“ster·e·o·type – a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”
Bad schools, rampant obesity, a teenage mum pandemic – every town and city has its stereotypes, however, Hull, it seems, suffers more than most; slighted not only by the ignorant opinions of outsiders but dogged by negative mind-sets from those that call the city home.
Hull, like many other cities, has its problems, but it also has a lot to be proud of. Prominent voices championing its cause, though, are few and far between – something not lost on native lyricist Chiedu Oraka.
Sometimes, moving forward – individually and collectively – requires the voice of a peer. One of your own to point out your faults; but also to remind you of what’s going in your favour. Chiedu is this man.
“I’m from a City” is a celebration of Hull’s qualities; a reminder of its drawbacks and a truthful diction of the mentalities holding it back.
Backed by melodic, piano-driven beat from DJ One-Step, the 21st Kid’s poignant lyrics explore the harsh realities and collective low self-esteem of life in Hull, before showcasing the best of what city has to offer, from William Wilberforce to the Humberside Bridge to sporting success and, of course, the people.
“I’m from a city where ambition seems lost / if you dare to believe, you can achieve what you want.”
The video, filmed by Chris Hopkins and Dom Dyson, complements the track brilliantly, adding real faces and places to the pictures painted lyrically by Oraka’s broad Yorkshire dialect.
“I’m From a City” is a track driven by love; love for a city, its history and its natives. It’s a track that couldn’t have been delivered in any other way by anybody else. Whether you reside there or not, Oraka leaves you with a new appreciation of Hull. But at no point does it alienate. You see, this is a tale of inner city life, of ambition and of making the most of the hand you’ve been dealt, and that’s a message that resonates way beyond the confines of East Riding of Yorkshire.
“Do I hate my city? / Na, I love my city / If you do too, just spread the message with me.”
“I’m From a City” is available to download for free from SoundCloud:
Follow Chiedu Oraka on twitter @orakald and check him out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chieduorakaofficial