“I’m British, I drink tea and I rap.”
He has also been given the wink and thumbs up by artists such as Adele, Jessie J, Liam Gallagher, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, P Diddy and Mark Ronson. The album boasts hit singles such as Traktor and Unorthodox; these two and every track on the album all feature guest appearances by some of Britain’s top of the pops artists. [See our review in the last edition of IDM Mag]
Black & White has seen his popularity surge with many asking the question, why a previously Grime MC has gone soft or switched up his style to this degree. He has been criticised by Grime fans on Forums for “making ‘bait’ Hip Hop and labelling it as Grime” accusing him of never quite having been raw enough to start with. I challenged him on this as we chatted for an hour over the phone…
“These people are on a forum and there are like five of them. They don’t even deserve an answer. I’m a musician who makes the music that I love. I’m successful, making money and paying those bills. Who cares what they think?” he laughs.
Wretch 32 originally started out as a member of ‘The Combination Chain Gang‘ and he cut his teeth rapping with this Hip Hop collective. The initial aim of these London boys was to poise themselves as the best Grime lyricists in the game, but things changed and they all moved on to different things leaving Wretch 32 to carry the torch as he forged ahead. The crew he has since formed known as ‘The Movement’ with Scorcher, Ghetts, Devlin and Mercston are set to unleash a few more releases next year, he tells me.
“The stuff coming off of ‘The Movement’ release is going to be more focused on the verses and will be a lot more lyrical than my personal stuff. On my album the stuff I write is more personal to me and my experiences.” he explains.
Scott owes the influence of his take on UK Rap to English artists such as Soul Solitary and Kano while his USA influences include the likes of none other than Jay Z and Nas.
I ask him how he feels about the notion that Hip Hop is an American thing, being badly copied by other nations across the world?
“That’s a load of bullshit to be honest. People like making the music that they like. If you are feeling something and you are into it, you are going to get more involved in it. I don’t think you get into hip hop just because you looking for something to familiarise yourself with culturally,” he asserts, pausing for a minute.
“Everyone has their own swag. Being American is a culture, it’s the way they carry themselves along with the way they talk and their accents. I’m English and will only ever be just that. Nothing about me is American. I’m British, I drink tea and I rap,” concludes Scott.
Opportunities are becoming increasingly brighter for North London artists working at breaking into the music industry. Salutations can be given to acts such as Wretch32, Sway, Skepta and Chipmunk who seem to be paving the way.
The one ‘downside’ to being from that part of London is the bad local news rep they have for crime and violence. Which if you ask me, never really hurt any wanna-be rapper’s road to glory. What’s a Cinderella story without some dirty coal stains on the knuckles?
Wretch 32 swears that he keeps nothing from his fans and part of his success is telling his life in stories through his music. The tea drinkers are up and at it! I personally look forward to watching them switch up the face of global rap.