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Overground Online

Giggs Vs MTV Base and 1Xtra - The Last Straw Video Interview

Britain’s most controversial rapper has spoken exclusively to Overground about his beef with BBC 1Xtra and MTV Base.

2008 BET Hip Hop Award winner Giggs sent shockwaves through the urban entertainment industry after releasing a diss-video accusing bosses at both stations of trying to sabotage his career.

The Last Straw has received over 25,000 views since being posted on YouTube two weeks ago and confirms Giggs’ status as the hottest underground rapper of 2008.

The south London MC’s debut album, Walk in Da Park, sold more than 20,000 copies in three months and his Myspace page has received over one million hits this year.

But despite his popularity, Giggs, 27, claims his music has been blacklisted by MTV Base head Jasmine Dotiwala and 1Xtra executive producer and events manager Ray Paul.

He says: ‘Ray and Jas have been mucking me about, trying to blackball everything I’m doing.’

Both broadcasters deny the allegations.

Dotiwala, above, told Overground: ‘I don’t make playlist decisions. MTV Base has a playlist team who’s job it is to work with the industry and champion acts.

‘If Giggs were to acknowledge this and work with us in delivering appropriate video material, he’d be a bigger success and get ahead a lot quicker.

‘I met with Giggs and told him I’d heard a wide variety of people saying things about him and wanted to explain that whilst he had a great buzz and following, MTV Base couldn’t air a video with violent lyrics and visuals during editorial programming.

‘He said he understood. I also have email exchanges where his team promised to send in a clean version of his video. Next thing, he’s convinced everyone’s blackballing him.

‘Giggs has a controversial reputation that many are aware of. He reassured me that he’s no longer involved in a criminal lifestyle.

‘I told him if we were to consider an editorial feature in The Lick, aside from a clean video, he’d need to put his story to rest, as MTV Base cannot be seen to support someone that still has a questionable reputation on the street.

‘I also said that I’d been volatile in my youth, but saw the bigger picture: you have to play the game in order to get anywhere.

‘I reached out to him because I thought he had potential. I’ve told others in the music industry that we should give him a break, as artists like Jay Z were given similar breaks in order to turn their lives around.

‘I’m genuinely disappointed he’s chosen to believe what he does, and wish him well in his endeavours.’

On 28 November 2008, a BBC spokesperson told Overground: ‘The claims have no basis in fact and 1Xtra is disappointed that [Giggs] has made them. 1Xtra selects tracks to play on merit and has played tracks by this artist in the last 10 days.

‘The fact that the artist had won the BET award was reflected to listeners with a special broadcast from Atlanta.’

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Tags hip hop, giggs, MTV Base, Jasmine Dotiwala, Ray Paul BBC, 1Xtra, BET
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