North London rapper Awate has been on the UK hip-hop scene for a while now. He’s toured with the likes of Lowkey, Mic Righteous, Smif-N-Wessun and Akala, so is well established.
This street poet, born in Eritrea but raised in Camden, is an activist who campaigns for racial justice. As a result of his experiences and similarly to Lowkey, Awate’s lyrical content focuses on social issues such as poverty, police brutality and race.
Whilst standing up for the rights of his people, Awate has had a number of altercations with the Police. One arrest at an anti-fascist demonstration was caught on tape. The footage is used as the opening to the music video ‘Out Here’.
The 2016 single ‘Out Here’ is from his first release titled Shine Ancient and produced by Turkish. Directed by Becka Seglow Hudson and Saoud Khalaf, the video shows clips of Awate performing whilst on tour.
In a recent interview, Awate summed up how hip-hop and revolution certainly go hand in hand.
“I contextualize hip-hop as being a descendant or part of that same struggle the Black Panthers were involved in. The dreams never came through, things fell apart. The parents or uncles of my favorite rappers were either in jail, on the run, or assassinated, like Nas’, Tupac’s. Kanye’s parents were Black Panthers, 50 Cent’s parents were part of the Great Migration, the reason I am a refugee from Africa is the same reason they were refugees from the South. It’s all a continuation – we are the children of a failed revolution.”