On my radar: Kojey Radical's cultural highlights

The rapper and artist on giving 70s funk a spin, his favourite fried chicken in London and the path to true happiness

British rapper and visual artist Kojey Radical was born in east London in 1993. He graduated from London College of Fashion with a degree in fashion illustration and his first EP, 23Winters, debuted at number three on the UK rap and hip-hop charts in 2016. His music mixes spoken word, hip-hop and alternative rap and grime to explore sociopolitical issues. He has collaborated with artists and musicians from rapper Ghetts to visual artist Hito Steyerl. His latest single, Good, is out on 11 September.

1. Album

Just a Touch of Love by Slave

Watch a video for Just a Touch of Love by Slave

As I’ve been trying to write my album, I’ve kind of stopped interacting with music, but I have slowly been introducing myself to obscure pockets of it. Recently, I’ve been really into old funk albums. Funk is undefeated and there’s something very timely about the aesthetics behind black music from the 70s and 80s. My obsession has mostly been around the album covers. I recently had a little baby boy, so Just a Touch of Love by Slave has been giving me inspiration. The title song and Funky Lady are bangers.

2. Film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand
Subtle statements about racism: Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand. Photograph: Allstar/Fox Searchlight Pictures

Martin McDonagh’s film is about a mother who loses her daughter to murder. She wants justice and feels the police aren’t doing enough. She erects three billboards at the edge of the town to call out the police. But the problem is that the town is so small and is mainly old white people who love the police. They all go against the woman because she’s going against the police, even though it was her daughter who was attacked. The film makes really subtle statements about how racism is swept under the carpet in small towns like that. It was a hilarious but also a sad watch.

3. Podcast

Halfcast Podcast

Chuckie Online
Chuckie Online: ‘a really comfortable listen’. Photograph: no credit

Halfcast Podcast is hosted by Chuckie Online, a TV and radio presenter who got his start in DJing. He discusses anything and everything – from the economy, and how black people can progress and build wealth, to why Wiley beefed with Stormzy. You never know what you’re going to get each week. I’ve always rated Chuckie’s approach to podcasting and his willingness to accept when he’s right and when he’s wrong. I think podcasts can be so opinion-based, and there’s often little accountability, but Chuckie takes his time to pay attention, which makes it a really comfortable listen.

4. Restaurant

Sweet Chick

Sweet Chick London
Sweet Chick: ‘American diner-style food with black origins.’ Photograph: Sweet Chick

This is a franchise founded by [rapper] Nas. It’s always been my favourite restaurant to go to in New York. They opened one in London last year. It was dope, because all the staff were super-duper friendly and accommodating and were fans of my music. It’s a nice place to hang out. I bump into cool people when I’m there, so it became this hub. The food is mainly fried chicken and waffles, American diner-style food but with black origins. I am going to go out on a limb and say it’s the best fried chicken and waffles I’ve ever had.

5. Television

Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave/UKTV Play)

Big Zuu’s Big Eats
‘I had to respect it’: Big Zuu’s Big Eats. Photograph: UKTV

Being in lockdown, I was cooking from home a lot more and being able to see someone like me, from the same ends as me, care about food and really put their heart into it – and not really have to change who they are for the sake of being on TV – I had to respect it. Big Zuu does chef up, but I like it when he does simple stuff like a chicken burger – things that are familiar to me, but with fresher ingredients.

6. Book

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Mark Manson
Mark Manson, whose book ‘teaches you that everything you do in life doesn’t have to be for the sake of public opinion’. Photograph: Supplied

It’s about helping yourself by looking at the world and figuring out the best way to exist in your own state of being content. To me, that was a big goal. It gets to the point really quickly. It teaches you that everything you do in life doesn’t have to be for the sake of public opinion, and the more you start doing for yourself and pleasing yourself, the happier you’ll be in the long run. The state of opinion is constantly changing and you can’t place your self-esteem in the hands of something that will ultimately change.


Kadish Morris

The GuardianTramp

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