This year we welcome back, Loki, real name Darren McGarvey, the Glasgow-based writer, performer, community activist and journalist. Scotland’s most high profile rap artist, he is a founding member of hip-hop collective The Being, a critically acclaimed solo artist, and a veteran battle rapper. Loki’s central role in the development and evolution of Scottish hip-hop cannot be understated, and his influence as a writer and performer can be felt wherever Scottish rap is found.
Brought up in Pollock on the south side of Glasgow, he is a champion of working class values, emphasising community, social responsibility, and self-actualisation. He has made regular media appearances as a social commentator, especially during the 2014 Scottish referendum, writing and presenting 8 programmes about the causes of anti-social behaviour and social deprivation for BBC Radio Scotland, working with youth organisation Volition, teaching young people to rap, and leading a workshop as part of a PowerRap competition for schools, encouraging young people to explore important issues through music and language. In 2015 he had six months as rapper-in-residence with the Violence Reduction Unit.
In 2017 Luath Press published his well-received book, Poverty Safari, as bluntly real as his rap lyrics, it is a call for us all to create a more equal world:
Action on poverty will require a far-reaching, long-term political consensus. It will require compromises and excruciating levels of humility from all of us, including the poor. This may require us to become willing to admit we may be wrong about some things and that there are no easy solutions or clear villains.
Don’t miss him at this year’s Knockengorroch!