Can you tell us your earliest memory of hip hop in Derby?
I came to Derby in 2000 and there was already an established monthly hip hop night known as ‘Off the Hook’ at Union 1 Venue, which is now flattened and used as parking for Derby college. This would feature some of the premier hip hop acts of the time. I always remember the break dancing circle featuring Trinity Warriors and just good times, good music, and a fantastic night.
When the nights finished there wasn’t really much going on so that’s when we decided to put one at the Five Lamps (pub).

Can you tell us a bit more about that?
My good friend ‘Mistah Crowe’ did the first one and then we got on it together. The night was called ‘Homegrown’ with an emphasis on local talent and would feature the five elements of hip hop including live graffiti which was something different that stood out for the night. We ran the night monthly and at one point were sponsored by Red Stripe. I have a collection of original flyers… We would have people doing graffiti, break dancing, DJ’ing, and open mic which always went down well. There were a few people like Amit, Gordon aka Gidge, Mistah Crowe, Mistah Toe, BFG, Daz the Graff Man used to come down as well.

The hip hop scene in Derby back then was really good, there was good venues (Union 1, the Gatehouse), big artists (Scratch Perverts, Skinny Man, Task Force, Rodney P) who came to Derby to perform.