According to a report by an American academic earlier this year, Scotland invented rap music “ages ago”. And Edinburgh’s Young Fathers are continuing that tradition with some style. The group recently completed a UK tour with Simian Mobile Disco and they will rejoin SMD for 2 shows in Heidelberg and Berlin later this month.

“Scottish hip-hop? They compare it to Australian jazz or something.” So says Ally Massaquoi, only half-joking. Not that he cares. He makes up one third of the hottest hip-hop act around – other people’s ignorance no longer bothers him. Massaquoi, along with Graham Hastings, otherwise known as G, and Kayus Bankole, who likes to be called KS, are all Edinburgh-based and Edinburgh-raised. “Music should have no boundaries,” says KS, matter-of-factly. Collectively, these three 20-year old lads make up Young Fathers. Now stand up and pay attention.

NME described them as being “locked somewhere between De La Soul and 3T, but re-imagined for the hipster generation.” was more direct in its praises. “Young Fathers have got JUICE.” And right now, they sure do. When we meet in the City Cafe, Massaquoi is nursing a Pepsi, having hit George Street the night before. “Were you reekin?” asks KS, laughing.

“Aw mate..” Massaquoi shakes his head, unable to finish the sentence, grinning at the memory.

It might come as a shock to some, but in reality it’s unsurprsing that the capital has finally produced a hip-hop act that has grabbed the attention of the wider public.  There has been a thriving underground scene for years. This small community of like-minded souls was the key to the formation of Young Fathers.

“We met at an under-18s hip-hop night at the Bongo Club called Lickshot, when we were about 14,” explains Massaquoi. “I knew KS from my school, and these other two guys who introduced me to G.”

“It was the first under 18s hip-hop night in Edinburgh,” adds KS. “It was orignally every two weeks but they made so much money they made it every week.”

From The Journal, Interview: Young Fathers, by Chris McCall. Full article here

Tour dates and ticket info below.



Photo credit: John Lewis