Radio City #3 – Charlie Sloth

The John Peel of modern urban music

Sounds like yer classic Lahndon “white black kid”.

Looks like Jake from the “Blues Brothers” movie, updated thirty years to the present day and set in the world of rap rather than R and B.

Has John Peel’s passion for finding new artists and playing it on national radio.

Charlie Sloth

The Saturday rap show, presented by Charlie Sloth, is one of the best things on Radio 1 / 1Xtra.

Crucially, the show goes out on both stations so there’s no splitting of the audience.

Freed of the playlist considerations of Charlie’s weekday drivetime slot on 1Xtra, the show reads like a primer in “what’s good in current urban music”.

For example, a random selection from the 6th February show includes Big Narstie, Drake and Future, Chase & Status, Stormzy, Ghetts & Rude Kid, Yo Gotti, Wiz Khalifa, Bonkaz, Young Thug and Fetty Wap.

The best looking fat guy in the universe

Charlie first came to widespread attention as the creator, writer and star of the “Being Charlie Sloth” Youtube series.

A career as a rapper beckoned but after standing in as a DJ on 1Xtra as a double act with Wretch 32 the pair were offered a longer deal. Wretch wasn’t interested but Charlie, perhaps sensing a greater longevity as a presenter rather than simply as a performer, went for it.

Initially he filled the Friday night 1am to 4am slot (which given the age of the target audience is actually more or less peak time if you think about it) but he quickly graduated to Saturday breakfast and, famously, replacing Tim Westwood after the long-serving old skool DJ had been given his marching orders from Radio 1 and 1Xtra alike.

Not a man short on confidence, Sloth had already predicted this when the station first took him on.

“There was one producer that sat me down when I first started and asked me what my aspirations were. I said I was gonna take Westwood’s show, and he laughed at me so I said ‘give me 5 years and I’ll have his show’. I did it in three!”

The People’s Prince

These days Charlie has the control he had when putting out “Being Charlie Sloth”, hosting SIX three-hour live radio shows per week, all presented in his amiable but in yer face style.

Factor in a MINIMUM of three live gigs a week (usually more), as well as TV and production work – and it’s a workload that puts most of his peers to shame.

You get the feeling that for all the boasting and bravado, it is genuinely the love of the music that keeps him going, and there’s definitely something of John Peel in that, too.

Radio One Rap Show

1Xtra Drivetime Show

Fire In The Booth

MC Gravedigga (aka Charlie Sloth) raps at an old people’s home