When addressing the topic of negativity in rapping, the pint-sized powerhouse MC Tiny declared, "That's a mood kill," making this up-beat 12-year-old the exact opposite – a mood-resuscitator, if you will. The ever-optimistic Cork musician was chatting on The Ryan Tubridy Show as news surfaced that The RTÉ Late Late Toy Show Appeal raised €6.6m last November and approximately 630,000 children and their families will benefit from multiple projects across Ireland as a result of the money raised.

MC Tiny has found an incredible creative outlet and support system through one of Music Generation Cork City’s projects, the Kabin Studio, and today it received substantial funding from the Toy Show appeal. Some might remember MC Tiny from his Toy Show appearance back in '19, rapping about riding his donkey from Cork to Dublin, via The Old Town Road, but for Tiny, aka Darren, his journey to becoming a rapper started a lot earlier:

"I really got into it when Garry McCarthy, GMC, came to my school in about 3rd class […] and he done a workshop and basically, we wrote a rap in a day and I really got to like it."

And this affinity with the artform even inspired MC Tiny to drop a few rhymes from the alter during his confirmation; a first, no doubt, for local priest Father Greg. Ryan was equal parts impressed and tickled, and once the laughter died down, he was curious as to what inspires Tiny, what is he trying to channel?

"Just the pure good energy of everywhere, really, […], I haven’t rapped about anything negative yet, and I wanna keep it that way."

And this pure good energy is cultivated by everyone involved in the Kabin Studio, a non-profit community space in Cork City, founded when Garry McCarthy from GMCBeats Workshops re-purposed an idle MasterKabin in conjunction with Cork ETB and Music Generation Cork City. And how does the Kabin make MC Tiny feel?

"I feel welcome […] I feel good as well. I’m just like, ok, it’s time to rap. […] because, when I’m outside I write a little bit of lyrics here and there […] but then, when I’m inside the Kabin I’m in the zone."

And this ‘zone’ is due in no small part to the creative space established by Garry McCarthy who also popped up on the show:

"We’re creating a space that young people can come and be creative, make music, but also do stuff like video multi-media, coding. So it’s a fun place that we let the young people take ownership of as well, so they have a say in how the place looks, how it’s going to get designed, the colours of the walls, all that sort of stuff. So we’ve built a little bit of a community here, like a little family…"

And what of Mr Tubridy’s rap name, which seemed to be a prerequisite this morning? MC Tiny, whose nickname at home is ‘Tib’ has their double-act all planned out:

"Tib and Tubs. […] Your rapper name is Tubs."

You can hear more of their chat, including MC Tiny’s brilliantly audacious proposition and more about Music Generation Cork City’s work here.

- Gemma Craddock