Selected by: James Keith

Name: Stardom

Where He’s From: Birmingham

When He Started: 2003

Genre: Rap

File Next To: SafOne, Skrapz, Ratlin, Potter Payper

Sounds like: “I would say it’s street rap—a real, authentic sound from the streets of Birmingham.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “The first song I heard that made me want to do music was Tupac’s ‘Until The End Of Time’. I loved Tupac—his whole vibe. That’s when I thought, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’”

The last couple of years have been big for Birmingham rhymer Stardom. His appearances on Fire In The Booth and Tim Westwood’s Crib Sessions left a huge dent on the UK rap scene and those not already tuned into Stardom’s searing tales of street life came flocking to YouTube in search of more. That’s never a bad thing, of course, but it’s worth pointing out that Stardom has over a decade of work to get to grips with—and he deserves props for all of it.

If you want to go right back to day zero, you can try your best to find some of the early UKG bubblers he made with his old crew TCK, but his earliest output in the rap world came in 2004 with a salute to his hometown called “Let Me Tell You About Birmingham”. His upbringing was soundtracked by a cocktail of his sister’s R&B, his mum’s reggae and his brother’s rap collection, all of which has informed Stardom’s sound. And since those early days, he’s been stacking up street anthems with a relentless drive.

Although he’s long since earned the respect of the underground rap scenes in Birmingham and the rest of the UK, it’s only recently that the industry and wider world have warmed up to Stardom’s uncompromisingly raw storytelling. In the long-run, that seems to have served him well and kept him grounded. He says his biggest achievement, so far, is simply “still being relevant and rising after rapping for so long. I’ve been doing this for years and I'm starting to see the recognition now.”

It’s still a shame though, because the eagerness with which fans eat up his music today suggests his music is something they’ve wanted for a long time. The consistent stride that his hit by lacing his tough, melody-tinged and thoroughly Brummie flow over tough rap productions has yielded fan favourite after fan favourite. Your long-overdue deep dive into the back catalogue of Stardom begins here.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on October 09, 2019