UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies www.low-life.fsnet.co.uk
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The Shakti Interview with Phil Webster a.k.a Philli Whizz :: Part 2
Shakti
Shakti - Ash, Rasp
Shakti - Phil Wiz, Makrad
How are the sales of the EP going and what was the response like?

Sales have gone well we ve only a few left. Response has been great, Disorda and Reality and the Ruf have all big it up and been playing it. Local radio here are also playing it regularly. Undercover and HHC are due to review it, theirs an article about us in Undercover. Distribution has been tricky but a few are now interested.

What have you done so far to attain this success, and what more can you do in the future to grow your fan base?
We have just been working hard doing gigs and writing, gigging in the early days is important this is what gives a band strength, helps you find your niche. At the moment we cosentrate on recording. As far as fan base best way I say is to database, everyone at gigs everyone who buys the record. Database then you can contact your crowd direct. We ve also got our website done and ready to go, at the moment tho we are being fucked about by the people we got the space off. To be sorted soon hopefully.

What sort of a response do you get from the rest of the country, and are there regional differences you can discern?
When I've played with acts from other parts of the country they've absolutely loved our humour and our accents and I feel the same about them. We ain't played in London yet so we ll wait and see bout them. I think cockneys more than anyone are a bit more use to hearing their accents. But I luv hearing all the different British accents I think rapping in your own voice is of most importance and is what makes the music fresh to listen to.

Lets broaden this out. At the moment, Muslims in Palestine (and throughout most of the world) are getting a proper hammering from the Israelis and the US with our help. What are the reasons for this and how does it make you feel? What can realistically be done to help people live together?


The reason for that mate are that the Jews where persecuted for centuries first by Egypt in the time of the pharaoh and then Hitler. That is why the west originally supported them. But now Sharon seems to me to be going down the same path by committing genocide himself on the Palestinians. The true answer can only be that this shit happens because it has always happened. England was invaded by Viking and Romans, we colonised India, Falklands .etc. we can only live together when people want to live together, at the moment its fair to say many people do not want peace and they are the ones holding us all back. But thing do improve and change will come. When people stop focusing on personal gain and instead focus on what is best for everyone. We cannot call ourselves civilised when one half is rich at the expense of the half whom are still starving to death. Same as with the class system in this country.

North Korea has re-started its Nuclear programme and has expelled the international observers who were stationed there. Yet the US does not plan to take any action over there, but is going to attack Iraq for having weapons of Mass destruction, which by the way, the UN inspectors can find no trace of at all. I perceive certain double standards here. Seems the US is going round the world being an aggressor, and trying to finish off problems which the US its self sowed the seeds of by financing the wrong people in the past. What is your take on all of this?

Obvious hypocrisy. You keep hearing about how Saddam has killed his own people, but I don’t think any one thinks for one minute that bush is arsed about that. The reasons probably has more to do with money and oil than anything. Also my personal take is that 10yrs ago the yanks banged on about the threat of communism now its terrorism, to me it s a guise to convince everyone we need protecting by bush and his democratic empire. As you have said we hear constantly about weapons of mass destruction, yet still no evidence whatsoever that they exist? Obviously they know what weapons he has they sold them to him when they integrated the war between Iraq and Iran.

Does this make you at all political? I ask everyone about politics, because I think it is important that we have knowledge of what is going on, but many 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?

Its important to be aware of what goes on. Self awareness is of far greater importance though. At he end of the day sort you re own problems out before you try and sort the worlds out. It always comes down to the individual, to exercise their own free will and to take an interest in what they choose and to not attack other peoples beliefs.

Toxteth, Liverpool 8, has a history of being like a litmus paper and in the past unrest there has been symbolic of greater problems in society. How are things in that area now? Are there grievances simmering under the surface, or has all that changed now? The spotlight has been focused on Birmingham recently after the hairdressers shoot out.

Fuk all has changed they talk bout the shootings in Birmingham cos two girls where killed. 4 people have died in shootings since the new year in Liverpool, more wounded. Not mentioned nationally cos two dealers shoot each other in the pub in Liverpool is apparently acceptable and no ones arsed if ganasta and pushers kill one another. And as for blaming black people and gangsta rap they where all white.. Toxteth's famous cos of the huge black community but the white ghettos of Wavertree, Bootle, Huyton are also very infamous Since the riot in Liverpool over 10 years ago very little has changed in Toxy and the dingle there are still burnt out buildings from then. A lot of homes have been boarded up so long their falling to pieces. A lot of rebuilding has started but much more needs to be done. Drugs and guns are easy as fuchk to get. Most shooting are linked and are not random, they are people in poverty fighting for territory to sell drugs. Add to that loads of smack heads squatting round the city and skally student mugging, its not pretty, but I luv the place it has a electric vibe to it.

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

Good question. I change everyone's perception of how they measure success. Healthy mind healthy body not bling bling rings and cars. By measuring success as money and prestige this is why gangsta s have become role models in communities instead of the honest hard working man, no one wants an average life. So all the kids are on drugs and selling drugs, seeing rich people and aspiring to be like them. Instead of aspiring to be good honest people who work hard for a living. People have more now than they have ever had but now they want more, this greed will destroy society. We cannot all be millionaire supastars but we can all be equal if we accept our roles in society and don t let greed be our inspiration and start enjoying the simple things again.

Do you think that this is a good time to be breaking out as an MC in the UK?

As good a time as any, I think the scene starting to open up people are starting to warm to the idea, it could blow up at any point.

The Shakti - Ash, Makrad (pictures from www.hiphopsoc.com)
Shakti - Phil Whizz (pictures from www.hiphopsoc.com)
Shakti - DJ Rasp (pictures from www.hiphopsoc.com)

UK Hip Hop seems to be getting a fair bit of positive press at the moment, do you think the interest will be sustained?

I hope so and I think it will , cos more people are doing it themselves. It only fuked up first time round cos of the record companies. Now with more labels being set up independently it takes artists longer to get out but the foundations this time are being laid properly by labels like low life, ruff beats etc we need more business minded Hip Hop heads putting the infrastructure down for artists we obviously cant rely on these industry A and R knob heads who just wanna cash in. We all gotta be here for the long haul not for short term monetary gain.

Outside your crew who are the UK artists you listen to and admire? What is it about them you like?

Task force – I luv Chester he s me fav MC , he seems on a very psychic level , he seems to have the rite balance of sheer brilliance and humility. Aspect – really luv Parlour Talk album padlocked tonic a British classic and undivided attention. Aspects though have proper put Bristol on the map and they are funny , clever and tight live. Jehst – tight tight mc, Manuva and Braintax. Also shouts to London posse, twang and ruthless rap assassins, lets not forget Dave the Ruf and Krispy, Microdisiacs. I also luv the planets proper beautiful spiritual Hip Hop and Lewis parker.

Who or what are you other influences? What do you do when you are not doing Hip Hop stuff?

I luv all kindsa music, funk , jazz reggae everything from prince to bowie to the Beatles to miles Davis, to the specials. Apart from Hip Hop I don’t do much apart form martial arts and other spiritual practices, as well as sign on regularly, exercise, smoke weed and get drunk. I pretty much doing something related to Hip Hop all the t time either rapping producing recording DJing or writing .

Where can people hear your stuff?

Disorda website, realbeats.com, peoplesound.com, our website when its on.

Where can people pick up your stuff?

Suspect packages, the Ruf mail order, at the moment its available in records shops in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, it will be in London shop v soon.

OK. To wind this up, what is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?

Recording a Shakti album, starting to record my solo EP – Philli whiz The Philiologist, couple of gigs in St. Helens and Liverpool in Feb. may be starting my own Hip Hop night in the city also and running are own label and making contact with peeps like yourself.

What are your longer term plans and objectives?

To secure sum premises as soon as to put our equipment in and run our label from and also to run kiddi workshops which we ve all bin doing a bit of. To get the Shakti album made and released nationally and in Europe. Also to get my solo stuff ready for release.

Is there anything else you would like to mention?

I send you sum photos v soon, check us in undercover, I let you know when the websites ready.

Finally is there anyone else you would like to mention?

All the Hip Hop heads

Thank you for your time.

Thank you v much

Check out the Shakti on the web: www.theshakti.co.uk
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies

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