the wonderful, unpredictable story of UK hip-hop: a music and culture that came up from the streets - with a little help from some surprisingly eminent friends - to change the face of British music and style. From producing some of Britain’s most esteemed artists, to helping spawn almost every major British dance music genre of the last twenty years, it makes for a cracking story. But surprisingly it is one that has never before been told.

Co-curated by Urbis’s Andy Brydon and hip-hop writer James McNally with the assistance of Kid Acne, ‘Home Grown’ focuses on how British hip-hop became truly British, using an amazing array of multi-media artefacts to tell the story. Whisking you through nearly thirty years of history, the exhibition showcases rare and previously unseen flyers, posters, original cover art, fashion, photography and artefacts from the best private collections, paying tribute to British hip-hop’s indefatigable spirit and its unsung heroes.

But it also enables you to get lost in the sights and sounds, courtesy of rare film footage - sourced directly from the likes of Malcolm McLaren and film maker Dick Fontaine - and touch screen jukeboxes containing over 17 hours of hard to find music – including exclusive live audio from the Wild Bunch’s DJ Milo and the Sindecut’s DJ Fingers. Just as impressively, ‘Home Grown’ boasts the finest selection of British hip-hop photography ever assembled, including rare and evocative shots from the legendary Beezer (photographer of the Wild Bunch before they became Massive Attack), from the inimitable Normski and unseen work by former Hip-Hop Connection staff photographers Paul Hampartsoumian and Richard Reyes. It’s a compelling ride back through time, which not only reveals the fascinating secret history of a truly British sub culture, but its rich and constantly evolving aesthetic.

Andy Brydon commented: “British hip hop has never had the recognition and kudos it deserves. We have a wealth of talent in this country that has developed and grown in the last 30 years to become a respected musical force to be reckoned with and the artists that are consistently breaking through continue to push boundaries and take hip hop further. Many people are unaware of how British hip hop has evolved and of how influential it has been. Through this exhibition visitors will be able to trace the history of the UK scene before discovering what and who will be the next to make their mark.”

Pollyanna Clayton-Stamm, Head of Creative Programmes at Urbis said: “This exhibition continues the ethos that underpins all programming at Urbis, to explore a broad spectrum of popular and often timely topics, reclaiming popular culture by covering sometimes uncharted themes that are not traditionally covered by other galleries or museums. It’s exciting to be highlighting a genre that has had such a huge impact on our culture, not just through music but also fashion, art and film; with this exhibition visitors will for the first time be able fully to understand and appreciate how and why British hip hop developed and where it goes from here.”

Contributors include Malcolm McLaren, Normski, Cookie Pryce (Cookie Crew), Paul Hampartsoumian, Mr. Dexter (The Brotherhood), Simon Harris, MC Duke, DJ Fingers and Crazy Noddy (the Sindecut), Rodney P, DMC, DJ 279, Fallacy, Tom Dixon and Nick Jones (The Language Lab), Skitz, Part 2, Greg Wilson, Jehst, Big Smoke, King Fu, Deal Real, DJ MK, Dreph, Junior Disprol, Benji Reid, Andy Cowan, Vie Marshall, Beezer, DJ Milo, Aroe (First Down), Tuf Tim Twist (Rock Steady Crew), Mikey DON (Krispy), Mike Lewis, Big Dada, Jake Green, Rising Styles (Hip Hop Festival), photographer Richard Reyes and Contact Theatre.

Urbis is open daily 10am-6pm

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