Review: Loki, the Scottish Rapper: Poverty Safari Live


Loki (Darren McGarvey) / Lakin McCarthyr
Bedlam Theatre – until August 26th
4 Stars (4 / 5)


Newspaper columnist and hip-hop artist Darren McGarvey, aka. “Loki” the Scottish Rapper, is shooting to fame following the release of his first book Poverty Safari, having appeared on question time and soon to join fellow social activist and former addict Russell Brand on his podcast Under The Skin.

Ripped from the breast of first hand experience of the harsh realities of growing up on a Glasgow scheme and feeling alienated in a world of would-be intellectuals who talk about social justice but often lack the first-hand experience of an underprivileged background, McGarvey soliloquies lyrical a tale of deprivation and depravity through spoken word, hip-hop, and direct address of the audience. Words are the weapon he wields; by his worship, he has been graced with wizardry over them.

While the narrative is conveyed through the eyes of a working class character visiting his girlfriend’s mates at a student party, Loki often breaks the forth wall to explain the context and deeper artistic meanings of his musings. At first this brings a welcome laugh and adds depth, but after a time becomes an extraneous distraction where more songs would be welcome. Having been targeted by controversy before, perhaps it is a sad indictment of the censorious culture rather than his capability as a performer if Darren feels he must explain that controversial views expressed are those of the person he portrays rather than his own

Darren’s book Poverty Safari is available in regular book stores as well as on Amazon and won the Orwell Prize.