29th of September seemed best-fitting a date for 29-year-old RIO (Rio Nelson) – south Manchester’s finest rapper – to bring the premiere of his most-anticipated documentary, ‘RIO: No Stone Unturned’ to his fans at Z-Arts Centre in Hulme.
From the first right up to the last scene in the documentary, produced exclusively by KTS.TV, there was one word that kept recurring in my mind, which is ‘real’. In the music Industry, you’d be hard pressed to find an artist more real, dedicated, grounded and as talented as RIO – whose focus is strictly on “me and my community”, he later said.
As that latter conclusion silently formed in my mind, midway through the film, DJ Stylus appears on screen and says, “He [RIO] is natural, organic and has stuck to his roots”. Stylus goes on to commend RIO on his work ethic, citing “he works really hard”.
Exploring R.I.O’s life; from performing at The Ritz, meeting and opening shows for Hip-Hop legends Nas, Methodman and Redman, to spending time in the studio with his children, the documentary gives an insight to the side of the artist most fans don’t get to see.
In true R.I.O fashion, the rapper who grew up in Moss Side, had a Q&A session after the screening of his documentary to which the audience both congratulated him for the production’s insight and questioned him on his inspiration, advice, goals, past tracks, and how to get Manchester MCs on the map.
Whilst a large part of the audience were ready to slate north Manchester grime MC Bugzy Malone for not giving back to the community and not bringing anyone through, R.I.O was swift to calm the sizzling contempt being directed at the 24-year-old.
“Bugzy has been up in North Manchester grinding for years, putting out professional work; it has not just happened overnight. No one from Manchester has ever been in his position. I know Shifty was close. Bugzy has worked by himself and never really connected with anybody down south [Manchester], so he can do what he wants. You also gotta remember it’s not just him. He’s got a machine behind him. You don’t know what the people around him are influencing him to say. Being in that position he is not easy”.
On wrapping up the night, RIO treated everyone to his newest upcoming track – You don’t Know – produced by ZDOT and American rapper Royce da 5’9” from Slaughterhouse. Definitely one to look out for when released.
TNT Entertainment Yasin Chinembiri