Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain

Fri 26 Jan, 7.45pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £15
past event
past event
Aniefiok Ekpoudom wearing a beige and black checked jumper, sitting on a stool

Aniefiok Ekpoudom discusses his new book, Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain, a landmark social history of British rap and grime.

He is joined by guest Candice Carty-Williams and chair Yomi Ṣode.

Ekpoudom, one of our foremost cultural chroniclers, travelled the country to speak to the artists and communities who created and were shaped by the music, and listeners who found a sense of identity and home within it.

‘The story of UK rap, grime and associated genres reflect an untold story of contemporary Britain,’ he says.

These sounds have become vessels for the marginalised, carrying Black and working-class stories into the light. Vividly depicted and compassionately told, Where We Come From weaves together intimate stories of resilience, courage and loss, as well as a shared music culture that gave refuge and purpose to those in search of belonging.

Aniefiok ‘Neef’ Ekpoudom is a writer from south London who documents and explores culture in Britain. In his work, Ekpoudom tells stories about the people, voices and communities shaping the country as it exists today.

He writes, and has written for, The Guardian, British GQ, Vogue and more. Elsewhere he works, and has worked on documentaries for YouTube Originals and Netflix, as well as creative projects with Google, Nike, adidas and more. He was the recipient of the Barbara Blake Hannah Award at the 2021 British Journalism Awards, and the Culture Writer of the Year award at the inaugural Freelance Writers Awards. In 2022 he was named on the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list in media & marketing, and was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for contribution to social change via journalism.

His first book Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain is a social history of British rap, published by Faber & Faber in January 2024. He has also contributed essays to the books Safe: 20 Ways to be a Black Man in Britain Today (Orion), as well as #Merky Books/Penguin titles Keisha The Sket (2021) and A New Formation: How Black Players Shaped The Modern Game (2022).

Yomi Ṣode is a Nigerian British writer, recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. His writing credits include one-man show COAT; libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with composer James B Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra; and play and breathe…. Ṣode is the founder of BoxedIn, First Five, The Daddy Diaries and mentorship programme 12 in 12. Ṣode’s debut collection, Manorism, is published by Penguin Press.

Candice Carty-Williams is a showrunner, culture writer, and author of bestselling novels Queenie and People Person, as well as the young adult novella Empress & Aniya.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

Dates & times

Fri 26 Jan, 7.45pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 30 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

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** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

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Purcell Room

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An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. Please visit the Welcome Desk on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, where a member of staff can provide you with the key. You can also use the phone next to the Changing Places toilet to speak to a member of staff. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


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Purcell Room is located in Queen Elizabeth Hall. For step-free access please use Royal Festival Hall JCB glass lift to Level 2 and enter via Riverside Terrace.

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Please bear with us while we update our access map to reflect the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces. The step-free routes remain the same.

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