The Quantum Leap- Meeting Phoenix Da Icefire
Settling down on the other side of the chessboard from Phoenix Da Icefire as he relaxes back into an armchair in the north London home he shares with his girl friend and her son, a warm June sun beginning to drop below the windowsill, it’s hard to imagine the tightly wound side to his character he describes later in this interview. It’s a slightly volatile temperament common to so many London born heads as a result of a brutal inner city upbringing, and he’s had his fair share of grim luck, as you’ll later learn. But from our first conversation on the phone right through to coming out to meet me and lead me into the bungaloo decorated with a multitude of family photos and a variety of kids trainers where I’m quickly offered a drink, he’s been nothing but friendly and welcoming. With not even a hint of the arrogant attitude unfairly pinned on Hip Hop artists by the media, he seems genuinely happy to meet me and interested in chatting to me beyond the dictaphone I’m holding the and opportunity it gives to promote his recent album, The Quantum Leap.
“Pandemonium, Gs rollin in. Slide the window. Open the car door I know the kid’s silent. Products of the environment.”
As we sit down to listen to some of his new tunes, both from The Quantum Leap and beyond, he talks me through them not with any sort of braggadocio, but simply pride and the happiness of knowing that he’s put everything into trying to perfect his craft. Having been first introduced to his music through London crew Triple Darkness and his Terminal Velocity mixtape alongside Bournemouth based DJ Roast, I’ve spent the last ninety minutes navigating the failures of the London underground whilst reacquainting myself with his philosophical, wisdom fueled brand of rap. It’s infused with motifs that go much deeper than much of the cannabis infused ‘realizations’ of a lot of his peers, so I’m looking forward to picking his brains, but first we sit down to listen to The Quantum Leap and are quickly shooting the shit as any initial tension drops away. He completely opens up to me from start to finish, an interviewers dream with a way of laughing lightheartedly one minute before switching into an earnest account of some of the darker moments of his life the next, dropping information about his past in a way that makes me feel comfortable prodding and delving into territory of his history I otherwise wouldn’t.
Over Chemo’s ever incredible beats and perfect mastering, it’s not only his most lyrically accomplished work to date, with fast and perfectly delivered rhymes flowing like spring water through a variety of rhyme schemes, but also his most conceptually crafted offering. Taking you on a mammoth eighteen track journey where the meta meets the physical, it’s the spawn of his own realizations and research combined with those of early nineties TV show The Quantum Leap, creating a cohesive hour of music that brings back the meaning of an album in the digital, throwaway generation.
From the soulful, upbeat opening tracks, Echoing Thoughts and Zion, with the melodic and reggae infused singing of Generous and El Crisis & Yasine respectively, to the more depressed, head nodding soliloquy of Mental Prisoners Pt. 2, he proves he can command the mic in a variety of styles and over a wide range of beats. He drops knowledge combined with projections of his self and occasional otherworldly metaphors in verses that never fail to give you an insight into his thoughts and ideas. Frankly, it’s a dope album in every way an album can be dope. It’s got hard bangers to summer jams and late night food for thought but it’s all merged seamlessly into one long story, something he explains a bit more about later. As a release, it really shows how much work he’s put in over the past few years and comes at a time when the UK scene is in a good place to receive it. All I can say is that, having spent the evening kicking it with me like an old friend and listening to some incredible music born from his conscious and a will to create good from bad, he deserves all the respect he gets for it.
I give you….. Phoenix Da Icefire.
Let’s get an idea about you first, where did you grow up and what’s been your path?
Well I started in Tottenham, went to Pepes Estate, to Bromley, to Lewisham, to Deptford, to Severn Sisters, to Walthamstow and then to here we are now in Willesden.
So why all the moves?
When I was younger, I been through a lot of shit that I guess led me to there man; being under witness protection and just in environments where I wasn’t safe. I witnessed the murder of a guy who was like an older brother to me, cos I’m the oldest and he was like an elder to me. I came back from the shops and see him lying there and clock this guy get off in his car. So witness protection moved me to Deptford and I guess that was the key to me eventually getting heavy into music.
I was very well spoken before that, my parents taught me that you need to be able to articulate yourself, communications important. So when I moved there I got troubled for it, but I stuck up for myself so I was in fights all the time bruv and it changed me, made me more violent and edgy. Now even in my sleep I’m ready, you know what I mean? It was one thing that opened me up to knowing that the world is a dangerous place, you always gotta be on your guard. I guess areas teach you things.
What are three tunes that you feel have shaped or defined your life?
There was a Cannibus track, 100 Bars, his flow man….. it jumped out to me. I started off in grime and then garage, but when I started reading a lot it got to a point where I couldn’t get my thoughts out on that platform so I turned to Hip Hop. I loved the battle element of garage though and thought ‘how can people battle in rap?’ thinking it’s too slow and not aggressive enough. But when I heard that tune I was just blown away, it bought the two together. [He spits the lines from that track to me as if they're his own, a massive smile on his face the whole way]
“My style of rhyming is ancient like Aztec survivors/I recognize it’s all about timing/ Me and my freestyle lines, practicin Aftican voodoo science….”
I was like, ‘Whaaaaat!’ I’d never heard that shit before.
Then Nas as a lyricist in general. In I Gave You Power when he was describing himself as a gun, the way he personifyed himself as a weapon, conceptually that was just next level.
You hear that concept now alot as well…
Yer man after that you hear MCs saying ‘I’m a gun this, gun that’. But those were two tracks that gave me a reference for the battle element of Grime into rap, and then in terms of concepts, Nas taught me how to take your mind out of the box like that.
[Long pause trying to narrow the the third track down]
Then I gotta say Tupac, How Do You Want It, that female hook jut sounded beautiful to me. He’s a hard rapper, but that was a song! You could play it anywhere you know? It transcended that Hip Hop stereotype where it’s gotta be hard, everyones gotta be mean muggin.
So you’ve got battle, concept and soul…
Yer those are the influences I’ve tried to apply, not just in my album but throughout my music.
You mentioned you started with Garage/Grime, what drew you to that originally? How did you move onto Hip Hop?
I started off drawing. I had all these complex emotions that I couldn’t really articulate or deal with, so I put it in drawing to get it out. But it got to the point where it was too much, I just couldn’t get it out, it wouldn’t come. I’d draw and after I was done think, ‘That’s not it, there’s still more’. The first strong emotion I was feeling was rage and anger, I’d lost my dad and been through all that shit so Grime gave me a way to vent it out that was more aggressive then drawing, it suited the emotions more.
That’s why when you see my album covers it’s all art, I’m still telling the story with the art too. It’s not me drawing them but there my concepts and I’m pretty specific about what I want.
I started off in a grime crew with P Money, Firma D and all of them guys, Little D, Blacks…. We had tracks that went all over the place. But then I started reading a lot and getting different influences. Once I educated myself a bit more it got to a point where the art form was no longer allowing me to vent what was inside, I was more conscious and had found things to say that just didn’t suit grime.
How did you come about the name Phoenix Da Icefire?
Well, when I was in garage I used to call myself ‘Swiftly’ but for Hip Hop I needed a more conscious name about persevering through all the bullshit and stuff, just being reborn again from a hostile environment. I came up with Phoenix from that and then on the bus one day I thought something was missing so I tried to sum up myself as person, thinking how I had two extremes, so Phoenix Da Icefire just jumped out at me and clicked.
“Grime gave me a way to vent it out that was more aggressive then drawing, it suited the emotions more.“
So you linked Triple Darkness. How did that happen and then how did Midas Touch form?
Well it was wierd, first of all with Midas Touch…
A guy called Axe was in that grime crew with us as well and he’s in Midas Touch now. When we broke away from the garage thing me and him made the transition to rap together, he was a bit more advanced then me at the time cos he’d done it for longer but we wrote together anyway and went from there. I ended up going to school with the other guy in the crew, I’d heard he rapped so one day I asked him to spit his lyrics an they were sick so we did a track. It was called Stairway to Heaven or some old school shit, this was years ago I’d never play it to you ['I’ll find it' I say, something that get's him laughing but obviously hoping I don't as well]. From there I just thought, ‘let’s roll with it and be a crew’ and it became kind of my more commercial way of getting the truth out there. Sometimes you gotta disguise your agenda, you can’t always be straight forward cos it’s too obvious, it makes it easy you shut you up.
So your solo stuff at the time was much deeper?
Yer on the side I was doing more dark stuff, sounds I wanted to hear with a more Nas influence. Funnily enough when I was younger and I was hearing about Tupac and stuff getting shot I got pretty prang, wondering what was gonna happen to me if I start telling the truth, hinking I might get assassinated or some shit. It sounds bait but from a young age I almost prepared myself to die, I was wondering if I wanted to do that conscious music and thought, ‘You know what, I gotta tell the truth man. If something happens to me, fuck it’. That was my mindset at the time man, as young as I was.
Then one time I went to Speakers Corner and saw Triple Darkness back when it was called The Heresy, before M9 came in. The shit they were spitting just spoke to me, it was what I was reading about and what I was on back then so I knew exactly what they were saying. They were talking about 360 degrees of knowledge an stuff and everyone was just not clocking it, they didn’t know what the fuck was in front of them. Guys were trying to get on the stage and they were saying ‘Get off the stage!’ and just getting pissed off, I could feel their frustration man. So I went back to my cousin an told him about these guys kicking knowledge on the stage, spitting deep shit and it was as if no one else cared what they were saying, we need more stuff like that out there! He turns round and says we should start a label, I was gonna be doing my thing and we just wanted to push stuff that we thought people needed to hear as well so we got talking about that.
I think it was a year later when I performed at this thing called Peoples Day in Lewisham, not a Hip Hop thing but just this big community thing in the park. I saw the Sheron in the crowd an he was with a few people we knew mutually so I introduced myself and spat some lyrics to him. He goes, ‘You know what, come studio’ so I went down the next week to Chemos place and met him for the first time, he was far out in Stretham or something back then. First time I heard his beats I just thought they were incredible, I didn’t even know shit like that existed! This was late 2007/2008 some time.
“When you just start and your your mad hungry you’ll write to every beat you can get your hands on you know?”
And then you worked with DJ Roast on a few bits, how did that hook up and what made it work?
He was actually the Triple Darkness DJ originally and I was doing a mixtape so I asked Chemo who he thought should scratch it and he goes ‘Roast!’. So I sent him all the tracks an the way he put it together was sick. Forget it’s me rhyming, I try and separate myself from projects, but the way he put those tracks together was like magic. The way he was just blending from one vibration to the next was just flawless man. So I figured to continue with that and he worked on my album, he scratched on that Rusty Jux track, we did Terminal Velocity together and loads of shows so we just thought that was the team. I bought him on the label, he was our DJ, and we’re the best of friends now. I never plan on changing my DJ, we just resonate; he’s family to me now.
He was one of the first heads to do me a guest mix and be up for getting a bit involved with Broken Culture so out to Roast! When you say label, I’m guessing you mean Higher Heights? How did that come about?
Yer man, me and my cousin linked cos his Auntie used to take me to studio, she was a play leader so that was my first taste of studio. I was laying down some good stuff, well I wouldn’t call it good now but it was then! [Laughs] The whole studio was silent man! But she introduced me saying she had a nephew who produced music so I’d go to his, record stuff and he’d just play me countless amounts of beats. That was all I wanted man, when you just start and your your mad hungry you’ll write to every beat you can get your hands on you know? We got real close, we know each other inside out now and he’s stopped me from doing some real stupid shit so I hold the torch high for that guy.
Like I say I’d been we were chilling with Triple Darkness since that day in Stretham and one day they were saying no one wanted to put out their album, it was just sitting there on a blank disk with no artwork an no one would push it so they were just gonna put it to the side. This was when M9 was dropping his High Fidelity thing so they were planning to just push it to the side and focus on that. Me and my cousin Demus just decided to put it out and formed Higher Heights. A lot of shit changed after we put that out, even Jehst thought it was a classic and no one could understand how it had gone under the radar the way it had, it was sick to see the gamble pay off man. A lot of heads called them the UKs Wu Tang an shit, started recognizing that harder sound which I don’t think has really come across to the UK properly, the only thing I really think is similar is Terra Firma.
Is there plans for Higher Heights at the minute then?
Putting out that Triple Darkness album was hard man, it crippled us to broke and just tore us apart. I quit my job to go fully in on the record label thing and make it a success, we always knew it was gonna be a long hard one so we wanted to go the whole way in and do it properly. But Triple Darkness just wanted a one year thing so we invested a lot and the stresses and strains of it all meant we had to put a pause on it for a bit, I needed a job and to sort out some shit so we had to stop and part ways.
As a proper, mechanical label it’s not running 100% right now but I’ve got a new business partner and we’re gonna take it on. I dunno if it will be called Higher Heights or what but it’s a continuation of that still. Something’s definitely coming man. I’m always putting out music and it’s always been independent anyway so you can count on that. Eventually what we do wanna do, an I’ve put together a strong team for this with daily grinder and including my cousin as well, is go big on a label. We want a good platform and foundation for artists that really wanna say stuff, whether it’s HIp Hop, soul whatever. Just all the genres with content and substance that seem to always get pushed to the side. People get tired of hearing Beyonce and don’t wanna dance all night long so we gotta have that conscious music that people can connect to.
Ok so your new album’s called Quantum Leap, tell us a bit about the concept of that. How’s it developed from your previous album?
I’ve actually been working on this album for around five years, I was planning it even through Baptism of Fire and it’s been there ever since I started. It was mad how the concept for it came. Originally it was called ‘Right Timing’ but I was with this guy JB Sparks, that guys a good friend who was one of my first introductions to UK hip hip. We were just chilling, blazing and playing some instrumentals and there was this film on in the background. This deep shit started happening which was a pretty big moment for me cos it changed my perception a lot, everything the person was doing on TV just started matching up to the beat. He was falling down the stairs or something and it all just synced perfectly, I felt as if everything was all in tune and I could see it, life was in harmony.
I got this image in my head that to me was an interpretation of what right timing is, I drew it out and everything and then a few days later I was looking through this book and saw this exact same symbol, turns out it was an ancient Egyptian symbol. It was some mad collective consciousness shit man! So I called it ‘Right Timing’ and that symbol was gonna be the artwork for it so that was my concept. I figured that no matter how long I worked on it, when it dropped it would be the right time.
[We take a break to jam while he draws the symbol for me. We’re listening to some more tracks he’s layed down beyond the album; heavy! He's got more unreleased material here than many artists ever get round to in their whole career.]
These seven doors are the seven Chakras, the outer circle represents 360 degrees of the spiritual plane, the inner circle is the physical plane and then that’s you on the inside. These stairs move slowly and sometimes they align with the doors, so it’s where perception and reality match up. But down the line I kind of moved the concept on and realised your eyes have gotta be open enough to see when the spiritual and physical align and see when you can jump. It just hit me that that transition between the two planes is the the Quantum Leap.
I’ve got David Jay narrating the whole album and he plays the role of the guy from the Quantum Leap [He jokily mocks me for not knowing about Quantum Leap for a while. For the rest of the uninitiated among us, it's a TV show that ran from from 89 to 93], Admiral Al Calivicci I think his name is. It was this sitcom, I love the concept where this guy jumps to different periods of time and plays the important roles, so he’s MLK giving a speech or JF Kennedy or whatever so he’s actually acting out these significant points in our history. He’s got this guide who navigates him between thee points of time, like a spirit guide which was Al Calivicci. So David Jay on the album acts out the role of this guy who’s guided me through difficult periods of time. If you look in the album booklet I’ve put all the track names in sequence and turned them into a story, so ‘he heard the Echoing Thoughts and was on his way to Zion’ etc.
I wanted to capture that leaping aspect of it. It goes from one tone to the next as a journey, so I’ve got these sudden changes on the album from Jamaican vibes to hardcore neck snapping stuff, but it all flows together as a story as well.
“I love picking it up, reading the booklet and seeing the artists thoughts and where their mind was at at the time, how they’ve strung it all together an stuff.”
So Chemo produced all the beats, other than Politricks which was Beat Butcher. All your projects seem to have one producer throughout rather than collections of beats, is that a personal preference? How do you think it effects the output?
Well, I’m big on concepts so I like to just focus on one vibe and go with it. If I’m cooking a Jamaican rice dish I’m not gonna put pasta in it as well you know? Also, it helps seperate the sounds out for me, I don’t wanna get bored of hearing my own voice and my own music, so I like to keep it cleaner cut that way. With the mixtapes I have a collection of beats but with the album I want a clear cut sound. There’s obviously variation in the beats but I want you to be able to tell the difference between each project so that it does change and evolve. I don’t want people to feel like once they’ve heard one Phoenix track they’ve heard them all.
The shame with that now days is how people often just listen to tracks randomly on Youtube and stuff, so the listeners aren’t really putting the work in to get everything out of what the artist’s made half the time.
Yer we’re in this digital age of information now and we’re moving away from physical music but I love that so wanna keep producing it. I love picking it up, reading the booklet and seeing the artists thoughts and where their mind was at at the time, how they’ve strung it all together an stuff. I dunno man, I just love physicals so feel like I should be making albums worthy of that.
Good thinking. So what MCs feature on it, and how did you pick them?
Well I’ve always wanted to work with Klashnekoff, Kyza and Skriblah, ever since I heard Terra Firma, but I had no idea how I was gonna make that happen. So the first feature I got was Cyrus Malachi, he’s always supported my stuff and is a big MC so I got him on One Step from Damnation. Then Kyza came onto Therapy, he’s just blessed as a person and actually came up with the concept for that track. I said to him, ‘you just pick the beat and concept and call the shots’ and it turned into one of the best tracks on the album. That led to Skriblah on Back to the Future as well. On that I go from the future, at some point when I’ve stopped writing and come back to the moment I first picked up the pen and then he goes from the end to the start as well so the verses run alongside each other.
“It’s the year 2027, I put the mic down, retire my crown, the legend”
So how did you pinpoint 2027 as the end of your writing career?
Well 2027 was just a guess man, I calculated it to me being 40. That’s what I said but you never know, lets just see how much support I get for this thing! It’s killing me to put this album out and then when I try and charge people £3 or something they moan but it’s just straight mathematics. I don’t know how long I can keep doing it but as long as I can keep supporting myself I’ll continue.
Fair enough, so who else?
Then I got Rusty Jux on it, I was chatting to Chemo and he recommended Rusty from Bootcamp so I got straight on that. DJ J Ronin from All Elements in America actually shot half the video for that Rusty Jux track, it’s called Aim for the Soul, so out to him.
I did a show supporting Rude Adams and Keith Murray from Def Squad was there on the night as well so I was pretty blown away. 279 was there and a few others so when I said ‘Oooii, reckon I can get a track with Keith Murray?’ everyone just kind of looked at me like, good luck with that! I’d said hi to him as I walked past so then I added him straight on Facebook on my phone and said I was the guy that just said safe to him, then asked if he wanted to do something together. From there we spoke, exchanged numbers and I managed to get him on a track! I was trying to think how I could make that track even bigger so I hollered at Klashnekoff who I’d spoken to a bit by then, he was feeling my stuff but I think he was waiting to see if I could really pull my weight and prove myself worth of working with someone like him that’s put in so much work. Once I’d got Murray on a track he jumped straight on it!
I got Lil Eton on there as well, he did a track with Beat Butcher called I Does It which was sick so I got working with him. And Black Chronicle’s on there too but he went by the name Triple, that’s his hardcore hip hop name. We’ve both kind of got these alter egos where I’m Solar Black and he’s Black Chronicle so he came through on Karma Sutra.
“It’s different now, I’ve put the book down a lot and I’m trying to just break down my life more, it’s all in our DNA.”
Sounds dope! We’ve spoken about concept a lot and obviously there’s a lot of deepness in your tracks. What’s the inspiration for that, are you reading mad books or what? Any recommendations for heads?
Yer, there’s a book called Opening Spirit by Caroline Shola Arewa which breaks down the seven Chakras and she’s got all these scientific references in there for the non believers. I read Dr. Malachi’s books and Malcolm X’s biography was a big inspiration too. But to be honest, there’s so much knowledge just out there in the world, I’ll have a conversation with someone and stuff will just flow through me and I’ll be saying things I didn’t even know, or didn’t even knew I knew if that makes sense [laughs]. It’s different now, I’ve put the book down a lot and I’m trying to just break down my life more, it’s all in our DNA. All of the knowledge of this world is inside you, you ever feel like when your reading certain things your remembering it rather than learning it? That’s what I’m talking about.
‘Microcosm-Macrocosm’ is something I been checking a lot for example. That means ‘As Above, So Below’ and is all about the scales on this planet. I think the planet’s alive and we’re living on it, but we’re as small as an insect; one day to the planet is billions of years to us so it barely even blinks and acknowledges our existence. In the same way, there’s life forms and creatures living off us that we are the earth too, and so on and so forth. Even when you look at an atom it looks like a planet with all these stars orbiting it, it’s like the concept of the Russian doll.
So what kind of music are you listening to now? Do you tend to listen to much music outside of Hip Hop?
Well I hear the odd track from outside now and again, just what’s on really, but I mainly listen to purely Hip Hop to be honest. There’s a lot of bullshit out there in the modern age man, even R&B isn’t how it used to be it’s all popped up.
I’ve been listening to Caxton Press’s album Shame the Devil a lot and I’m really looking forward to M9’s new album Magna Carta, that’s coming early next year I think. I’ve been reading a lot about Magna Carter, the Strawman and the Freeman recently, I dunno if you know about that? The people actually turned on King John of England back in 1215 and made him sign this document saying that they were free people of the land. They made their requirements in the Magna Carter and basically gave him no choice so he had to agree. It was the first document ever forced on an English King by his subjects to limit his power and protect their privileges. So I’m really looking forward to hearing what concept he’s built around that.
J Da Ex from Midas Touch as well, he’s got something called From Darkness Came Light. He’s a serious vocalist and a sick singer as well so that will be heavy. I know he’s from my team but I wouldn’t be part of Midas if i thought they were shit! [Laughter] He keeps me on my toes so I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings next.
Yer fair enough! So what’s forthcoming from you?
Well firstly I got this mixtape, Silver Casket, which I’ll be putting out with Black Chronicle; we’re ‘Solar Black Chronicle’ together. That’s scratched by Roast again so it’s gonna have that seamless vibe of Baptism Under Fire and I’m gonna get someone to host it as well but I’m not sure who. My mixtapes are more about the fire side of me, it’s energetic and lively, whereas the albums are more like ice where each track is like a sculpture, like condensed thought, rather than being more wild like fire.
[He puts the CDs of Baptism Under Fire and Quantum Leap together to show how that comes across in the art work too]
I’ve got the video for Echoing Thoughts coming soon which should be on all the TV channels as well, I’m proper pushing it on AKA, MTV Bass and stuff like that so that will be big. We need to try and take it to them bruv, they’re not gonna come to us! Global Faction did the video for that and their work smashes it so that was cool.
[As he shows me the video, he points out how all the cast is his family and friends, telling me anecdotes about them throughout. It’s shot around his ends as well as in his mums house etc so has a really nice family vibe to it, and Global Faction come hard on the visuals as per. The day I can see that on MTV I’ll be a happy man!]
So how did you hook up with Global Faction?
Well before I even knew of them they posted a comment on one of my videos saying it was sick and they’d like to work with me one day. I kind of forgot about it but then I was talking to Rude Adams saying I was looking for a video producer and straight away he says Global Faction. He said they had respect for my music an then I clocked that it was then that had commented so I got at them and we sorted it out. Abdul who’s part of it is sound and we just clicked you know.
“What I wanna see from artists though is people just being individuals, more creation rather than assimulation.”
What they do’s dope as well! I was thinking the other day how it’s sick to see more people making moves on the industry and backend side of Uk Hip Hop at the minute if you feel me. Where would Biggie have been without Puff you know? The scenes strong in every aspect right now.
We need that as well! What I wanna see from artists though is people just being individuals, more creation rather than assimulation. Everyone’s got their own story to tell and that difference in perspective is what differentiates us and what makes music so good. More people need to use their imagination, hence the track Use Your Imagination (well tracks, I got two parts of that!). Tell me something I don’t know in a way I’ve never heard it before, it’s beautiful when that happens man. People just need to rack their brains a bit more, that’s one thing I liked about Triple Darkness before I became a part of it, how they coined their own phrases and it was all just so fresh.
Everyone plays their part in this game to make it what it is though man. Like you! Busting your neck to come up all the way from Elephant & Castle, braving the fire at Waterloo to get here. braving the fire! [laughter, I was savagely delayed due to a fire at Waterloo which we were both just glad I was one stop away from rather than in] Just to tell the story! One day in the future people are gonna look back an think ‘Max was covering everything, he did this and this and this, this is where man was starting!‘ People will find new artists an shit cos of you man, you play your part I’m serious.
Safe man, that means a lot. It’s just something I gotta do though I guess, most of our generation wouldn’t be deep in graff it wasn’t for Subway Art for example. Shit like that influenced me so I feel like I’ve just gotta get the continuation of Hip Hop down on paper for the next generation I guess.
Yer, a lyricist would be nothing without people promoting, spreading it and telling the story. And then theres the producers and the fans an stuff. I relate to what you said as well, writing bars is something I’ve gotta do! When I did Baptism Under Fire I had no idea if people would listen or not to be honest, but if they didn’t I don’t think I could put as much energy into it as I have up to now. When people started listening though, quoting my lyrics and asking questions and stuff I realised that I had a responsibility now, people are listening so I gotta say real stuff to them. That’s something that really resonated with me.
When I was first shottin’ the mixtape, this elderly guy comes up to me like ‘Do you mean all the stuff you say?’ an when I said that I meant every word he told me about his son who’s going through shit at school. He asked if I’d mentor him and help him get through shit so I’ve been doing that ever since, if he’s being troubled or can’t talk to his dad about something I sort it out, help him with his projects an shit. I wanna walk my talk I guess.
Yer that’s big man, respect. So as much as it’s been a pleasure, we best wrap up really, I gotta catch the last train! Any shouts or last words?
Shouts to Broken Culture! Shout out to Max you get me! [Laughs] Shout to Triple Darkness, DJ Roast Beatz, Midas Tough, Joseph Media who did my website, Terra Firma, Caxton Press. Everyone who’s just doing their thing, all this doesn’t happen without you lot!
I got this saying ‘Things that take time, stand the test of time’ so we’ll end on that