The story of The Kersal Massive: Manchester’s most infamous rap trio

Some of the world’s greatest music has come from Greater Manchester. 

Indie. Electronic. Hip-hop. Whichever genre you explore, you’re sure to find Mancunian fingerprints in there somewhere. 

Even in a category as niche as early mobile music. 

Case in point: The Kersal Massive. 

This infamous trio of MCs recorded a rap video in a Salford shed back in 2006 and cemented their place in history as some of the first ever viral video stars.

Sure, their music was great for a very different – and unintentional – reason. But it was still great nonetheless. 

Even today, the very mention of Kersal can prompt an impression of: “Get on the bus with me daysavahhh, smoke da reefa in the cornahhh”.

In the mid-noughties, The Kersal Massive were as big as their name suggested – with their freestyle being bluetoothed between more mobiles than Akon’s “Smack That”. 

The group – which consisted of Clio-driving leader C-Mac, helium-voiced bus enthusiast Lil’ Kev, and hypeman Ginger Joe (essentially Kersal Massive’s very own Flava Flav) – only ever shot one music video.

But whilst most media from the blurry-looking, scruffy-sounding world of mobile videos – which was largely populated by happy slapping and donk music – has died out, Kersal’s track lives on. 

With fingers in the air and frowns on their faces, the wannabe rappers managed to squeeze lyrics about drugs, money, cars, women, public transport and a hatred for Levenshulme into their 45-second freestyle. 

Kevin Powder – a presenter known for his zany schtick – actually ventured up to meet the gang on their own stomping ground several months after the video appeared, asking Kersal to perform a second rendition of the song that became synonymous with the Sony Ericsson. 

The gang – by this point a little older with broken voices – generously obliged, reciting the lyrics word-for-word. 

Powder is then flagged out of the estate, the video ends, and poof, Salford’s young Gs disappeared. 

The popularity of their video, though, was a sign of things to come.

Little did they know it, but Kersal were the first faces of the original viral content boom – which suddenly began turning obscure figures in Britain into overnight celebrities via the magic of the internet.

One of the most successful examples was market trader Muhammad Shahid Nazir (AKA One Pound Fish Man), who earned a recording contract after being captured on camera singing about the price of seafood at Upton Park. 

Still, despite the increasingly congested arena of viral stars, The Kersal Massive continued to resurface on social media from time to time. And, whenever they did, people would always ask the question: Whatever happened to those guys?

It’s been thirteen years since the gang were seen on camera together, and all signs seem to suggest their lives have taken very different paths. 

The Tab claimed they’d tracked down frontman C-Mac in 2016, who didn’t appear to look back on his five minutes of fame with too much nostalgia. 

He apparently told the website: “The video still does the rounds now and then, but that’s about it. I don’t get noticed about it anymore so it’s done and gone for me.

“I am not in touch with the other two lads anymore.”

C-Mac’s sidekick Kev made his own headlines in 2017. But not for the right reasons. 

GMP

Local police posted an image, whom the Reddit community believed to be Lil’ Kev, online in the summer of that year, appealing for information on his whereabouts after he was suspected of gun offences. 

The enigmatic Ginger Joe, fittingly, has yet to resurface. 

But we like to think he’s still out there somewhere. Over in the corner. Being the main man he always was…

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