The man with fingers in many pies talks about his publicity work, his UK Runnings mix CD's, the UK scene and his forthcoming projects.
First up, tell everyone what you've been up to since the last time you were interviewed for rapnews?
2005 has been a mad year for me personally, but on a business level things finally seem to be coming together for me. Wolftown dropped some killer mixtapes like Late's 'Villainous One' which I did some beats for, 10Shott's 'Ghetto Brick Road' which I mixed and engineered, Conman's 'Life And Grime' which I have done beats for. 'UK Runnings' seems to be finally getting the respect it deserves too with Volume Three hitting hard. I got a job working with Park Street PR running the Hiphop side of things. I've also hosted and mixed the forthcoming mixtape by Reload entitled 'Uphill Struggle', plus I have started mixtapes by Wayney G, Jai Boo, Siz8 as well as doing more production for other UK and US artists.
What is Park Street PR and what's your involvement with that?
It's an excellent avenue for artists to get exposure in the UK music industry. We basically work all the UK media. All we need is copies of your release which we then mail out to all the UK's leading clubs, mixtape and radio hiphop DJ's, magazine editors, news editor's and reviewers at magazines and music-related papers, on-line magazines and key tastemakers. We then gather as much feedback as we can and give you a report at the end for you to checkout. We can promote all types of music CD's and DVD's and do different offers depending on what you want. This can build profile of any artist or label immensely, through press reviews/features and radio-play as well as internationally on the Internet. To have any chance of doing live shows in the UK or getting distribution over here for a release, you have to be known. The promotion of Park Street PR gets your music to the right people. No-one can guarantee success or that anyone will support, but we can guarantee that everyone in the UK media will get serviced and chased-up to try and get the best results, thus atleast giving you a chance of success.
What's been the biggest achievement by Park Street PR in helping a project blow up?
Helping the excellent new albums by 2Pac 'The Way He Would Have Wanted It' distribution in UK, working on 334 Mobb and them getting signed to Def Jam, working the Late 'Villainous One' mixtape and organising Late to do a mixtape hosted by Chamillionaire, signed to Universal Records. A few other acts I have worked have landed gigs and support on tours due to the press reviews, features, radio play and other work we have done.
What artists and projects are you currently working on and what can prospective listeners expect from them?
There's a bunch of stuff… within one year of being founded, Park Street PR has worked, or is about to work with some of the names. 2 Pac, Assassin, Geolani, Freeway, Montega, Deep, C-Note of the Botany Boys, Too Short, David Banner, Mellodrama, DJ Vlad, Cognito, Big Steele, Notorious B.I.G, K Rino, Trae, Devin The Dude, Young Buck from G Unit, Juvenille and every big UK name you can think of from Late, DJ Strong, Klashnekoff, Rodney P, P.A.C, Mister Jaes, Creamo, 10Shott and many more.
You seem to constantly be releasing mix CD's or pushing new artists. Is hip-hop your full time occupation?
Yeh. I work from 8am – 2am weekdays, then most Saturday daytimes I am in the studio and Sundays I chill! Wolftown, Park Street Pr, UK Runnings, Rago Magazine… That's me!
Some people view you and your associates as too 'thuggish'. What's your reaction to that?
I would say everyone is entitled to their opinion. I wouldn't say I was thuggish. We just been putting out records for six years now and don't like to waste time. As a label, we are very serious about good music and as well as developing the whole infastructure of the game here. I run everything very tight, and ain't got time for beef. As for the 'my associates' I can't speak for them.
When can we expect the next instalment of the 'UK Runnings' series?
Jan 2006. It's gonna be fully big. Hosted by 10Shott and sponsored by www.headstrong.co.uk.
How much time goes into a typical instalment of 'UK Runnings'?
Nuff! I would say it takes about 6 months to get tracks in and then all the remixes/exclusive tracks etc, then about 10 hours to do the mix once I got all the tracks!
How many do you estimate have been sold so far?
I give a lot away to be honest. I sell about 80 or 90 but give away from 600-700 and do mailouts in UK, Europe and US.
What other UK hip-hop mix CD's do you rate as positive projects?
Underground Exposure, Dark'n'Cold, HHB Radio, S4DK, DJ SMA.
Who do you rate as the top five UK rappers in the scene at the moment?
Creamo, TBear, Sway, Cease from Da Label, Klash.
And what's the heaviest UK hip-hop album of the past year?
Tough one. Micall Parkinson or Conspicuous. Then the Sway mixtapes. Dunno. Hard one!
How healthy is the UK scene in general in 2005, and what thing needs to change and improve the most?
Well it's spilt. The grime scene has taken media attention away from the 'real sounding' hip-hop vibe which is not a bad thing. I think UK Hip-Hop is a weird one. It's still got a long way to go. It needs more entrepreneurs and more people who can work a little better and a lot quicker. With the PR, I have learnt how much more serious US acts are. They take every opportunity. They do every interview I arrange, do every radio drop I ask them to do etc. The UK man do the same but it takes normally three to four times longer. I think the UK scene needs to develop more people working harder. Plus, there are a lot of people rappin' who shouldn't be and they need to fall back and do other things within the hip-hop industry. There's so much room for people to be making money by being a tour agent, a photographer or video man, or even starting a low keep distribution company. The list goes on and on! Guess everyone wants to be a superstar!
Do you have any shout out's or plugs to drop?
I'm just gonna keep it short! Shouts to my little girl Gabrielle. My newly formed inspiration for life, my fam Late, Jai, Juttla, Size8, 10Shott, Big Wayney, Lee Dizzle, Conman the donman, Ty the dawg, Hi Times, Reload, Staxx, and everyone at Wolftown. All my clients at Park Street PR, thanks for recognising the real. All the artists who send me shit and get involved in UK Runnings and anyone who has ever helped me or brought any of the music I have made. If you are making hip-hop, get in touch! Jump on AOL instant messenger and add 'Rago Magazine' to your buddy-list, or jump on MSN instant messenger and add firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively send Biog's, Pictures and MP3 to email@example.com. E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org now!