Thursday, 13 December 2007

Interview - Inertia


Artists' name, involvement in the UK hip hop scene?
Matt Inertia. Been a rapper/producer for the last 7 years. In the process of setting up Lancaster based record label Cash Cow Records. Been performing in and around the North West for the last 5 years. Released first album in 2006 – Money and Soul. Used to be in “The Band that Time Forgot” and performed with them all over the North West.
Been producing tracks for various North West artists for the last 5 years.

What was your earliest recollection of being exposed to hip-hop?
My earliest recollection of hip hop was at about the age of 8, or maybe 9, when me and a couple of mates used to blast an MC Hammer tape. The first album I ever bought was Vanilla Ice “To The Extreme”, its embarrassing to mention it now but at least I was on the right track! After that the next tape I owned was a rap collection (I think it was “100% RAP!”). It had loads of cheesy pop/rap hits but also featured some legends like Tribe Called Quest and Run DMC. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I really got into hip hop. I was well into the skating scene when I was about 14 and all the skate vids we’d buy always had sick soundtracks. The first time I ever heard Guru was “Respect the Architect” on a skate video, loved it more than the skating!

Which artists did you admire in the early days of your career?
In the early days of my career I focussed mainly on what I thought were well produces beats. I used to analyse anything by DJ Muggs, Dangermouse and Premo. I remember me and friends analysing the “fatness” of Premo tracks trying our hardest to figure out the dynamics of his beats and what he was doing to get things so chunky. I never knew who most of the UK tracks I listened to were produced by. I just knew them as tracks by rappers like; Skinny Man, Braintax, Mystro, Rodney P and Fallacy. As I became more clued up with the British scene I started looking at what UK producers were doing. People like Vadim, Skitz and Lewis Parker used to get analysed to hell and back.

How were you exposed to the UK scene?
My first exposure to the UK scene was the Mark B and Blade album “The Unknown” that was the first British hip hop album I heard, when I was about 18. Up until hearing that I didn’t even know there was a UK scene. That album pointed me towards artists such as Skinny Man and Lewis Parker. I listen to that album now and the standard of Mark B’s beats is still cutting edge. From there it was a fairly easy journey into the rest of the UK hip hop world. One artist leads to another, you hear a track, you like the guest performer or the producer and check them out as well, it snowballs.

Where do you think the UK scene is at the moment? i.e. Many argue that the Scene has been confused with the grime/garage genre etc.
I think the UK hip hop scene has been living in a grime / garage shadow for a few years now. I do think the genres get grouped together far too easily but there are some very big differences between them, with each having its own merits. I also think the US is having more and more influence on new hip hop coming through. I get at least 10 emails a day from wanna be artists who have found my site. They all direct me to a MySpace or a Soundclick site and 99 times out of 100 the music is overly mimicking US (mainstream) styles. They see Cribs, watch a bit of Channel U and think “I can do that!”, then they pick up a dodgy copy of Fruity Loops and think they’re Timbaland. There are some really good artists out there who have trouble getting noticed or cant make any sort of career from the scene. This is because too many people wanna be a rapper rather than support a good one. Sometimes I wanna send these people an email saying “you cant rap / produce, give it up and spend your time and money supporting someone who can!” I think the UK hip hop scene has lost a lot of its identity and integrity in recent years.

Do you think the UK scene could ever have as much success as the US industry?
If you measure success by payroll then no. If you measure success by standards in music then we are both a huge success.

As a figurehead of UK Hip Hop, do you think being from outside of London makes progressing in the scene more of a challenge?
Erm, yes and no. I think people do actually pay you a bit more attention coz you're not from London, a rapper with a Northern accent automatically sounds original, rappers like Asaviour and Spiller have proved that. But that benefit is far out-weighed by the difficulty in getting gigs and raising awareness. I know a lot of Northerners who spend time down in London coz there’s more opportunity but I don’t think its essential.

What current projects are you working on?
I'm working on my 2nd album “Little Big Man”. That should be ready in the New Year. When that's done I'm gonna get back into the gigs and try and push things forward with the label.

Where do you see the UK scene in ten years time?
To be honest, I really haven’t gotta clue! I think theres been some better music about recently, if that keeps on coming and we try our hardest to stay original and progressive then only good things can happen.

Inertia - Money N Soul
Inertia - The Colione of Muck

Go here for more downloads

1 comment:

Tommoyo said...

spade you mentalist do a new post! i'm gonna get bored if there's nothing new to read!