Following on from my chat with Ay Cee to offer this sites visitors a few lessons in what's going on over in Ireland in terms of hip-hop, I sent a few questions out to this man about what kind of stuff he does, his live performances and who he'd recommend we should check out. PS. He isn't backpacker friendly.
How long have you been rapping and what have you released so far?
I've been rapping since 2000 and there are currently 3 Roysta CDs and a Dirtcore Death Squad mix CD in the sweaty grasp of the general public.
How successful were these releases in terms of fan appreciation, press reaction, sales etc?
Well I do all my shit DIY and truly believe music should be free, so every CD I've made has been given away free to whoever wants one. There have been more than 2000 copies of all the CDs pressed up currently and they're all over Belfast mostly, loads down south, Scotland, England, USA, OZ and Germany. When I first started there was loads of hype cuz people from Belfast had never heard someone rapping in a Belfast accent before, so I got loads of press in local mags and newspapers. Also built up a fucking nice fan base who turn up at every show and rave it out. The best thing about everything I've done is meeting so many cool people who're up for reppin the dirt.
Is there much opportunity of doing shows in Ireland and what's your live experience like?
I think if you do something different, promoters will take notice of ya and book ya. That's why when I started playing out I'd go on stage in drag or dressed as a priest with 2 strippers, a gimp and a zombie DJ. I started playing out August 2003 and it's been constant since then. I seem to appeal to everyone but the hip hop scene over here. Most of those who come to the gigs are into techno, punk, rock and shit like that. Most of the 'heads' over here turn their noses up at me because they're a pack of backpackin' wankers with no taste.
How'd you describe the music you make, in terms of production and vocals?
I try do make beats that aren't just run of the mill hip hop beats. I try to keep them raw with that DIY punk feel. I also like to put a bit of a electro touch to them. As for the vocal, I just keep it Belfast as fuck in your face. You'll either love it or hate it.
What sort of topics do you touch upon and what's your verbal style in terms of delivery/flow?
I like to keep it filthy and offensive. Something your ma would have a stroke if she heard it. Songs about drinking, fucking, Belfast, STDs. Anything non-backpackerish!! As for flow, I like to rep the drunk dirtcore style.
Who are some of the artists which have influenced you te most to want to rap yourself?
Thristin Howl, J-zone, RA the Rugged Man, Ill Bill, Celph Titled, Ghostface. Anything off the wall with nice punch lines.
What other Irish hip-hop artists/acts are you a fan of and suggest people check out?
The best MC's over here would be Shunty McShunt, The Dirty Camel, Big Bali Hali, Harry the Bastard, Fisty McBlister, Colonel Riot, shit like that. We also got proper good shit like Sirocco MCs, Just a Word, Ay Cee, Jee4ce, Rob Kelly,Margin and MC Kat.
Where about in the country are you based and if a tourist was to visit the island, where'd they find the most concentrated source of hiphop?
If your up north then Belfast or Derry and if your down south Dublin.
What do you make of the material being released by UK heads in Scotland, England and Wales. Where on the table does each land fit in, in terms of quality?
I'm defo feeling loads of northern shit like Doyen D, Carlon Stardom, Dermo, Predigree Chumps. I'm liking loads of shit from Scotland as well. I think it's one of the best accents I've heard rhyming. Hard as fuck. Just feels like they're about to jump out the speaker and kick yer head in.
Are you working on any material at the moment and when's that likely to surface?
Just finished a Dirtcore Death Squad mix CD which is my crew and that's free to anyone who wants one. Just email me. Also working on some dancehall punk shit that'll make the regular hip hoppers ears bleed, that should be done by January 2005. New Roysta CD out June 2005 but email me anyone wants the old ones, still got loads left for free.
Any shout out's?
Big up the Dirtcore Death Squad, Hallion Batallion, all the promoters who've had the balls to book me, Gregz, Uncle Spencer, Lyndon, Muzka and most of all the Monks of Buckfast Abbey. And cheers Tee for the interview.