Powerful documentary on Manchester rapper MC Tunes- review
MC Tunes website
Produced by Howard Walmsley the MC Tunes documentary has been twenty years in the making.
Initially started at the height of Nicky Lockett aka MC Tunes pop star fame in 808 State as a promo EPK the film was revisited over the years and documented an amazing life.
MC Tunes grew up in Moss Side with a drug culture dad who died young and an impossibly glamorous mother, he had to grow up fast and the gravel voiced tough guy who inhabits the film is a useful front for the real violence that rears up every now and then on the mean streets of Manchester. The film doesn’t flinch from this and documents MC Tunes run ins with the law when he defends himself with a baseball bat from attackers in his garden or talks about members of his crew getting shot.
But this is more than yet another thug film. Quickly Tunes real personality seeps through and an emotional, loving father and compassionate man can’t help but leak through the gruff exterior. He is also extremely funny and his turn of phrase and quickfire doggerel are funny, soul searching and toughly honest.
He is also a great rapper, swerving the Americanisms for a very Manc style, he raps fast and with great clipped rhythms initially in 808 State turning their powerful, glacial electronics into pop music, then in the Dust Junkies the great long lost Manc band who sounded like Rage Against The Machine but from a tougher street before his current project the dark, menacing bass heavy grooves of the Uglys. All the time his is unflinching, garrulous and oddly childlike in the best possible way and Walmsley captures all this with a fierce honesty that makes the film a very human tale and a great document of Manchester street life from the last25 years.