The Poisonous Poets member talks us through everything from how he got into hip-hop and hooked up with his crew, to what material he's working on and what he's feeling about the Uk scene right now.
Introduce yourself to the people?
Easy! What's happening people? This is Reveal of Poisonous Poets aka Double P, representing for the unrepresented!
Where abouts are you from and how long have you rapped?
I'm originally Iranian. I was born in Tehran but moved to London when I was young. Moved around London quite a bit. I lived in South, North and finally settled in West. My Dad was a very musical person and when I was a kid he used to show me poems and limericks and show me how to sing the lyrics along in time while he played an instrument. So you could say I've been rapping in some shape or form for as long as I can remember for real. School assemblies, talent shows, all that. So I'd been writing lyrics and so forth from an early age. You could say I started taking it serious when I was 15/16. Started sneaking into clubs like Mudlumz wid my fake ID and hitting up open mics around '99. Somehow or other I seemed to get caught up in the whole battle scene and I been at it ever since!
Apart from the Poisonous Poets material, have you been on any other releases?
Ummm. I been on a whole heap of underground/mix tape shit like the Louis Slipaz CDs and the Dark n Cold DVD's. There's some real old skool record flying around wid me on it too but I aint too proud of it so I aint gonna tell you lot what the name of it was! You're gonna have to dig deep for that one! Hehe, but generally I haven't had a lot of shit released.
Are you working on any material at the moment and when is that likely to drop?
Poisonous Poetry 2 : The Lethal Dosage mix CD is about to drop very very soon, and it's gonna b followed straight up by Poisonous Poetry 3, as well as my solo 12" "What Estate R U From?" which is gonna be dropping in a few months. Also, me and Therapist are working on our own mix CD. And you're going to start seeing a lot of solo material from the individual Poets too. Its no secret that the Poets have been a little inactive over the past year or so due to life situations but trust me, we're all geared up and ready to do this in 2005.
Will there eventually be a solo Reveal album?
Definitely. And it's coming a lot sooner than you think…...
Which UK MC's and producers do you enjoy the most and would jump at the chance of collaborating with?
In terms of people I'm feeling, for me its all about the spitters. Man like Lowkey, Chester P, Kyza, Ransom BadBonez, Malik from Moorish Delta, Jargon from MI5. Beats wise, I'm into our very own Poisonous Producer, DJ Snips. Also feeling Farma G's shit, musically my mans a genius. Chemo is another producer who's coming with that Ill shit. As for those I'd jump to collaborate with, that's a hard question as I've been fortunate enough to work with most of the people I just named, and if I haven't, I've already made plans to. Also, without meaning to sound at all arrogant, I feel blessed in the sense that I honestly believe I have the very best to collaborate with at my side all the time with Poisonous Poets as my click.
How did you and the other guys in double P get together?
Basically, I met each of the individual members at separate times, clicked with them, started rolling together and then we all just clicked together over time. When I was around 16 during my whole battling phase, I kept hearing about this guy called Therapist who was the same age as me, and people were talking like they wanted to see us battle! I eventually bumped into Therapist at a club night. We seemed to get on so instead of battling we ended up rapping together! But that's my CO-D. Me and Thera came up together. I met Doc Brown through open mics and hip hop club nights and we were part of a crew called PGM before we formed Poisonous. Me and Doc met Tony D at an open air Cipher in Clapham Common. He spit some 100+ bar verse that made me go home and start work on some new verses the same night! The thing with Double P is that, without meaning to use hip hop cliché no.101, for us it's a lot deeper than just the music. These are people I consider to be my family members so in a sense we were always rapping together, but then we decided to actually form a group around 2002. After that, while we were signed to BMG, I met DJ Snips at a music technology course at my local college and he was just like the missing link of Poisonous. Also, start the drum roll cos I can exclusively reveal (no pun!) that as of 2005 there is an official new Poet in the shape of Lowkey, the same spitter you all know and love! So watch for a whole heap of new shit coming soon from all Poets
Is there much competition or any rivalry between the crew and how big an advantage is it to be amongst three other quality MC's?
There's four mc's now, counting Lowkey, what you trying to say? One of us aint quality? Hehe jokin. Yea there's loads of rivalry cos them lot are jealous of my chizzled physique and the fact that I get the most attention from the ladiez. Dunno what it is, maybe its the whole Bigge, Big Pun big boned charm that they are feeling. Whatever it is they know I treat them good and if they catch me on a good night I might even give them the bus fare home!.....Nah seriously though, the rest of Poisonous are my personal favourite MC's so there's more a feeling of pride than rivalry when I see them do well. In terms of rapping on tracks with them, I just feel blessed enough to be working with people as talented as them cos we all here to make quality music at the end of the day and having talent like that on my team makes me feel confident. Very confident.
What are a few of your favourite rappers which have motivated or inspired you to want to grab a mic yourself?
Obviously the classics like Biggie, for his whole charizma, attention to detail and just raw skills. Tupac simply for the way he moved so many people through his music and took it to the next level. Another personal fave is Nas. Also Big Pun for elevating lyricism and flow. Ras Kass is something else as well. Dunno, just the obvious shit really blud.
Are there any other genre's or non rap artists that you enjoy listening to and draw inspiration from?
To be honest, I've been a bit of a hard head in terms of the music I've listened to in my life. It's almost exclusively been Hip Hop, but last couple of years I've been getting into RnB, Soul and Dancehall. But from a lot of people around me I've learnt to just appreciate quality music so I'm trying to be quite open minded.
I heard you on Citizen Smiff saying you was in Iran. If you don't mind me asking, what was you doing there?
As I said I'm Iranian, and while I've lived here for most of my life, I always spend a few months of the years in Tehran, the capital city. There's all types of mad shit going on out there. Hip Hop music in an Islamic Republic and allsorts! For a lil article thing I done on my last visit check this: Rawroots
How do you feel about hip-hop of a political orientation?
Its all good and I'm all for it, I fully understand the impact that music can have and the strength of the message it can carry. The only issue I have is with people who are misinformed, have just not read up on what they are talking about and are getting it twisted. Because knowledge is powerful and misinformed knowledge can do more harm than good. What I'm saying is, treat subjects with respect, don't try to capitalize on a little political something you saw on the news and make a tune out of it. Take some time out to learn about whatever it is, because things are not always what they seem. The media is very good at misinformation. At the end of the day, due to whatever political issues that exist in the world today, people are dying, being tortured, raped and killed. Do you think it's fair to them to just go on first impressions? Rappers need to know more about what they're talking about.
What do you make of the UK scene right now and what releases are you looking forward to it getting?
I'm happy to be a part of it right now. I'm proud of people that are repping UK and producing serious serious shit like Skinnyman's album. In my eyes that was straight classic. People like Lowkey are the future. I'm just generally feeling the way people are starting to get serious about their shit and move more business savvy. Although our scene is FAR from ideal, I believe we can do this.
Any shout out's or plugs before this wraps up?
Lemme say thank you to anyone who supported Poisonous Poets. It's all love, its all appreciated. Down to the last one of you!
Yea, much love as always to my Poisonous Fam, Thera, Doc, Tony, Snips, Lowkey. Big up to everyone. Too many names to mention, Look out for: Doc Brown Citizen Smith CD Out now, Poisonous Poetry 2: The Lethal Dose CD coming soon, Poisonous Poetry 3 coming soon, Reveal "What Estate R U From?" 12" coming soon.
For info on Poisonous Poets releases, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "mailing list" as subject. Peace n Blessings…..