Issue 47 - 2013 - New

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HIP-HOP / 36 RNB Issue 47 / 2013 IEW RV TE IN DEVLIN We caught up with Dagenham's finest and a man who's mentioned amongst the who's who in UK rappers and grime MC's and chatted about his forthcoming album. Jacob Guberg | @ What actually inspires you to write lyrics? just love that old East Coast, New York Hip Hop. I don't know. I just get angry and I pick up a pen and pad and just try and do my thing. I just love grime and rap. That's where I thrive and that's just my thing. It's nice when you're not doing the albums to just run up and spit dirty bars; no concepts of songs, just pure word play and just enjoying myself. At what point did you decide you want to be an MC? One of the first CD's you got was 'Illmatic' by Nas. Is that one of the reasons why storytelling seems to form such a core part of what you do? I always loved Nas, I had all his old albums. Then I fell in love with grime, Roll Deep and all that. I always loved the more lyrical rappers and the ones with the skippy flows, the ones that are trying to bring a message with the more emotional beats and that almost orchestral sound. I Yeah it's good to be busy again. We took some time out after 'Bud Sweat and Beers' and it's good to see that we can still climb. I've had my first top 10. When the album's out we'll go and bang it in, bang the work in for 2013. We're gonna graft and see what we can do. Now you worked with Ed Sheeran and Labrinth on the track 'Watchtower'. Again musically that is different to everything else out there at the moment. What was the creative vision behind that? With that track, Ed and Labs were having something to "I just love grime and rap. That's where I thrive and that's just my thing." I flicked on the radio one night and I heard Sharkie on a dark beat. He had a message I could relate to and I thought an, let me give this a try. English was one of the only things I really liked at school. I like the word play so I started putting my own hand to it. I just kept chipping away and over the years I got better and got a little buzz. It's kind of popping off for you right now... One of the things I like about you is you don't seem to just address cliched subjects. Is it purposeful or does it just come naturally? Obviously, if you're gonna spit lyrics you always want to be able to relate to people, to bring them in. But I can only draw on things from my own experiences and I try to capture that in a record that everyone can relate to. Capture that emotion, that spark. eat in Labs restaurant and I think the Jimi Hendrix cover of 'All Along the Watchtower' came on. Labrinth just gets a spark of genius sometimes and I think he just ran upstairs and said Devs will sound good on that. That beat just made me reflect on the last years; what I've lost, what I've gained, what I've got. Like looking at a watchtower from my life. I've come a long way. So 'Off With Their Heads'. What's the creative vision behind that track and the collaboration with Wretch 32? That was just a no brainer. I used to roll with Wretch and we came out the other side together. I've known him a very long time so it's nice to get back in and just hit a track like that with so much venom and its dramatic that track. Wretch smashed it and I enjoyed that track. It's dark. What can we expect from the documentary as well? With the documentary you've got an insight into the creative process a bit more. We wanted to to give the fans a visual, let them know what was going on a bit more. Thanks very much passing through. for Check out or follow @DevlinOfficial

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