19-Year-Old Shogun Is Scotland’s Great Rap Hope

The teenager's freestyles are setting YouTube on fire.

By Kamila Rymajdo

Eight miles out of Glasgow, Paisley strikes me as the kind of small town that teenagers daydream about escaping. The sky is brimming with drizzle, the shop fronts are adorned with ornaments and doilies, and there’s a silence in the air that makes you want to scream just to feel like something is happening. Nobody would hear you, because there is nobody on the streets. In a way, it’s probably a perfect place to get lost in music – nevertheless, it’s an unexpected home for the UK’s newest break-out MC.

Nineteen-year-old rapper Joe Heron (aka Shogun) lives with his mum in “a wee tin roofed semi detached gaff”. A sign hangs on the door as I walk in, which reads: Welcome to the Nuthouse. “My mum doesn’t like my music,” he grumbles, sounding like most teenage humans who have walked this earth. “She doesn’t understand the culture and the intricacies of the writing; everything that’s happening, that I’m getting gigs and going to be soon earning enough to live on. She just wants me to go to college, but why?” His eyes illuminate, like he’s just struck upon the exact right way to illustrate his point: “Glasgow’s rife with these university cunts. They don’t know how to express themselves so they become caricatures. ‘I’m gonna be the most goth cunt or I’m gonna be the most emo cunt, because I don’t know who I am, and now I’m in this clique so I can’t do this or that.’ Fuck that.”

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