Young film-maker explores a changing Hackney with rapper Frenzy

Rapper frenzy stands in front of a 38 bus to Murder Mile

Community-driven rapper Frenzy previously released a single called Murder Mile about growing up in Clapton. - Credit: Frenzy

A young film-maker has explored gentrification and Hackney in a documentary starring Clapton rapper Frenzy.

Xaymaca Awoyungbo, who graduated from Mossbourne Community Academy near Hackney Downs last year, grew up in Walthamstow.

He says he was warned about Hackney from a young age: “The media's documentation of murder mile hindered its reputation.

“But, I found that many of the middle-class students at my secondary school lived in Hackney.

“The area's complexity intrigued me, yet it wasn't until I experienced Hackney for myself during college that I really appreciated it." 

Xaymaca continued: “The aim of the film is to capture some of the feelings I had going to Hackney every day during college. I was struck by the multiculturalism, sense of community and the talent.”

The 11-and-a-half-minute film explores the ways in which Hackney has changed over the years, with rapper Frenzy pointing out spots which have stood in Clapton “for years”, like Mermaid Fish Bar, Fairdeal Food Store and Turkish takeaway Dom’s Place.

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“This is the heart of Clapton," Frenzy says.

According to a 2018 report by estate agent Cushman & Wakefield, house prices in Hackney have risen more than any other local authority in the UK in the past 20 years, increasing by 568 per cent.

The average flat price, according to estate agent Foxtons, is now £673,315.

The steep rise has seen many residents priced out and people with more disposable income flocking to the area. 

Xaymaca added: “Music is one of my main interests so it was great to connect with Frenzy.

“He articulates the story of murder mile, gentrification and his own journey in the area. I was grateful to sit back and learn more about a place which has become a part of my life.”

Rapper Frenzy and friends created the Gokhan Durmus Foundation in memory of Gokhan Durmus - a promising young footballer who was fatally stabbed in 2015.

He has since set up an annual music workshop called Fast Forward to offer opportunities to youngsters in the borough.

To watch the mini-documentary, go to

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