Giggs (rapper)

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Giggs
Birth nameNathaniel Thompson[1]
Also known asHollowman
Born (1983-05-11) 11 May 1983 (age 35) Peckham, London, England
Genres
Occupation(s)Rapper
Years active2005–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitesn1giggs.com

Nathaniel Thompson (born 11 May 1983),[2] better known by his stage name Giggs, is an English rapper from Peckham, South East London. He released his debut studio album Walk in da Park in 2008 and released a follow-up album Let Em Ave It the following year. Giggs released his third studio album When Will It Stop in October 2013. In 2016, Giggs released his fourth album Landlord, which entered and peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart – becoming the highest-charting album of his career. His latest mixtape Wamp 2 Dem was released in 2017. Giggs is also the frontman and founder of record label and rap collective SN1 (Spare No 1), which includes, Gunna Dee, Joe Grind, Kyze and Tiny Boost.

Music career[edit]

Pre-Career[edit]

Giggs states in his interview with NFTR that he started out originally as a DJ in Peckham, predominately playing reggae, ragga and bashment. He also had his own radio station called "Spare No One FM".[3]

2005–08: Career beginnings and Walk in da Park[edit]

After deciding to pursue a music career, he released numerous mixtapes including Hollowman Meets Blade which featured Blade Brown, Welcome to Boomzville, Best of Giggs 1 and 2 and 3 and Ard Bodied, which featured Dubz. His mixtapes have supposedly sold more than 10,000 units. This success helped his popularity expand outside London.[4]

In 2007, Giggs released the track "Talkin' da Hardest", which featured Giggs rapping over the instrumental of Stat Quo's song "Here We Go" originally produced by Dr. Dre. In 2008 he released his debut album Walk in da Park independently. This album helped Giggs’ popularity expand outside London and in 2008 he was nominated for the BET Awards in the US for Best Hip-Hop Act: UK. Giggs won the award beating out more established acts at the time.

2009–12: Let Em Ave It[edit]

In August 2009 Giggs signed a record deal with XL Recordings.

Giggs released Let Em Ave It in 2009 and singles released from that album include "Slow Songs" featuring Mike Skinner, "Look What The Cat Dragged In" and "Don't Go There" featuring American rapper B.o.B. At the Reading Festival in 2010, Giggs appeared on BBC Three, which was his first television appearance, performing his single "Look What The Cat Dragged In". That year he also appeared on Tinchy Stryder's single "Game Over" Alongside Chipmunk, Devlin, Example, Tinie Tempah and Professor Green. The single charted at No. 21 in the Official UK Singles Chart. This year he was nominated at the MOBO awards in the Best UK Hip Hop/Grime category. He was then nominated again for the same award in 2011.

2013–14: When Will It Stop[edit]

In 2013, Giggs released the album When Will It Stop. The album featured artists such as Ed Sheeran and Styles P. It debuted at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming his highest-charting album at the time.

2015–present: Landlord and Wamp 2 Dem[edit]

On 5 August 2016, Giggs released his fourth studio album Landlord independently on SN1 Records. The album features guest appearances from Stormzy, Rico Love, Donae'o and more. It was received well and garnered very positive reviews. Landlord became Giggs' highest entry on the UK Albums Chart, debuting at number two. The album was preceded by the lead single "Whippin Excursion" and followed up with the club-themed "Lock Doh", which achieved a silver certification from the BPI in May 2017.

Also in 2016, Giggs was nominated for several awards at the KA & GRM Daily awards. On the night he walked away with the Artist of the Year Award. This year he was also nominated for two MOBO awards. Best Rap/Hip-Hop and Best Album.

In March 2017, Giggs was featured on two songs from Canadian rapper Drake's album More Life, "No Long Talk" and "KMT".

Giggs brought out Drake as a surprise guest at the Reading & Leeds Festival in 2017, where they performed KMT. [5]

Giggs was also nominated for Best International Act: Europe at the 2017 BET Awards.

On 6 October 2017, Giggs released a new mixtape entitled Wamp 2 Dem. Despite also being offered as a free download, the project sold enough units to enter the UK Albums Chart at number two, making it his joint highest-charting release.

Drake was also a surprise headline act at Wireless 2018 in London, filling in for DJ Khaled. Drake would come out right after Giggs' Wireless set, as they performed KMT together again. [6]

Relationship with police[edit]

Giggs was convicted for possession of a firearm in 2003, and sentenced to two years in prison. In February 2012, police searched a car Giggs was in and found an illegal firearm; Giggs spent six months remanded in custody, despite the driver admitting to owning the gun, as police accused Giggs of being aware of the firearm. Giggs was acquitted on all charges.[7]

Giggs often experienced venues cancelling events he was scheduled to appear at mere hours before the performance.[7][8] Giggs was dropped as support act for Lil Wayne before a 2006 tour without explanation.[8] These incidents have been linked to actions of the Metropolitan Police Service, who have been said to have specifically targeted Giggs.[7][8][9] Giggs believes that they "must have called the venues and threatened them with taking away their licences".[8] In 2010, he said that "every single thing I do that's supposed to be positive, they fuck up for me". In 2013, he stated: "I don't want to get caught up in whose fault it is, or whether the police are after me [...] I'm just happy to be making music again".[7]

In 2009, the Metropolitan Police wrote to XL strongly advising the label not to sign Giggs, though they did so anyway.[8] A 2010 tour planned by Giggs was cancelled due to police warnings.[7] In 2013, Giggs' London performance of material from When Will It Stop was cancelled by police, after they had given him the go-ahead. Giggs responded in a video publicly apologising to fans, reimbursing them for tickets, and sarcastically praising the police's attempts to "slow [him] down".[9]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Commercial mixtapes[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Region Ceremony Category Nominated work Result
2008 United States BET Awards Best Hip Hop Act: UK N/A Won
2010 United Kingdom MOBO Awards Nominated
2011 Best Hip Hop / Grime Act: UK
2017 United States BET Awards Best International Act: Europe

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knight, Gavin (27 August 2012). "We can't hide away from our history of gritty youth culture". The Guardian. London.
  2. ^ Jason Birchmeier. "Giggs | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ Not For The Radio (2016-08-04), Giggs - Landlord, Past, Bangers and More [NFTR], retrieved 2018-09-16
  4. ^ Lester, Paul (19 November 2009). "Giggs (No 672)". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  5. ^ Giggs & Drake perform KMT
  6. ^ Giggs & Drake perform KMT
  7. ^ a b c d e Wolfson, Sam (5 October 2013). "Giggs: prison, police harassment, cancelled tours - When Will It Stop". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e Allen, Lily (12 December 2017). "why giggs is brilliant, by lily allen". i-D. Vice Media. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Giggs issues apology video after London show is cancelled by police – watch". NME. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2018.

External links[edit]