Here at Britishhiphop.co.uk we have been lucky enough to hear some of
Manage's material including Psycho Bitches from his forthcoming EP and
the Pain Of Death track from the Kebab Shop MCs and feel it is well
nice. It is full of dark imagery and violence, but not without good
reason. So when we had a few words with Mr Manage himself we started
off by asking if there are any other producers or MCs in your crew to look out for?
Most definitely look out for King Kaiow from Kebab Shop also from
I.R.S. crew. If you like word play, flow, a good voice and context that differs from the blinging of our U.S. counterparts straight down to the nitty gritty of South East London. Also we got 3 D.J's: Snuff, a.k.a. Dead Man Fingaz (upcoming), then there is Biskit, crazy lil cunt, does nothing but smoke weed n watch porn. Then there is the producer / DJ.... J-Stretch..... production is always tight. Always got a theme to his music, always has a start a finish and a middle of his tracks. We need to get away from just rhyming on loops and start constructing songs which a lot of the more successful emcee's are doing in the U.K. right now, such as Universal Soldiers, Task Force, Blak Twang etc etc... Definitely trying to get a more professional approach to music. Also look out for me, I'm getting a bit old, I'm a father now, grown a bit of a beard, spend my time eating puff cakes and watching football, but im still here and im still hungry and my style is improving all the time.
When did you first get in to hip hop? Who were the old skool acts you bumped?
I first got into hip hop late 88. I was in a boarding school for kids from inner city London and we always had our stereo's bussin the Running Man and Shuffle, with our Chipe chino's and African medallions (I'm white)... Fuck knows man it just got a hold of me, I didn't start writing rhymes 'til about 93 but even then they were just amateur, before then I always rhymed with the olders and freestyled in the snooker room... (everyone who went Ditton Place school will remember).
The first music I ever bought of my own accord was Demon Boyz -Recognition.. then I got Hijack, then London Posse, and of course Blade who was a big inspiration on me as a kid, seeing as he was from the same ends as me and that he made it past the demo tapes and had records out. As far as American hip hop I was into KRS 1, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Tim Dog, NWA, Ice-T, and many many others. Didn't bump much though... I still can't drive.
What are the best clubs or live shows you have been to? Is there a night that you don't like to miss?
Lately with me being a dad n that I haven't been out as much, but the last really good night I went to was Kung Fu up Camden sides, proper heavy night... bare emcee's and a blinding open mic, went 'n saw Non-Phixion at Mean Fiddler, they smashed it as I expected. I used to reach Dekefex a lot but they don't really get any acts that makes me come out of the comfort of my warm, mellow, weed stank flat.
Do you mind being categorised as UK Hip Hop, society will always compartmentalise things, is this at all limiting on you?
Nah, I couldn't give a fuck. I'm proud of U.K. hip hop and I'm proud just to be a part of it, even if it is a little part.
How do you feel about the current state of UK hip hop? It seems to be constantly building with new releases coming out all the time, but nothing seems to quite make it, even Roots Manuva or Blak Twang. What are the reasons for this?
The reasons for this goes beyond what me as just a artist can say, but from a business side it needs a huge cash injection and needs to take itself to next levels like our dance music rivals do. As far as promotion, t.v., music video's n all the rest, the thing with UK hip hop is we cast ourselves away from everything else because it isn't what we do or what we like. If you have a product then do everything you can to get it exposed and known, from then only can you build. But I personally feel the current state of U.K. hip hop is very good as far as the talent, but were just lacking on da cash side of things, but in the last 3 years I have seen more peeps getting loot than before, so maybe things are looking up.
Has the media been a part of the problem? UK Hip Hop radio shows for example?
Erm, if your referring to Westwood, I have listened to Westwood lately and heard a few UK tracks get air play, I know 279 and the Chubby Kids are playing UK stuff as well, but the tracks should be played in the same selection as the U.S. stuff, not like a UK half hour, then back to the U.S. stuff cause that just makes it look like we still aren't on the same level as them.
Do you think it is getting better or worse and why? Do you think 1Xtra will have an impact? What radio shows would you tune into?
I don't really listen to radio no more except when someone I know is on it and they've told me to tune in, (big up Chronic), from what I've heard
1Xtra is O.K., but its never gonna be a giant platform for UK hip hop, they don't have D.J's it's a call 'n select radio station, I can get better station online with more my type of hip hop being played, the internet is opening hip hop up to a platform we haven't been at before.
1Xtra has DJs, anyway, who are the UK artists you listen to and admire?
So many to name, but here's a few that I rate very highly: Ricochet, and Ricochet Klashnikov (sorry if spelt wrong) Universal Soldiers, Blade, Task Force, Skinnyman, MC Mello, Kyza, Jehst, Outta Da Ville, PGM, ahh deres a whole leap of peeps smashin' it.
Who are your UK influences?
Blade, Hijack, Demon Boyz, Caveman, MC Mello, Katch 22, Brotherhood.
I think most people would come up with the same names. Who or what are your other influences?
Life and life's experiences is my biggest influence, my son and my wife.
Are you at all into the internet? Do you have any plans for your own website?
Yeh, I'm into the internet, working on a site right now, I'm just all about the porn 'n free music at the moment.
How do you feel, as an artist, about distribution systems like Napster or Winimix that are out of your control and for which you don't get any money? Although those have been banned, ingenious heads will always get round this.
Ahhh, they gonna do it no matter what we say so fuck it let it be.
Are you concerned that the RIAA in the US is trying to get the right to go into peoples computers where they believe they have been file sharing and destroying their hard drives? There isn't going to be any avenue for appeal and they won't need a warrant...
Yeh I'm concerned I got a whole heap of free tracks on this hard disk. Damn I didn't even know that. The powers that be are always fucking things up.
Do you appreciate the visual elements of artistic expression as well as sounds? Do you see yourself making more of that in the future? Perhaps making videos or moving into films or other media?
Yeh man, I'm nuff into films, I watch mad animation, always watching shooting gallery, love Oliver Stone films. As far as me doing music video's
I'm taking it one step at a time, but who knows, its something I would like to know more about.
What is your role as an artist, I mean, do you produce as well as MCing?
Yeh, I produce, but not as good as J-Stretch, so he's handling this one. I'm far too lazy.
Can you let off some of your production techniques? What sort of equipment are you using both to make beats and to record?
Well, Stretch is using an MPC 3000, I'm on a P.C. wid Fruitly Loops, Acid and Cubase.
What tips would you have for anyone wanting to pick up the mic?
Don't get lazy... Stay on it.
That is simple. So you had the I Realise b/w Dope Like Heroin 12" featuring Blood 1 out on Defcon Records in 1999. Was that you first time out on record? How did that feel?
It felt real good at the time, got some good feed back from it. To tell the truth I cringe every time I hear that track now because I feel I have developed so much since then. But it's all good and gave me a lil experience and got me a lil name so I can now hopefully take things bigger.
Can you tell us a bit about each of the tracks on that 12", what they are about, what effects, moods or messages you were trying to create/pass on?
The A side was my track I was just kinda exposing my life style a bit and talking upon a few topics of hip hop and hip hop pollution, nothing major, I recorded the tune in one day, heard the beat for the first time on the day I recorded it, its all down to experience. The B side was Blood Ones turntabilist track. He has got so much better since then too, but he has always been sick on the cut. All of surgical cuts are top class.
How did the record go down? Was it well received?
Yeh it went O.K. We got rid of roughly 2 thousand including white labels, the press gave it good write ups. Got 4 outta 5 in DJ magazine which suprised me, couple of people slated it a bit which did get to me at the time but that's all part of it. They mainly commented on my flow, which I agree back then wasn't as tight as it should have been.
So how did you come to hook up with Defcon? They are based in Tumbridge Wells aren't they?
Yeh, they're in Tunny Wells, funny load of peeps up there, I love them lot, they came 'n did a show in sunny New Cross. I was there, smashed up the open mic, they liked what they saw and in 2 weeks I was in studio recording and on their artist roster. In the right place at the right time, I got nothing but respect for them lot for spending their loot on me and putting me out. And puttin' up with my bullshit.
Would you have rather signed with a more established label?
I won't lie, all artists want success and fame, and no doubt with a bigger label with more cash that may of came, but it didn't and Def Con was a great opportunity at the time.
What happened for you next? Were you just working on your Early Life Crisis mini LP?
Yeh, I had some personal problems going on, I lost a son and that kinda messed me up. During that time I was recording Early Life Crisis, so a lot of mixed feelings on that.
Shit man, that makes the title make sense. OK, so you worked with a whole load of people on that: C.L.G., D.X., Ritual, Parabulous, Guvner and Defcons Natty, Heratick and Dutch Courage. What was it like working with so many people? What were the most important things you learned during the recording process?
I learned loads during recording that, mostly about studio's and how recording goes, everyone I worked with I owe many thanks to for the time and energy you added to my music. Everyone on the E.P. did their part. Shoutz 2 Guvner who I ain't seen since recording it. Blud when I see you imma set u couple of spliffs 'n shit. We need 2 chat!
Again, can you tell us a bit about each/some of the tracks on your EP, what they are about etc. Which was your favourite and why?
O.K. my favourite was 2001 Ruggedness, because I produced it, and all the versus on that are blinding and the cuts and everything is just lovely on that. Other tracks I feel a lot are: Underground Heads featuring Guvner, Early Life Crisis (a look into a mad mans mind) Six, DJ Illout did the production on that which I have since heard the same piano's on a Jedi Mind Tricks piece, but they used it different. Peep
www.defconline.com to order or hear some of the tracks.
Since then an LP was meant to drop wasn't it? What happened?
Ahh, stuff has been very difficult for me for a while, a lot of other stuff was planned, all I can say is watch this space…
You were also featured on the Industry Nerds track by Natty & Dwella, which featured Dark Circle, Charlie Little and Dutch Courage. What was that about, were you disappointed that track didn't do more?
I was disappointed with that track all together. I was in Tunbridge crashin' on Natty's couch for a few nights and he asked me to write for that track the same morning he wanted to record it. I was hung over, still lean up, I wrote it, its O.K., but I could of done so much better if I took the time on it. I'm not really into the music on that track. Dutch Courage is a great producer but that one just weren't really for me.
Moving on then, I understand that you have been working on material. What can we expect and when can we expect it to drop?
When... soon, what we're dropping is gonna be very militant reality rap with a topping of skills and sickness!
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?
Open ya eyes to all issues that concern you.... They decline to answer.... I can say I'll answer any question with honesty and execution.
Why do you think the urban youth and people in general are so pissed off with the government?
Because we're broke and they're not, but still they dictate on how we should live.
What do you think will come of President Bush's posturing about attacking Iraq to get rid of Sadam Hussein? I am worried that he is prepared to go it alone without the backing of any other countries and will do it when he isn't being threatened? What do you believe his motives for this are?
I believe power and money are his motives for everything.
If you could do something to improve the situation what would it be and why?
I don't even know how I could improve the situation. Its a no win situation, I just hope that less civilians get killed than need be.
OK, to round up then. What is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?
Expect No Mercy E.P.
What are your longer term plans and objectives?
Building a label, buying some property.
Where can people pick up your stuff?
From the back of a lorry near you, nah jokes, you can go to the Defcon website to hear or purchase older stuff by me
(www.defconline.co.uk). If you wanna hear some unreleased stuff email me at:
email@example.com and ill send u suttin. We gonne be looking into selling our stuff through
peoplesound.com too. When we plan our release everyone will know where to purchase the goods.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Nah fuck 'em.
Is there anyone else you would like to mention?
My dealer... u take da piss mate!
Thank you for your time.
Thanks for the exposure.
Contact Manage: MrMaNaGeKSE@aol.com
Check out Defcon