Interviews News 2 May 2015

10 things we learnt from Skepta’s Red Bull Music Academy Lecture

2 May 2015

If you can’t sit down for 82 minutes to watch Skepta and Hattie Collins conduct one of the best interviews this year, or you’re just lazy, read below:

1. Fashion

Amongst the youth and adults alike, the current aesthetic has revolved around Nike tracksuits, Nike trainers and all sportswear in general. Although Skepta did not create this look, and was about from the early days of grime (Boy In Da Corner) the MC has been instrumental in taking that look nationwide. Skepta runs us through the Manchester/Liverpool road man attire that has become culturally relevant today, as well as commenting on how the fashion trends through London are influenced heavily by America.

2. It Ain’t Safe!

Collaborating with Young Lord (aka. Bari from A$AP), Skepta has created one of the releases with the biggest impact on live stages. As for most of Skepta’s recent collaborations (such as Blood Orange x Skepta “High Street”), “It Ain’t Safe” came about more naturally to accompany them on their road trip from NY to ATL. We also learn that Bari has a unique sense of hospitality, greeting Skepta with a meal of mash potato and hot sauce as they first got acquainted.

3. D Double E

The MC’s MC. A microphone champion. A legend. Skepta takes time to show his appreciation for the Newham General, going as far as saying the “head get mangled and dangled to the side just like I where my Kangol” as one of the TOP FIVE greatest grime lyrics, with the number of reloads D Double E has accumulated from this bar alone, there is a strong case it is number one.

4.  Moschino Joe

Prior to picking up the mic, you might have known Skepta was a Lord of The Decks. After listening to DJ Zinc’s remix of Wookie’s garage hit “Back Up To Me” at a rave in North London, Joseph Junior Adenuga took up the name DJ Moschino Joe as he started a new path as a Garage DJ. He broke into the local Selby Centre to arrange his own rave, but after having it locked off he moved the rave into his front room instead. For those that are familiar with Skepta’s bars for the Spaceship Freestyle, this locked off rave is likely the context for the “Selby Centre explorer” bar.

5.  Draw for the ‘chete

Before the bookings were rolling in, Skepta had to find income by any means. Whilst “in the trap” with Prez T and looking for something to break his 8-ball down with, he noticed a “gleaming” machete laying there on the kitchen top. Here the “draw for the ‘chete” bar was born and led to Skepta going to radio with Roll Deep with his first ever 16.

6.  Being evicted

After the unfortunate shooting at Meridian Walk and his friends lyrics being used for evidence. The police thought it would be clever to confiscate some of Skeppy’s own music to to see if there was any evidence on there, in the process Skepta and his family were evicted from his home.. all whilst his parents were at work.

7. Lord of The Mics

Initially, Jammer proposed that he should clash Flirta D, however with goal of spreading Jammer’s platform and Grime in general Skepta suggested clashing Devilman was chosen. Skepta comfortably responds to Hattie Collins that he won the clash, however it was the hardest clash of his career as all the homework he had done on the Brum MC went out the window when Devilman kicked off round 1 with “you look like you got aids”.

8. Kanye West

They’ve recorded together, its not secret. Most importantly though, Skepta shows strong indication that the Kanye co-sign is genuine and not just an attempt of getting free UK promo as the two musicians sat down and exchanged life lessons and commended one another for their accomplishments. Imagine trying to give Kanye advice…

9. Konnichiwa

Other than JME and A$AP Bari, Novelist and previous collaborator Dev Hynes will be amongst the features. Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt is another name that Skepta has his heart set on being on the forthcoming album. And if you’re waiting for the album to come… keep waiting, there are four songs left and he’s not in a rush either.

10. Financial advice

Just as Ace Boogie said, “Live and Maintain”. Get those Tesco value noodles and dead creps, as long as you can afford to pay for your creativity. The fabric. The studio session. The paintbrushes, as long as you can survive and afford to pursue your goals, the struggle is alright.

Words: Vidal Holness