Tales From The Grime Generation: Dexplicit (Interview)

Dexplicit reminisces on the birth of the Grime scene

Dexplicit reminisces on the birth of the Grime scene

Inside a cramped Oxford Circus workspace, staff are making provisions for the impending dimness of another bitter London evening. Spotlights stutter into faint glows, auxiliaries to the dinged candle flames subtly flickering in the corners of the mellowed office complex known as Apartment 58.

Huddled on a chestnut-stained cushion, veteran grime producer Dexplicit (aka Dean Harriot) gazes through a smudged window. Beyond the glass, a cloaked sun concludes its bowed retreat over central London, dousing the heavens in shades of grey as it departs.

At street level, the capital’s habitual rush hour sluggishly stirs into motion, suited commuters emerging in spots and blotches, crawling over the splintered pavement, making plays for the Starbucks across the street or scuttling out of view into the adjacent Tottenham Court Road tube station. Continue reading

Interview: Ghetts – The Rebel With A Cause

The Rebel With a Cause

The Rebel With a Cause

It’s mid-morning in Hoxton, East London, and Justin Clarke has departed the backroom of Brick London Press agency to restock the permit for his car lodged outside. During the forty five minutes we have been chattering, tinges of alter ego’s Ghetts and Ghetto have flickered into conversation but J Clarke has chiefly governed proceedings.

In an age when artists annually rush out albums, the wait for Clarke’s debut effort has been a slow burn. The 29 year old, who grew up twenty minutes away in neighbouring Plaistow, has been threatening to release a full length album since 2010. Four years on ‘Rebel With a Cause’ has been fine-tuned, and will at last be unveiled on March the 9th.

With traffic wardens staved off for another hour, at least, Clarke strolls back in and slouches down in his seat to resume where he left off. “I’ve never stopped making music, I just stopped releasing it,” he says, before the buzz from his iPhone threatens to interrupt proceedings. Shifting it to one side, he chuckles, “I’ve made about 150 tunes for this album alone…Really I don’t even have to do anymore work.” Continue reading

Next: Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

The TDE newcomer prepares for his grand opening

The TDE newcomer prepares for his grand opening

The half-pint city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has long been overshadowed by Memphis; it’s more prosperous cousin four hours west. In fact Chattown; as some call it, has garnered little attention since locals revelled in the success of city native Usher and the release of Confessions in 2004. A decade on residents of The C prepare to have their vocals amplified once more as twenty two year old Isaiah Rashad gears up for the release of his debut EP the Cilvia Demo later this month. Last year the rap newcomer was scooped up by Top Dawg Entertainment; the latest contingent in a string of independent imprints that have breathed new life into a previously ailing genre. Continue reading

Interview: A Journey Through The Young World With Adian Coker

Adian Coker Talks 'Young World.'

Adian Coker Talks ‘Young World.’

In a bustling East London coffee shop 25 year old Adian Coker sits perched on a coffee brown leather cushion; after spending the last half hour probing several café’s in the cold of Shoreditch he gratefully swarms both hands around a steaming cup of tea. To his left sits his manager Michael, a French national who has found home ten minutes away in Bethnal Green. One month has passed since he aided Adian in the release of second mixtape Young World; a stirring voyage through the galleria of South London. Originally intended as an expansive chronicling of his thoughts, Young World was without warning morphed into a contemporary social depiction of the life and times on Greenwich’s Barnfield Estate.

He takes a sip before starting, “In the end this CD being like a social commentary but I didn’t even realise it. Really and truly it’s an exploration but it’s not glorifying anything, it’s not justifying. I’m just telling you this is what happens.” Continue reading

An Interview With XO Man

An Interview With XO Man

An Interview With XO Man

2013 was no different from 2012, 2012 no different from 2011 and so on; an array of artists made last ditch plays for the realms of pop serenity and the majority failed. This development is no longer bewildering but rather inevitable. However, as we drew closer to the end of this the calendar year, one rapper attempted to play things a tad differently. Continue reading

Andre Villas Boas and The Tale of Benjamin ‘Lefty’ Ruggiero

Andre Villas Boas and The Tale of Benjamin ‘Lefty’ Ruggiero

Andre Villas Boas and The Tale of Benjamin ‘Lefty’ Ruggiero

Whilst many spend decades finding their calling in life, both Andre Villas Boas and Benjamin Ruggiero embarked on their career paths relatively early. The former, born in Portugal’s second city Porto, originated as a covert scout compiling dossiers on the intricacies of local rivals for hometown manager Bobby Robson; the latter arose as a fleet footed street soldier on the pavings of New York; his bond with the Bonnano crime Family moulded by the time his twenties had swung onto the horizon. Continue reading

The Curious Case of Gaston Ramirez

Ramirez's tenure in England hasn't gone according to plan.

Ramirez’s tenure in England hasn’t gone according to plan.

“Gaston is right up there with the best. His technique, control, use of the ball and understanding of the game is different to anyone else.” – Southampton centre back Jose Fonte

It’s an overcast February afternoon; the scarcity of fans present in a relatively unoccupied DW Stadium belies the importance of the game being played on the field. Southampton trail relegation rivals Wigan Athletic by the solitary goal and with every misdirected pass agitation amongst the away faithful swells. After a notable draw with Everton and a spirited yet ultimately fruitless performance at Old Trafford, defeat here would certainly undermine the impressive start made by new manager Mauricio Pochettino. The clash with Wigan was primed as a fixture in which credible performances manifested themselves into something more palpable; points on the board.

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An Interview With True Tiger X Big Narstie

True Tiger & Big Narstie vent on the current state of UK Music

True Tiger & Big Narstie vent on the current state of UK Music

Grime legend Big Narstie is back with his much-anticipated EP ‘Hello High’ alongside True Tiger. A permanent fixture in the ever-changing underground scene – the artist also known asUncle Pain caught up with Aniefiok Ekpoudom to discuss his latest release, the evolution of grime, and why they won’t be changing their sound to win awards…

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The Evolution of Maxsta

Maxsta Talks Upcoming Single 'Wanna Go.'

Maxsta Talks Upcoming Single ‘Wanna Go.’

“We can chart our future clearly and wisely, only when we know the path which has led to the present.” The inspiring words by late American politician Adlai Stevenson II are embezzled on the reception walls of Sony Records London headquarters. Overhead the latest One Direction video ambles on in silence via numerous TV monitors as 80s pop star Sinitta strolls past below, her heels clunking heavily on the wooden floorboards.

In the corner, two employees sit perched on a sofa enjoying a casual session of FIFA during what must be their lunch break. They both briefly break gaze; not for Sinitta; they must be used to seeing her, instead their concentration is breached due to a change of song on the overhead monitors. One Direction have been replaced by rising star Maxsta and his latest single “Wanna go;” the pair watch on in silence as the 21 year old parades through the capital on an open top double decker bus alongside the talented Little Nikki. Coincidentally it is in that moment Maxsta’s publicist arrives and briskly sweeps me through the building into a little room on the edge of one of the main offices, I step inside. Continue reading

An Interview With Mynature

Mynature Frees The Realness

Mynature Frees The Realness

A few years ago South London rapper Mynature was living the life many artists fib about in their rhymes. However, life has taken a turn in different direction and it is now music that Mynature piles his time and energy into. New single Louder is his attempt to introduce his music to a wider audience having spent years operating in the underground of the UK Hip Hop scene. Continue reading

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