A BAND of South Tyneside pals are moving to their own beat – by spreading the word for the borough’s own rap battle.
There’ll be rhyme for a reason at Dusk nightclub, in Coston Drive, South Shields, next month when the stage is set for the first verbal shots of a new rap-battle league to serve the whole of the North East.
Whether you think you’re South Shields’s answer to Slim Shady or want to graduate to being the next Professor Green, music-loving friends Alex Green, 28, Daryl King, 20, and Niki King, 23, all from South Shields, and Alan Bryce, 30, and Ben Potts, 21, both from Jarrow, are calling on rap fans to show their mettle on the mic.
The forward-thinking five – known collectively as NEGrief – are aiming to show rapping talent can be found not just Stateside, but in South Tyneside too.
Alex said: “With the rap-battle scene growing bigger and bigger in the UK over the last few years, and gaining more and more fans recently, we were looking to put together a league to serve the North East.
“We aim to promote local rappers and businesses, and to grow into the biggest rap-battle league in the North East.
“We are holding events every two months, which will include try-out battles, local rappers and other rappers from across the UK, as well as guest rappers performing live sets.
“We are constantly on the lookout for new talent, and we have a one-hour open mic slot at the first event for anyone wanting to try out.”
The group – which set up last year to share a life-long love of lyrics – are hosting their first rap-battle event on Friday, February 1, called Chapter 1.
Tickets are £4 in advance or £5 on the door for the event, which runs from 7pm until 11pm, with free entry to Dusk nightclub after the show for all who have bought tickets.
Alex added; “Our main battle of the night will see two of the most recognised rappers in South Shields, Barrabus and Triple B, up against two very well-known battlers from Liverpool, Dave 3 Ways and Evila.
“The evening will also see live PA set from our guest host Max Simpson (aka Suus) from Newcastle, who will be covering and promoting some of his new and old music (available for download from iTunes), along with DJ Mista Kris providing the music in between performances.”
Tickets are available from Conways Cycles, in Salem Street, South Shields, and K.T. Tattoo Studio, in Station Road, Hebburn.
The rap night series already has healthy sponsorship, including North East photography and filmography firm NJK Photography, and 4OUR Clothing company, who also produce NEGrief’s branded T-shirts.
The first event will also sponsored by South Tyneside businesses Conway’s Cycles, Redstar Clothing, Redemption Clothing, Momotaj Restaurant and KT Tattoo Studio.
For more information on how to get involved or to get tickets, visit www.facebook.com/NEGrief
You can also follow the group on Twitter, @NEGrief