UK Hip Hop: International
Buttercuts - Cultcam
Buttercuts - WildEye
Buttercuts - Cultcam
Buttercuts are a crew of hungry and talented individuals who have the get up and go as well as the skills to get what they want. Together they have formed a label to put out their own wax and CDs, so britishhiphop.co.uk thought we would try and fill you in on a few things. They are busy, but we squeezed the following words out of them...

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from, who your crew are and who they are associated with?

Buttafingaz: We are from all over. Buttercuts is a label, based in London. Within it is an ever-growing bunch of crews. Live acts. Producers. DJ's. Graffers... Etc. Doing all kinds of things. Making all kinds of art. We ain't picky about what. As long as it's truly dope.

There are a lot of crews out of South London. Do you think there is a reason for this, and can you explain it?

Buttafingaz: Big place. And I suppose they are slightly less stoned than the North too.

Are there any other producers or MCs in your wider crew to look out for?

Buttafingaz: Fraid I ain't gonna reveal shit...
Other than to say...
Uncle P is the gin. Code:breaker is the juice. And that's just the appetitive.

When did you first get in to Hip Hop? Who were the old skool acts you bumped? What was it that turned you on to this type of music?

Buttafingaz: Me personally (Buttafingas).. Well I suppose I was part of the huge collection of people that really first liked Hip Hop after Soul Assassins made their mark on the wider world with Cypress Hill, House Of Pain and Funkdobiest.. N always loved stuff like Kriss Kross, MC Hammer ... But until I was 16 I really knew shit all about it..... And then..... Well .. A new best friend came along, and he was carrying 36 chambers with a big grin on his face.. And that was that .. Game set match.

Uncle P: Well it was my cousin that exposed me to Hip Hop, the likes of 2 Live Crew, Run DMC a long time ago. After that I went through a massive heavy metal phase and came back to Hip Hop again once I'd got rid of all my teenaged angst and started burning nuff weed!

What are your thoughts about the current state of UK Hip Hop?

Buttafingaz: Jesus Christ the million pound question... We'll were putting some proper money on it.. I think maybe it will grow and grow and people round the world will start separating us from America in a positive way rather than the negative they are used to. It seems weird that homegrown Hip Hop is less successful still than American.... And I know arguments wage to infinity about whether their accent lends itself better.. Or that we have all been brain washed.. But to me the bottom line is .. They are damn good at it..

We are getting better.. And I fucking know that we got something to say when you hear Chester P drop a verse that makes you wanna cry .. Or Skinnyman makes you smile so hard your jaw locks.. Or Mr Breaker just busts you in two... Cos he's so tight and so right all the time.

Uncle P: Well it's a state at the moment. There's a good feeling going round at the moment that it's gonna blow up, but yeah, whatever. I'm content doing my thing as best as I can for my own enjoyment. If the rest of the world likes it too then that's a bonus. I'm confident that what we've got is a prime slice of fat UK Hip Hop. Those who hear it won't be disappointed!

Buttafingaz: But there is still a lot of confusion in the UK Hip Hop world in both sound and direction.. .. and to be honest with you.. that is one of the reasons were are focusing on putting out our Hip Hop as opposed to other types of music is that we know we got a sound and angle that is good or even better than 99% of the competition.. .and we reckon that if it's clear and simple.. we could really make a mark and help UK Hip Hop really grow.

Do you think it is going somewhere or is it stagnating? Is this a good time to be coming out?

Buttafingaz: Damn your questions are tough.. Hmmmmm.. As far as I can work out.. Business is always stagnated.. Always slow as fuck.. The world moves pretty slowly when it has to sleep half the time.. Shower.. Eat.. Look for women.. And get high.. Is this the right time to come out? Hell yeah.. There ain't no wrong time.. You just gotta come out and keep coming out.. Cos no one is gonna come knocking on anyone's door if you sit on the other side waiting.

Uncle P: I don't think there's a good or bad time to come out. At the end of the day the Hip Hop game is a business.... If you have a good business plan then you're gonna be more successful than if it's shit. We also feel that we have a good quality product to sell.

I guess you chose to make Hip Hop because you love it, but you could have gone into the much more popular Garage scene and maybe made more money. Did anything like that ever cross you minds?

Buttafingaz: I'm not sure how to reply to this without going on for hours and hours about how not into the fact that music is,,,, like everything else...... Ruled and ruined by money.

Uncle P: Not for me personally, cos I'm not really feelin garage too much. The darker shit I don't mind so much, but none of the MC's really grab me. I know Code Breaker could have a fat pad, a Ferrari and 65 bitches, had he gone down the garage road!! No joke! Crossing over to another scene to make more money doesn't really appeal to me. I have a lot of ideas in my head and it may take 10 years to get those ideas out in the form of music. I ain't gonna write Hip Hop only 'til I die.... No way, there's other musical styles I would like to conquer. With the creation of this new music, you never know but I could be one of the forerunners to spurn a new musical genre!! Well it's a nice thought at least even if a touch far fetched!! But that sort of idea appeals much more to me than jumping on a bandwagon. I want to create something new!

Buttafingaz: Sufficed to say..

in a world of bullshit........ music is all that really matters.

Who are the UK artists you listen to and admire?

Buttafingaz: Personally (Buttafingaz) - Task Force, Jehst, Braintax, Def Tex, Rodney P, Nextmen, Villans have their moments. Oh and when Ronin started out they were super dope. Scratch Perverts and Plus 1, they are all Dons and of course Skinnyman, Mud Fam...

Uncle P: Aspects, Lg and Lopez, Science Venom, Gunshot....

Who or what are your other influences?

Uncle P: Great food, squat parties, sporadic debauchery, and grade 'A' bud!

Sound quality is of paramount importance and your EP sounds well engineered. As a crew can you let off some of your production techniques? What sort of equipment are you using both to make beats and to record?

Uncle P: Well believe it or not 90 percent of the material is all sequenced and recorded on a home computer. Not a very good one at that. I have a good mic and good front end and that helps. Recording Illtime was a joke. No vocal booth, nothing. Just hard work from me trying to make them sound vaguely decent. In my new flat, I build a vocal booth out of blankets and duvets and it works pretty well. But at the end of the day equipment is expensive and I can't afford that shit, so I make the best out of what I've got. No fancy toys here!!

You only just came out quite recently, did you know each other for a long time before, or did you meet at college or something?

Uncle P: I've known Ben for years, we were at school together. Andy was at uni with Ben and lived in the next-door room. That's how we met. Alain cropped up around the same sort of time. Code Breaker hooked up with us through an ad! It was the one good demo we got sent out of hundreds!!!

It seems like the combination is working well, are you all similar people, or does each one bring specific skills? Is there a hierarchy?

Uncle P: Nah, no hierarchy. Just a good working team. We're all similar minded people and appreciate many of the same things.

Do you like to make beats first and then write rhymes to them, or do You prefer writing a rhyme and creating a beat for it later, or does it all happen at once? What are the reasons for this?

Uncle P: Well all of the above really. Wildeye has pages and pages of lyrics with no particular beats in mind. I sit in my hovel and bang out beats willy-nilly.... When the MC's hear them they know which beat is for them! Code Breaker does both. He writes beats and rhymes.

Was there a concept behind your EP? Can you tell us a bit about each of the tracks on your EP, what they are about, what effects, moods or Messages you were trying to create/pass on?

Buttafingaz: There was no initial concept.... Just a bunch of tracks we were happy with and wanted to put out. Let the people hear them the only effect we wanted was a big 'Oi!!! we're Buttercuts and check out our shit.'

So you have some rapping in French on there. What is the reason for that? Is it just that one of you can speak the language well or was it a ploy to try and get more exposure in Francophone territories?

Buttafingaz: Not really a ploy,... just the fact that Cultcam is ruff!!! He has some deep shit to say too, but if you don't understand French then you'll never know.
WildEye At Cargo
Buttercuts @ The Fortress, 11th May 2002
Buttercuts @ The Fortress, 11th May 2002

What has been the reaction to the EP so far?

Uncle P: Really good. Everyone that's heard it has got one choon on it the particularly like!

How do you find running you own label? It is early days yet, but could you tell us a bit about the pro's and the cons, and would you have any advice for others that want to release their own records?

Uncle P: It's so much work!! We all have day jobs and running this too is hard!! Your working day suddenly becomes 24 hours long. My advice.... If you've got some busting Hip Hop.... Don't mess about setting up your own label... Send it to us and we'll put it out! He he. Nah.... never sit about waiting for a major deal. Get your shit locked and get it out there on an independent.

Have you had financial help or advice from anyone with more experience in the music biz?

Uncle P: Not really...we've just freestyled this far.

OK, so where can people pick up your stuff?

Buttafingaz: That's a good question..... er.... all the Berwick Street shops in London and all good Hip Hop record shops over the country. Oh and www.suspect-packages.com for all you online needs..

I ask everyone about politics, because I think it is important that we have knowledge of what is going on, but most current Hip Hop heads decline to answer. I guess they don't want to upset anyone. Do you have anything to say on that? Any issues you think people need to open their eyes too?

MC CULTCAM: I think politics concerns everybody. As Assassin said "Si tu ne t'occupes pas de politique, la politique s'occupe de toi" which means if you don't have an interest in politics, politics still has an interest in you... If you don't know your politics, politicians will do whatever they want with you. I personally think Hip Hop has a socio-political responsibility, it can provide a critic or a comment on current affairs in a way that is perhaps more appealing to the masses than the news or newspapers. I also think that music can attract attention towards a problem that is not considered very important by the mainstream media. the song "Zimbabwe" by Bob Marley was written in 1978, when Zimbabwe was still a British colony.... the song had such an enormous success that people started writing to the British authorities and demanding the decolonisation of Zimbabwe... after millions of letters, the British government had to eventually let go of its last colony because of public pressure. I'm not saying Marley's song entirely freed Zimbabwe by itself, but it certainly contributed a lot! Today, there are plenty of causes that deserve more attention and action: the situation of the Palestinian people, pollution, global warming, the dangers of globalisation, Tibet and East Turkestan (in China), the ridiculous devilisation of Islam, the lack consideration for people as opposed to governments -yes, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are bastards, but their people have suffered enough, it is just stupid and criminal to go and bomb them!

You seem to have some firm ideas. Did any of you vote in the last election and why?

MC CULTCAM: I can't vote in the general elections because I am not an British citizen.

Why do you think the urban youth and people in general are so pissed Off with the government?

MC CULTCAM: Very simple: the role of a government in a democracy is to provide quality public services and security... the rest is all talk. Do you find the British government fulfils this role?.... obviously not.... we have appalling public services compared to the rest of Europe. And we have an incredibly two-faced government that says it is left-wingish but follows Pentagon rightwing hawks when it comes to international politics and going to war with whoever America disagrees with... we don't want to go to war!

What do you make of the laws that the government is trying to bring in in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept 11th? The bill they have tried to put thru has been rejected once for being too radical, but it looks like it'll go through at the second attempt. This will give the Police and the secret services much more powers with regard to locking people up without trial and using surveillance against innocent people without needing to get warrants etc. It is scary isn't it?

MC CULTCAM: Well, the new anti-terrorism bill by the lovely Mr Blunkett is completely anti-democratic, it goes against the declaration of human rights and gives the government a carte blanche to deal with "terrorists" (i.e. anyone who doesn't agree with them) in whichever undemocratic and inhuman way they want to. 11/09 provides them with the most incredibly powerful excuse to do anything they want in the name of the "war against terror".... doesn't it remind you a little bit of the Reichstag burning down in 1933?

I would suggest that the police aren't properly monitored anyway and get away with far too much...

MC CULTCAM: This one I don't know about very much. It seems that the police gets away with too much, but I think the British police are less corrupt , biased and racist than in my country (Belgium).

If you could change something about society, what would it be and why?

MC CULTCAM: I would change the illusion that the ultimate purpose of existence is money and selfishness.... I don't know about the purpose of existence (and don't think anyone knows what it is) but it definitely is not about bits of printed paper that are symbols of power! Maybe I'm simple, but I reckon life is about love, not power..... Nietzsche would disagree of course but would it not be boring if everyone agreed?

Can you see yourselves rapping about any of these serious political issues?

MC CULTCAM: I only rap about these issues.

Nice one, we need more of that. Moving on, what is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?

Everyone: Music.

What are your longer-term plans and objectives for you both as artists and as a record label?

Buttafingaz: To keep going, errr, not get corrupted or arrogant if we Succeed. And to never release anything for a quick buck.. Or fuck for that Matter.

Thank you Buttercuts crew for your time.

Be sure to check out the Full Fat Ep from Buttercuts, review here: www.ukhh.com and here brit-ish.cjb.net and check for their next release which is due on the 13th May. The crew are also busy gigging so go and support them. 

Headlining along with grand central djs, and starflam, www.starflam.be, at
The Fortress, Shoreditch - 11 May, open 10-6am featuring a 4hr set, (check for flyer @ www.stereotactics-sessions.com).
Lambeth Festival - 22nd June.
Jazz Pusher Festival- Lyon, France - August
Common Ground Festival - TBA (www.commonground.com)

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Buttercuts Ltd, Registered Office, 5 Arlington Street, London, SW1 1RA
T: 020 7225 2780 :: E: Management@buttercuts.co.uk 

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