Thursday, February 07, 2008
Interview with Scorcher
Remember that former Cold Blooded recruit, who released that burning fire Simply the Best Volume 1? Had a huge hype around his name and eventually joined forces with Ghetto, Wretch and Mercston to form The Movement (releasing Tempo Specialists)? He also went on to be involved in one of the most singeing war reports in grime (The Movement Vs Wiley), he became well known for his budding productions like Stay Down The Road and as a result released Thunder Power. Can you tell who it is yet? well if you haven't been watching grime since Dizzee left or you're a touched retarded I'll let you off. I caught up with the leader of the new school's Scorcher to discuss Christmas in prison, grime apparently being dead and to find out where the bloody hell he has been.
Where have you been?
I’ve been at her majesties palace.
There were rumours that you went down for beating up a girl, what’s that all about?
No, I punched up some boy who lives on my road and we went to the same school. This boy’s mum was drunk, acting up and there was a traffic dispute. His mum came over making some serious threats saying she’s going to send the police round my house and tell them I’m a drug dealer. Arguments ensued with his mum, she’s acting mad, and her son comes over like action man, I punched him up and then they called the police. That was that man… mental, mental!
You've been away twice now, when will you learn?
*Everyone laughs* I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt! You know when I learnt? See when they put me on remand and I was getting bail, I was thinking ‘this is some madness’. Being reckless you can just be gone at any time, I was shocked that they put me on remand. They put me on remand for a little bit and then they gave me bail, I was lucky I got bail. I was thinking ‘I’d rather be calm and easy because say they didn’t give me bail, boom they just sentenced me and I did my sentence I wouldn’t have had time to of done UK Unplugged and there would have been so many things I would have missed out on’. It was f*cking up my life because I had to get bail to South London and live at my aunts and spending something like £75 on cabs everyday.
How does it feel to come out?
It feels wonderful man, it feels great! Going there helped me put my brain in focus mode, I’m totally focussed now especially with music.
*Scorcher gets spotted by a young guy from his area*
Certain emcee’s they can’t walk around their ends, it’s long for them. I could never be that guy. All them yout there, we go and play football every Sunday and we make sure we see all the yout’s from the ends and make every man from the ends come down and kick ball, it’s like being part of a community.
What did you miss the most in Prison?
Maybe gal but I can’t even lie I kind of missed music because everyone in jail has a warped view about music, it’s crazy. I missed sensible people because you’re just around mad people and it’s hard to find someone to have a normal conversation with, it’s like you’re on another planet. They’re either stupid, illiterate and you’d be amazed by how many drug addicts there are. I’d go as far to say that 60 – 70% of people are drug addicts. Loads of people go into jail and don’t do drugs, they might just smoke a little weed and then they go in and start doing hard drugs. That’s the difference between a young offenders and a proper prison. I think the reason for so many drug addicts is it makes the time pass and take their minds off of things and a lot of people don’t have anything to live for apart from that minute there. What got me through was the thought of coming out and making music, seeing my family and the letters. The letters kept me going I can’t lie, like everyday, man called me mail man on the wing. In the letter’s people kept talking about Sandpit and Keep on moving and I was getting letters from people who were riding a 3 or 4 stretch and they said they would listen to Keep on Moving and even though they haven’t got a sister, it used to get them in the zone thinking about their mum or their gal, it was like rah kind of touching. Same with Sandpit like people would write to me saying it sounds like their growing up and them tunes there, I’m not making them for anyone else their personal to me and its funny how people relate to things like that.
You mentioned that you knew you were going away when you were doing the UK Unplugged, that night you performed keep on moving and it seemed like an emotional time. Was that because you knew you were going back?
Maybe I don’t know you know. I just know it’s a touching song and it f*cks me up man and it f*cked me up when I was trying to record it. When I was trying to record it I done 2 verses, this was around the time we was making Tempo Specialists, and I just f*cked off and thought this is long. Got me sounding moist, so I just came out the booth and done it another day. It’s a real song, like I really have a sister who really felt like that, it’s a bit nuts and this time I missed her Christmas and her new years.
Scorcher & cousin Sincere at UK Unplugged.
What was it like spending Christmas inside?
To me it was just another day, in there some people really start to get down, some people are really on edge, some people are really depressed, self harm and there’s a lot of drugs. I didn’t celebrate, I didn’t bang my door, I just rang my people dem in the morning said Merry Christmas, f*cked off and played dominos. You can’t sleep on New Year’s because everyone wants to bang their door all night, why? Like they’re going to wake up and not be in jail. Anything exciting people bang their door, so like when Spurs beat Arsenal I missed it, I was laying down dropping off to sleep and I’ve heard bang bang bang and I’ve thought ‘what’s that?’ so I know it’s got to be something on TV, flick the TV on and I see something like 5 – 1, I was so happy. I see Ribs in jail, we were talking about the music and I wish him all the best.
Did you have an opportunity to keep updated with the scene?
Right at the end of my sentence I found out I could log into Logan’s show, imagine that right at the end of my sentence. I used to chat on the phone most days to Mumbles and Wretch, get calls from Sincere, Zeon and my other bredrins. So I was kind of up to date, as well I used to listen to Westwood but you can’t listen to Westwood and think you’re up to date with the scene because his scene is based upon what someone say’s like ‘Oh play this, play this’ that’s how he gets the music init. I still don’t think I’m that up to date if I’m honest although I was astounded to hear Kano got dropped, I don’t know what they want from him like lyrically and musically it’s a good album, I don’t know it’s mad.
What's on the cards for you music wise, what's your next step?
I’ve got the album man, that’s the main focus. Simply The Best Vol 2 is going to be out in a bit, have a listen… It’s more like something to give to you to listen to while I’m making my album. I don’t think I’ll make another mixtape before my album drops but maybe once my albums made you know you do have a lot of tunes left over that you don’t use for the album. Possibly a free download, I may not take the piss and make them buy it and give them something back. I can’t think of anyone that’s done a harder album like hard, if you love Simply The Best you’ll love the album because it’s just… crazy hard. I haven’t felt like this in a long time and it’s all coming naturally, I’m not thinking about anything like. I think when I was making Simply The Best I was thinking about stuff, like I wouldn’t do another track like Way Down The Road again because it’s manufactured. Its like ‘yeah alright Way Down The Road, people liked it so let’s make a remix’. It weren’t like ‘rah boom I’ve got this…’ Nah I’m not doing that no more f*ck that man. You know what I heard Kano say that is very true, something like ‘You can’t make everyone happy so the best thing to do is make yourself happy’ you can never please everyone init.
There have been some issues, with some fans, about how your music has turned out. Many fans mentioned in the beginning of your career that you had too many knife lyrics, now it seems you've turned to a hip hop edge and softened down your bars, which has received some criticism. Does this frustrate you?
At first I was totally un-aware of it, it used to frustrate me when they used to say about hiphop I used to think ‘Are you having a f*cking laugh? have you not listened to my first mixtape?’ In truth on Leader Of The New School I was just making my music and I was thinking about b*llocks like showing my creativity, maybe that’s what people might have been talking about. All I know is I’m not trying to do anything now apart from be me, so if I want to talk about stabbing someone I’ll do it and I’ll do it for 15 tracks if that’s what comes to my head and that’s what happens everyday that’s what I’ll say.
Will you be taking their criticism into consideration in your next project?
When I’m making the album (Concrete Jungle) I won’t be taking it into consideration, however when I’m picking the tracks I’ll be taking it into consideration. In truth I’ve got older and that doesn’t really happen anymore we don’t fight all the time now that’s the truth. All that stuff doesn’t really happen so I lay off that but at the same time a lot of things do happen and I will be mentioning them. The only people I’ll be taking into consideration is my core fans, people that have bought all my CD’s but not the guy that hasn’t bought my CD but has something to say. I’ll take on board what you’re saying but I can’t make music for you because you don’t buy my music. However If you’re someone who’s bought Simply The Best, Tempo Specialists, The Movement Documentary, Leader of the New School and Thunder Power. If you’ve bought them CD’s and you feel like a certain way I’ll definitely take that on board because you support me. On the Album I want to speak as well on behalf of people because sometimes I’m surprised and totally amazed by some people that listen to my music. They could be the poshest, nicest person who lives where nothing bad happens like there’s no rubbish on the floor and they say ‘I relate to Sandpit’ or the hardest criminal that just licked down someone yesterday that said ‘Yeah I load my ting to …’. People get it twisted like I love grime, like people are going mad, man can’t tell me I don’t like grime. There are certain rappers that don’t acknowledge grime but they acknowledge man. They don’t call us rappers you know they call us grime artists or grime boys and that’s what I am. It starts from grime, no matter where man goes that’s where man ends up, grime – f*ck everything else. I’m not ignorant though I’m not going to not like different types of music because I do grime – that’s a d*ckhead ting. I’ve got the hunger back, that’s one thing Leader of the New School was missing.
What should we expect to hear on Simply The Best Vol2?
It’s me having fun, if you’re a particular fan of just one scene then it’s not for you. Go and buy grime compilation volume 1 or rap compilation volume 3, this is a compilation of Scorcher.
Is grime dead?
Yeah what the f*ck is this about? This is what I don’t understand they say the movement’s obsessed with rap and they are running around saying grime is dead because Nas, some dude you’ve never met before in your life, is saying hiphop is dead. I don’t even listen to hiphop I listen to rap, I don’t care about hiphop and dudes with backpacks. How is grime dead? Look this past year alone in grime you have to look at what’s happened. Kano, Lethal B, Dizzee, Wiley, Skepta and Tinchy all dropped albums. Ghetto is about to drop Freedom of Speech, Wretch’s about to drop, I’m about to drop and so is Bashy. How can grime be dead? Grime could never be dead, before grime’s dead everything has to be dead first. You’re going to have to do a Hiroshima on the whole country and even then there would still be grime in France and here there and everywhere.
Why do you think people think it is?
Because some d*ckhead on the internet put up ‘grime is dead’ because they saw Nas do it, that’s the real reason. You’re a f*cking prick about grime is dead, suck your mum man. There’s X amount of people making grime and you know how I know grime is popping off? When rappers, Indie groups and singers from other genres want to do grime and work with our artists. When they want to be involved in grime how could grime be dead? I think what they might be saying is that maybe when grime has become successful, parts of grime are becoming watered down and people get offended by that but that's just apart of being successful. If you think grime is dead because people aren’t rolling in money, then rahhh...I don’t know about anyone else but this isn’t about money I have to go on a hustle on the roads to pay for my sh*t. I do other things to fund this, this is the love init. If you ask me right now grime is popping off because everyone has a CD, a digital download or a video. I heard Ironik got signed now things like that make grime dead, I’m not hating but I don’t know how that happened that’s mad! I don’t have a problem with him but there’s so many people like go and sign Bashy, go and sign Ghetto or Wretch, go and sign Skepta or JME there’s endless amounts of people. All I know is that we have to do things not for the money, the moneys great, all my friends that are on the roads and want to spit I tell them straight – stay on the roads because you’ll make more money but if you love it and you really love music and you’re going to handle this the same you do with your line then do it init. It’s not for everyone but grime's NOT dead though.
Posted by Hyperfrank at 1:52 PM