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.
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"
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
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.