Rapper with a message of love

A HIP hop artist and educator from Beckton is doing his bit to bring positive change to the lives of young people in Newham. More than just your stereotypical rapper, Segge Dan, 34, strives to bring his positive message to the community through his work as a teacher and volunteer.

Born in Plaistow, Segge was raised in Upton Park and began taking an interest in music after hearing hip hop artists such as KRS-One and Public Enemy.

After entering a music competition at 14 while at Langdon School, East Ham, Seggs, as he likes to be known, got the hip hop bug and set off on a successful career.

The rapper’s fame reached new heights with last year’s critically-acclaimed album The Windrush Vol. 2, celebrating the bravery of his father’s immigrant generation that arrived in the UK in the Fifties and Sixties.

As part of Black History Month celebrations, Seggs has released a free track, Libation, from the album.

He said: “The reason for this track is to salute the elders, my parents’ generation who had it a lot tougher than the youth of today.”

The musician describes his songs as being about “empowerment and inspiration”.

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“I look at people’s similarities and the universal values we all share,” said Seggs.

“Hip hop should be about helping to bring social change by providing a voice to those who are oppressed.

“At the moment, that message is not coming through.”

It is not just through his music that Seggs seeks to bring his message for change.

In a busy schedule, the irrepressible rapper also finds time to work as a teacher and charity volunteer.

He teaches literacy to young homeless people at East Thames’ Focus E15 scheme in Stratford.

Seggs is also chairman of Leytonstone-based charity the African Development Association for Progress (ADAP).

In this role, the rapper travels to Africa to help carry out support programmes for the poor.

Back in Newham, Seggs promises to continue to bring his positive message to the young through his school workshops.

To download Seggs’ free track, visit www.seggedan.com