Black History Month Profiles III: Fauzia Agbonhin

Award-winning London poet Fauzia Agbonhin shares her mini-profiles of artists she admires as she explores hip hop as it is lived and performed here.

In addition to her award-winning slam poetry, Fauzia Agbonhin follows London hip hop. Here she introduces some performers she calls “underground black artists partaking in the hip hop genre” — in their words and hers.

Talented artists Isaac Mapp, Kofi Agyeman, King Cruff, Koto the King, and Solo Yt are local Londoners and black male artists. Many of them are full-time students at Western University but all of them have juggled school life, music, and the weight of being a black man in this society, she says.

“Black boys like Mapp, Tunnels, Koto, Solo, and Cruff are the kinds of people society has to protect,” Agbonhin says when discussing the importance of her viral poem An ode to the black boys who died to make hip hop happen.


When asked about how he uses his music to express his black identity, King Cruff says, “There’s something about speaking on the black experience in my music that gives it a sense of hidden power. In a weird way, it grants me this unapologetic edge. There was a time when people would use my skin colour as a way to make me insecure. But my music has always been about tackling insecurities, and addressing where they stem from. So every chance I get, I make sure to remind people how dark I am and how nappy my hair is. I talk about my skin colour like it’s a suit of armor. And it gives my sound this underlying militancy that I feel makes it both more rugged and more honest.” Cruff has been writing music since he was 17. Now, at 23, his newest song Let Me Forget is out on all platforms.

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