UK Hip Hop: International
Karl Hinds - Don Gramma
Karl Hinds - Don Gramma
Karl Hinds - Photograpy by: Karen Toghill
As a 12 year old boy, East London based Karl was introduced into hip hop by his uncle. By the age of 13 he had produced his first demo and had created the formula that would improve with every song he made.

At the time, as with so many of us, he was inspired by the likes of KRS-One, Public Enemy and LL Cool J. He loved the vibe of hip hop and the crowds reaction to it. Having served 10 years in the game, Karl put out his first record 6 years ago, however 'Don Gramma' is his first Hip Hop release. He has, quite successfully, been putting out Drum and Bass through his own Assassin Records label. Initially the Drum and Bass was done to try and amass some money to finance the release of Hip Hop records, but it took over.

Last year Karl and T Hind formed the Ill Flava label, to enable them to release Hip Hop as they had always intended, the name coming from their area of East London - 'Ilford'. The first release on the label was Karl's self produced 'Don Gramma' 12" in which he breaks down the meaning of London street slang in plain English terms for everyone to understand.

"So your area's your manor, your twang's your gramma, a condom is rubba. You got tings locked? You're runnin' tings propa!"

Knowing full well that people would say he based his idea on Big L's 'Ebonics' Karl explains, "It was an idea I thought about for a year before I made it. To me it seemed the most obvious record to do, but I think people were scared to directly do what an American (Big L) had done. For the slang of it I updated it. I spoke to my brethrens. Certain parts of it are my personal slang."

Karl takes the vibe of the street and throws it into his music, commenting on the world, its lingo and culture - something we can all relate to.

"I don't relate to none of ya tracks, none of ya stories match and as a matter of fact let me help you with that"

Karl Hinds is definitely a rising British hip hop star having been nominated three times at the 2001 UK Hip Hop Awards (Best UK single, video and newcomer), and seeing this Wordplay have chosen to remix and re-release his educational 'Don Gramma' on July 16th. The remix features extra vocals from Tony Rotten and Seanie T who both rip it. It is the first single to come from the Wordplay 2 compilation LP. Karl probably finds himself in this position partly because of his business prowess and the quality of his music. He has polished his image more so than many UK hip hop artists and it is this professionalism that puts him on the same level as his more famous collaborator Taipanic. Together with Blak Twang and Seanie T Karl Hinds forms the pure quality Rottenous family.

His music is catchy and accessible for everyone who likes hip hop. A firm believer that rappers need to sell a character to their listeners Karl has, without compromising his principles as a true hip hop artist, managed to project his streetwise and entertaining nature into his unique style of music.

Way To Blue



The 12" only Don Gramma, complete with five remixes, is released through Wordplay on July 16th. Karl is aiming to head back to his own Ill Flava label to release his album 'Hind Sight' which he is currently working on for a September Karl Hinds release. Things look good for the label with several other projects including Emmanuel who previously had a promo out, Effect from Hackney, ragga style Seanie T and T Hinds all coming to fruition.

Karl Hinds is playing four dates in July 2001:
13 Ocean, Hackney, London
28 Zap Club, Brighton
29 Urban Games, Clapham Common
31 WKD'S, Camden , London

Karl Hinds Discography

Intro Early Doors:
False Dawn:
Underground Years:
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
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