Flamboyant British rapper Slowthai has officially been charged with two counts of rape. The alleged incident dates back to 2021 in Oxford, England. The rapper, named Tyron Kaymone Frampton, has already appeared in court and been released on bail. He’s officially appearing at the Oxford Crown Court on June 16th. Slowthai has promptly come out and denied the allegations. On Instagram, he stated, “I am innocent and I am confident my name will be cleared. Until then I will apply my energy to ensure this is concluded swiftly and justly. I ask that my supporters don’t comment about this situation and respect the process and privacy of my family during this time.”
While these charges are (by far) the most serious to be levied against Slowthai, it’s not the first time he’s been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Slowthai was “canceled” in February 2020 when he made several explicit jokes with comedian Katherine Ryan at the NME Awards. He proceeded to get into an altercation with a member of the audience. The controversy would spark the narrative content of his sophomore studio album, Tyron.
Slowthai Worked Multiple Jobs Before Music
Slowthai comes from humble beginnings. Raised in Northampton, he went to college to study music technology. However, a young Slowthai frequently skipped school to create at a nearby recording studio. After college in the East Midlands of England, Tyron Frampton had multiple temporary employment stints before he made it in music. In fact, he was fired from Next after giving his friends employee discounts.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Slowthai would have his breakout with “Jiggle.” Featuring a minimal drum-based beat, he rapped about struggling to pay rent while hinting at his debut project, Nothing Great About Britain. The track wasn’t exactly an international hit. However, it was enough to get him in the same room with other successful record labels and artists in the area. After the song, he would continue to release a slew of mixtapes that gained a decent bit of attention. In 2017, he signed his recording contract with Method Records, later releasing Nothing Great About Britain.
Slowthai’s Charges Threaten The UK Rap Scene
While Slowthai garnered plenty of critical acclaim in the UK scene from 2016 to 2018, Nothing Great About Britain delivered his music globally. Screaming his heart out amidst distinct punk-rap production, tracks such as “Doorman” and “Inglorious” featuring Skepta introduced the world to an aggressive yet measured MC. By 2019, Slowthai was a global sensation, even contributing guest vocals on Tyler, the Creator’s “What’s Good” on Igor. In addition, he’s appeared on a variety of Brockhampton cuts.
Slowthai would go on to release Tyron in 2021. A year after his controversial appearance at the NME Awards, the record saw the then 27-year-old as vulnerable as ever regarding his flaws. While Nothing Great About Britain was more of a personal outrage towards the gray monotony of UK life, Tyron saw him take a hard look in the mirror. However, he still worked bangers such as “CANCELLED” featuring Skepta and “MAZZA” featuring A$AP Rocky into the mix.
He Recently Released His Third Studio Album, “Ugly”
In March of 2023, he released his third studio album Ugly. His most polarizing record to date, Slowthai completely ditched traditional rap tropes. Instead, he solidifies the punk sub-genre of rap that he’s worked to popularize over the past five years. Slowthai sings more than ever on the record, with tracks such as “Selfish” and “Feel Good” gaining immediate critical acclaim. An angsty record at its core, existential questions surrounding the meaning of his existence takes Ugly‘s forefront.
As previously mentioned, Ugly has received various opinions from critics. His most wild and unfiltered record to date, Pitchfork‘s review of the project wasn’t exactly an endorsement of the project. However, others praise the record’s subject matter surrounding addiction, anger issues, and impulsivity. Its sonic pallets dive between a wide range of influences, from David Bowie to Fontaines D.C. If the charges against Slowthai hold, it would be a massive loss for the UK music scene.
Slowthai is just as well-known for his ADHD-induced personality as his music. Having a knack for ditching class and getting fired from his 9 to 5s, he’s never been one to mince his personality for anybody else. “I’m always going off on tangents,” he states, “sorry about that.” Of course, he’s saying all of this with a cheeky smile. That energy has translated well to the mainstage, with the energetic MC being a go-to recording artist for concertgoers. Approaching 30 years old, he’s looked to become a source of inspiration for UK rappers coming up before him. One of the pioneers of the UK’s rap scene, plenty of underground talents are yet to make it big out of the area.