Our man on the scene – Aidan Severs caught up with the Dead Residents crew, comprising: Junior Disprol, Chud Jackson and Rob Skagg. As well as having a long history this Cardiff based crew have their new Triple Crown LP to promote.
AS: To begin with, for those who don’t know, who you are, what projects have you worked on, who’ve you worked with?
Junior Disprol: MC / Producer for Dead Residents, previously MC and founding member of Fleapit. Before that lone gun / MC for hire. I've recorded with and alongside loads of dope people such as Evil Ed, Beefeaters, Fat Club, Alkaline, Jihad, Jehst, Skeleton, Doyen D, Headcase, Aspects, Delegates of culture, Sir Beanz… loads more!
Chud Jackson: MC / Producer for Dead Residents, no previous convictions.
Rob Skagg AKA Stagga: DJ / Producer for Dead Residents, one half of Optimas Prime. Have recorded with and alongside Joe Blow, Evil Ed, Mantis, Fat Club, Blaktrix, Rufstylz, Metabeats, Undecorated Veteranz, B.D. Foxmoor and Low Bap from Athens, Vee Kay and loads of others I forgot to mention.
AS: You’re in the process of promoting and releasing your new album ‘Triple Crown’ and single ‘Scumbongo’. Can you describe those for us in your own words?
CJ: The album – it doesn't give a fuck! It's unapologetic hip hop in its purest form, this means it's stupid fresh and flavoursome. The single is fun, it's been getting bumped heavy on the radio, part twisted up tempo joint and part classic concept led no-brainer.
AS: Your new album sounds pretty much unlike anything that’s gone before. Could you describe your sound over all? Is there any one track that would best define your style?
JD: Our work ethic is not repeat ourselves, keep it moving. Concepts, reverences, patterns – with so many people making this music you've got to work hard. You don't want to come across as contrived so you write about what you know. If you haven't got a fresh perspective on a subject, if you have nothing new to say then why write a lyric about the street or weed, cos millions of people already done it. This is why we have songs like "The Tenth Annual World Interspecies Contest For Turf Dominance", or "House Song", a song about your house literally (I'm on about finding page three models under the carpet, putting bogeys on spider webs, hiding from Jehovahs). Ideas will always cross over cos once you thought of something – that thought is out there but if you don't consider what you're laying down, beats, BPM, spits, whatever – you run the risk of being samey and dull. No one track can define our style.
AS: Your music is pretty unique and niche. What, in your opinion, does it take to be quirky in Hip Hop?
JD: I don't see it as that, we aren't trying to be that. It's unique though cos we didn't bite anyone or jump on any bandwagon to do this.
CJ: I don't like quirky I like original, the craft of MCing, the art of song making, the up tempo joints, conscious lyrics, BBQ joints, it's multi faceted, you could play "Different Times" at my funeral, it's like fucking "My Way".
AS: Do you have all of the normal Hip Hop musical influences? Have any other Hip Hop artists or sub-genres inspired you whilst making the new album?
JD: Loads of hip hop has 'inspired' me. Without making a list we give a nod to, or sample them. All schools of hip hop.
AS: What’s the mentality behind your music? What do you do it for? What do you aim to achieve? Do you expect everyone to feel what you do?
JD: It's war! We have no choice. With all the shit you deal with on a day to day basis, scumbags, taxes, your boss, cost of living, drama bitches etc all that crap fucks with your head and this is the valve.
CJ: Exactly, it's a kick back, it's venting, it's life affirming, and the man can't legislate for that.
RS: A healthy alternative to the unhealthy alternative.
AS: Dare I ask… where do the ideas for tracks come from?
JD: Cyphers, conversations, shit that happens.
AS: Not too bad then. Where are you from? Can you tell us a bit more about the Hip Hop scene there? Are you involved?
RS: We're from Cardiff City, South Wales. South Wales is safe for hip hop as far as quality; the live scene has seen better days though. Heavy graf and B-Boy scene, loads of strong producers, Djs and MCs but it would be good to see more regular nights. It was cool a few years ago mind…
AS: What about the Hip Hop scene in general, UK or worldwide – where do you think it’s headed? Are things good / bad? What are your current philosophical thoughts on the current trends in rap music?
JD: It's never either this or that. We are all spoilt now cos it's easy to find all that stuff you missed or only ever heard about, you just have to wade through more crap to get to it. I think globally society is fucked through the machinations of governments, corporations, manufactured apathy, ignorance and dissatisfaction and that’s going to come across in the music. Look at the trends in popular culture and you'll see where we're at.
AS: I just checked out your myspace and saw a message from Kid Acne mentioning about a collabo. Who else in all the wide world would you like to collaborate with?
CJ: Mix Master Spade, Kraftwerk, Brian Cant and Bushwick Bill.
JD: There are loads – Godfather Don, Motion Man, Bionic, Hardnoise…
AS: And how do you envisage that / those collabo coming off? What would you rap about?!
CJ: Filthy nursery rhymes, proper play school style.
AS: Finish off with three words that describe your current frame of mind… and add anything extra you want to say!
JD: Focused, so focused it comes at the expense of words two and three.
RS: Have you bucket.
CJ: Pyro, megalo, klepto
Fuck what you heard.
By: Aidan Severs