British rapper, Rapman, is living the dream on Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation. Rapman, real name Andrew Onwubolu, attracted the attention of Jay-Z after he saw his three-part YouTube series, Shiro’s Story.
Based on the experience of Rapman growing up in London, the three-part musical series gives insight into London’s gangs. From gang rivalries to drug dealing, the series deals with the issues head on, but doesn’t glamorize it.
UK gang issues highlighted before but Shiro’s Story is put across almost completely through rap, with little conversation. The first two parts received almost 8 million views on YouTube, with the trilogy gaining over 20 million views. To add to the success of the series, part 2 won GRM Daily’s 2018 Video of the Year award.
Before each episode on YouTube, Rapman issues an important, educated statement to anybody involved in the gang lifestyle. He said, “Young people are fighting and dying for areas they have no ownership over. The youth need to realize they are not soldiers enlisted by the government to defend and regulate areas, they are simply residents by circumstance.”
Jay-Z Invites Rapman To Sign With Roc Nation
Jay-Z, a fan of the series, made enquiries about part 4 of the series. But when he found out that it didn’t exist, as a result, he decided to sign Rapman. His deal with Roc Nation includes management, film, TV and his own record label.
The announcement came on Rapman’s Instagram, posting a picture standing next to Jay-Z in Bell Air. Rapman said, “he dropped so many gems on me. I literally feel like I’m ready to take over the world!! It truly was a life changing experience and made me know with hard work consistency and faith anything in life is possible.
Since signing the deal, Rapman has directed the Paramount pictures feature movie, Blue Story, for expected release in November.