Three WIze Men, South London Hip Hop 1988

Three Wize Men were an early UK hip hop trio, putting out an album and several singles on Rhythm King records between 1986 and 1988. This New Musical Express interview from 1988 situates them very much in South London:

‘Sarff London!! Sarff London!! In the best traditions of the Hip Hop Nation this was the lip curl message growled out by the Three Wize Men as a prelude to Refresh Yourself, the band’s second single released last year by Rhythm King… For the Wize Men (AJ, Jemski, Danny D along with Fil Chill aka DJ Cybertron) it’s a matter of fact that South London exists somewhere along a line that links Deptford to Peckham Rye and the the Rve to the convoluted sprawlings of the Gloucester Road housing estate that provided the subject matter for their first single. ‘Urban Hell’. A mass of stairwell towers and walkways from which a thousand flats branch off. its fortifications were intended to keep out the noise from a planned Europe-London motorway. The road never came. Now Gloucester Road lacks only the battlements to be a proper castle at war with an outside world, at siege from within.  It was Danny D who once lived there, but AJ tells the stories of kids he’d find comatose over glue bags and cheap skag. The police avold the place and owners Southwark Council despair at their own creation. South. London… It was the WIze Men’s appearance in a support slot to Big Audio Dynamite that in August ’86 lured Mute Records boss Daniel Miller, alongside newly formed Rhythm King, down to Jemski’s Deptford flat’

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‘Three Wize Men’ pictured on their album ‘GB Boyz’

‘Gloucester Grove Mix’ of  Urban Hell

‘Burn it down to the ground’  – Three Wize Men take down North Peckham’s (now demolished) Gloucester Grove estate on ‘Urban Hell’ (1986)

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