R.I.P. The Boss In London

DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,920 Posts
edited January 2016 in Music Talk

This is unlikely to mean an awful lot to more than a handful of the Brits posting on here, but Mike Allen a/k/a The Boss In London died early last month after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Before the likes of Westwood or Dave Pearce in London or Stu Allan in the North-West, Mike Allen was the first radio DJ to properly get behind hip-hop in the UK - he pretty much broke The Show, for example, with his support directly leading to it becoming a massive pop hit - and his rep spread way beyond the reach of Capital Radio. Whenever I was visiting mates down south in the mid-80s, I always took a pack of blank tapes with me so I could dub a few Mike Allen shows. Later in the 80s he went on to host National Fresh, the first-ever syndicated hip-hop radio show in the UK, but probably his finest hour came with UK Fresh '86, which was at that point the biggest live hip-hop event that had ever taken place outside the US. Take a look at that line-up. Despite the heavy Capital Radio branding on the flyer, he pretty much promoted the entire event himself alongside Morgan Khan of Streetsounds fame/notoriety (they even used his rig!), at a time when the idea of something as underground as a hip-hop show filling Wembley Arena seemed preposterous.

There's a pretty thorough fan page here, which unfortunately doesn't seem to have much audio, but which might still give some of you a sense of what he did and when he was doing it. As far as the UK was concerned, Mike Allen was one of the gatekeepers - possibly the gatekeeper - for so many of us in the early days of hip-hop, and a true pioneer. RIP.

DuderonomyketanJimster
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