Here is the second part of my Lee Scott interview. I was beginning to think it was cursed due to how many problems it’s given me. But here it is, finally. To give you a bit of background, we had been planning to do an interview for a while, but timing had never been right. Then Lee messaged me one Friday night while I was on the way to my girl’s house. He said he’d been up since 5am and so it would be a good time to chat shit. So I rang him and we spoke for an hour about all the stuff you see below and in the first part (which you can find here). Loads of stuff about the early Blah days, meeting Milk for the first time and what projects he has lined up for the future.
I also think Blah has been good at bridging the gap between rap from the North and South. Would you agree with that? Did you ever even see a divide?
I guess back when we first started there were a few rappers you’d bump into across other cities up north who were on some “Fuck London!” shit, but that was never us, man. We just thought they were gimps to be doing that, you know? I was never even thinking about London or anywhere else, me and my lot were just making music. Back then none of the hip hop music being made across the UK was really reaching us, so we didn’t hear any of it really. It wasn’t around us, we didn’t grow up on it, it wasn’t on the TV, it wasn’t anywhere. Until MTV Base came around in like early 2000 and if I was in someone’s house who happened to have Sky, I’d maybe hear one UK hip hop track, but that was it. I think the first UK rapper I ever heard was Roots Manuva, featured on some other song that I don’t know the name of – all I remember is he kept saying “Kitar”, or some shit. It was only years and years later that I realised he was the guy I’d heard on that track. My friend’s dad – R.I.P. – he used to play that song in his AA van but I don’t even think I really even clocked that it was rap, if you know what I mean.
Yeah I know exactly what track you’re on about. It’s him and Leftfield, off their second album. Song’s called Dusted.
That’s the one, man! You know I’ve been trying to find that song for about 10 years [laughs].
But yeah the whole divide thing was never really visible to us, we weren’t thinking about it, I still don’t. But then one time in like 2003 we put the first version of this Antiheroes mixtape out and posted it up on forums and stuff, and somehow it found its way into the hands of loads of DJs in London. People like Blade, who obviously isn’t a DJ but yeah, DJ Excalibah, this guy called Mist who was managing Lowkey and they was buzzing off us. Anyway, we got asked to come and do a show in Brixton Jamm and that was the first time I’d ever even been to London, I was probably 18 or 19.
So what year would this have been?
It would have been about 2005. And what’s mad is in 2005 we weren’t even making new music, but I guess the mixtapes we’d made in the earlier years had found their way to London. So we went and did this show with the northern half of COTD and we met a few people, like Possessed and Plasma from Rhyme Asylum, who were pure into that cypher shit, like outside the shows and that. Plus they were Deal Real heads and used to all rap there on open mics and all that, so we went down to Deal Real and hit them up. We bumped into Excalibah on a random one cause he was just stood in there holding a pint when we walked in to give the shop some vinyl we were on, cos some OG in Liverpool called Mensah put us on. He’d won some competition or something where he got to release a vinyl and that was mad rare no one on our level was putting out vinyl and I never expected to end up doing that at the time. So yeah those vinyl started finding their way to DJs round the country I guess, and then when we came to London, we just had loads of UK hip hop people showing us mad love. So my point is that my first experience of London in terms of rap music was nothing but love.
Anyway we went back up north, then Salar and Bill Shakes at some point went back down to London a few weeks later for some reason and they ended up at this party. At the party there was this kid rapping so they rang me and said “Yo you gotta hear this kid spit, he’s crazy”, they held the phone up to him and it was Monster Under The Bed. He was just like 16 years old then, but he was rapping these crazy styles, so I was like “Who is this guy?! Bring him to Liverpool.” Cos I used to live in this spot called The Wrong House, that was above a pub and everyone used to hang out there. So about three or four weeks later, Possessed, Plasma and Monster Under The Bed all came up north. That’s how Children of the Damned started cos Monster aka Milkavelli would then come back up to ours quite regularly after that and one time he rolled with Sly Moon and Barebase, they were all like wild, crazy styles so we just started making music together. I guess from an outsider’s perspective it could be seen as bridging the gap, but then I see people getting credit for doing that shit now, like certain rappers are collaborating with people from the North and making a big deal out of it. But to me, I mean for a start this country is so fucking small, man and I never gave a fuck about anywhere anyway, not even where I was from. So it didn’t bother me, who was from where. Having said that, you did hear a few older heads hating on us when we first dropped. Which is mad cos you don’t expect people in the UK to be hating on other areas of the country when it comes to rap, like it’s not football, you know what I mean?
What’s next for you now Nice Swan is done?
Oh man, well I think the next thing is this project that me and Trellion have done; we actually just got the physicals back today. It’s called Things To Do in Happy Land When Ur Dead and me and Trellion together make up HAPPYPPL. We’ve shot a load of videos for it and it’s pretty fucking boss. Me personally, I think it’s better than both the Cult Mountain projects we’ve done so far; but I always think whatever the latest thing I’ve done is my best shit so whatever.
Trellion is just one of those MCs that never seems to do anything that isn’t dope. Plus he hasn’t been that prolific so everything he releases is a treat.
Yeah Trellion’s crazy, man. I wish I could be more like that, but I’m way too erratic, I’ve gotta be like POW POW POW all the time. I’ve gotta write every minute, I’ve gotta make music every minute, or I feel like I’m wasting time or something or I just get depressed.
But that has its merits too. I mean it’s got you to where you are today.
That’s the grinding though, man. Plus I’m 31 now so I’ve been doing this shit for years, but it’s only now where I’m starting to get recognition. You’ve almost got to invest in this Blah shit, it’s it’s own world that’s why we call it all the cult shit.
Yeah I man I’ve been listening to hip hop for over half my life but when I first started listening to you guys, it took me a while to get into the whole new breed of slang and the overall sound you were coming with.
Exactly, man. I mean no one in England knew what the fuck Ghostface was saying.
People are still confused about his bags of raviloli.
Yeah I mean you can’t tell me that some lad in Scunthorpe knew what he was on about [laughs].
Okay so aside from the HAPPYPPL project, you got anything else lined up?
Yeah so as well as the Trellion thing, there is an album with me and Black Josh over Sam Zircon beats, which we made about two years ago. Ah man, it’s crazy and it’s one of those things that seems to have aged nicely. When we made it I don’t think we really realised how good it was, cos we make a lot of shit we never really sit with any of it for a while to appreciate it, but listening to it now, I’m like “Damn this is really dope”… not wanting to gas up my own shit too much [laughs] but it’s fucking incredible. Me and Josh made this EP called B-Move Billionaires a few years back, so we’re sticking with the B-movie theme and calling this one Attack of the 50,000ft Sweg Lawds From Outer Space. And it’s got some weird concept tracks in there, like I don’t know what we were on at the time. I think we recorded about 80% of it while sitting on a kitchen worktop in the Blah Mansion. It was really dead there but we had loads of space and it had this ill view cos it was on top of this hill, so we just basically locked in there for like two weeks and made the whole project. So I’ve got that with Josh, I’ve got an album I made with Morriarchi, which is like 17 or 18 tracks, which is pretty epic. I’ve also got another project with Reklews which I’ve nearly finished. Which is a Hock Tu Down project I guess. I’ve got a few other little EP’s and shit lying about.
That’s quite a lot to be sitting on though.
Yeah well basically this is the first point in my life where I’ve consciously thought I’m going to stop making music for a second. I’ll do the things I’ve just mentioned and obviously the Cult Mountain thing, but I’m trying to maybe not do anything for a few minutes. Like I bought a Playstation 4 and a TV, which is first time in years where I’ve owned a TV or a console. I think last one I had before this was the original Playstation and then before that maybe like the Amigas and shit when I was a kid. But yeah I’ve got the PS4 now so I’m hammering all these games and it’s wild. Feels like I fell asleep for years and now I just woke up [laughs]. But this is the first time where I’ve done this. Like I’ve got so much stuff I’m sitting on, so I can actually sign off for a bit but I probably will feel differently tomorrow and work on more music.
Well yeah, go and enjoy yourself, man. Making music is enjoyable I’m sure, but there are other things as well.
Yeah I mean I love making music, but I’ve probably also gone a bit crazy cos that is literally all I do. Also I want to take my mind out of it for a bit cos right now I feel like I’ve said every fucking thing I have to say. I mean I’d be lying if I said I’d stopped writing totally, there is still the odd thing I try to get down, but I’m just trying to be a little but more selective at this very moment.
Well that’s about it from me, but have you got anything you want to add – any shout outs or anything?
Shout out to everyone [laughs]. Shout out to everyone who’s supporting my music and shit, anyone who’s getting into the music. I mean even if you can’t buy it, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to just listen to it, anyone who comes to the shows, all that shit.