Greater Manchester based charity I4YPC, in partnership with Dataspire Solutions and in association with Unity Radio, are launching #RapYourTown – an online project aimed at supporting young people to express themselves through the art of rap.
RapYourTown is the brainchild of actor, producer, youth project facilitator and Founder/CEO of I4YPC, Micky Dacks, as an offshoot from his self-penned urban musical ‘Innit’ which had its showcase and ran at The Lowry Theatre in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
The competition challenges young people aged 13 – 19 to write and submit a rap that expresses their feelings, observations and thoughts about the area they live in. All entries submitted to the #RapYourTown website will be judged by industry professionals including Unity Radio’s Founder Jon Green and Micky himself, amongst others, and the winner will receive a pair of the latest Dre Beats Studio Wireless headphones and a chance to develop the lyrics to performance and possibly even production, in association with Unity Radio.
I4YPC Founder/CEO, Micky Dacks said:
“Seeing all the news reports about the concerns surrounding young people’s mental health deteriorating in lockdown, combined with provision for youth work being restricted and then the tragedy of the temporary loss of live Arts in the UK, I knew I had to do something, so I combined my passion for working with young people and my knowledge of how effective the Arts are at building confidence, to create an offshoot of my original urban musical, Innit”
In 2009, Micky co-wrote, produced and directed the street-based urban musical ‘Innit’ which premiered at The Lowry and was based on his own experience of growing up in the inner city, ending up in prison and then finding a way out and growth, ultimately changing course and turning his life around through music. The mission of ‘Innit’ was to get young people into the theatre and inspire them to express themselves through creativity and divert them from going down the same route Micky did. The musical was so popular with young people that it received much acclaim from the sector and additional dates had to be added.
“If I look back at my own past and see how the impact of abuse, exploitation, dysfunction and anti-social behaviour and attachments influenced the road I travelled – which resulted in me being in prison; and then how those rare moments of exposure to creativity gave me such great food for growth; that if I’d have had more exposure to being able to express the hurt, confusion and feelings I was suffering, then I know things would have been different.”
Micky approached Unity Radio’s Jon Green, who like Micky, has spent many years working with young people in Greater Manchester. Unity Radio will reach out to their younger audience to engage listeners to enter the competition and support the project to find the next young rap song lyricist…
The project and competition has also had a personal seal of approval from the legend that is Stevie Wonder, whose ‘Past Time Paradise’ was sampled in the 1995 smash hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ – still one of the biggest selling commercial rap songs of all time – and is featured as part of the educational workshop element of the #rapyourtown project!
To enter, budding artists are asked to go to www.rapyourtown.uk from 08.02.21 until midnight 08.03.21 and submit their piece, with audio, video or simply written lyrics.