We asked one of the most interesting artists we've ever featured on Rapnews, tons of questions about his past releases and forthcoming album. Check out the very entertaining answers.
Please introduce yourself.
I go by the name of Kashmere a.k.a The Iguana a.k.a Iguanaseven a.k.a Indiana Bones etc.
Who are some of the first artists that got you hooked on hiphop?
The first? It would have to be Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Leaders Of The New School! Then people like the Wu Tang Clan and Rumpletilskinz. That whole early nineties scene. All the heads that were actually there would know what I'm talkin' about. I tell you, there's many more but those were the main cats.
How'd you describe your style of rapping and your music?
Rappin style, I'd describe as charismaticaly ill! Creative. Sometimes I get technical, sometimes I like to just chill out. Beats wise, I'd describe it as the ethic of the early nineties, brought up to date 'cause there is no point in staying there. It's against the rules! Saying that though, I like so much different hiphop that I couldn't just say it's this or it's that. Ya feel me? You'll hear me on different things in the future.
What have you released and what are you most proud of?
Solo wise, it started off with 'Raw Styles' 1 and 2 (Receptor), 'Fugs R Us!' with Taskforce (Lowlife), 'Technical Illness' (Lowlife) as well as stuff on Breakin' Bread Records i.e. 'Iguana Verses', 'Ghost Stories' EP by Ghost and 'Beats In Progress'. I was also on the Foreign Beggar's first album. I'd say I'm most proud of 'Raw Styles' 2 and the single I've got out now called 'Playing With Fire' which has Jehst on the B-side. It's hard for me to say 'cause for a lot of the stuff I've put out in the past, I was still learning, but now I'm ready to murk! The album is on some next shit.
How did you link with Lowlife Records?
I linked with Braintax when I was sellin' angel dust in the Vatican. He was a proper fiend! Haha! Nah, I went to him to press up 'Raw Styles' 1 and he was feelin' it. He'd already heard of me from the joint I did with Taskforce so it was all jiggy!
Who came up with the double EP idea and how did people take to it?
It was Braintax's idea. He did it so we could shot it as an album 'cause 12's aint doin' so well these days. I think it affected people in the sense that they were confused! Was it an album, a double EP? But aside from that, it was cool. It definately opened doors for me and Verbs. The whole thing was Braintax's idea which was good for us, but now we're gonna take it over and do it totally different. We're gonna do another one as a group this time. It's gonna be ten times better! With production from Ghosttown from Leeds, DJ IQ, LG, Alhamara, myself and Verbs. Motherfuckers ain't ready!
What current projects have you got in the works?
Well at the moment, in between takin' hits from the crack pipe, I'm starting on this album with Verbs. Aside from that, I'm about to do a joint with Chester P which will be ill. I'm about to do something for the Ramson Badbones album with Harry Love and some other shit I aint gonna say too much about 'til they're done! I've got a joint with Lucifer Morning Star. It's hot as hell!
Tell us what we can expect from the LP in terms of producers, guest appearances and some track topics?
The album is called 'In The Hour Of Chaos'. Expect the illness! Expect Kashmere as you've never heard him before. It's dark but it's got a good energy about it too so it's not moody. Think Jeru with a splash of John Constantine. Actually, I'll leave it to you guys to decide, but one thing's for sure, it's not to be fucked with! It's gonna drop in September so be prepared as 'The Hour Of Chaos' will soon be upon us!
I've got production from Jehst, LG, DJ IQ, Chemo, Almahara and Beatbutcher. Guests? I've got Jehst, Verb T, Severe, Dramacide, Damian Thorn, The Ghost Busters, Gozer The Gozerian, plus I've got a secrect guest appearance from Richard Trusay, the gangster. Bang. As for topics, try dark magic, duality, paganism, witchcraft, chicks, weed. All the good shit! Sayin' that though, I've quit blazin' weed. That shit whacks up your brain.
Am I right that it's getting released via Receptor Records, and how did you hook up with that label?
The guys at Receptor are a bunch of sad crackheads who I thought I'd give a break to. I used to see them on road askin' people for 20p saying they were tryin to raise money to get back to Nottingham or wherever the fuck they said they were from. Obviously they were just bullshitting to raise money to feed their habit. I thought 'wow, these cats got game, they can work for me!'
Nah, Receptor is basically me and three other friends. We really just started the label to put out 'Raw Styles' 1 but we just kept goin' and now we are about to embark on the epic journey that is putting out an album! We're confident though. We got some other artists on our label. Two groups actually. One's called Combined Mentalz who we recently put out an EP for and The Ministry (Severe, Dramacide and Reach) who you'll be hearing on my album out in september! Oh, and shout out to Boombox, our
What are some of your biggest influences, be it a record , book or film?
A book called 'Be Gone Satan', all the Hellblazer comics, all the Lucifer comics, 'Sandman: Season Of Mists written by Neil Gaiman and Mike Carey respectivley, Demonology. The Gravediggaz were and still are a big influence. The Rza is a God. The Omen flicks, The Exorsist flicks. All that good shit!
What process do you go through to create a track? Do you wait for beats or sit with pad and pen all the time?
Basically, I eat a foetus and spit it into a glass, then I mix it with chocolate milkshake and drink it back up again, then regurgitate the mixure onto a cracker and serve it to a small child. Nah! I always have to get the beat first because the beat is what inspires me to write, even down to the topic. I don't have a list of topics to write about. It all depends on what the beat is telling me. Fuck carrying round a pen and a pad all the time. It would get in the way when I'm trying to have sex or worship the pazuzu.
What's your main goal in terms of what you want to achieve through music?
Not sure yet about a main goal but a goal I'd like to achieve would be to achieve healthy sales figures without the help of radio or TV 'cause all that shit is corrupt and they simply don't allow artists like me to come through 'cause I don't fit into their profile. They want pop and a lot of artists from over here scrambling to get that pop fame. I obviously aint stoppin' them but the shit seems unnatural to me. If I could achieve that, then I can just laugh at these fuckin' program directors snorting cocaine.
Who do you rate as some of the best rappers and producers at the moment, from the UK or overseas?
Jehst, Blind Alphabets, Ghosttown, Ghost, Beatbutcher, LG, DJ IQ, Asaviour, Red, Verb T, Humurak, Micall Parknsun, Kyza, Dubbledge, Foriegn Beggars, Harry Love, Combined Mentalz, The Ministry, Jack Da Union, Boya & SAS Killa, Slk, Stutta, Wong, Sir Smurf. Overseas? Premo forever!, Daybre, MF Doom!, Papoose, The Rza, RNS, Madlib ofcourse. There's more but I think y'all get the picture.
How do you feel about the current state of our hiphop scene? What's the best and worst aspects?
Best aspects are people doing their thing. The worst aspect is artist comming out and saying UK hiphop is wack. If they hate it so much, why don't they quit! there will always be good artists and bad artists. It's like that all over the world. Heads just need to get on with what they're doin'. Another bad aspect is the press constantly dissin'. Do you know, most of those cats don't even listen to the shit before they diss it? Madness. I'm goin' to put a voodoo curse on all of them! They'll be coughin' up spiders and leeches for 10 years.
How did you and Ghost end up in The Bill, and what did you make of their portrayal of a hiphop jam?
Ha! One cat at Boombox knew someone workin' on The Bill's production team and they needed a rapper and a DJ so he recommened us and that's it! Simple as that. It could have been anyone. The fucked up thing was that they used the practice takes for the show so I was there lookin' bored, but hey, we got paid! As for the episode's portrayal of a hiphop jam… Come on man.
Would you agree that acting and rapping are similar, and would you fancy persuing more roles?
Well with acting you have to start at some god forsaken time in the morning and on top of that, there is a lot of waiting around but it's cool 'cause there's chicks there and the staff treat you well. But at the same time it's all art, so depending on how you look at it, it can be looked on as the same. For some people, acting is natural. Not for me though, but I'd like the chance to explore that and get good at it. It definiately ups your lying game!
Have you got any shout out's or messages for the Rapnews audience?
Yeah man. Shout to all the heads out there supportin' that ill shit. Make sure you go and get the 'In The Hour Of Chaos' album by Kashmere. To hear joints off it, go to Myspace.com/Kashmereiguana. Peace to the gods and the earths. You all know who you are. And to the kids, keep smokin' the crack. It's good. Ask Craig Charles. Bless.