Close-up: Teddy Nygh

Meet the film-maker helping street-corner MCs get a better rap
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The Independent Culture

The youth of today: hoodied thugs standing threateningly on street corners... and making rhymes. Which is exactly the urban sub-culture of poetry and beats that first-time film-maker and hip-hop artist Teddy Nygh has spent the past three years documenting in Britain and further afield.

His"rapumentary" Clash A' Da Tight 1's, an award-winner at festivals across the world and out on DVD this month, reveals an untapped pool of potential and personality expressed through hip-hop and its associated art forms, such as graffiti and street-dancing.

"The huge driving force for making the film is the talent," says Nygh, "the fact that it's neglected and that people weren't aware that this art is going on." Rather than indulging in voice-over, Nygh – who also filmed the scene in Australia – simply points the camera and lets the kids talk about their love of their art and show off their "freestyling" skills.

Making the film wasn't easy. With no funding, the 30-year-old, known as Supa Ted on the scene, had to learn how to edit on the job and waded through 30 hours of footage to trim it to 90 minutes. "I began the film at the end of 2005. But the camera and all the footage were stolen, so I had to decide whether to carry on or give up. Giving up isn't in my nature."

It's an attitude the scene fosters. "It takes a massive amount of hard work to write a song and chorus and then present it well," says Nygh. "People like [MOBO winner and Mercury nominee] Sway have worked so hard to get where they are; they're all self-starters."

'Clash A' Da Tight 1's' is available from www.fullyfocusedproductions.com

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