Local rap artist, Neme
Rapper Neme's Norwich Portrait
By Louise Miles
Portrait Of A Nation is a year-long project that allows young people to explore their heritage and roots. Neme will be representing Norwich with her creative raps.
Michelle Hobart is a 21-year-old rapper from Norwich who performs under the name of Neme. She has rhymed since she was 14 years old, but her big break came when she was chosen to represent Norwich in the Portrait Of A Nation scheme.
Neme in the BBC Norfolk studio
Portrait Of A Nation
Portrait Of A Nation is designed for young people to express what is important to them. This can be through a range of art forms including dance, music, theatre, painting and photography.
Teenagers across the UK will be encouraged to discuss where they come from and what their home place means to them. It gives the UK’s youth a chance to celebrate their local area.
The showcase event will take place during December in Liverpool, where a festival will be held to celebrate the year's work.
The scheme is currently running in 18 cities throughout the UK including Norwich.
Neme will be expressing herself through the art of rap and has a collection of rap videos on the Portrait Of A Nation website.
She said she was pleased to be involved in a scheme which nurtures young talent.
"Portrait Of A Nation is a great project - it has opened so many doors in my career alone. I've had hook-ups, been in the paper and am here in the studio today," she said.
Neme in Chapelfield Park
"The project will benefit young people because it is driving them to do things they love doing.
"It is really encouraging for young people because they feel like they are part of something and that is how I felt… This project is going places," she said.
Neme says the project has also made her aware of Norwich's rich history - something she hadn't paid much attention to before.
"The project has made me realise what Norwich City has," she said. "The heritage we have got in Norwich is amazing and it has really opened my eyes.
"I am really pleased the rap song Norwich ID is the main song for the project."
To accompany the song, Neme will be making a video which is due to be filmed in September.
Neme said: "I just want a really good video for the Norwich ID"
"I want to represent Norwich but also want people to think, 'Wow, Norwich is not just a boring city that is really small'."
As well as rapping about Norwich, Neme also focuses on social problems and family conflict.
Neme says the inspiration for her lyrics has come from American rap artists such as Eminem.
"He was rapping about problems in his life and I did not have the best childhood either," she said.
"I was like, I want to vent my anger into my music and not actually harm anyone. Just being able to express yourself in that form really inspires and encourages me."
After recommitting herself as a Christian last September, Neme believes her faith has also inspired her music.
Neme in the hot seat
"The song Soldier For The Lord has had over a 100,000 plays on MySpace alone," she said.
It seems that Neme is keen to change the stereotypical view of rap always being about violence and believes that swearing is not always necessary.
When asked what the future holds, Neme is really optimistic.
"I'm really positive that being a Christian, God can see what I'm doing and is going to take me where I want," she said.
"In the future, I hope to get a major label deal and turn a lot of people around through my lyrics and my songs."
"I really want to make a difference in the world."
"I do not want glory and praise, I just want to be able to help people.”
In terms of advice for young people, Neme says it is important to be resourceful.
"Don't give up; if you have got dreams don’t let anyone take them away from you because you are capable of achieving whatever you want," she said.
For more information on Neme and Portrait Of A Nation go to the website. - it is a social networking portal that allows members to interact with each other as soon as they're signed up.
last updated: 13/08/2008 at 12:08