Netflix’s reboot of Top Boy will finally hit the small screen with 10 new episodes in autumn 2019. Fresh from releasing her third studio album Grey Area, artist and actress Little Simz opens the explosive first trailer with a line that defines the story: “Everyone round here thinks they’re a big man”.
The gritty Hackney estate drama picks up as Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson) return – from exile and prison respectively – to reclaim their titles as the top boys of the fictional Summerhouse estate. But they find the throne has been taken by Jamie (Micheal Ward), the young and hungry gang leader who is not about to step aside so easily.
South London rapper Dave joins the cast, finding a new mode to dramatise the narrative he explored through his gripping debut LP, Psychodrama. On the album, Dave raps about society driving boys to choose between school and drug dealing on stand-out track “Streatham”. Top Boy offers the artist a fresh platform to represent his experiences.
Drake is onboard as executive producer, alongside manager and business partner Adel ‘Future the Prince’ Nur. The rapper revealed the new trailer for the first time before his performance at London’s O2 Arena last night.
Fans have been waiting for the story to continue since the show was originally cancelled by Channel 4 in 2013. Having finally found a new platform, the cast and creators are ready to return with a bang.
Walters believes Top Boy is a show that “needs to be talked about”. The young actor describes the series as a realistic representation of street culture. “We can’t change things we do not acknowledge,” he said in a statement. “The show doesn't shy away from giving us the platform to tell our story. There aren't many networks who would be brave enough to keep it this real.”
Writer and creator Ronan Bennett reveals that Top Boy was inspired by the reality of his surroundings. “10 years ago, I witnessed a 10-year-old boy dealing drugs outside my local supermarket,” he said. “It made me question what was going on in my own community.”
This isn’t a show to shy away from hard truths. As Little Simz says in the trailer: “Everyone wants to be a top boy.”