It’s been just more then 2 weeks since Dockerz’s solo video Limez was put out on YouTube, and just over a year since I first heard him hit the video-sharing site on a collaboration with Datkid as well Leaf Dog, BVA and Smellington Piff. Over the past two years he’s influentially grown to associate himself with increasingly notable hip-hop artists in the UK, featuring with the likes of Jman, Children Of The Damned and [soon] grime artist Zeo to name a few.
Since 2011 Dockerz has five digital releases with counterpart act in the Dirty Dockerz duo group; The Reverend. Together, they’ve toured some of Britain’s livest festivals with the Sika Studios stage, gaining steadily more followers at each of them over the hectic summertime. Today, Tommy Dockerz anticipates his solo record [which cannot be named] for release in the new year, with exciting collaborations prepared and an unmissable Blah Records showcase lined up.
Getting settled I finished my smoke and took a seat. I wanted to chat to him first about when he started writing tracks, what were the influences behind his somewhat bizarre rap persona?
“One of the first CDs I ever bought was The Wiseguys – Executive Suite when I was about seven. It still sounds Viral when you play it today.”
“I was fourteen when I started writing lyrics. I used to listen to a lot of grime, like Nasty Crew/Meridian/Roll Deep. With rap I was really into Nas & Mobb Deep, and west coast shit like Brotha Lynch, but I think I connected with people like the Pharcyde more cuz the vibez were jazzier, it was funnier and more relaxed with the singing and weird shit.”
It was funny that he mentioned deriving some influence from grime, because I myself imagined that a young guy rapping as hard as Dockerz was could have easily got caught up in the grime storm across Birmingham. But…
“… I’m from Birmingham, but I’m also an inter-dimensional space traveller who spends a lot of time stealing cars & driving back & forth from Kettering on a daily basis like a viral gypsy…”
“… That being said, the first tracks I ever made were grime tracks with people like Jay Wise & Switch. But it’s funny cuz the real shit doesn’t really exist anymore like it used to, even though it’s definitely had a revival with the new L[ord] O[f] T[he] M[ics].”
“Depzman who passed recently was one of the people I’d been watching for the last couple years and his battle on there was probably my favorite to date.” The man to watch for grime though is Zeo. He is a full on joker but his style is mad on point. Lookout for a collaboration between me & him coming real soon…”
So was it when he first started spitting grime with Jay Wise & Switch that he started out performing?
“I always made both [hip-hop and grime] but found that for me I could write more of a story with Hip-Hop, and felt the music in general had a bit more soul. You can’t test the hype off grime though, it’s just all about the individual.”
“But we were just kids really… Obviously we did sets at mates houses, at parties and shit like that but like after college I kinda phased out of it. Even though I was still always writing lyrics I just wasn’t making tunes cuz I didn’t have the access and was occupying myself with other viral activities. The whole StageLit thing didn’t come until I started making tunes again a few years later, this time with The Reverend.”
I asked him if he remembers his first gig…
“Our first gig might have been at a Sub Kon event in Worcester. Before we were even called Dirty Dockerz. … We had a 15 minute slot and then I literally pissed on the microphone and got thrown out.”
“I was just marking my territory like any ‘Top Bay’ would, but we learnt from that point that we couldn’t literally urinate all over the venue’s equipment as initially intended. So we just started taking the piss with the lyrics instead and decided to get ultra-viral.”
And we’ll leave it at that… Anyway, after getting ultra-viral Dirty Dockerz started getting intertwined with Real Life Drama record’s circle, as well as members from High Focus respectively. Today, he’s further affiliated with Blah records. Over the Summer, who was he doing the tours with?
“More people started hyping us after we dropped ‘Fat Whores’, we started getting messages from all over and ended up working with both Dirty Dike & Leaf Dog on several projects, and droppin’ verses on tunes like ‘Moocher’.”
“We did a fair few shows but we missed loads cuz of lifts letting us down and other viral factors such as viral swining & nephilim rental. You will see us at more Sika Studio events, but we’re actually setting up a little Blah Showcase at the moment – coming to Bristol, Glasgow and Hereford in December, with more dates to follow in the new year – and have several dates already booked in for later this year so keep a look out and anyone interested in getting us to your local venue should contact the cult leaders at Blah [records] before the entire planet starts folding inwards.”
“You have been warned.”
Out of curiosity, I asked if he by any chance had any particularly funny stories he’d like to share from tour…
“The first one that pops into my head is the time we stopped to try & get fried chicken in Kettering on the way to play a show. Rev had to stop for a quick piss on the roadside, and got attacked by a wild deer that had obviously strayed from it’s woodland hideout. It literally came galloping out of nowhere & kicked him right in his Natty Knee and he ended up rolling down a hill completely bound in brambles & thornery…”
“… He just combined & hybridized several chemicular concoctionary opizoids into one small bind and proceeded to rip the set. I think he put some special substance underneath his eyelid to stop the viral infection from spreading to his butthole. He was in a pretty bad way… But the crowd loved it…”
I asked him more about his relationship with Blah records…
“We made an album with Illinformed which is still dropping but on Blah instead of RLD, as too many people were disagreeing too much over what is and isn’t acceptable/offensive/ridiculous content. Nobody is ever gonna tell me what music I can and can’t make. I’m here to take risks and rev engines til they explode.”
The interview was becoming stretched, and there was still a few more questions I had to ask, mainly regarding his solo album. I chatted to him about how long we’ll need to wait before we get to hear his track Limez on record…
“Well initially that ‘Limez’ track was gonna be on Fatty Getrz VoL.3 – but it already had like 21 tracks. So after I’d seen the finished video & acquired more beats from DJ Wilson Socks, I decided my long awaited solo project was finally binding. So really the whole project only began last month, but I seriously aim to have it shined, swined, & ready for rental by the new year (depending on whether my prison trooz get caned or not in the meantime).”
“What I can tell you though is one track is going to be the new national anthem of Uganda, and Ronan Keating is doing all the scratch cuts for it. I can’t say any more at this point but it is VERY exciting for anyone involved & all you can do to prepare is save your money & countdown the seconds until Christmas…”
“… It’ll be 5,529,600 to go at midnight tonight so get ya stopwatches charged up and get natty!””
Despite my best efforts he sharply refused to answer any more details regarding the release, bound by “super secret” confidentially. I asked one more time if he could let slip a singular name of a contributor, to which he bluntly replied…
“”If I did then I’d have to slice you up like a lime.”
I truly tried my best.