Giggs - The Fact File

Five Facts You Didn’t Know About Giggs:

  1. The rapper is signed to XL Recordings – the label of best-selling artists such as Adele
  2. He won a BET Award in 2008 with an independent album
  3. Giggs runs his own shop SN1 Wear in Peckham, South London
  4. He has a nine-year-old son
  5. Giggs founded his own record label called SN1 Entertainment

Giggs is a 25-year-old rapper hailing from Peckham, South London. Giggs, better known by his Jamaican single mother as Nathan Thompson, grew up in deprived Pecknam (as in Viet-nam) and was involved in gangs and drugs in his teens and early twenties. He rose to fame with his most popular song ‘Talking The Hardest’ - a track many have described as a grime anthem.

But in 2003 Giggs was sentenced to two years in prison for possessing a weapon without a license. After his time behind bars, he started pursuing rapping as a career instead of as a hobby. Giggs released ‘Montague’ in 2007 which helped increase his popularity. The track featured the South Londoner rapping over the beat from American hip-hop artist Stat Quo's song ‘Here We Go’, originally produced by Dr. Dre. He then released his debut independent album Walk In Da Park on 4 August 2008. Releasing a debut album was more of a triumph for Giggs than most other artists. The album received mainly positive reviews and was successful, selling out in most HMV stores within the first two days of release. This success helped Giggs’ popularity expand outside his hometown London. In 2008 the rapper was nominated for the BET Awards in the US. The rapper won his category and walked away with the award for Best Hip-Hop Act: UK - beating the likes of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal and Chip (formerly Chipmunk). In late in 2009 XL Recordings, the home of Adele and M.I.A, signed Giggs. When he first signed to XL Recordings, the record label was allegedly warned by Operation Trident not to back the London rapper due to his previous criminal charges.

The label ignored the warning and Giggs released his sophomore album ‘Let Em Ave It’ in 2010. The album did extremely well and debuted at No.35 in the Official Album Charts. The single ‘Don't Go There’, which featured guest vocals from Atlanta’s B.o.B, got a large amount of airplay. ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ was the third single from the album and peaked at No.52 in the UK Singles Chart. Giggs went on to be nominated for a MOBO Award in the ‘Best Hip-Hop Act: UK’ category.

Following his sophomore album, Giggs's alter ego Hollowman was nominated for a second MOBO Award for ‘Best Hip-Hop/Grime Act’ in 2011. But interrupting his flow of success, Giggs was arrested again for firearms along with three other occupants earlier this year. A police vehicle search revealed a loaded semi-automatic browning gun with a bullet in the breach, the safety off and six rounds in the magazine. UK rapper Giggs was in the front passenger seat. All four were charged with possession with intent to endanger life. Giggs was held in Brixton Prison for nearly four months after the arrest.

However the Hollowman recently found some redemption; he was fully acquitted in court after pleading innocent. Giggs and the other three occupants were all found not guilty on Friday 24 August. One young man - the gun’s owner - pleaded guilty for possessing the gun.

Prior to his arrest in February, the rapper was booked to perform at one of the country’s largest live events, Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend headlined by President Obama's favourite Jay-Z. Upon being released and cleared of charges, Thompson took to Twitter to thank his fans: “GOD IS GREAT. Big thanx to the jury for recognising my innocence. Thanks to everyone for all the positive energy and support”, he tweeted.

Since his stint in jail, the Peckham native has sworn off crime and gotten serious about his career. His second label album under XL Recordings, entitled When Will It Stop?, is scheduled to come out later this year. With the right marketing strategy alongside his loyal fan base, the album is set to see Giggs rocket up the scale of notoriety.

Driven to make the best music he can, Giggs is at an intriguing crossroads: does he strive to be as big as he desires, or does he stand by his staunch refusal to play by the rules? Keep your eyes peeled backwards like a banana. Giggs has no intention of stopping – he’s got his eyes on conquering America.

Welcome home, Giggs.


Tim Katoga (Marvell)