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Victory Lap Radio are running the rap scene

From humble beginnings, Victory Lap Radio had already established themselves as frontrunners of the British scene in 2023. Now the collective looks towards the rest of 2024 with great anticipation.

Giving yourself title of ‘home of the underground’ can seem braggadocious to some, but in Victory Lap Radio’s case, it’s anything but undeserved.

In their own words, Victory Lap Radio is: “A collective of musicians, producers and creatives putting on a monthly show with us – showcasing the best in the London hip-hop scene.”

Founded in 2019 by Joe McDermott on a trip to New York, the collective has since risen to the top of all things UK Rap.

The full number of creatives in the Victory Lap team at this point is a mystery, but we see frequent appearances from Joe, Newport Pagnell native Niko B, BXKS, Brian Nasty, Omari Lyseight, Brandon Nega, Cody Tyler and Gray The Jeweller.

Whether it’s hip-hop, alt-rap or chill R&B, Victory Lap have reinstalled a sense of community into the British scene giving a platform for all renditions of rap to thrive in.

Victory Lap has been broadcast as a live monthly radio show on indie station Balamii since 2020. Their station mainly features a melee of cyphers and freestyles which have consistently been going viral for the best of two years and they show absolutely no signs of slowing down.

What differentiates Victory Lap from other hotbeds of UK talent is undoubtedly their laid-back energy which brings a fresh energy into the scene.

The Victory Lap formula is essentially filling a studio with talented emcees and film the chemistry and bars of the rappers on a low-budget fish-eye lens camera. Which would seem to be quite simple looking in from the outside however, the charm of the setup has helped them garner a cult following.

As a result, and testament to his work as founder of Victory Lap, Joe McDermott has been featured in the Dazed 100 and New Wave Magazine’s Top 50 Creatives of the Year. Being tuned in to the culture will always eventually bear fruit and Victory Lap have been locked in.

Joe explained in an interview with The Face: “The [audience] want to see them passing a phone around, passing the mic, cracking jokes and forgetting their bars.”

That easy-going mentality seriously sets Victory Lap apart from their high-budget counterparts Daily Duppy and Mad About Bars.

On the release if Dave and Central Cee’s Split Decision release came Victory Lap’s crowning moment, so far. The Victory Lap X RTW freestyle saw the UK juggernauts, Dave and Central Cee, further catapult the collective into a new stratosphere as the mainstream were made to take notice of radio station. This doesn’t take away from Niko B, Rushy and Luton’s own BXKS who all had viral moments of their own.

The rise of Victory Lap is eerily reminiscent of the pirate radio era of the noughties which saw the likes of BBK and Dizzee Rascal rise to prominence alongside Grime. But Victory Lap’s work isn’t a caricature of Jammer’s Lord of the Mics but instead the natural progression.

Plamedi Mbungu



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