The backdrop to London’s 2012 Olympic Games first allowed us access to George The Poet, with his insightful look into the real inner-state of the capital in My City. More a poem than a song itself, it was My City that not only opened our eyes and ears out to the spoken-word’s impressive might at placing visual imagery into vocabulary, but also offered an alternative twist to Plan B’s Ill Manors, released around the same time.
In fact, George The Poet’s rise to where he is now (real name George Mpanga), has been fairly arduous, but nonetheless a wondrous take on graft and determination. Coming from a Harlesden council estate, his mother’s strive for success placed him at Barnet’s Queen Elizabeth’s Boys School (in a bizarre twist, the same school where our own editor also spent many of his young years), and subsequently led him to study in Cambridge. However, one must supposedly thank his upbringing to allow Mpanga awareness to the young grime and crime culture that was emerging in London toward the late-90s/early-00s, and it was thanks to this that he started creating poetic stories far more mature than his young years.
It’s not just observational however, George The Poet’s output packs more punch than a politician’s candidacy speech, whilst almost every piece of his collection ignites some kind of thought-provoking stimulus.
Ultimately, George The Poet may have lost out on the BRIT’s Critics Choice Award for 2015, but nevertheless it finally shows the respect he fully deserves from an industry that has finally cottoned-on. Teaming up with the likes of Bodhi and Jakwob throughout the year (the former taking centre-stage on October EP The Chicken and the Egg), we’re hopeful for more of the same as Mpanga ventures into his 25th year. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke…
Stream the thought-provoking My City below: