Benedict Chijioke aka Ty
was born in South London, his family having moved from Nigeria. At the age of eleven he became interested in dancing and rapping associated with the Hip-Hop scene, which provided camaraderie, application, and an opportunity for expression. By channelling this energy he presented a powerful voice, and the ability to explore and communicate paramount issues of identity, individuality and solidarity.
Ty feels the history most neglected is that of the self. For him, Black history is "whatever my mum tells me". This illustrates perfectly a fundamental problem in addressing history, and the importance of oral communication. Ignorance of an oral history causes isolation, and overlooks the issues of individual perception, one of the most important factors in any cultural narrative. What history tends toward is the creation of singular, sometimes cult figures. This overlooks the idea of the individual as being part of a whole. This is a dichotomy, but in order to make each other understand we need to understand each other.
In 1995, he co-founded 'Ghetto Grammar', a workshop/school for Hip-Hop, the first in the UK. It attempted and achieved success in awareness, ability and self expression, using Hip-Hop as a source for people to work individually and together, learning support, reliance and self confidence. Ty also runs poetry/rap workshops which have the same focus and dedication as 'Ghetto Grammar', and appears regularly at the Jazz Cafe's Lyrical Lounge.