Monday, April 05, 2010

Hyper Meets Black The Ripper


If you've never heard of Samson Samson, then you must of been in quarantine for the last 5 years, well that's the only way you could respect yourself if you haven't. Edmonton N18 representer, caught people's attention by clashing, and actually winning, some of North London's finest talent on AXE FM. I first met him back in 06 when we physically trekked, along with a host of other new talent, to Scotland [GO HERE for footage]. He's got a massive back catalogue that would even impress Godfather Wiley, with his newest mixtape Edmonton Dream [BUY HERE] boasting 60 unheard tracks. With so many people jumping back on the MC bandwagon, since 'grime' hit the charts, it's not exactly out of fashion for people to ask, what on earth makes this guy different from the rest? His constructive flow may seem straight forward but his music speaks volumes, with honest uncut street poetry. Rather than glamorising street life to a point he chooses more to highlight a lot of the the real issues that happen in his estate and in and around his area. I always compare him to the UK version of Tupac, a straight talking legend with a passion for bringing the music back to what it's all about. Check out the insightful interview below with Black The Ripper for MTV's The Wrap Up where he talks honestly about selling out to go mainstream for money, Chipmunk and Master 'Jeggings' Shortie - [Originally for MTV THE WRAP UP]

Black The Ripper, is there any relation to Jack? The connotations of this name bring to mind murder and rape. Why did you choose such a name?
Hell no, I’m not related to Jack in any way. I remixed his name because when I started spitting in 2005 it wasn’t about what it is today with all the skinny jeans and pop songs, it was about raw talent and standing out. I have raw talent and the name Black The Ripper was definitely memorable, so it did the job at the time, not to mention I rip up any track I rhyme on.

How did you get into music?
I’ve loved music from day; it’s been in my heart and soul since I was in my mother’s belly. My dad’s a music man and I will always love him for that, he raised me around some raw music.

What and who, historically and musically, inspire your music?
Growing up, legends like 2pac, Biggie, Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Nas and Bob Marley inspired me. As a little Ripper I loved the 90s era, that was like the best decade of music we will ever see, in my opinion.

You’ve released a shell load of mixtapes from your first offering ‘Black Is Beautiful’ to your latest,’ The Edmonton Dream’. How do you feel your music has developed and changed from your first to your sixth mixtape?
When it comes to my music and lyrics I do not write and record every day. I think it’s important to live life too, so I have things to talk about. My music comes straight from the heart and soul; I can’t sit down and think I’m going to write today, if I feel it, then I let it flow through me. I don’t change my style to fit in with what all the other puppets are doing and that’s something that keeps me relevant in this UK music scene. I speak for the people and I’m not afraid to address subjects and issues that other artists wouldn’t dare speak on.

In 2007, you along with two other born and bred Edmonton (north London) residents, Cookie and the chart-topping Chipmunk, released a free mixtape labelled ‘Motivation Music’. How did this project begin and why?
Those were classic days. The project came about when we were going studio together on a regular and recording bangers. We all shared the same hunger and all possessed undeniable talent, so we decided to put our powers together and demand some respect from the scene. We were very young at the time and at the time we were in a scene where the elders held all the power and connections, all we could do was make sure our names were ringing bells and making noise. It obviously worked, because still to this day, people talk about the ‘Motivation Music’ promo. It’s funny though, because even though the ‘Motivation Music’ chapter is closed, at that time we were giving it away for free and it was better than a lot of people’s mixtapes. It needed to come to an end, it was non-profitable and we were cheating ourselves, plus we was all trying work on our solo projects, so it just became a lot. You know how it goes. Long live 'Motivation Music'.

What are your thoughts on Chipmunk’s success today?
I’m proud of him, that’s my boy. I’d rather see success for somebody I’ve had the privilege of working and rolling with, rather than some any guy that I have no affiliations with. Chips broke a lot of barriers and people need to recognise this. He’s still got a lot more to come, remember his age, he’s still just 19. I have full faith in him and yes we still talk, just not as much as before, he’s a busy boy.

You’re new track ‘Wake Up’ which was produced by Scratcha DVA, has a strong political message. Tell us more about how the track came about and the view behind the lyrics?
Big up DVA all day, because we made history with that one, whether you realise now or later on. To be totally honest I wrote that song in 2007 and the reason we’ve only released it now and made the video was because DVA is about to drop his album and ‘Wake Up’ is the first single released off the project. I addressed some real issues on this track and that’s why the people are feeling it, the stuff that I say on wake up can relate to everybody in the world, because we are all being oppressed by the same beast.

You’ve always been outspoken lyrically and a lot of your content and subject matter consists of issues concerning poverty, religion, racism and revolution. While a lot of people are turning their music around to aim for the mainstream and money, why are you still making that type of music?
I don’t purposely go out of my way to make a certain kind of music, but like I said earlier, it just flows through my veins. I didn’t grow up listening to pop music and I’m not really a fan of it, so for me to start making it just because that’s where the money is, would be me being fake to myself and going against the reason I chose this music path in the first place.

Why do you feel everyone is so excited about going mainstream?
There’s a lot of people watering down our culture and scene for money which I’m not happy about, but I don’t wish to say any names this time, it’s a bit obvious to see who the frauds are.

Would you ever sign to a major record label?
I never say never because I don’t like to limit my options and block my destiny, but one thing I do know is if I do, it’s going to have to be a bloody good deal mate. No 360 deals over here, I’d rather be independent and get less money, it’s a minor to me, and money doesn’t control my world, because making history is priceless.

There’s been some indirects flying between you and Master Shortie. Is this just hype or is there an actual issue there?
That little Theo boy just annoys me; people have given him a God complex. I saw him do a video where he’s saying he is the best rapper in the UK and whoever beats him in a clash can take his trainers. I didn’t want the trainers, but I wanted to let him know that he’s not as good as he thinks he is and not everybody is going to shut up just because he’s spoilt, connected and has rich parents. I never heard of him back in 2007, so he can’t make them kind of statements t as long as I’m alive. Good luck to him, as long as he knows he can’t step in the ring with me for a lyrical battle, because I would knock him out in the first round. Puppets like him don’t love music they just love money and self indulgence.

What’s next in the pipeline?
I’ve got ‘Flooding The Industry' dropping this April, which is a mixtape that will be available via free download on the net. Straight after I’m releasing the long awaited 'Black Is Beautiful 2' which will be a thick hard case just like 'Holla Black’ in 2006, it will also be available from all good digital outlets. After all of that I'm preparing for album time!

Stay up to date with Black The Ripper on Twitter

A version of this appeared on MTV WRAP UP

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I'm tired of them rap neeks walking round in their akademik suits, Yankee hats with the flat peeks.
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