Radio 1 Rap Show host Tiffany Calver 'won't tolerate' misogynistic lyrics

Tiffany Calver - Radio 1 Rap Show host

The new host of The Rap Show on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra says she “won’t tolerate disrespectful lyrics towards women at all” on her show.

Tiffany Calver became the first woman to host the Saturday night 9-11pm slot when she took over from Charlie Sloth at the beginning of January.

A few weeks in, Tiffany “still can’t believe” she’s landed her dream job – and says she “understands” what it means to be The Rap Show’s first female host.

“As with any genre – it’s not just within hip-hop – there will always be things that you personally can find problematic.

“I definitely have my own beliefs and there are people that I definitely have already blacklisted from my tracklists purely based on how they have treated women in the news and in the press,” she says.

But Tiffany also says it shouldn’t just be the job of women to comment on misogynistic lyrics.

“It should be everyone. You know where the line is. I’m just putting my foot down and strongly vocalising that I won’t tolerate disrespectful lyrics towards women at all.”

Image caption

Tiffany follows in the footsteps of Tim Westwood and Charlie Sloth in hosting The Rap Show

Tiffany’s first three shows, which have featured appearances from rising UK rapper Headie One and US titan Future, have been well received by the audience.

And a lot of work has gone into them.

“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do – so I’m almost happy about the fact that I’m here all the time preparing for the show.”

Around her is a predominantly female production team, as well as a female editor and commissioner, which Tiffany says is important, then decides it isn’t, before settling on the decision that it is.

“It’s important because I think nobody would think it,” she says. “For one, you would never presume the biggest rap show in the country is hosted by a female.

“There’s a female producer, I have a gay producer – it’s like all of these people that would never necessarily have been tied to a specific genre maybe 10, 20 years ago, are running the biggest show in the country.

“It just shows how far we as people but also as a culture are coming, that this is accepted.”

Tiffany has taken over The Rap Show – previously hosted by Tim Westwood and Charlie Sloth – at a good time for UK rap.

Top 10 records used to feel out of reach for British rappers but now, as Tiffany says, “basically anything Dave touches gets in the top 10”.

And she thinks the scene can “only keep building”.

“We never had an infrastructure like we do now, back then.

“People are really buying into black music – rap music, UK rap – the money in it is completely different. Major labels are fully supporting the public.

“Rap is in a completely different lane now – and that’s what’s exciting. There isn’t a place it can’t go.”

Tiffany’s fourth show comes in a week when she’s been announced as the DJ on Drake’s upcoming European tour.

But amidst all the interest from global superstars, Tiffany says “building that relationship” with the public has been her favourite part of the past few weeks – as well as the support she’s been getting from the people at Radio 1.

“Within the industry I’ve always been very vocal about the fact that I idolise and love and adore Annie Mac.

“So even just the fact she’s been so supportive – just to be in my corner so much has been unreal, very surreal.”

Still, it doesn’t make the countdown to 9pm on Saturday nights any less nerve-wracking – Tiffany says she ended up crouched in a corner crying ahead of the first one.

“I just had to pull it together. My mum was there and she was like ‘You were made for this, you’ve got to do it’.”

It might be better to not listen to the advice of Target and MistaJam though.

“They were like ‘You’re never not nervous, you’re always nervous – it never goes away’.”

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