Fire in the booth is one of the UK’s longest running freestyle segments with over 300 videos of both UK Rap and UK Hip-hop founded by Radio 1xtra DJ and presenter Charlie Sloth. The aim of Fire in the Booth is to showcase up and coming talent from the UK underground to the BBC audience. With the biggest and most successful Rap artist in the world; Drake, hitting the booth last night, we take a look back at our top Fire in the Booth freestyles.
Before Nines was signed or making crossover tracks like ‘See You Shining’ The North West Rapper was rarely seen on mainstream platforms so this appearance was a big milestone in the career of the street rapper
One of the first ever Fire in the Booths back when Charlie was hosting the Hip-hop Show and Tim Westwood was still at 1xtra the North West Rapper Shut down his freestyle and introduced storytelling in a unique way the passion and hunger for a way out of the hood has made this a FITB Classic.
Kano’s Fire in the Booth debut was a solid 8 mins of effortless barring from an OG Grime artist that knows how to switch it the detailed content, confident delivery, and smooth flow made Charlie declare this the Freestyle to beat.
Wretch 32 & Avelino
During a joint appearance on Charlie Sloth’s platform the Tottenham rapper Wretch 32 stepped up to the Mic and delivered a flawless freestyle about the state of the game and the world whilst confirming his role as teacher and OG the performance was so good that Charlie cut him off 2 minutes in and made Wretch take it from the top.
This freestyle saw a relatively unknown Manchester Grime Bugzy Malone bully his way into the Music Industry with a full out lyrical assault on fellow MC Chipmunk. The surprise element coupled with the passion and confidence in the delivery made this performance a standout lesson that when you are on the come-up determination and planning is just as good as talent.
Socio-Political rapper Akala brought back conscious rap and positive energy at a time where Gangster rap was starting to get traction and artists were seeing record deals the young activist had a lot to say about the state of the youth mentality vs the control strategies put in place by the government. With a host of freestyles promoting a materialistic lifestyle and violent stories from the road positivity and thought-provoking music is always a breath of fresh air.
Grime has changed over the years dramatically and the OG’s have had to make room for new faces and new voices. AJ Tracey is from West London an unlikely home of Grime and he came with a fast-paced shelling style riddled with tales from his streets and world as he knows it showing us it was the time of the new generation of Grime Artists with his Freestyle.
A master lyricist with an accent that just screams working class britain Devlin had to make the list as Freestyling is just so effortless for him and the content is relevant to all races and walks of life within the UK.
Santandave or just Dave as he known today is the conscious voice from the new generation youth with the mind oway beyond his years and a contemporary delivery. This FITB was laid in 2016 and came about as the UK’s newer Rap genre Drill Music was starting to take hold of the younger rap audience and the Grime Scene was hitting its peak so this was a gentle reminder that the real raw expression of a good guy living in bad circumstances was just as relevant and important as every other message being pushed through our speakers.