Blueprint To: UK Rap Freestyle Platforms

  • Tarek Chaudhury

Outside of research I'm involved with various strands of Rap music through my background in broadcast and my current podcast. I wanted to semiotically map the landscape for the many UK Rap Freestyle platforms that now exist, especially as over the last few years, as this category has matured the landscape has had a huge schism with the introduction of new players including large global brands. The biggest challenge was delivering this kind of insight via social media to an audience who don't care very much for stuffy academic quadrant descriptions but still desire engaging content, using the right language and formats. It's one thing to have your insights interrogated by clients, it's quite another to have them potentially torn to pieces by masses of anonymous rap fans over social media, so I had some apprehension but the result has been fantastic! I've had a stream of messages from artists, managers, journalists and even the platforms themselves, all describing the value of the work and the love of this format. I've even spotted rap fans discussing and divulging where their hearts lie in Rap music but using these new terms that I'd coined to split the map!

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