Legendary Hip Hop record shop Real Deal returns to Carnaby Street

Legendary Hip Hop record store returns to its iconic home in Carnaby to celebrate the place where many of the new generation of hip hop stars, burst onto the scene. Deal Real was originally situated at 3 Marlborough Court, just off Carnaby Street between 2002-2007 and was the venue where the likes of Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, John Legend, Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco performed to fervent crowds of fans, tastemakers and inquisitive passers-by.

By its closure, it had become London’s epicentre for hip-hop and urban youth-culture, responsible for showcasing, supporting and nurturing a wealth of burgeoning talent, many of whom went on to attain mainstream success. The roll-call also included Oritse Williams, Estelle, Tinchy Stryder, Doc Brown and Mr Hudson to name a few.

Real Deal Carnaby Store
Kayne West and John Legend – Real Deal Carnaby Street

Deal Real was a hive of activity and its legendary Friday night open-mics provided a platform for creative young people to come together, showcase their talents, share ideas, network with like minds, develop skills and build positive futures. It was social networking before Twitter, with many young people arriving as curious music enthusiasts, but leaving as fans, collaborators and friends.

Open Mic night at Deal Real, Marlborough Court, Carnaby

The 2015 pop-up launches on Record Store Day Saturday 18 April 2015 at 14 Newburgh Street, Carnaby. It will showcase the cream of London’s undiscovered and unrepresented talent, including emerging visual artists, musicians and fashion designers. A photo-gallery will depict some of the memorable moments and in store performances, along with archive footage from a range of British artists including Example, Professor Green and Mr Hudson, as well as internationally renowned artists Kanye West, Will I Am, Akon, Mos Def and John Legend.

Reconnecting with notable alumni, Deal Real Legacy will curate a host of free one-off in store signings, performances and workshops. Visitors can expect definitive line-ups of some of the most established UK and international artists, alongside the freshest up and coming talent. More details will follow on Dealreal.co.uk and Carnaby.co.uk Within 5 years of thriving in one of London’s iconic music and fashion districts, Deal Real became known as “London’s Hip Hop Mecca” as quoted by Sleazenation magazine in November 2003.

Real Deal Carnaby Store

Founder of Deal Real, Vincent Olutayo says “It’s fantastic being able to celebrate the legacy of Deal Real with Carnaby and to use the opportunity to re-establish our ethos of supporting up and coming talent from music, fashion or art, as well as young people aspiring to establish creative careers”
Doc Brown, former rapper and MC says, ‘I remember Mos Def was over here and he came through and he became addicted, he brought Pharoahe Monch, and Kanye West, and then it just spread from there, the Black Eyed Peas, the Wu Tang Clan, Red Man, Slick Rick, it was unreal. I met all my heroes right here.’

Cowds outside Deal Real, Marlborough Court, Carnaby

Magician Impossible Dynamo, recalls “Deal Real was like the epicentre of what was happening…they had all these superstars coming each week, it was quite special…it was where great people, who were into good music, would meet up and hang out”

Singer, rapper and songwriter Example says “Deal Real was the heart of the hip hop culture in London…The open mic events were legendary and gave me the confidence to perform in front of a crowd. So many successful British artists and international stars regularly hung out, bought records, or performed there.”

Deal Real

No shopping street in the world can boast a real connection with music and popular culture quite like Carnaby Street. Music and fashion have walked hand in hand ever since the young entrepreneur John Stephen opened his first boutique called ‘His Clothes’ in 1958. It became a mecca for the new mods, seriously into their sharp threads. By 1964 Lord John had opened, and owner Warren Gold found himself dressing the young John Lennon, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger.

Carnaby today is London’s coolest shopping and dining destination – an intriguing mix of 13 streets where you can discover independent boutiques, heritage brands, flagship stores and new concept stores as well as a vast choice of restaurants, bars and pubs. Today, many of the fashion stores have strong links with musicians including Liam Gallagher who chose Carnaby Street as the flagship home for his brand Pretty Green, at number 57.

The Great Frog at 10 Ganton Street opened in 1972 and makes rock inspired jewellery for the likes of Iron Maiden, Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga and Motorhead. Drop Dead, Vans, Dr. Martens, Ben Sherman, Lambretta, adidas Originals and the brand new European flagship for Pharrell Williams’ brand Billionaire Boys Club are among the many brands that have a big music focus.


About Lee Hall

Lover of all things FAST. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.

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