Backyard Boogaloo, one of the newest additions to Bournemouth’s currently flourishing Hip Hop scene, booked Brighton based crew Rum Committee for their debut night on the last Sunday of January. A crew of ten members, spanning mcs, beatmakers, djs, illustrators and their very own blues singer, they released their debut album, Boozetown, last year. A tour of Brighton’s underbelly, it creates an alternative reality featuring a binge of banging beats, bruising bars, bravado, bacchanalia and beautiful, beautiful booze by the beach.
Having listened to their music, it’s obvious that these lads are a rowdy bunch, using Ernest Hemingway as an example of how some feel boozing is in fact big and clever, but nothing was to prepare me for the ear chewing I received in the back room of the Winchester pub, enclosed by the twelve inch thick metal door that protects it’s once bank vault interior. They’ve got that same loud, boisterous attitude I’ve noticed in every Brightonian rapper I’ve met, but at the same time couldn’t be nicer guys in the way they welcome me into the room and offer me rum from their already rapidly depleting rider. From the best pubs in Brighton, to desert island disks, we discussed pretty much everything amidst chaos of chinking glasses and various insults and mockeries being thrown about left right and center.
They were keen for me to say that the views expressed by Rum Committee in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of Rum Committee. So with that in mind, I give you Rum Com, introducing themselves one by one. Watch out for the guest bar videos embedded within the questions as well.
Rag N Bone Man:Sherman Funk, I’m the sinner in Rum Committee.
Captain Bukioe:I’m an mc and do all the illustration and general arty stuff.
Gi3mo: Big gizzy, I’m frontline MC, also producer and DJ an just, general dogs body to be honest.
Prince Kong: Kizzong, aka Klepto, resident rapper, frontline member, drunk shindiggerer, causer of mayhem and mass destruction.
Direct: I’m a DJ, producer, crate digger extraordinaire, and I’m normally horribly drunk but I cant drink today (to which the others chime in with various sentiments of broken hearts).
BC: Why can’t you drink?
Direct: Cos I’m a total alcoholic and I have to not drink every now and again (Prince Kong: he’s got a ritual)
Sherlock Bones: Producer, organized head, executive, acting manager, creative addict.
Ceezlin: Ceezlin I get it in, pimp, bank robber, gat shooter, In getter, big drinker (Kong: Car jacker!)..nah I don’t jack cars man, I hate cars I never drive.
BC: Is there anyone missing?
Kong: Yer there’s 3 other members who aren’t present…KD aka Kid Danger, another producer and DJ.
Ceezlin: Dan Dastardly, big time producer in the committee, DJ Choice, big boy DJ smashin up the cuts, eerrrmmm, Snitch (KD) (rawkus laughter breaks out’ It turns out KD didn’t drive down with them, so naturally incurs the full wrath of the Commitree)
BC: How longs Rum Com been going and what’s the story of how you met?
Prince Kong: What happened is, we’re all Brighton born and raised, which is quite a rare thing as everyone’s either students or Portuguese having good fun time or whatever. So we all know each other through being mates firstly, and we all met up cos we’re generally big, individual characters an we’re all nutty an drink loads. We’ve all had links to each other for years and years, but we’ve been formed properly about 2 years ago and started really doing things about 18 months ago.
At this point, the pub manager Mark walks in and the committee offer various thanks and shout outs to him, big up Mark!
BC: What’s the Brighton Hip Hop scene like at the minute and where do you fit into it?
Kong: It’s US!
Bukioe: Nah we’re just tryina push things and improve, so if we do that as a unit then people around us are gonna notice, if they come with second rate shit they’re not gonna get recognized. It’s good to hear young kids saying they’re influenced by us to make music.
Kong: The good thing about the scene in Brighton is that it spans all generations, you got older heads been into it for years, loads of elder b boys and graff heads, then you got our generation and all the young guns coming up as well so it’s a nice mix. Everyone bounces off each other and there’s a lot going on.
Ceezlin: An I tell you what, the diversity we got in the committee reflects that. You see Bones an Giz (Kong: they’re the two linchpins I think), they make two completely different styles of beat, then you got Direct coming with something completely different again an then Dan Dastardly as well who kills it. Then rappers you got Kong rapping in his own style and Bukioe, Gi3mo and me all with completely different vibes. Then you got Rory (Rag N Bonez) who brings a whole new dimension to it cos he’s the best blues singer on the planet right now!
Kong: An he raps as well! We fail to mention that a lot but he’s a sick rapper.
Ceezlin: His blues skills are so good that he could be like, the best trampoliner, 100meter sprinter, gun shooter, American football player and basketball player all at the same time but his blues skills just blow it all out the window. We got that diversity. We’re rappin over hip hop, dubstep, grime, whatever.
(we break up for a few minutes of jokes about the thought of Rory (Rag N Bone Man) on a trampoline before Sherlock Bones, who’s slightly more organized than the rest of them, encourages everyone to pipe down)
Gi3mo: One thing the 5 rappers bring as well is that we all rep proper southern accents which is unique in some ways, we got that rowdy Brightonian style. You get a lot of rappers from Brighton falling into the trap of either shaping a London sound, or the complete opposite and sounding really posh.
BC: Yer there’s an element to which anything outside of London gets grouped into ‘Country rap’ or something stupid.
Gi3mo: Exactly, we’re all spitting in proper southern accents, but it’s not posh it’s gritty. We got our own slang an our own way of talking.
Kong: It’s not a forced cockney accent, we just think the way you talk should be the way you spit.
Sherlock Bones: As for the Brighton Hip Hop scene, I cant help but feel there was a zenith in Brighton when the Hip Hop festival got funding, loads of people were coming through doing positive things and there was even a documentary about it in the cinemas. An then I dunno what happened, they basically busted their load on the stomach of the city an got out of there. That’s what we’re tryina resurrect. You see graff books referring to Brighton as somewhere that was once the hub of the scene but it’s all slowly coming back. Out to Rarekind doing big things!
Ceezlin: I tell you what’s a fuckry though, the council are cutting the arts fund by 50% right now.
Gi3mo: There’s a lot of kids that come through workshops an stuff in Brighton cos it’s a pretty community based scene, for us the education of Hip Hop’s a big thing. Big up Audio Active, Rhythmics and DV8. There’s a lot of individuals that work very hard to deliver music sessions to young people and educate within it which is doing really good things for Brighton.
Ceezlin: DV8 have a few places with one in Brighton by Preston Park. The reason I went there is cos I was drinking too much, also cos I used to knock out motherfuckas as well. But I’ll always pay massive homage to DV8, it’s a 20 week course, plenty of people were there just to get there EMA and fuck about, but if you go there and put your head down they can do really good things for you. If you don’t use workshops, and actually put yourself into it, there’s teachers there like Roland and Marina that can teach you a lot. I learnt a lot from those guys, but now the council’s gonna cut that shit which is ridiculous.
Bukioe: Rum Com’s just about fun, party rap. We just have jokes an try and keep it original.
Sherlock Bones: Yer we try not to be too serious, it’s not all about punchlines and who can be the hardest, fastest or darkest. It gets tiring listening to MCs chat about how bad they are so we’re just drinking an having fun.
Kong: The thing is, it’s not just about how bad you are, how many drugs you’ve taken or chicks you’ve been through, but if that’s what you’ve done an what you feel like talking about then do it. We like drinking, girls, some of us partake in extralegal activities so we’re just talking about that. We might talk about a fight outside a pub, but we’re not gonna try an tell you about how mans are hiding in bushes with pieces down our pants cos it’s just not relevant. It’s more about a little scrap, getting licked, going home with a bird and waking up in the morning to find out she’s a rotter then climbing out the window cos her boy friends coming back. An then laughing about it all, it’s about silly shit.
Bukioe: But also, we try an tell the truth as well, you gotta balance it out with some real stuff.
Ceezlin: Yer we can make a track about goin to a party, having a party, feeling down about a bird, a bird feeling down about us (laughter all round), just everything and anything.
Kong: Keep it reals a bit of a cliché, but we keep it 150% real.
BC: So if I was gonna go to Brighton for a day and a night, where would you reccomend I go?
Kong: First Tuesday of every month, Slipjam! Shout out to Tom Hines who’s a rapper from Brighton who’s been doing Slipjam for free of his own back for years, that’s been key to the development of a lot of the Brighton Hip Hop scene.
Gi3mo: Also check out Rarekind records, they’ll sort you some good deals! I ent gonna tell you all the proper, real cheap digging spots cos I gotta keep that to myself, but there’s loads about, you can’t miss em!
Direct: Yer don’t go to my record spots!
Sherlock Bones: If you want a good, cheap drink head to Hello Darlings, just ask anyone you see and they’ll point you in the right direction. (Ceezlin: She’s a OG!) You can get bottles of Morgan Spice for about £11 in there she dons it!
Kong: She’s a darling as well! You’ll walk out of there with a spring in your step.
Gi3mo: Fuck hip hop an all that shit, go Brighton, get yourself a 6 pack of larger an some piff an go sit down the beach. Take a boombox an that’s the one!
BC: Desert island disks time, can some of the producers and Dj’s throw some albums at me?
Rag N Bone Man: Herbie Man- Memphis Underground, that’s one of my favourite albums of all time.
Kong: Tommy D is a badman crate digger! You could make a desert island out of his records! (Followed by lots of different things Tommy could make out of his records)
Sherlock Bones: Tommy D- Icebox Breaks is a sick mix (general shouts of approval). When I got Icebox Breaks I’d only met Tommy a couple of times, but that’s been rinsed on my Itunes ever since.
BC: If you could support or collab with anyone, who would it be?
Kong: Jedward!….. Sorry, sometimes I just say words.
Direct: Michael Jackson!
Gi3mo: I’m gonna go for a piss while I think about this.
Sherlock Bones: ODB, anyone in Wu Tang for that matter or MF Doom and Nas.
Kong: Yer for me, ODB. I wouldn’t even wanna support him I’d just smoke crack with him.
Ceezlin: Robert Johnson, big up him! Dead but not forgotten.
BC: Any Rum, what you drinking?
Kong: You need Chairman’s Spice, that’s the one.
BC: Not Wray & Nephews?
Direct: Yees Wray & Nephews overproof!
Bukioe:You know Ron Jeremy’s just released his own rum as well.
Kong: Yer it wasn’t that nice though to be fair.
Sherlock Bones: Wait so Ron Jeremy releases his own (expensive) rum that’s called Ron De’ Jeremy an I have to say, it tastes like vodka.
Gi3mo: I’m gonna back Cane Trader a little bit cos that’s the cheap one from the offie. But, in short, someone needs to holler at us with the nicest rum.
Ceezlin: Let Ceez say a little piece about rum as well, I ent got the funds to get that £20-£25 bottle, I need the £12 shit. Everyone disses Morgan Spiced but we’ve already done two tonight, that’s the shit.
Kong: Yer didn’t we spur a mass craze of rum. Brighton’s got quite a cosmopolitan (shit word I don’t really wanna use but still) vibe, but we started drinking rum and between all our links, slowly it just spread. Now every fucker drinks rum, no joke.
BC: Some of you came through battles, tell me a bit about that?
Ceezlin: Battles are a really good way to market yourself, but they can also be a really bad way to market yourself. See, you could do an album that smashes it and get number one in the charts, but if you do a battle and get slaughtered that can potentially undo hard work. Also, it’s a different reputation, if you’re a battler, and solely a battler, then stick to that. If you’re a rapper and a battler, go with your rep off music, just go with what you come hardest in and pick one. It’s hard to do both. You could be the number one rapper in the world, but don’t think you can go and won’t get destroyed, but maybe it doesn’t mean shit. Battling’s a sick way to promote yourself, but only if you wanna be promoted as a battler, or as a core rapper who can do everything.
Gi3mo: To me, as a rapper, battling’s a bit of a game. It’s a chance to test yourself, yer it’s good promotion, but first and foremost it’s a chance to pit yourself against someone.
Rag N Bonez: It’s not musical though…
Gi3mo: Yer. If you’re a DJ you can hit up DMCs and get into some heavy scratch stuff, stuff a lot of people aren’t gonna understand, it’s the extreme end of the art form. Rapping’s almost the same, there’s the nerdy aspect of getting into wordplay and cussing each other, but that doesn’t mean you can rock a crowd.
At this point we’re pretty much forced to wrap up, as the room we’re using is opening to the public, so with a few more glugged gulps of Rum we end on shoutouts, which are seemingly never ending…..
Rum Com: Big up yourself, Broken Culture! Barcode, Rarekind, Chrome & Black, LJ RIP Owen Wingworth, LDZ, 184, Dirty Dike, SMB, Don’t Flop, Eatgood, Wizard, Concept of Thought. Everyone in Boozetown smashing it! Fuck the rest of the country (other than Bournemouth). We out….
We pile out of the room to record bars outside as local Djs spin nineties hip hop tunes behind us. The bars are just as riotous an affair as the interview, and the show a few hours later turns out to be even more hectic, with the slightly over excitable Ceezlin hurling himself off speakers to surf on the crowd with a mic chord trailing behind him.
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