Matt Grant hooked up with the crew to chat on their background, Cambridge, freestyling and future releases. Conducted in June.
Having earned respect for their fine releases and energetic freestyle sessions, these boys are fast emerging as one of the most talented and original groups in the UK - Noizemag hooks up with crew member Toe for a quick chat…
First of all, who are the Delegates of Culture?
The Delegates of Culture are as follows…
Ax Wax – a producer from Germany .
Chris Groove – a DJ from Scotland who is the Vestax Juice 2000 champion.
Ninco – a rapper from the former Yugoslavia .
Ill Seer – a rapper from Canada .
Bee 109 – a rapper and producer from Stockton , near Middlesbrough .
Then there's also the Cambridge lads…
Mad Prolific – a rapper and beatboxer.
S-Class – a rapper and DJ.
Other members include Dr Skuff Man, Injanuatea and myself who all rap and produce.
How did the crew come together?
The whole crew was born of freestyle – it began with us all freestyling at various house parties, we just kind of met up like that. It is hard to pin point how long ago that was, it just happened gradually over the years.
Does the presence of various nationalities bring something different to the crew?
Only in as much as there is a variety of different accents and languages. We cannot really be described as British hip-hop. We are just hip-hop – it just happens that most of us are based here in the UK .
Is it hard to get a cohesive sound in such a big group?
As far as music is concerned we are glue, if someone doesn't feel one beat or concept they just leave it alone. As for the personal side, ten people with ten very different lives and personalities are bound to clash – so we do bang heads same as all groups of mates.
Your main base is Cambridge , how big is the hip-hop scene there?
Cambridge is very good for hip-hop, Rawganics always brings in a balance of UK and US acts. There was the The Bridge before this which used to bring UK acts to town and we used to get a lot of nice open mic sessions going off down there. Long Mans and Word Association are just getting together some new stuff. Then there's all the University balls – they get all sorts of people down at those.
Rumour has it that the Delegates of Culture emcee's are always up for a live freestyle session, do you get to play out much in the town?
We have played both Rawganics and The Bridge. We also do college balls and parties a lot. Out of Cambridge we have performed at Cargo in London , done a show in Austria this year and are also hoping to do some DJ work in Italy this summer. The whole crew was born from freestyle so many songs are spawned by a few lines of a freestyle. When we perform 'Headcleaners' we always get the guests on a freestyle tip and we just fucking love it! Without freestyle we wouldn't even exist. And as for competitions – Inja got to the semi-final of FKO Raw this year and Skuff got to the final of Battle Scars.
Do you think that the close links you had with a skate shop helped the crew reach out to an audience that other hip-hop artists might not?
The skate shop Vert before it closed was very involved. When the shop was open it was a very big part of Delegates. We DJ'd and stuff like that at a number of weekends – this definitely got us across to younger kids that couldn't get into the hip-hop clubs.
So how well do you think the street cultures of hip-hop and skateboarding can combine?
I think we are proof that all cultures can combine, be it skating and hip-hop or rowing and soft rock – it's all down to the individuals involved.
Moving onto the recent release of the 'Resented' EP, what kind of feedback have you had?
The 'Resented' EP went well. MOFU Records sold all the copies they had pressed. Also, one hundred of them went to Canada , one hundred went to the US and one hundred went down under to Australia – alot of this exporting copies overseas was down to Ill Seer.
The 'Headcleaners' and 'Resented' EP's have made you well known for dropping dark hip-hop – how do you feel about this reputation?
We don't actually make tracks with a specific style in mind, if we are perceived as dark then so be it – it's not intentional.
To number thirteen, what are the main influences behind your brand of hip-hop?
I'm not answering that! Its an unlucky number!
OK then, to finish, what's next for the Delegates?
Next for us? We've got a limited two track CD called 'Mental Jujitsu' which should be available on Suspect Packages soon. 'Headcleaners 2' will be dropping this summer along with 'Bruk Faders 2'. There will also be another EP late summer time. Big up Ill Seer 'The Lone Ranger'... due home soon…
Shouts out to Mr Toe for answering my questions and to all members of the Delegates crew for their quality music. Keep up the good work!
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