B-One is an MC originally from Ukraine who has located his base in Brixton. He's influenced by Coolio and has been working with Stylah putting together his debut LP. Danielle managed to catch up with him so read on to find out more about B-One.
Who is B-One?
B-One: Original lyrical G… Mr Hardspitter… innit? Da name is coming from my high school nickname 'Bone' but yes, B-One means that I am the one and only, I be who I am and always gonna be… I’m number one in what I’m doing… independent and ambitious… that’s what's making my character and personality.
You are not originally from the UK are you? Can you give our readers an introduction to where you are from?
B-One: Well I was born in USSR (modern Ukraine territory), but I been travelling a lot with ma family when I was a kid. We be living in Kharkiv (Ukraine), Crimean coast of the Black Sea (Ukraine) and Riga (capital of Latvia)… so dats the places where I’m originally coming from, where I grew up… I moved to the UK on my own when I left my house… Came to a completely different country at the age of 15 or 16… When I came here I didn’t know absolutely nobody… new country… hundred different cultures… hundred languages… that was a new beginning… start of a new life… so m not original Brixton but I’ve lived here since 05… and yes… that’s the best place I ever been to… and I really feel it as my home town… my life is here… in Brixton… I am Brixton.
How would you define your style? I mean although you are UK based you seem to have an American vibe about your music.
B-One: I’m rap music… rap is rhyming American poetry… so I’m trying to keep it original, but new school… First reason is that American artists were always those who I was inspired by… I was always listening to American hip-hop, not British… plus I don’t really like British type of rap, hip-hop, grime or whatever they call it… most of them artists just sound silly… You can’t compare them to American artists… because in America most of those rappers are talented and they really are professional in what they are doing… You can see the difference between real artist 'heavyweight' and a fake one when you see him / her live on a stage… Once Coolio said 'what is a DJ if you can’t scratch? What is a MC if you can’t rap?'… You can see everybody rapping now or trying to rap… not only those who can get a microphone at a silly home based sound recording studio, but EVERYONE WHO GOT MOUTH and CAN 'TALK' or produce sounds… lol… I’m not a hater… that’s exactly what it is these days… lol… if you look ten years back it wasn’t like that… You really had to be talented to get yourself on a TV screen as an MC… The other reason is that American hip-hop is music that people buy all around the world… Those rappers are famous worldwide… if ya know what I mean… lol.
If you were not doing music what other profession would you be pursuing?
B-One: I’d b a boxer… like Danny Williams… 'Brixton Bomber'… I’d still give a lot of respect to the area I’m from… One luv to Brixton.
Where do you see yourself being in five years time?
B-One: I want to be a worldwide known MC… The most important is to stay real… so I don’t plan to be the best selling artist or to be on top of the world with millions of pounds on my bank account… I want to be known worldwide, not local… and be a respected MC everywhere… I’m not doing it for money… I’m doing it for hip-hop… for people surrounding me… I want to represent Brixton, London… so that everyone hearing Brixton or London would say 'Brixton?… that’s where B-One is from innit?'… lol… I want to perform in front of thousands of people… travel around the world, touring and enjoy my life… and when I’m back home to Brixton I want to get the same love and respect from my hood like I’m getting every time I’m coming back now… I do it for my people and I really want them to be proud of me if I ever get on top… and proud where they are from.
Do you have any plans to release an album?
B-One: Well I’m working on my debut album 'Da Knock Out King' in Lion's Den recording studio in Brixton… Actually I’m about to finish it now… its been like two years since I’m working on it and its a really hard work and lots of money… great production from a number of talented US beat makers… and of course you know you can’t make a record for free… I plan to release it on iTunes autumn ‘10 to get attention of record labels and buzz around me… plus I got fans who really love my music and simply can’t wait to buy it soon as the album is out… I want to make them happy as I know they been waiting for too long since my first records… I do my music for them… for hip-hop and for real fans of good music.
Who have you taken inspiration from when it comes to your music and life?
B-One: When I started to rap I was inspired by la based rapper Coolio… I decided to be a rapper after seeing him live on stage… and yes he was the first artist I was listening to in hip-hop… but in my life I’m trying to be myself… to be who I am… I really enjoy being myself because I’m feeling free and independent… and the character I am creating through all these years is my inspiration.
Which artist out there today would you most compare yourself to and why?
B-One: I don’t compare myself to anyone… I am the one and only… that’s why they call me B-One innit?… lol.
What’s the urban scene like in Brixton right now?
B-One: Brixton is UK's heart of music… clubs, music pubs, live shows everywhere… at the weekend I see a lot of people from all over the UK coming here to spend good time… lots of artists performing here… different genres… from reggae to hip-hop, grime, funk pop and even rock… from the virgins on a stage to superstars like Prodigy… but I like to go to any live shows going on over here no matter what is the style or genre… I feel Brixton as my home so I want to know what’s going on at home innit… lol… its fun.
Who would you most like to collaborate with on a track and why?
B-One: Definitely its Roots Manuva… he is like old school daddy of UK hip-hop… I guess it’s very nice to work with an experienced artist like him to get something new from an old G innit?… plus he is from Stockwell I'm from Brixton… it would be a perfect collabo.
Do you only rap or do you produce too?
B-One: Nah I don’t produce… I rap, perform but producing is not something I am hungry for… I tried myself in the film scene… sometimes am working as an extra… I love it as well… I find it very interesting and I really hope to get a serious role one day… I feel like music and movies is something I was born for… but I can’t say anything like that when it comes to producing tracks or making beats.
B-One: Yeah shout out to my boy Stylah from Lion's Den recording studio… he helps me a lot in recording the album… he is the realest original hip-hop fan… so we are trying to keep it original rap album… there is a couple of his beats I was using in 'Da Knock Out King' so he is a really talented beat maker… shout out to Iron First Production and Underground Promotion UK. Major love to all the UK rappers, producers etc. on the come up! First love is UK!
By: Danielle Fear
For British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.