Controversial Hackney Central rapper sets record straight

A Pembury Estate teenager at the centre of a media firestorm says his character has been “vastly misrepresented” and he wants the Hackney Gazette to set the record straight.

The 17-year-old rapper made national headlines when he supposedly turned down a place at prestigious Cambridge University because the city doesn’t have much of a music scene.

But Franklyn Addo, who is expected to receive straight As in his A-levels this summer, insisted the papers had twisted his words.

“It was a bit of tricky journalism,” he said. “I was asked about my opinion on the music scene in Cambridge, which I’m not qualified to judge because I’ve never lived there. I just said it would be easier to travel to gigs from London. But Cambridge is only an hour away on the train; music wasn’t a definitive factor in my decision at all. I can do my music anywhere.”

Franklyn, who attended Cardinal Pole Catholic School in Homerton and now studies in Barnet, has been rapping as MC Franklyn since he was 15, and recently released his first mix tape, Just Being Frank. He believes rap is similar to poetry, and sees no contradiction between being a rapper and an academic.

Franklyn received offers from five universities, including Cambridge, but decided to accept a place to read Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE) for financial reasons and because he preferred the course there. But after the initial article was published, Franklyn was accused of putting a hobby before his academic career.

He said: “There’s been an uproar, especially on Twitter. I’m turning a blind eye to the negative comments – at the end of the day it’s my decision.”

Most Read

Franklyn’s music is available at