In previous years of Prague Sounds, the festival has given a platform to emerging artists at the forefront of the hip-hop and urban scenes – Ghostpoet and Young Fathers, for example, went on to become major stars in the years following their appearances in Prague. This year, we put the spotlight on British rapper Kofi Stone: born in East London and raised in Birmingham, Stone has caught the ear of UK hip-hop royalty (Loyle Carner is an avowed fan and invited Stone to tour with him earlier this year) and music fans alike with a style that marries musicality and respect for the history of the genre with a refreshingly posture-free directness and an honest, personal lyrical perspective.
'Kofi Stone is on the precipice of greatness.'
Stone arrived on the scene in 2017 with the single 'Stories in Pyjamas,' and released his debut album Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does in 2019. The album featured guest appearances from Carner and fellow stars of the UK scene Maverick Sabre and Ady Suleiman, and caused critics to sit up and take notice. It established Stone's signature sound, with its early-90s old-school influences, jazz samples and inflections, and beguiling storytelling flow. Taking inspiration from his childhood struggles and family background, and reflecting on his rise to prominence with humility and insight, the album showcases a narrative-driven form of hip-hop that dispenses with gangster trappings and gets to the heart of things.
Having worked his way up from playground rap battles and busking with a boombox and a microphone on the streets of Birmingham, Stone's integrity and persistence are not in question. And neither is his talent. This is a chance to experience up-close an artist who is surely destined for great things.
Estimated duration of the concert: 80 minutes