For the first instalment of our Basement Group Chats series, we catch up with five young creatives about the dial-up broadband phenomenon that dominated London in the early noughties.
If you grew up in London during the early-to-mid noughties, it’s likely that you heard of Keisha The Sket. Initially written and disseminated via early-internet social media sites like Piczo and Myspace by the then 13-year-old anonymous author Jade LB, the story quickly took on its own momentum. Its txt talk prose and ultra relatable content perfectly embodying the zeitgeist in a way that etched itself into the minds of young Y2K-era Londoners – particularly those who rarely saw themselves accurately represented in any form of mainstream media. Passed around in old-skool p2p fashion via Bluetooth and covert text messages in classrooms, on playgrounds and at the back of school buses, young people everywhere became obsessed with what would happen to the ambitious Keisha and her supporting cast of characters; the explicit and often disturbing elements of the book equally imprinting themselves onto young minds in their unfiltered candidness.
Now, thanks to Merky Books – the one and only Stormzy’s imprint at publishing juggernaut, Penguin Random House – Keisha’s story has been collected and told in print for the first time. Still anonymous all these years later, Jade LB retells a story that quickly spiralled into youth culture mythology, publishing an amended version alongside the no-holds-barred original and including a selection of original essays from pivotal black voices including Candice Carty-Williams, Caleb Femi, Aniefiok Ekpoudom and Enny dissecting various themes within the story.
Paying homage to the .com identity of the original text but bringing it up-to-date in the hallowed group chat, BasementApproved brought together a cast of young talent shaping culture in London in 2021 to dive deep on KTS and what it meant to the culture.
Francesco Loy Bell
- 7 minute read
- 6 minute read