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London’s lofty luxury real estate prices drove this UK rapper to better himself

  • Rapper Tinie Tempah was raised on a housing project in south-east London
  • Tempah found U.S. success with his debut single that went to the top of the Billboard charts
British rapper Tinie Tempah in his studio in Greenwich, London
CNBC
British rapper Tinie Tempah in his studio in Greenwich, London

London may be out of reach for many potential real-estate buyers, with the average detached home in the city costing almost £900,000 ($1.17 million) according to the latest figures from the U.K. land registry.

But for British rapper Tinie Tempah, who was raised on welfare and lived on a housing project in south-east London, the city's luxury homes drove his ambition.

He told CNBC's "Trailblazers" that London is unique since it has a mix of government council estate blocks of houses and beautiful million-plus pound terrace houses on the same road.

"In London, you can literally live in a council estate and opposite you could be in front of a one, two, three, four million (pound) house you could see their lifestyle, see their family and for me if that isn't hope then I don't really know what is. So yeah, London for me is a city of hope," he added.

British rapper Tinie Tempah
CNBC
British rapper Tinie Tempah

Tempah made it in the U.K, in 2010 with his first album "Disc-Overy" and in the same year released single "Written in the Stars" in the U.S, making him the first U.K. rap artist to reach platinum-sales status Stateside with a debut single.

Tempah's video for "Find Me," released in the U.K. in April, features his childhood home on the Aylesbury Estate. He credits London as a place that allowed him to become a success.

"I was I was born in a council estate, on benefits. And… obviously I thank God more importantly, but I was able to go from there to Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace, or to meet the mayor or to meet the Prince, the future King." Tempah gave Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, a high-five during a performance at a U.K. awards ceremony in 2014.

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