Tuesday, June 03, 2008
As part of this month's Pitchfork column, I interviewed hype new grime producer Rude Kid. Here's the full transcript.
Blackdown: How long have you been producing?
Rude Kid: “I’ve been producing for four years, two years properly. Mostly grime – I can do anything – but right now I’m doing grime.”
B: Where are you based?
RK: “East London, Ilford, Redbridge side.”
B: In grime, most people seem to want to be an MC. Why did you choose to be a producer?
RK: “I always liked making beats. I always wanted to let out what I was thinking at that time on a beat. If I was angry, I would make a dark beat, feeling happy a happy beat. Y’know? Them ones there. Obviously I used to spit, to MC but now I’m onto the producing, fully.”
B: You’ve worked with a lot of east MCs, but are you part of any one crew?
RK: “I’m in Alien Music. That’s like my team, MCs, DJs, producers – basically all my guys. Marger, Death Star, Danny D, Kwam, Champman, Nut Case, Rico ... and there’s more. We’re on grime mostly.”
B: So tell me about some of your recent beats, they’ve been getting a lot of attention...
RK: ““UFO Mode” is going to be on my 12” EP release on No Hats No Hoods in June, with “The Best (instrumental),” “Bandannas On” and “Alien Skank.””
B: You’ve got this alien theme going on, what’s that about?
RK: “That’s just my beats, my style: alien music. If you listen to my beats they have a little thing to them: they’re different to others. So that’s why it’s called that. I’m not obsessed with aliens or nothing. It’s not dat. It’s more about being different from others, being alienated, that’s more of the meaning.”
B: That’s cool because as a producer it’s essential you sound original...
RK: “... yeah that’s how you get more noticed, so it helped me a lot.”
B: Do you use samples from films?
RK: “Yeah, like on “UFO Mode” and I’ve got a next tune that Maximum’s playing recently called “Exist.” I just go on YouTube and type “aliens” and if I hear something I like I get someone to rip it for me. That’s it bwoy.”
B: So how did the tune “Sing For Me ft Ghetto” come about?
RK: “Basically that tune was getting a reception and then Wiley wanted it and Ghetto wanted it. So them two had a little thing over it but obviously Ghetto wanted it a lot so he done his thing on it. So that’s it. Obviously I didn’t mind who vocalled it, Wiley or Ghetto, because they’re both big. But Ghetto had an idea for it, so Wiley let him have it and I made Wiley another one with similar sounds. Ghetto’s doing a video for it as well. It’s in progress.”
B: How did the vocal sample in “Sing For Me” come about?
RK: “It’s not a sample, it’s a singer. When I was doing the beat I wanted a girl to just do me a jingle at the beginning. But randomly she did the singing in there too. It sounded good so I kept it in there. From there, I gave it out to a few DJs and that was it.”
B: Obviously grime these days is all about mixtape CD, what does it mean to you to get a vinyl release?
RK: “As a producer, that’s the only thing I can release properly. If I didn’t release it through vinyl it would get leaked, eventually. Me releasing a vinyl I will be making a bit of money from it and obviously people will think “yeah, he’s released something” so yeah I did want to release something and No Hats No Hoods, they’re good at releasing, distributing and promoting things.”
B: There aren’t that many people putting out grime 12”s now are there?
RK: “Them and Logan’s Ademantium music. I could put it on a CD but someone would just rip it and send it to everyone, so it would get leaked. But ripping from vinyl, you can tell so if DJs play that then... they’re not proper DJs are they?”
B: You seem to be getting a lot of support from Maximum as well as Logan, is that right?
RK: “Yeah Maximum and Logan, they’re the two people who’re playing me the most. And Scratcher DVA. But Maximum and Logan are like the two biggest DJs in the scene! So really that’s helped me a lot. So them banging out my tunes has helped.”
B: So your MySpace has an ad for studio time, do you work as an engineer there?
RK: Nah that’s just my cousins’ studio, I’m helping him out. I’m still studying. I’m at uni now, doing a music degree. I’m gonna do music, get a degree in that and have something to fall back on. You need a backup.”
B: Yeah, especially since it’s really hard to sell music these days...
RK: “...yeah it is, grime anyway. It is hard to sell grime. “
B: So when did Logan and Maximum start playing your stuff?
RK: “Last year, but it wasn’t a lot. Tunes like “Alien Skank” were getting played but not a lot. I think Logan played a vocal of “Bandannas On” by Griminal. Then a lot of people were asking for tunes.”
B: So who have you worked with, vocal wise?
RK: “I’ve worked with the whole scene: Ghetto, Lil Nars, Griminal, Black the Ripper, P Money, Little Dee, Badnesss, Jendor, Fudaguy, Dot Rotten, Brutal, Lauren Mason... there’s more people but I’ve fully forgot. And I’m going to make a few tunes for Skepta’s album. I’ve sent tunes to Ny.”
B: So how does it work once you’ve written the beat?
RK: “If I think a beat will suit Ghetto then I will ring him, tell him about it then email it to him. Then if he likes it, I’ll go studio with him. The MCs use proper studios, they don’t have their own. The MCs book the time – I go there and give them my input.”
B: What do you think of the grime scene right now?
RK: “It’s good. The only thing is there’s talent out there but they’re not getting brought in. The same people are getting played over and over again. But there’s so much talent out there... obviously because I was one of them, not getting recognised.”
B: But you’ve done it...
RK: “Obviously but that was due to hard work. So obviously them people need to do that too and they’ll succeed. Though obviously some people get lucky and make food.”
B: What other producers to you rate?
RK: “Manic is good. Dot Rotten. Scratcher DVA, Terror Danjah, DOK: they’re big. Wiley, Rapid, Skepta and more.”
B: Is it me or are the number of producers in grime getting smaller?
RK: “They’re not getting smaller it’s just that people have their own time. You can say [a certain producer] had his time – he’s still doing his thing but there was a time when it was all about him. He had hype round his name. Now, I’d say – well bwoy – it’s me I reckon.”
Read a full article on Rude Kid, alongside The Bug and 2562 in this month’s Pitchfork column.