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Where We Come From Rap, Home and Hope in Modern Britain

Aniefiok Ekpoudom

Where We Come From Rap, Home and Hope in Modern Britain Aniefiok Ekpoudom


Where We Come From Rap, Home and Hope in Modern Britain

Aniefiok Ekpoudom

Hardback (18 Jan 2024)

A stunning social history of British rap and grime by one of the nation's foremost cultural chroniclers.

'A stunning exploration of a genre, a movement and a world. It's every bit as lyrical as the rap Ekpoudom has documented.'


'Illuminating and intimate. Ekpoudom's prose is rhythmic and deft but also crackles with joy. I know I'll be reading it for years to come.'

CALEB AZUMAH NELSON, author of Small Worlds

'[An] engaging, erudite, sweeping social history of grime in Britain . . . The writing is sublime.'


'Brims with life and reverberates, long after you have closed its pages, with a quiet, lasting power.'


'Ekpoudom is, hands down, one of Britain's best music writers, as attested by his new book, Where We Come From, a kaleidoscopic, state-of-the-nation social and cultural history.'



I met people who never quite fit in where they were supposed to, who found solace, salvation and meaning in these sounds, these words.

Something is happening in Britain, trembling the tracks as it unfolds. Recent years have borne witness to underground genres leaking out from the inner cities, going on to become some of the most popular music in the nation.

In this groundbreaking social history, journalist Aniefiok Ekpoudom travels the country to paint a compelling portrait of the dawn, boom and subsequent blossoming of UK rap and grime. Taking us from the heart of south London to the West Midlands and South Wales, he explores how a history of migration and an enduring spirit of resistance have shaped the current realities of these linked communities and the music they produce. These sounds have become vessels for the marginalised, carrying Black and working-class stories into the light.

Vividly depicted and compassionately told, Where We Come From weaves together intimate stories of resilience, courage and loss, as well as a shared music culture that gave refuge and purpose to those in search of belonging. Ekpoudom offers a rich chronicle of rap, identity, place and, above all, the social and human condition in modern Britain.


'Where We Come From emerges as more than just a historical account; it's a mixtape and a comprehensive journey through Britain told from the perspective of the people who have spent the past seventy years shaping the culture.'


'A rousing, inspiring, often breathtaking history that reads with the flow of a magnificent novel. Ekpoudom is one of the very finest chroniclers of black British culture.'

MUSA OKWONGA, author of One Of Them

'A landmark work that will undoubtedly shape conversations about not just UK rap and grime, but British music for years to come.'

YOMI ADEGOKE, author of The List

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