SmifeSmife was born Justin Smith Uzomba to Nigerian parents on May 22nd 1984 in Hackney, East London. He was raised partly in Stoke Newington, North London, but since 10 years old hes been living in De Beauvoir Town with both parents and 3 of 4 sisters.

He was the second of 5 children brought up in staunch Catholic fashion where piety and academic success were the two main objectives objectives set out by his Father, that is. The young Smife was blessed with intelligence but also bore a mischievous streak that often made him appear disruptive and would eventually cause his expulsion from his first secondary school, The London Oratory in Fulham, South West London.

SmifeWhile at his second school, Saint Aloysius in Haringey, North London, the teenage Smife became more and more interested in urban music and would often find solace in the music rooms at lunchtimes, sitting and listening to the MCs recite lyrics over live percussion and watching the dancers formulate routines for showcases. Smife was happy to merely view and listen to the displays of talent and it never crossed his mind that he too possessed a gift that was patiently waiting to be utilised.

Smife wouldnt exploit this additional blessing until 18, when one of his then regular misdemeanours would inadvertently cause the opportunity to arise. By now Smife had written a handful of lyrics to UK Garage which was the genre of choice for most of his peers. For a while though, he had been longing to express himself differently as the popularity of violent lyrical content within the music style was steadily growing.

Smife enjoyed playing with words and using his vocabulary to its full potential and to him, simply making rhyming threats all the time didnt seem to be enabling him to do that. During an evening at community service punishment administered in order to curb his recklessness Smife spontaneously started to pen a 16 bar verse with a rap flow. Numerous verses subsequently followed day after day until Smife decided to share what he had created.

Enter DStyle alias Ragz from the T.R.U.E.N.T.Z (True Realists Understand Even Non-ThugZ) a.k.a. TNT. Smife and Ragz had been friends for a while so Smife confided in him and asked his honest opinion of a selection of the stanzas he had conceived. Ragz assured him that the quality of the bars was substantial and went as far as to suggest that he and Shauny Dubs (Smifes friend since five years old) join his crew as new additions.

With the passing months came numerous departures from, and arrivals to, the group. Also encountered were PAs, pirate radio spins, television interviews, low budget videos aired on Channel U and MC battles, among other experiences. The cartel went through highs like a highest position of 18 in the Channel U Top 20 for their debut video, Get Money; and lows like rejection from record labels.

Smife

Apparently unperturbed in the face of such misfortune, the tenacious T.R.U.E.N.T.Z strived on and recorded a mix tape album The Truth Volume 1 an urban masterpiece, sold on the streets to the discerning British Hip-Hop supporters that were lucky enough to purchase a copy. After another video: Straight From The Heart, one that incidentally didnt make the Channel U charts but garnered the rappers nationwide respect as credible lyricists, certain events forced Smife and the rest of TNT to part company and Smife was left alone and completely bewildered as to how he would now go about establishing himself as a solo artist.

Accustomed by now to taking chances, Smife left an ad on the Channel U website presenting himself as an aspiring artist looking for management and / or production. The plea was answered by none other than Xtraordinary aka Xtra from the 3 piece rap group, Nxus. Smife and Xtra have been working on Ready When You Are, Smifes impending debut album since early 2005 and its completion will hopefully signal a revolution in British urban music.

Artists from both sides of the Atlantic have been impressed by the skills Smife possesses including Klashnekoff, Skinnyman, Lowkey, Common, Peaches & DJ Baby Blue, Rodney P and Rhymefest. The list is lengthy! Things are guaranteed never to be the same again. Ready?


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