For its February ‘Reality Bites’ series RTE showed a documentary on Ireland’s Rappers that hurled a version of Irish rap into the laps of the licence holders countrywide. Viewing figures for it were good but not as good as a rival station repeat show on gangland Ireland. RTE also focused on the so-called working class side of things. The resulting look at “a highly creative and dedicated subculture’’ was not welcomed outright either inside or outside the portrayed community. Paul Tarpey digs deep.
A gritty, urban poetry shines through Products of the Environment, a compilation album on Working Class Records. Track after track documents growing up with little in the way of options and realities dominated by drug abuse, crime and paranoia. Accompanying videos capture blighted estates full of hooded youth, pushed to the margins by the city’s economic apartheid. The sort of places the rest of us just cycle through.