Fatboi Sharif: Interview

Fatboi Sharif has been making some of the most compelling and intriguing rap music of his generation, thanks to a style that refuses to be boxed in by genre restrictions and critical expectations. I recently caught up with him via Zoom for a conversation which delves into the process behind his creativity, as well as his musical upbringing, his love of horror and his plans for the future. We also spoke about his most recent album, Preaching in Havana, which is out now on PTP.

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Why (Still) So Serious?

Following on from my previous exploration of some of Aesop Rock’s wonderfully varied choices of subject matter, and the subsequent comments and albums that have offered up even more material, I have decided to delve once more into one of the more intriguing back catalogues in hip hop. Last time my picks included doomed fantasy romances and canine-led rescue attempts, while this time round topics range from forced vegetable consumption to the ever-looming spectre of back pain.

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Fielded: Interview

Back in October I found myself in London at the same time as Fielded, who was in town to perform with installation artist, Naama Tsabar. I took the opportunity to sit down with her for an interview, where we spoke about her new EP, Young Medusa, as well as displaying vulnerability through art, keeping things varied and learning to enjoy the act of collaborating.

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What’s In A Name? (A Q&A With Galloping Ghosts)

Following on from the crushingly moderate success of my Q&A with Forest DLG, which took place after his name change, I’m now back with another question session with the artist formerly known as Ded Tebiase. The Village Live producer recently announced he was ditching the moniker that had been attached to his work since the beginning, in favour of the arguably improved and definitely more intriguing, Galloping Ghosts. As with the Forest DLG chat, this is not a place for serious journalistic integrity, but more a light-hearted probe into the name change and his feelings regarding supernatural things. When you’re done reading, make sure you go and stake a claim for his new project alongside vocal duo, Horned Hannes, which is out now on Village Live Records.

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Six Dystopian Favourites From El-P

It’s been a few years since I dipped into El-P’s sprawling back catalogue to select some of my favourite moments. This time round I’ve chosen an angle that he became synonymous with quite early on in his career, that of the dystopian visionary. George Orwell samples, Phillip K Dick references and even a shortlisted Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack only strengthened the association. But in reality these visions were always more grounded in reality than we would perhaps like to have believed. Especially on his more recent escapades with Run The Jewels, where the dystopia we feared in the future, morphed into the existence we populate in the present. Reality checks mistaken for bad omens. So on that positive note, let’s begin.

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What’s In A Name? (A Q&A with Forest DLG)

Name changes within the music industry are pretty common, with artists offering up a variety of reasons for their decisions. Prince’s infamous transition into ‘The Symbol’ was prompted by his legal dispute with Warner Brothers, while Mello Music’s Chris Orrick, changed his name from Red Pill to distance himself from growing connotations with the ridiculous men’s rights movement.

More recently, Chemo, veteran UK hip hop producer and travelling man, announced he is changing his name to Forest DLG. I knew he was a fan of the outdoors so the choice did not surprise me. In fact, it made perfect sense. So, I decided to pay a virtual call on the man himself and ask about his decision, and more importantly, as we both share a love of nature and the woods, find out some vital information about his woodland preferences.

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Why So Serious?

Credit: Ben Colen

As with every genre, hip hop has always had its tropes and trends; similar themes and subjects have been consistently explored and slapped on wax for the last forty years. But there are some rap songs that have materialised during that time, which have eschewed the more familiar themes and instead taken delight in the whimsical, the weird and the wonderful. See: Laundry by R.A.P. Ferreira, from his excellent Purple Moonlight Pages album, for a recent example.
But it’s Aesop Rock who has been the brains behind a number of my favourites that have emerged over the years, and so below I have outlined six of the best from the Rhymesayers artist. It provides some insight into why he has been one of my favourite rappers for the last 15 years, thanks in part to his ability to rap about any topic and deliver it with that unique command of language he brings to his lyricism. Continue reading “Why So Serious?”

Two Orange Tecs, A White Camouflage Suit & Some Silver Boots

If you follow Lee Scott on Facebook, you might have noticed he’s recently started posting up some of his favourite classic rap albums and urging his younger fans to go and explore them if they’re not already familiar. Me and Lee have had a few little rap related chats of our own in the past and so I thought I’d use the current situation as an opportunity to pick his brains about his favourite rappers from back in the day, plus a few other little questions here and there. So via Twitter DMs, we delved into a whole bunch of original talent, including Redman, Likwit Crew, Company Flow and The Cenobites (the title of this piece is a reference to their track, How The Fuck You Get A Deal). To be honest we could have gone on a lot longer, so maybe we’ll try and squeeze another one out before normality returns. For now though, get stuck into this geek sesh.

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GAWD Status: Interview

When it was first announced that King Kashmere and Joker Starr – two highly respected and established artists within UK hip hop – were joining forces to form GAWD Status, my interest was undoubtedly piqued. But I was not expecting it to reach the experimental, psychedelic heights it did. Firmamentum earned them a lot of much deserved critical praise from far and wide, including from the good people at BBC 6 Music. Not long ago, Joker Starr and King Kash announced they were doing a Q&A session on their Instagram stories, to which I jokingly replied that I might try to turn the opportunity into an interview. I say jokingly, but I had been speaking to Kash about doing an interview for ages and so when they both replied telling me to go for it, I couldn’t resist. So what follows is the result of a casual back and forth via Instagram DMs, over the last week or so. We discuss the old days, the 6 Music angle and how GAWD Status came to be, among other things. Their album is also available to stream at the end. Continue reading “GAWD Status: Interview”

Muckaniks: Interview

I recently had a chat with Muckaniks, a music producer from Ipswich in England. He has a propensity for dark, bass heavy production which has earned him credits on projects with the likes of Ocean Wisdom, Lunar C and Dizzee Rascal. We spoke about his production methods, his roots and how he came to work with those notable artists.

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