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Rap: YouTube star dazzles crowd

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 08, 2012

ROGUE TEACHER: Mark Grist in action at Harvey's Bar and Bistro.

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SLAM poet and battle rapper Mark Grist captured the imagination of all ages with a sold-out workshop and show at the Charles Causley Festival, writes Colin Gregory.

A former English teacher, Mark gave up his stable job to become a full-time performance poet and gained international attention when he beat up-and-coming Manchester rapper Blizzard in a Don't Flop rap battle.

Footage was posted on YouTube and quickly gained more than two million views, catapulting the pair to celebrity status.

Launceston poets Ben Haynes and Ricky 'MC Tricky' Lovell were thrilled to support Mark at Church Street venue Harvey's Bar and Bistro, gaining applause and congratulations for their self-penned poems.

Mark trialled his new show Mark Grist: Rogue Teacher ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, taking the audience through his previous job, life in Peterborough and the roller-coaster ride since his YouTube battle went viral.

Leaving Launceston in fits of laughter with his risqué and sometimes downright rude rhymes, the unlikely rap star proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend. The organisers thanked Launceston councillors Alex Folkes and Sasha Gillard-Loft for providing funding through their community chest budgets, and M-MAD Studio for filming it.

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