Rising Stars of Street Music Take To The Stage
An innovative new REP show is putting street music performers centre stage to pioneer Grime Theatre.
8sixteen32 is inspired by hip-hop, poetry and Grime – a UK music phenomenon that has developed from drum ‘n’ bass, dancehall and hip-hop, exemplified by Dizzee Rascal, winner of the 2003 Mercury Music Prize and Wiley, who’s hit Wearing My Rolex charted at number 2 this Summer.
8sixteen32 is the first piece of professional theatre to platform Grime music, culture and artists. The production is at The REP from 5 – 8 November.
8sixteen32 began life as a Birmingham Repertory Theatre project in 2006 with the aim of finding out if Grime music could be brought to the stage. An overwhelming 40 MCs turned up to take part and out of this group four have undergone a unique creative process to form the Decypher Collective.
The Decypher Collective are four young rappers and poets from Birmingham – Deci4Life aged 22 from Northfield, Evoke aged 22 from Walsall, RT aged 18 from Quinton and LCB aged 19 from Walsall. A combination of music students and part-time performers, the Collective worked with established poets Charlie Dark from London and Steven ‘Polarbear’ Camden from Birmingham to hone their words into a script.
Based on real-life experiences the story follows four Grime MCs as they battle to make it big in the music industry. Using comedy, stylised movement and a tailor-made score of beats, rhythms and melodies 8sixteen32 also highlights the exploitation of youth culture by the advertising industry. The production takes its name from the number of beats in a bar that Grime MCs count whilst rapping.