Rapper Slowthai has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape.
The Grammy-nominated British musician is accused of raping a woman twice one night in September 2021, as the BBC reported. He entered his plea in a British court on Thursday.
The 28-year-old artist, born Tyron Frampton, was charged last month with the oral and vaginal penetration of a woman without her consent.
Frampton’s co-defendant, Alex Blake-Walker, pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and two sexual assaults. Both men are accused of raping the same woman, but Blake-Walker is also accused of sexually assaulting another woman. The court released both men, who have been placed on conditional bail until their trial begins in July 2024.
The rapper, known for hits “Feel Good” and “Selfish,” was dropped from scheduled performances at the Glastonbury Festival in June and the Reading & Leeds Festivals in August, and he also recently withdrew from a Wembley Stadium performance scheduled for next month. The lineup includes British art pop musician Self Esteem and the Britpop band Blur.
Slowthai was nominated for a Grammy in 2021 and a Mercury Prize, which honors U.K. and Irish artists, in 2019.
In a May statement obtained by the U.K.’s Far Out, Slowthai denied the allegations.
“Regarding the allegations being reported about me, “ he said, “I categorically deny the charges. I am innocent and I am confident my name will be cleared. Until then I will apply my energy to ensure this is concluded swiftly and justly.
“I ask that my supporters don’t comment about this situation and respect the process and privacy of my family during this time.”
The rapper made a name for himself in 2019 with his well-received and politically charged debut album, “Nothing Great About Britain,” in which he raps about Brexit, the queen and former British Prime Minister Theresa May. In 2021, he released “Tyron,” and in March, he released his third album, “Ugly.”
The Guardian in a 2019 profile described the rapper as “Britain’s most compelling new MC. … His brand of hip-hop isn’t exactly grime but it is grimy: pungent and abrasive in sound and content, but charming with it.”