Hand-held cameras, local video vixens and close-up shots of the "mandem" on the block. 2003 was the launch year of the popular (and controversial) Sky TV station, Channel U, which quickly became the unofficial home of low-budget music videos, hood stars and aspiring TV presenters.

With MTV Base taking great care of the major label cats a few clicks down, Channel U's soft spot for the unsigned underdog allowed those artists to take that next step from pirate radio favourite to household name. Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, N-Dubz and presenters Ace & Vis all got their big break from appearing on Channel U. But, in equal measure, the cult channel also hosted some of the most cringe-worthy characters and struggle-rap songs that, to this day, still get mentioned in online discussions.

With the channel now operating under the name Channel AKA, with a more sleeker feel to the brand, Complex trawled through the vault to pick out 15 of its most memorable—and ratchet—music videos of all time. Tuck in below. 


 

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