A project celebrating the culture and heritage of hip-hop, and its connections to Wales, is opening doors to self-expression.

The Wales Hip-Hop Cymru Exhibition in Eagles Meadow is a space designed for everyone to learn about the history of hip-hop and the Welsh artists who have contributed to it but also participate in the culture.

The project was set up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop in collaboration with Avant Cymru and Larynx Entertainment, and Lottery Heritage funded.

The exhibition walks through the history of hip-hop, and artists from Wales like DJ Jaffa and 4 Dee, but also demonstrates the significance of gaming within hip-hop culture, along with graffiti art, fashion, dance, and of course music.

These are all forms of self-expression, and the space allows people to learn things like graffiti writing, DJ skills, break dancing, and rap as part of a culture famous for its inclusivity.

Dave Acton, of Larynx Entertainment, explained that the space also helps artists within the culture to promote themselves. Part of the idea means getting people behind the artists, and out to live events supporting grassroots acts who are often local.

He said: “Ideally I’d like to see more spaces like this where artists can come and hone their craft, spend time with other artists [and] network. Just a bigger spotlight on what is happening overall.”

Hip-hop has also had a positive impact on the Welsh language, with artists famous for performing either in Welsh or bilingually.

Dave named Llwybr Llaethog, Tystion, Mr Phormula, and more recently Sage Todz and Marinio as artists whose work has helped promote the language.

He said: “I’ve definitely learned bits of Welsh language from their music. Artists like the ones we’ve got in Wales are definitely influencing and inspiring people to pick up the language and learn a little bit more about it.”

Part of the project has also seen artwork appear in the underground car parks at Eagle Meadow. It was completed by 21 artists to brighten up the area and Dave said it was met with positive feedback.


He said: “It’s all about introducing another generation to maybe pick up a spray can, pick up a pencil, pick up a microphone and express themselves how they want to express themselves.”

The project promotes the idea within hip-hop of remembering the past, discussing the present, and creating the future by influencing a younger generation.

It promotes the ideas of peace, love, unity and having fun and the project is designed to be inclusive so that it can meet the different needs of people.

Jamie Berry of Avant Cymru (aka B-Boy Flexton) said: “It’s just giving them a place to express themselves however they see fit. If it’s coming in and grabbing some paper and leaning to do some graffiti, learning how to do some DJ work or learning some flips and breaking, rap workshops, however, they want to find themselves and their own expression within the culture.”

Jamie, along with Rachel Pedley, also of Avant Cymru, think that such a space is not just missing in Wales, but the whole of the UK, despite these spaces existing in other countries.

Rachel described the project as “creating a home for the community”.

She said the culture also connects to Welsh culture in its ideology.

She said: “We have a culture of storytelling, and rap is that. It's about taking words and it’s about sharing, and hip-hop has that.”

The space is used for Larnyx Lounges, break dancing classes (which is to become an Olympic Sport), and various workshops. There is also a shop with clothing and art.

The exhibition will remain until the October half term, when they will also hold a paint jam.

Then, according to Dave, they will see what the future holds, but they hope it will have a lasting legacy.