Shiro’s Story – where freestyle rap meets gripping drama

Written by

The Hook Team

Published on

October 17, 2018
Time to read: 2 minutes
Shiro's Story

YouTube isn’t the most obvious destination if you’re searching for a compelling new drama series. But the enthralling narrative of Shiro’s Story has captured a massive audience on the platform with its portrayal of family struggle, frayed relationships and gang violence.

Written by grime MC turned director Rapman, the hit show has amassed a cult following since the release of the first episode in April. The creators have staggered the release of the first three episodes over the past six months, allowing for buzz around the show to snowball.

South London storyteller mixes rap and telly

The entire show is performed in freestyle rap verses, with the various characters miming along with Rapman’s flow. This technique speeds up the dialogue and action of the mini-series, meaning that each episode fits into a short 10 minute clip (except episode 3 which is slightly longer).

So what is the show even about?

The story focuses on the life of Shiro, the show’s title character. Shiro is a family man whose life is turned upside down after his best friend Kyle betrays him. Huge plot twists ensue and drastically change Shiro’s life, altering the storyline in turn. The third and (perhaps) final episode culminates in a heart-wrenching climax which forces Shiro to confront his enemies in front of his family.

Shiros StoryUK stars appear in Rapman’s gritty drama

As the hype for Shiro’s Story has grown, an increasing number of artists have been starring in the episodes. With Michael Dapaah (aka Big Shaq), Not3s and  Konan making cameo appearances, Rapman’s powerful drama has made headlines. Major news outlets including the BBC and ITV have picked up on the show and interviewed the show’s creator.

So what can be learned from the massive success of Shiro’s Story?

With SVOD services coming to dominate TV, Shiro’s Story represents an example of great online content beyond Netflix and the other streaming platforms. The fact that this low-budget drama series became a smash hit demonstrates that audiences still get excited by grassroots storytelling and innovative new television formats (find more of these insights in our blog on BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore’s Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture). So if broadcasters are to learn anything from this rap-drama hybrid, it’s to empower diverse young talent to tell their own stories. If they want to capture a sustainable youth audience, they need to take risks with new content to challenge the digital giants of SVOD.

Enjoy this blog? Take a look at our Surprise Albums blog for more on new media trends. Sign up for our newsletter and follow our updates on LinkedIn and Twitter too!

RECENT POSTS

Kung Fu Panda: The Ultimate Heros Journey

It’s been sixteen years since Kung Fu Panda initially graced our screens. Three films and three series have already been released, and with another film due out in March, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Sixteen years of a franchise is impressive, especially...

Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget

Three take-outs from Hook It’s been 23 years since Aardman released its first feature film Chicken Run. It remains the highest grossing stop-motion film of all time. The original Chicken Run mimicked The Great Escape, with a flock of chickens led by Ginger (Julia...

Trailblazing Trolls: Their Journey to 2023

DreamWorks Animations recently launched a third film in the Trolls franchise Trolls Band Together (2023)! Today’s star-studded Trolls have come a long way from their humble beginnings in 1950s Denmark. Which begs the question, how have Trolls managed to evolve and...

You should probably settle….

It’s Autumn which only means one thing – Married At First Sight (MAFS) UK on E4. Whilst undeniably entertaining, MAFS crystallises a point about dating and life made by Oliver Burkeman in his book Four Thousand Weeks. That point is that people should be more...

Spider-Man: The Ultimate Origin Story

In the vast universe of superheroes, one name stands out as an emblem of relatability, resilience, and redemptive power: Spider-Man. So, it makes sense that he's the cultural phenomenon we have chosen as this months Hook Top Trump! Since 1962, Peter Parker’s everyman...

A new era of Big Brother

When Big Brother launched last century it was totally new and authentic. Contestants had no idea that Big Brother would pull in huge audiences, and acted accordingly: some contestants were comfortingly humdrum feeding chickens and reading books; and some, like Nasty...

More posts in this category

get a digest of our latest thoughts delivered to your inbox

Don't Miss Out!
Each month, Hook's experts create a roundup of hot takes and insights into the Kids and Media industries...for free!
This information will never be shared with third parties