by Bevan Jee
BEVAN: How is the Hip-Hop scene in the U.K. at the moment?
BLADE: The scene out here at the moment is not as great as we,
hip-hop followers and creators, would like it to be. It's the usual
problems, not enough finance to back it and definitely not enough
support from the industry itself. There are however a few little
jams going on every now and then that I've been to and have in all
honesty enjoyed myself at. I really didn't think I'd live up to
experience that feeling over again in Hip-Hop, so maybe there is a
light at the end of the tunnel after all. To summarize, it feels
like there is a small resurgence happening, but I wonder how long it
will last and what effect it will have on the state the scene is in.
BEVAN: Has the Hip-Hop scene changed much in the U.K, in the
BLADE: Yes the scene has changed in the U.K. over the past 10
Mainly what's happened is that it's been through metamorphosis
whereby there was a time between 86 - '90 where we felt people were
actually opening their ears to what the U.K. had to offer. Then it
went quiet on the scene as a whole, the occasional artist/group
making a slight impact. Through this period it seemed we were being
shunned, not much happening for anybody, and now in 97 there seems
to be a new lease of life breathed into hip-hop all over again. We
had U.K. Fresh earlier in the year, we have a regular monthly jam
going on with nothing but hip-hop being played, old school and new
school. We get to see some more hip-hop related programs on TV, and
more recently there was the Breakdance championships held in London
with entrants from all over the world. It was really refreshing to
see that. Also the general confidence level of the artist is on the
rise once again.
BEVAN: What is your definition of an MC?
BLADE: My definition of an MC is somebody who can hold the crowd's
attention by simply having total control of the mic... MIC
CONTROLLER; somebody who can cruise in and out of beats with
complete dedication, allowing his/her words and subject matters to
be the master, not the music; it's somebody who can be easily
understood but at the same time be abstract enough to confuse the
average listener with no ears for the average concepts; and finally
it is somebody who when rhyming can make you feel the emotions that
BEVAN: What was your most ultimate experience in Hip-Hop?
BLADE: My ultimate experience in hip-hop has got to be the first
time I ever took the stage. I guess it's because that was what
really helped me to decide what direction my life was to take. I
sometimes still remember clearly the blood rush I got when I held
the mic in front of an audience for the first time.
BEVAN: What promising DJs & groups do you seen coming up?
BLADE: There are a lot of promising DJs/groups coming up but
personally don't like to mention names in case I leave any out and
hurt somebody's feelings. What's more important is that they feel
that they are up & coming. My or anybody else's opinion here is
BEVAN: Are there many B-Boys & Aerosol Artists getting busy
in the U.K.?
BLADE: In all honesty I don't see much going on with B-Boying
Aerosol Art, but I know it's going on through keeping in touch with
certain people who do it. I don't know to what extent this takes
place because it's never in your face like I feel it should be.
BEVAN: How was it to be a part of Fresh '97?
BLADE: It felt good to be part of Fresh '97. It was just exciting
be up on stage again after such a long period of just being a father
to my child. I was very happy with the response, but would have been
happier if I wasn't ill when it took place (the flu). Apart from that
I'm not too happy with the promoter, he knows why, but I'll keep it
between me and him.
BEVAN: How would you say your style has evolved over the past
BLADE: My style has evolved in the way that I feel that there
more focus in the lyrical content and that there are more patterns,
however simple they might seem. I also feel that my flow has
improved a hell of a lot and there is much more variety in subject
matter now than there was before. My voice is calmer too, which I
feel is more of a positive, as it allows the average listener to
listen without having their ears blasted off all the time. I feel in
general my style has evolved.
BEVAN: What are your feelings on the importance of WORLDWIDE
BLADE: Worldwide hip-hop would be a dream for most of the real
cultured heads of hip-hop and would be a very important step. My
feelings would be that I would welcome it with open arms, but at the
same time wonder why it's been accepted after such a long rejection
period. It does need to happen though, as long as it's kept in a
controlled environment. I'll be waiting for that day.
BEVAN: Do you think the DJ has been neglected and forgotten in
current rap music?
BLADE: I think there was definitely a period where the DJ was
neglected in rap music, and now there seems to be a slight increase
in the interest towards DJs. Scratch DJs need to get more credit for
their talent than they are being given. It is not just some guy
pulling the record back and forth. There are a lot of technical
things going on in a DJs mind that he/she translates into their
routine that average people don't seem to understand. Anybody who
doubts this should try it and see how difficult it really is to be a
Scratch DJ, and how much time really goes into perfecting the art of
DJing. In the overground DJing is virtually non existent, except
when the overground feels like taking a chunk of what the
underground created, using it for their selfish money making
purposes, then dashing into the nearest fire to burn it... like it's
a disease or something. The underground very rarely benefits from
this selfish action.
BEVAN: How many records do you estimate that you have sold worldwide?
BLADE: As a rough estimate I'd say I've sold overall approximately
50,000 copies (past LP and all singles not including new RHYME
BEVAN: Are you planning to release any more records in the future?
BLADE: I'm not too sure what's going to happen with future
releases. It all really depends on how this one goes. Of course I'd
like to keep making records because this has always been my life and
still is. Let's just wait and see what else life has to dish out
first. I don't want to speak about things that are not definite in
case things go wrong.
BEVAN: How do you see music these days, do you think there is
difference between rap music & Hip-Hop music?
BLADE: I used to get a lot of inspiration from music in general
in the days, but these days influence and inspiration are pretty
hard to find in music. Sorry to say it, but I get more inspiration
from listening to Oasis than I do from most hip-hop. I just think
there is more positivety being portrayed in Oasis than there is in
all this out played, big talking, gun slinging, hell directional,
all about who's got the most cash and girls, non conceptual, rap
being pumped on the radio. There is a difference between rap and
hip-hop in the sense with rap it's just straight forward rhyming
about the weakest and plainest topics in existence, where as in
hip-hop a lot more thought, time and effort goes into what has to be
said. Also hip-hop revolves around a culture, but rap has no real
defined culture and is very diluted form of hip-hop, in percentage
terms, probably only about 0.1%.
BEVAN: What groups and artists do you have respect for, Hip-Hop
BLADE: I have respect for anybody who gets off their butts and
out there and makes something happen, but mostly for those who make
it obvious through whatever they do, (whether music, acting,
football, kung-fu, whatever). That they put a lot of time and
effort, blood, sweat, and tears into their chosen art. They deserve
respect! All others can only buy respect.
BEVAN: What are your greatest musical influences?
BLADE: My greatest musical influences are pretty varied, from
straight lyricists/poets through to orchestral, jazz, hip-hop, rock
(but not too heavy), film soundtracks and believe it or not,
sometimes even pop music.
BEVAN: Tell us a little bit about the new single out on Bomb
BLADE: The new single RHYME
BOMB is basically a concept track,
subtly trying to explain that I let things slip away for a while for
personal reasons, but after taking time out to reorganize myself and
re-energize... I'm back and this time with lyrics that most wish
THE WAY IT HAS TO BE is simply trying to tell people who
are quick to criticize, that unless you have been at it for years
yourself and are better than those who you criticize you're opinion
doesn't count for shit. It's easy to criticize, now try to find
something constructive to say about whatever or whoever you are
criticizing. It's also letting people know that any artist/lyricist
who takes the art serious should not be taken too lightly, in this
BORN TO RULE is just saying enough of the guns, the
knives, the politics, the lies... lets just get back to the basics.
I left clues that I would be back, the only question was how and
when? Also in this track I emphasize that I have nothing to loose so
I am going all out for this, mainly inspired by my son.
BEVAN: Thanks for the interview, do you have any shout-outs or
things you want to mention?
BLADE: Shout-outs mainly to my son (the maddest child on the
the planet), my girlfriend, my reflection and anybody who's played a
part of keeping me going with this... too many to mention, but you
already know who you are. And thanks to BOMB RECORDS for having
enough balls to do what U.K. labels never did... INVEST IN THE REAL.
Your time's around the corner!!