Shogun (Rapper)

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Background information
Birth nameJoseph Heron
Born (1997-05-22) 22 May 1997 (age 26)
Paisley, Scotland
  • British hip hop*grime (music genre)
  • Rapper*songwriter*television personality
Years active2015-Present
  • TUIGSE*Independent
Associated acts
  • Dizzee Rascal*Show N Prove

Joseph Heron (born 22 May 1997), better known by his stage name Shogun, is a Scottish rapper. Raised in Paisley, he rose to popularity in 2016 for his lyrically sharp, fierce and politically charged performance in his freestyle video Vulcan[1]. He recently starred on the BBC Three show The Rap Game UK[2].

Early life

Shogun was born on 22 May 1997 in Paisley, he was raised by his single mother in "a wee tin roofed semi detached gaff (house)"[3] in an area close to the most deprived area in Scotland (Ferguslie Park)[4]. During secondary school he stopped attending and started to hang out with friends to smoke, watch hip-hop videos and ride around on dirt bikes nearby. During this time he started to get more in trouble by breaking and entering. He eventually got lumped with over 300 hours of community service. Heron began to write and practise rapping around friends in order to "make something of myself"[3]. In between this he attended Ayrshire College where he studied Sound Production[5].

Music career

Around 2015, Shogun started releasing music on SoundCloud and gathered a sound fan-base. This eventually lead him to record his popular freestyle Vulcan[1] on the YouTube channel Twelve 50 TV in July 2016. The freestyle quickly racked up views and was shared by numerous media outlets like UNILAD|UniLad. Within a month the video accumulated over 300,000 views on YouTube and over a million views on Facebook[6]. With his almost overnight rise to fame, this gained him a spot on UK rapper Akala (rapper)|Akala's tour.

In 2017 he was approached by the team for Belgian singer Loïc Nottet to feature on his Selfocracy album. The album went Platinum in Belgium[7] and Gold in France[8]. Having continued to release further freestyles and tracks across platforms such as SB.TV and Brapp TV he earned a spot to open for American rapper Nas at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. Unfortunately, due to the breach of his community service he was arrested during the soundcheck on a warrant for failure to appear at court[9]. He was later jailed for 12 months in early 2019[10].

Having finally served his time, Heron was released and started working on new music. During Shogun's incarceration his manager, reached out to numerous artists and producers to assist in the creation of new music. With great success, British rapper Dizzee Rascal had heard of Heron's previous work and was keen to get in the studio.

Following this opportunity members of Dizzee's team passed on Heron's details to their contacts at Sony Music/RCA in London. He then went on to collaborate in sessions setup by RCA with platinum selling producers Mokuba Lives and Chris Andoh.

Not long after Heron received news that he would star in the second series of the BBC Three show The Rap Game UK. Filming began in early 2020 and then resumed later in the year due to Coronavirus disease 2019|COVID-19. He did not win the contest, but has received praise for his technical ability and giving Scottish rap a national spotlight.


Extended plays

Title Details
  • Release: 30 June 2017[11]
  • Label: TUIGSE
  • Format: Digital download
  • Release: 31 August 2018[12]
  • Label: TUIGSE
  • Format: Digital download


Title Year
"Insomnia Freestyle" 2016
"Your Song" 2017
"Why Would I Send"
"White Rhino" 2018
"Stepped In (Remix)"
"Christmas Day Freestyle"
"Eager" 2020
"One Take"
(with S-Mac)
(produced by Chris Andoh)
"No Heaven, No Church"
"Be Afraid"
"Cheat Code"
"Too Many Talking"
"So Bitter"
"Taken 4"

As featured artist

Title Year Release Release Certifications
(Loïc Nottet featuring Shogun)[13]
2017 Selfocracy
  • Bea|BEA: Platinum
  • Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique|SNEP: Gold

Awards and nominations

Year Organization Award Work Result
2017 Scottish Alternative Music Awards Best Hip Hop Himself Nominated
BFI London FIlm Festival Create Strand Included
2018 i-D Class of 2018



  1. 1.0 1.1 "SHOGUN - VULCAN [Twelve50TV]".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "BBC Three - The Rap Game UK".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Heron, Joseph. "Fuck Your Weak Views: 19-Year-Old Shogun is Scotland's Great Rap Hope". VICE.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Ferguslie Park named as Scotland's most deprived area". BBC News. 2016-08-31. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  5. "LinkedIn - Joe Heron".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Parker, Rebecca (2016-08-01). "Meet Shogun, the Scottish grime artist making waves on the UK hip-hop scene". GlasgowLive. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  7. " - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  8. "SNEP - Syndicat National de l'édition Phonographique". 2017-08-22. Archived from the original on 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  9. "Glasgow grime artist MC Shogun arrested at 02 Academy". BBC News. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  10. Express, Paisley (2019-02-11). "Paisley rapper MC Shogun jailed for 12 months". Daily Record. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  11. "Spotify - Katana".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "Spotify - Diesho".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Selfocracy (Liner notes/ CD booklet). Loïc Nottet. France: Sony Music Entertainment (Barcode: 88985420302). 2017.
  14. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

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