Norwich rappers on the rise of the genre in the fine city

While popular hip-hop artists may be most associated with big American cities, the genre is beginning to take a life of its own here in Norwich. 

A genre developed in the United States in the 1970s, hip-hop rose to global prominence through artists such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Tupac.

And now Norwich is beginning to attract new artists with venues such as The Brickmakers, Waterfront and Norwich Arts Centre among the places to host the sounds of hip-hop.

Dan Watson, who goes by the name of Wattz, has been involved in the hip-hop scene since 2008 in the city. 



Dan Watson, who goes by the name of Wattz, during studio recording

– Credit: Contributed

The Norwich born and bred rapper, who works as a taxi driver during the day, has recently released a new album ‘Family Ties’ dedicated to his grandparents. 


Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz,. Picture: Danielle Booden


Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz

– Credit: Danielle Booden

Regarding the growth of hip-hop in Norwich, he said: “We are a small city only two-and-a-half-hours from London but these days it’s easy to get music out on social media. 

“I have seen hip-hop go up and down but it is definitely growing and progressing. It is getting taken to the next level now.” 


Studio engineer Justin Brand with Wattz at NRSix Studios 


Studio engineer Justin Brand with Wattz at NRSix Studios

– Credit: Contributed

Both Wattz and fellow Norwich rapper Rutendo Matsika, known as COLL, have noticed a range of people enjoying hip-hop regardless of age, gender or class. 

COLL said: “The younger audience will share about it more [online] but at live shows the crowds are really diverse.” 

He added: “I think the scene needs more of a boost compared to other bigger cities.


Rutendo Matsika, known as COLL in Norwich


Rutendo Matsika, known as COLL in Norwich

– Credit: Bartosz Halicki

“I always feel like we are playing catch-up. It is, however, heading in the right direction and I think more people are taking notice and taking action towards improving it.

“I think hip-hop is actually a part of our culture. If people look at the young generation especially, it has had a huge influence on fashion and social media trends.

“More people need to respect the genre and realise how it’s grown and how diverse it is now.” 

The Norwich rapper will be releasing his third mixtape ‘Blue Magic 3’ on Friday, October 1 which features local and national acts.

COLL is part of True Music which will host a hip-hop event at the Rumsey Wells pub in Norwich on September 17, starting at 8pm.

A rap for Norwich Evening News

Wattz kindly produced a rap for the Norwich Evening News on our fine city which he thought up and wrote within the space of just 90 minutes on Wednesday morning.

The lyrics for the rap in its entirety, which was later performed outside Norwich Castle, are here: 

I love my city and it’s known as a fine one,
I let them know that I’m proud of where I’m from,
I was raised here, I’ve got plans to stay here,
It’s now or never got me thinking where’s the time gone,
I love my city and I’m proud that I’m from here,
Positivity that’s remaining strong here, 
The sun’s out that means everybody’s out now,
Making up for lost time it’s been a long year,
I wrote this for the Evening News, 
A trustworthy source you best believe it’s true, 
A thank you from the people we’re needing you,
On your website daily just reading through, 
You supply us with the news everything in the region,
We appreciate you that’s from everyone reading,
East Anglia I wouldn’t change a thing here,
Norwich City that’s my city I’m not leaving!


Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz,. Picture: Danielle Booden


Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz

– Credit: Danielle Booden

Hip-hop recommendations from the city’s finest

COLL’s top five hip-hop albums for those who are interested in finding out more about the genre are: 

  1. Wretch 32 – Black and white 
  2. Kanye West – Donda 
  3. Jay Z – The Blueprint 3 
  4. Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap 
  5. Drake – Nothing was the same 

Wattz has also selected his top five albums which are: 

  1. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
  2.  Nas – Stillmatic
  3.  50 Cent – Get rich or die trying 
  4.  Dr Dre – 2001
  5. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz,. Picture: Danielle Booden


Norwich rapper Dan Watson who is also known as Wattz

– Credit: Danielle Booden

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About Jennifer Schuman

Jennifer Schuman

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