Issue 53

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HIP-HOP / 32 RNB Issue 52 / 2013 IEW RV TE IN MYNATURE This South-East London rapper is representing hard for the UK right now, having just dropped his new track 'Mr Is Rap', we caught up on meeting Billionaire Ben, new beats and his love of real hip hop. OSHI| @ So I see you're busy right now? I'm very, very busy no time for thinking! Such a pleasure to be here though man. Tell us about your new Album? A lot of positive stuff is going on right now… we started early, the feedback wasn't too good but right now it's being received in a very positive way. So what is early? Where would you say your career came up? Officially, I put out my first official mixtape in 2001. And that was a mixtape called 'The Streets Is MyNature.' But I dunno, the team was strong but it wasn't right. All I see is you bubbling now, videos with thousands of views, I see you supporting big artists. When would you say things started to bubble for you – when did you start to get good feedback? Last year! The moment when I met Billionaire Ben. He's my brother from another mother! He's making it happen right now! Was there one particular tune that picked up for you? Yeah, that was the "N*ggas In Paris" one. That was the first one that we dropped and it was popping from there. The week after we hit them with something else, and the week after too. Ten consecutive weeks of putting out music and after that 'they' knew what it meant. In reality, that's gotta be the only way to do it properly, right? You know what, I don't believe in a proper way of doing it, that was just our way of doing it. You wanna create a spectacle when you come out and no one knows you. You gotta create that spectacle. You know, you might wanna walk butt naked down the street! Everyone has their own way of PR. And that was our way of getting out there. OK. So you say you started in 2001, would you say you've improved a lot in that time. You've had a lot of space and a lot of life? You know what, I could always rap. But now it's been polished. It was already there. But you know what, it was raw, it was too raw. But my style has changed. If I were to present that to the people then, it would be seen as 'Underground' – but now, it just makes more sense. What it was, was the choice of music that I've added to. Before it was the underground grime, but now I've got the international style! So they call you hip-hop personified! Is that right? Haha, I'm hip-hop itself! I believe when you're spitting and rapping you gotta believe hip-hop within you. Cos if you don't, when you're rapping the words won't be believable. Even if I'm lying, I have to believe it, it's like acting. This is my life and I love hip-hop. Hip-hop is me. So when you were growing up, who the rappers and what were the albums that were key to you? Obviously Snoop Dogg came in early, I liked a lot Cannabis, a lot of Dead Prez a lot of Bone Thugz. I got a cousin called Vibez, we were like 15 at the time and I I grew up. I used to go to art school and I realised I've got no money and that swayed me to other friends who are making money. And I thought, 'I don't wanna do a Diploma anymore, I'm leaving!'. So I've left, hit the streets and hanging around with my friend who were making money. I tried what they were doing, didn't work so I just found my own way, which was doing something else. Which led to me getting caught and I was in jail. At the time I was young and didn't care. Was there something that made you think, I can do this, I can make it? I can't lie to you, when I first started rapping, I didn't see the visual, I just met a guy and he saw my visual but wasn't telling me my vision. Maybe he had this master plan and wasn't telling me but I just couldn't see it. I use to lace 7 tracks a day but I just didn't see where it was going, it was just like a hobby to me. I didn't attempt to do anything with it, it wasn't clear in my mind that it could go anywhere. Now, my intentions are completely different. I came out, looking for a studio because I'm gonna make music. I was seeking for a manager that could propel me. My mentality is always keep it real. As long as I feel like I'm keeping it real to myself, then it's all good. Alright. So, we know you've got skills, we know you've got style, but who else would you has got the same? Dot Rotten is a good friend of mine, he is definitely hard. Wretch 32 aswell. It just depends on what kind of style of rap you're talking about. Dot's my brother so I'm sure we can get something out. You I don't see myself as new school, I look at myself as old school but with the new school appeal. OK, so I know you were spending a lot of time putting together some hot videos, what's taking up most of your time now? Right now, working on this new album. Got a bunch of songs ready to go. Just trying to find a balance. I don't want too much cockiness, we're trying to do big things now. We need that international sound that the average Joe could listen to and not feel they're listening to typical hip-hop. Something on there for everyone, we're just trying to get the balance for everyone. You can't leave "This is my life and I love hip-hop. Hip-hop is me. " used to jump on the bus to his house and we used to just rap! Put the music on the decks and just rap! Growing up there must have been a lot of pressure, listening to Cannabis you know – Spit fire! Nah! There was no pressure, cos at the time, only a few people were listening to that level you know. At the time, most of my mates were listening to house and garage so in a hip-hop sense, I was alone. My age group everybody just liked House and garage. It was around the same time Dizzee Rascal was coming up and it was the rise of grime. You seem like you're focused now. Back then you obviously went inside, were you in the wrong place for a while before then? You know what, I started in a positive space. But then what it was, with age, completely different now. Nice. So a lot of people these days seem to blow up over pop styled beats or even dubstep. Would you say there's no amount of money that would have you go, 'OK, let me record a dubstep beat'? No, no, no, no! You know what, I will do whatever I like to do. This is it! To me that's what keeping it real is. I do whatever I like to do! If you play me a beat and it's not a hip-hop beat, but I like that beat, then I'm not gonna say no. If I like it and I'm thinking words, then as long as I can rap to it, I'm taking the beat and I'll put a track out! Is there anything you know you wouldn't do for success? I wouldn't say anything against my morals or who I am. I wouldn't lie, I someone with a negative. That's why we're putting out the positive lyrics too. With the buzz now, you're the next big thing, what is it you're getting to in the album? You know what, I'm just trying to show them levels now. Before it was just like, I'm living a grimey life, let's rap grimey. Now I'm thinking, what are we really trying to do with this? Right now, I've gotta look at it as a business for me to reach out to the masses. I need reason for different people to want to buy it! It's gonna be a problem! HAHA. Some serious stuff going on! Nice. Let's track back, so where are you from? I'm from South East London from Thamesmead. I've been in that area all my life, everybody knows me. I've seen the change and the growth. I've seen it when it was grimey, when it was a bit cheap. Now it's like most areas, they're do a good job, it's like a tourist area in Woolwich. If there was one thing that people were to get out of your message, it would be your knowledge? Yeah man, of course. I will never tell a person, "don't do!" you know, you can't knock the hustle. You know, I've got knowledge in this situation so whoever wants to jump on this track, these are the rules, you know what I mean. Just make sure you do something well, because other people are gonna follow you. What's something you're looking to right now? Making a career! Getting paid for something I love doing. My mum is the person I love the most. She's seen me grow. I've taken her to hell and back, I want her to turn on the TV and see her son and be like 'now look at him!' so I'm gonna keep to it. I don't wanna do any shows right now, at time I black out, I wanna finish my project and bam, be out! Now, a bit personal. If you could fill a swimming pool with anything, what would it be? There's gotta be some nice curvy women in there! Haha. A lot of women, and personally, I'd have my loved ones. Anyone I can fit in, I'll get there. Now, if there was one thing in the world you could change what would that be? Wow, that's a hard one! I don't think I'd change much. Actually no! Haha, a car that I bought years ago, an MR2 and that car cost me too much money! I had to keep fixing it and fixing it. Every time it broke down, it broke my heart! It was a poor man's Ferrari! Haha! What song would you say people have got to check out now? Gotta check out 'Mr Is Rap' I got a track out right now called 'Mr Is Rap' Currently on youtube, it's a crazy journey. If you love hip-hop and good music, it's for you. It's got a bit of soul in there, it's a bit of hip-hop in there, gotta check it out! 'Mr Is Rap' – yeah! You know where you heard it first! Follow @mynaturemusic

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