We caught words with the man behind the dope new album 'The Working Class Dad' about the tracks, his background, the future and tons more.
First up, about your name. Are you a big fan of the chat show host?
Yes, I'd rather be a fan of a chat show host than a fan of a cocaine gangster like Tony Montana.
How would you describe your style of rapping and your general lyrical content?
My content is a mixture of honesty, family values and canabis. My style; I don't sound like no one. I sound like me, but if I do sound like anyone on the album, I'm just taking the piss.
What first motivated you to make music and what are some albums that have influenced you most?
The first thing that motivated me to make music was when hip-hop became derogatory, when you had to be shot to sell a record. Boy, there's too many albums that have influenced me. I can only say one that's influenced me the most and that's 'Illmatic'.
What material have you released aside from your new LP and how does this compare to the more recent material?
'Tha Shit/Da Struggle' featuring Jehst, my first single as Micall Parknsun. But I was in a group called 2 Halves. We didn't realise anything but one tune called 'Freedom Fighters'. Got a lot of air play, which had Klashnekoff, Kyza, Jehst. And I produced the beat. Well, I think my new material's better, 'cause I'm getting better with every new tune I do.
How much time went into recording the album and what can listeners expect of it?
I'd say ideally it took about six months to record it. They can expect a progression of a man on the brink of insanity (haha).
What's your assessment of the album's reception from the scene so far?
I'm amazed at how many people who have heard of it and I'm amazed at the amount of people who don't listen to hip-hop and like it.
How did you hook up with the guest artists Dubbledge, Wordsmith, Skriblah & Kyza and Jehst?
I met Dubbledge at a show I was doing with Wordsmith. I think it was in Bedford or something. Yeah it was a Wordsmith, Genesis Elijah and Klashnekoff gig. Klashnekoff was heading the gig. I met Wordsmith through a mutual friend at work. I was still in 2 Halves when we met and still working for Royal Mail. It was 2003. I met Kyza in Queensway before both of us were spitting professionally. We became friends and I formed a group call NWC and I put him in it and the first song we done was 'Cor Blimey'. Through Kyza I met Jehst, Skriblah and Harry Love.
The album track 'Hidden Heavenz' features Diablo. Will he be bringing out solo stuff?
He's almost finished his album. I got to do a feature on it, but that's all I'm gonna disclose on it. It's gonna be a heavy album 'cause he's part of Terra Firma and they don't pet.
You handle a few of your album's beats yourself. Is production something you'd like to concentrate more on?
No, 'cause I've been concentrating on production from when I first got into this. Production is not an issue for me now. I wanna concentrate on my lyrical content.
LG provides most of your LP's music. Why did you choose to go with him and what does he bring to the table?
'Cause I see him as one of the best producers in the country and we make nice music together, and if you make nice music with someone then I think that you shouldn't seize it. Not only does he make beats, he mixes, engineers and scratches, and he's my DJ. He does a lot. I think LG brings the table let alone what he brings to it.
How did you hook up with both Lowlife and Sit Tight Records, and how comes it's a joint label release?
I hooked up with Sit Tight records first, through the work I did with Skriblah, plus I know DJ LG who is co-owner of Sit Tight records. We then, after the Skriblah 12", put out my 12" which was 'Tha Shit/Da Struggle', and after my 12" got a lot of good press I was asked why don't I do an album by Jesht, LG and DJ Lopez. DJ LG and Jehst purchased a studio which they called Arkum Asylum, where we started recording my album. Once I started recording, I done a number of tunes, which was over the number obviously that is on the album. One of the songs Jehst produced and Jehst went to Low Life and he played it to Joe (Braintax) and Joe really loved it.
Then we thought it would be better if Joe wanted to put out my material, because he has the facility to manufacture records. We thought it'd be a good idea to do a press and distribution deal with him. Before you know it, Joe phoned me up and asked for a meeting 'cause he wanted to hear my material. I attended the meeting with Jehst and DJ Lopez and played the demo of my album and Joe loved it. He wanted to put it out on Low Life, but because Sit Tight had monetarily manufactured my album, we thought let's do a P and D instead, which he was up for.
What benefits did the relationship with such an established label like Lowlife contribute to the project?
It contributed a lot. If it won't for Low Life, my album, you won't be able to download it on itunes, and it wouldn't have the great distribution that it does.
Who designed your album artwork? The photography's really smart.
DJ LG's sister, Sarah.
Your LP is really consistent and it's blatently gone through strict quality conrol. How many tracks did you lay down and what's happening with the scraps?
Some of the scraps are going on a mix tape. The tune that Jesht produced for me is going on 'Underworld Epics' which should be out in February. My mix tape is almost finished. It consists of tunes. Not me rapping over American beats.
Are you going to be touring the LP and what can we expect from a typical Micall Parknsun live set?
Yeah as soon as I get more dates. You can expect not one but two working class Dads (me and Dubbledge) and you can expect some new stuff.
You've been seen on stage a couple of times now with Dubbledge. Is this a perminant live partnership?
You could say that if you want.
What forthcoming projects have you got in the works and what can you tell us about them?
I don't want to disclose too much, but I'm working on the second album. I'm not going to disclose who it's coming out by but you can expect to hear it at the end of this year (hopefully).
On 1xtra last week you seemed confident that big things were on the horizon for UK hip-hop. Can you expand on that?
I think finally now as artists, we can make money, and the reason why I say big things is because despite Mobo discrepancies we're still selling quite a lot. We're selling more than we were 3 years ago. I just think everything is gonna change now as far as UK hip-hop is concerned. 5 years ago you couldn't see people saying 'I'm going abroad to rap'. The fact that people abroad are showing interest in our music shows that our music can make money, and that we don't need America just to be heard.
How much of an advantage to developing your career has being based in London been?
I don't think it's been any kind of advantage. The only advantage I've had is having my wife and son. It doesn't matter where you are. Spain or Amsterdam, it's not an issue. Only the English people make it an issue.
How does fatherfood alter your approach to the music as opposed to previously when you wern't a Dad?
I think it approaches a lot to my music. If I weren't a Dad I don't think I'd be rapping what I'm rapping about now, so I think it makes a major difference.
From a parental perspective, what's your take on the more agression and profanity based lyrics of hiphop?
I think it's sad man. I think it's sad that to be heard as an artist we have to be killers, drug dealers, on crack. We can't just be rappers. I think it's sad that we can't just be rappers. We have to be a rapper/drug dealer or a man from road. I just think it's sad.
Do you agree that more rappers who are Fathers should take more responsibility in setting an example of that to their audiences?
I'd say yeah. If you were a dad, there would have to be a line where you draw morals. At the end of the day, how can you play them your music, if you play profanity to your public and not your child. I disagree with artist who try and separate their lives. A lot of kids now days don't know the difference between fiction and reality and these rappers now days need to understand that they are the new role models of today.
Would you like to make any shout out's or promotional plugs to end this on?
Just like to big up my wife and son, DJ LG and Mr Braintax. Go and pick up the album and watch out for the mix tape.
'The Working Class Dad' is out now on Low Life Records