We have now fully cast Up North and it is fantastic to have all the cast on board, I think it’s going to be a fantastic week with a bunch of really talented actors and I can’t wait. On Tuesday I had lots of fun freestyling at Stoke Newington School as part of a day Rikki Beadle-Blair had organised to tackle homophobia. Rikki has been great for my acting and writing career over the years and has always given me his time and support and he has provided me with numerous opportunities to perform my hip-hop songs at his events and enabled my fan base to grow. So I was more than happy to lend my support. Hip-hop has been great for tackling racism in my opinion, even though the age-old argument about the use of the N-word continues. But hip-hop and I included have to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we have done enough to tackle misogyny and homophobia. Now, hip-hop can’t be blamed for society’s ills and it acts as holding a mirror up to society. But as artists, we do have a responsibility for the content of our lyrics and the power they can have. Hip-hop is still a very ‘macho’ arena, and especially when I used to battle, it was an easy fall back to question someone’s manhood in a homophobic way. The crowd would often lap this up, but as I’ve grown older and wiser I’ve realised that the bigger man and the better MC, shouldn’t have to fall back on this easy point-scoring and put downs. I’m still not perfect, but I’m trying to get better. Although I think racism, sexism and homophobia are three separate fights and get muddied if they are combined, I do think there are a lot of things in common that they share and I think hip-hop should use its the power to help tackle all forms of discrimination. It was great to be part of Rikki’s event this week to help in my own little way.