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Loki, real name Darren McGarvey, is a Glasgow-based writer, performer, community activist and journalist. Scotland's most high profile rap artist, he is a founding member of hip-hop collective The Being, a critically acclaimed solo artist, and a veteran battle rapper. Loki's central role in the development and evolution of Scottish hip-hop cannot be understated, and his influence as a writer and performer can be felt wherever Scottish rap is found.
Loki works across a variety of other platforms including broadcasting and theatre. Between 2004 and 2006 he wrote and presented 8 programs for BBC Radio Scotland which attempted to examine the root causes of anti social behavior and social deprivation. In 2012 he co-wrote the National Theatre Scotland production Jump. He has appeared as a commentator on STV's Newsnight and other programmes.
In 2009, Loki founded Volition Scotland, an organisation which attempts to put young people in charge of the services they use. Volition has a small premises in Ibrox where the young people designed and built a community recording studio. A firm believer in community action which benefits young people by empowering and encouraging them to develop their talents independently, rather than following a leader or teacher, Loki's role as mentor and facilitator has resulted in a tight-knit and motivated group who can achieve real results on their own terms.
Many people, including Sir Tom Hunter and First Minister Alex Salmond, have expressed support for Loki's work, which is noted for its potential to empower those on the margins of society. In 2014 he'll release his 14th music project titled, Government Issue Music Protest (GIMP), which attempts to address the referendum question.
“Whether rapping on the serious or launching into one of his side splittingly funny
freestyles Loki is the all round emcee people dream of being."
- The List Magazine
“Loki may be the first great Scottish Rapper, he’s got a hard Glasgow stare and a South-side brogue, raps like an elastic band snapping paperclips into the dark. With a suppleness that faulty recalls Nas or The Streets. Melancholy without being trite, honest without being sentimental. Heart breaking hip-hop that reveals …'Dry your eyes' for what it is: candy floss, soap opera, anachronism.”
- The Skinny Magazine
“In our Restorative Justice Project we work with juveniles who have gotten in trouble with the law. Most of them are poor, many of them are involved with drugs or alcohol, and most turn to others close to their age for guidance (whether good or bad). Hip-hop is a language that can reach them. Loki's approach is solid and promising.”
- T. Richard Snyder
“Loki is a local hero. Passionate, articulate, with his own, unique voice and a commitment to encouraging others to find their voice. We're lucky to have him in Scotland - this project and the guy himself deserve our vote.”
- Janice Forsyth, BBC Scotland, TV and Radio presenter