The Search for Britain's Best Young Rapper is Now Over
Posted by James Newton
14-year old takes the title
Konami's search for the UK's best young lyricist just came to an end with the crowning of 14-year old Leah Newcombe for her rap about the perils of fitting in at school.
UK rapper Chipmunk visited Leah's school in Hertfordshire to play a little Def Jam Rapstar with the new champion, though not using Kinect as the sensor-enabling patch is yet to hit. We'll update you when the game receives this anticipated update and bring you a full review soon afterwards.
The Def Jam Rapstar: Rhyme Master UK schools competition has come to an end with 14 year old Hertfordshire student Leah Newcombe from The Chauncy School in Ware being crowned as the winner by chart topping artist Chipmunk. The nationwide competition, supported by the National Literacy Trust and sponsored by Def Jam Rapstar, aimed to help young people across the country understand the importance of vocabulary, rhythm and rhyme in writing.
Chipmunk said of the young talent: “There was a lot of great talent that came through from all over the UK and I was blown away by how good some of the rhymes were. But Leah really stood out with an incredible heartfelt lyric about fitting in at school... so mature for only 14 years old! Congratulations to Leah – great to see you at your school. Thanks to everyone who took part in this competition, there are a lot of talented rhyme-writers out there!.”
The Def Jam Rapstar Rhyme Master competition was opened to young people in the UK aged between 12 and 17. Entrants rapped about topics that included bullying, divorce, Macbeth and a novel rendition of a Christmas Carol. The prize will see the winner get a very special school visit from Mr Chip Diddy Chip himself who will share some vital music advice and present the winner with Def Jam Rapstar goodies.
Leah, whose track ‘Misfits’ was selected as the winning piece said: “I heard about the competition online and as I love writing and really wanted to meet Chipmunk I thought I’d see if I could win. I worked on it for two days some of it contains things that I was feeling at the time. I really enjoy English at school and would love to do this as a job when I leave. I much rather write than perform but I wouldn’t mind if Chipmunk wanted to rap my lyrics.”
Leah’s English teacher, Holly Conroy said: “Leah is very creative and does a lot of work in her own time so we’re very proud that her commitment has been recognised. This ties in perfectly with work we’re doing at present that explores how culture is reflected in language.”
Entries were judged by a representative from Reading for Life and Mr Rupert Davies of the Def Jam Rapstar UK team with Chipmunk giving the final seal of approval. Judges looked for good use of vocabulary, an understanding of structure, creative writing skills and use of rhythm and rhyme. The judges ruled: “Leah’s rap demonstrates creative flair and originality. The lyrics speak volumes for Leah’s ability to distinguish her inspirational attitude and individual rapping style.”
Jack Sallabank of the Reading for Life Campaign added “Through Reading for Life we aim to inspire and engage young people in fun and creative reading and writing activities that are relevant to their lives. Writing rap lyrics is a perfect example, as many young people listen to rap music in their daily lives and are passionate about their favourite rap artists.”
Def Jam Rapstar continues the search for new talent next year when players will be offered the chance to win a record deal with Atlantic Records UK - the first time an artist will be signed through a video game.