GIGGS – UK RAP STAR LETTING UM ‘AVE IT
GIGGS – THE RISE TO STARDOM
Giggs, real name Nathaniel Thompson, is a British rapper with Jamaican blood running through his veins.
Even though he started off in the tough streets of Peckham, SE London, Nathaniel showed his bravery and determination by deciding to pursue rapping as a career instead of a hobby, which seemed impossible due to the undeveloped state of the industry in the UK at that time. Before him, most of the street themed artists were simply putting out their tracks and videos, achieving the success Giggs has to date. Yet just as things were getting more serious for him, Giggs found himself in prison for a year. Thankfully, he used that time to work on his craft.
After coming out of jail, Giggs started out his career by investing in the release of numerous mixtapes – “Hollowman meets Blade”, “Best of Giggs” in three parts and “Ard Bodied.” Since back then he was still in the underground scene, there were no real distribution channels available for him, so in order to get his name out there, Giggs gave out for free and sold bunches of his mixtapes . Even though their sales were modest by mainstream standards, they did help Nathaniel to extend his reach outside of London and to a wider audience, building up a base for his upcoming break-out.
To make things even harder for him, has Giggs’s career was on the rise the police in England was constantly cancelling his shows. But even that didn’t make Nathaniel give up, as he started to organize secret shows at undisclosed locations, which people still happily paid for.
Then the year of 2007 came along and with it, Giggs really exploded, as it marked the release of the “Talkin’ da Hardest” track on the “Ard Bodied” mixtape. A major part of that success was due to the fact that the artist used Stat Quo’s “Here We Go” instrumentals, produced by Dr. Dre, which fit perfectly with Giggs’ rap style. The song was in constant rotation in London clubs, while the video of the track became viral and spread across the world helping the song become the anthem it is today. “Talkin’ da Hardest” proved to be a pivotal moment in his career, as it got him noticed by professional recording companies and allowed him to form a solid fanbase.
Originally one of the main sources of Giggs’ popularity was his street content and his street credibility, combined with his deep voice which became easily recognizable. Now Giggs is recognized has a voice and an artist who represents the ‘man dem’ in the UK.
On the wings of his first major success, Giggs signed a deal with XL Records, which was also Adele’s label at the time. Despite being scared by the police, the publisher decided that they value his talent more than his tainted past. After the signing, Giggs released his debut solo album, “A Walk in da Park” (2008), which received generally favorable reviews and was sold-out in music stores within a couple of days after its release. To the victor went the spoils as it also allowed the artist to win the US BET awards for the best UK Hip Hop Act. This album was also the first one to ever pop up on the charts, allowing Giggs to officially break away from being famous only on the streets.
On his second album, “Let Em ‘Ave It” Giggs unleashed his talent even further. Both in that album and in the subsequent “When Will It Stop” release, the rapper continued to solidify his place at the top-tier of UK’s hardcore rap scene, while also having notable collaborations with the likes of B.o.B., Ed Sheeran and Styles P.
Being one of the pioneers of the underground rap movement in England, Nathaniel knew by first hand how hard was it to make a name for yourself. Giggs created a label which allowed a lot of artists to debut and show themselves to the world of rap.
He is best known for working under the SN1 label (which stands for Spare No 1) where he works with the likes of Joe Grind, Gunna Dee and Young Giggs.
His last released album to date is titled “Landlord”, continuing the SN1 Records independent publishing tradition. It is widely considered to be Giggs’ strongest work yet, and it also proved to be the most popular as well, debuting at №2 in the UK album chart, with singles from the album is “Whippin Excursion” and “Lock Doh” both really clocking up those numbers.
Giggs is one of the most influential artists in the underground UK rap scene. The rapper proved to be an inspiration for a number of other rising British artists, and opened a new niche for them to shine in. And despite all odds is becoming bigger and more popular.
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