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Interview: Ghetts (HTF Exclusive)

HTF caught up with grime legend Ghetts to discuss new music, his position in grime and why he doesn’t like other mc’s

Ghetts-InterviewIf you know Grime, you know Ghetts. His name is synonymous with all aspects of the scene. From the rapid tempos, to the uniquely British take on urban life, to the lack of mainstream appeal through intensively violent lyrics. Well that was Ghetts, and now although he “doesn’t seek mainstream” he’s not the same rapper who once said “I’ll stab your wife and the baby inside”, Hit The Floor catch up with Ghetts to discuss the mainstream, new music and why he doesn’t like mc’s

Hit The Floor: Yo Ghetts thanks for spending some time with HTF, first off how are you?

Ghetts: I’m good thanks.

HTF: In a recent interview you mentioned that although you like “Freedom Of Speech”, you felt it lacked substance. What would you say of your current output most represents Ghetts?

G: My new album is my whole journey documented up until this point.  So it’s full of substance!

HTF: Public perception puts your lack of mainstream success to your image and material. But both of these things are what made your star in the grime scene. Do you feel the need to change to stay relevant?

G: Reinvention is a talent in itself. I think if someone’s able to reinvent themselves to have longevity then surely that’s a plus?

HTF: How far are you willing to go for mainstream success? Do you have an “Oopsy Daisy” in you? Is it even something you seek?

G: I don’t even seek mainstream. You know what i seek? I want the masses to hear my music, and for some reason, that comes under a mainstream tag. There are millions of people in the world and I want the whole world to appreciate my music the way I do. So it’s not about changing the music it’s about reaching more people.

HTF: Grime artists struggle to achieve success and also maintain their core sound. Have you learnt any lessons that will help you with your albums release?

G: Yeah, I feel I’ve never just done grime.. I’ve was from The Movement – it was tempo specialising, our first mix tape was called “Tempo Specialists“. Because when we met, even though we were in the grime scene we had one thing in common which was that we like the fusion of all different kinds of music.  My voice is an instrument… I am grime so I use other elements to fuse with me and make my music.

HTF: Do you still think it’s necessary for artists to hunt for a record deal now? Or is an independent route a better idea?

G: Definitely not – independent is a better route if you want to have 100% creative control over your music.

HTF: Does being a father make you question some of the content in your music, or do you try and keep the two separate?

G: It makes me question the content definitely. If i’m speaking about something I always try and speak about it in hindsight. That’s why people say “Ghetts is soft now”. No ones music will ever be the same now as when they were active, on the streets. if someone comes from the streets and their life changes in some way to remove them from it, their music will never be as authentic in that way as it had been. If thats what you like thats the best time to listen to them – they won’t give a shit!

HTF: You also mentioned not liking mc’s. Is this a reference to the antagonistic nature of the scene, run in with particular artists or does this speak to the lack of respect you feel you receive?

G: I just don’t like MCs outside of my circle. I feel they’re not genuine people. When I’m around them everyone’s always acting. There are obviously MCs I respect though.

HTF: Does being a top 3 grime artist matter to you as much as it used to?

G: Yeah it’s always gonna matter – that’s what drives me. the minute you lose that, that’s when you stop making good music.

HTF: Do you still fly the flag for grime, or do you feel you’re more uk hip-hop now?

G: I was one of the first grime artists in england to be able to spit to rap.. me and kano. the majority of “2000 And Life” was rap basically. But now I’m flying the flag for grime.

HTF: Will “The Justification Of J. Clarke” incorporate any of your previous releases?

G: No

HTF: When can we look for the album?

G: Next year – early 2014.

Ghetts‘ new single “Party Animal” Featuring Kano will be out October 20th, with his highly anticipated debut album “Rebel With A Cause” later in the year. His new single “The Cypher” Featuring Ghetto & J.Clarke (where he battles himself) is out now.

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