What comes to mind when you think of the infamous Brixton PDC gang’s legacy? Drugs, robberies, violence? What about community support, artistry, and a second chance at life?
Meet ex-member and reformed prisoner Noble1BOF, who has used music to turn his life around and now vows to keep young people from making the same mistakes he did.
Noble’s style has been described as grime-adjacent hip-hop with elements of the drill and contemporary Brixton soundwaves that crash onto the shores of old school influences. Noble1BOF’s delivery is distinctly the UK, but hard bars are met with drop-dead gorgeous beats and features.
Noble first started writing bars behind bars, emulating the rappers he idolised like Drake and Giggs. In particular, Styles P. Listening to Styles P’s first album, A Gangsta & A Gentlemen, was how Noble first learnt to form and shape a track and ultimately found the inspiration and drive to turn his life around using the medium of music.
During his final stint inside, Noble dedicated himself to writing and quickly worked with the Irene Taylor Trust, which gave him his first opportunity to perform while in prison. Since then, Noble has become an ambassador for the Irene Taylor Trust, working with young people at risk of offending to help prevent them from following in his footsteps.
Even more remarkably, Noble has since gone on to be a key artist at Red Tangent Records, a label founded by The National Lottery Community Fund as a Lived Experience label. The brand is led by a team of ex-prisoners, for ex-prisoners, giving ex-prisoners a real opportunity to reform their lives and offering a way out of the vicious cycle of re-offending. Noble is uniquely positioned to be an ex-prisoner artist on an ex-prisoner label with ex-prisoner management.
Noble explained, discussing his upcoming release: ‘These bars are my life, you know? It’s my story, and yes, sometimes there’s swagger, and sometimes it’s cold. Every day, I hate driving past these corners where one of the men dem got shot. I’ve got close friends doing life sentences; 15 years of my life have been spent inside a prison, most of that in a cell. These tracks are my life story.’
Benefits of Freedom is just the beginning for Noble1BOF, who is now primed and ready to go ahead of headlining his event, championing local hip hop, at Brixton Jamm on the 29th June.