An informative chat about roots, preferences and the debut album, including how he hooked up with Sam Fury, what topics the album talks about and which rappers and producers he's feeling.
What's your name, where are ya from and how long have you been rapping?
My name is Coopz and I'm reppin BMDub, I'm from Derby but I'm living in Bedford now and I've been spittin on mics since I was about 14.
How'd you come up with the name Coopz?
It's part of my surname and a lot of my people call me Coopz. I used to be known as Dizzy Coopz but then ol' Rascal came with it around 2002 so I had to drop the Dizzy.
What are your favourite hip-hop artists from here and elsewhere?
My all time favourite is 2Pac without a doubt. There are so many artists that I'm feeling that I can't really start to name them all. I swear I've got love for bare genres of music, let alone artists.
How long have you been working on your debut release?
I worked on it from November 2003 til about February 2004. But like I say in one track – "some lyrics I spit now, I wrote them 5 years ago!".
What's the title of it and how'd you describe it to people?
It's called 22 Years Of Strife and basically it's just me lettin' off some steam. I've got a lot of shit to say and it's just a small portion of what's to come. I can safely say there's a lot more to come.
It doesn't sound like a typical UK rap product. Deliberate?
I understand what you're saying there, but some (not all) UK rap seems to have a depressing, social decay type of feel about it. There's more to life than the way people treat each other and how UK hip hop can't make it big and I'm just telling my side of the story regardless of what the majority say. I love hip hop and I love music although there isn't much love shown in the album.
Who handled the production and how did you guys hook up?
Two brothers who run RuffCo produced the whole album. It's a long story so I'll try and make it brief. I knew about them before I met them and I hooked up with Nick at work after his brother told me I worked with him cos I didn't even know what he looked like. I showed him some of my old work and he just got me in the studio the day after. I recorded Raw and it just went from there. I introduced them to 2 other artists who are also friends of mine; Sam Fury and Sho and they got them in the studio and before you knew it we all had projects. I enjoyed the process of making the album and I hope I can do more work with them sometime in the future, but we'll take more of a business approach as this project was like a joint venture.
On some listens, it feels like it could be put into one of the many other categories for 'urban music' besides from hip-hop. Would you agree with that?
Not really. I can't see what u mean! I'd say all the beats are hip hop beats. I'm rapping. So that's hip hop isn't it?
What one or two tracks off the album do you think give the best overview of the album as a whole and you as an artist?
I don't think I could stick to just two tracks, cos I got love for them all in a way. But if I had to I'd say 4 Larenz cos I wrote that for my son and I express a lot of my views on life in that track and Raw – because of it's brutal honesty. I can't leave out Haste=Misjudgement cos that's just me 24/7.
What's your personal favourite track off the LP?
I haven't got one favourite track cos it just depends on what mood I'm in. The standout tracks for me are Pure Rotency, UK, UK and Full Weed Sack.
Did you hear the beats before penning the words, write the words beforehand or was it a matter of handling both sides of the
song at the same time?
It was a bit of both. Sometimes he gave me the beat and sometimes I had the lyrics already. I don't know if u can tell. But that's definitely something I wanna work on for my future projects – writing for specific beats more cos it develops your flow more.
It was refreshing hearing your lyrical approach as a lot of UK rappers seem to try and prove themselves with massive extended metaphors and stuff. What's your take on your lyric content and what subjects does the LP cover?
I say what feel. I don't embellish on bullshit, I don't make shit up, I keep it honest all the way thru. I hate when I hear blatant lies in hip hop. Sometimes it can be passed of as story telling, but sometimes it's just taking the piss. In the album I'd say I go against a lot of mans that are like that. I talk about trust, my life, my son, my country, mary jane and the ol' days. These are all things that are part of my life.
On 'National Anthem' you suggest that a lot of non UK folks see England as merely being about the Queen and drinking tea. Was an intention of the album to show international listeners just how wrong that is?
To be completely honest, yeah. I'm sick of hearing "overated" US artists over here and I'm pretty sure (apart from The Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Slick Rick) there aren't any big British hip hop artists making it over there. I want to be the one or one of the ones that does.
How will you be putting it out and when? Will you try and get a label deal or go the very indy route of selling it in person yourself?
Realistically I can see myself going the independent and that's just because I wanna create a buzz before thrusting into the spotlight. Get a fan base and shit. I know a lot of artists in the UK that I'm gonna collab with soon and by doing that I'm gonna try and get my name about, so people recognise the name and automatically know I've got game.
Which artists would you most like to collaborate with in the future?
Only the best. I'm talking Dre, Timbaland & The Alchemist on production. And it'd be heavy to spit with Kanye West, Dizzee Rascal and pretty much any other UK artist who feeling my music the way I'm feeling theirs.
Do you do many open mic appearances or live shows and how do they go down?
I'm open to any mic. We've had a few PA's in Bedford, Luton, Harrow, Derby. They all went well, we always get the crowd on it and we enjoy doing it.
What's the scene like around your yard? Many hip-hop heads, club nights etc?
Well in Bedford we've got The Jump Off coming down every first Friday of the month and there are so many artists around that I've worked with. I think there's a lot of wasted talent here. I'm tryna start promoting myself. So watch out for the name BMDub in your area.
Have you been involved in any other aspects of hip-hop such as graffiti or breaking?
Not really but I would like to dj, whether its vinyl or CDs. I got love for my music and I think I've got a good ear for selecting the right tracks.
Any shout out's?
Yeah, Blood, Deprogrammed, Wiz, BMDub – Sho & Sam Fury, The Shadowmanz, Wise Crow, The Squad, Green, Mista Montana at Conspiracy Radio, Chrometooth, Benzido and the man Tee Dubya. Look out for mixtapes available soon. Search on google for Coopz or BMDub and keep an eye on the site BM Dub UK Peace.