Peace, reader. I am Joel the Custodian. That’s me in the specs. I live in Birmingham, England. I’m a fan of rap.
I’ve been a rapper myself since 1991. I’ve performed all over the UK and parts of the US and Western Europe. You can watch my medieval rap film here: The Quickener. I plan to release a new rap project in Autumn 2020.
After hearing me rap, people who are clearly not fans of rap music will sometimes approach me and claim:
- that they were surprised that they understood most of the lyrics
- that I’m the first ‘positive’ rapper they’ve ever heard
This last point has always disturbed me. Seriously? With rap being the most pervasive musical artform on the planet, I’m the first ‘positive’ rapper they’ve ever heard? I glad I can point people to 70 Elevators.
Since the late 90’s me and my friends have been waving a flag for home-grown hip-hop lyricists and collaborating with younger rappers we see potential in. So really, I’m more than a rap fan, I’m somewhere between a rap coach and a cheerleader.
From 2008-2010 myself and my friend Zaeb Dust hosted a monthly hip-hop night in Birmingham called The Unseen. We wanted to show that hip-hop is a living movement of men AND women where vocal gymnastics, rhythmic experiments, positivity, political fury, creative catharsis and party vibes co-exist.
Now we host a regular freestyle rap cipher FLOWMOTION, fully living in the moment and to feeding off each other’s energies.
Our mantra was and still is: We’re living in a new golden age of hip-hop right now! We need to recognize it, breathe it in and enjoy it!