Guilty Simpson is one of the most creative MCs of his generation with lyrics that range from the street inspired tales to side-splitting humor. He is a rock of the Detroit Hip-Hop scene that has collaborated with everyone from Eminem, D12, Slum Village, Black Milk and of course J-Dilla. A massive presence on stage both physically and musically read on to find out what he had to say to Max Weldon.
Despite its rich musical heritage, Detroit has played second fiddle to more traditional Hip Hop strong holds until recently. Is it satisfying to be riding this wave of enthusiasm for Detroit Hip Hop?
Guilty Simpson: Yes it is. I always felt our talent was up to par with other cities that had that stage to showcase talent. Now it’s time to elevate the game as a whole.
The differences between traditional boom bap sounds and Detroit production styles are quite obvious. Would you say there was a ‘Detroit style’ of emceeing?
Guilty Simpson: I’d say aggressive. Whether it’s a grimy song or a concept, I hear hunger and aggression. We have chips on our shoulder from being underdogs. The hunger is always present in the music.
What’s the Guilty Simpson writing process?
Guilty Simpson: Great smoke (weed), Newport cigs and Hennessy… it usually consists of me pacing a room with the track playing for some reason I think better on my feet, moving and pacing, it changes though I don’t have one process.
Were you pleased with the response to Ode to the Ghetto?
Guilty Simpson: Very much so, it reached the people it needed to reach and I wanted my first impression to be an expression of tribute to where I’m from I think it did well, it exceeded what my label wanted to accomplish, so I’m happy.
‘Stress’ is fresh – what’s happening with all the other material you recorded with Dilla?
Guilty Simpson: A lot has been releases in seperate pieces (Mans World, Stress, Make it Fast, Take Notice, Baby I Must Love You, Clap Ya Hands and I have a few more tracks that have yet to be found) so unless the other tracks are found, I’m at the end of the Dilla tracks.
What’s happening with your crew Almighty Dreadnaughtz?
Guilty Simpson: Nothing at the moment, just watching the game pass them by. Props to the homie "Supa MC" for keepin the music alive. I’m waiting on someone from our crew besides him to step up and prove they’re deserving of the blessing that this music is.
When touring, where have you had the livest crowds and best responses?
Guilty Simpson: Los Angeles, Paris, London, Oslo, Chicago, Zurich and Amsterdam.
Which country has the best groupies?
Guilty Simpson: I plead the fifth! lol!
Which emcees are you feeling right now?
Guilty Simpson: Royce, Nipsey Hustle, Elzhi, Sean P, not many though. I don’t pay attention to rappers. That means I’m not focusing on me.
Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
Guilty Simpson: Strictly musical: Kool G Rap, from a guidance standpoint, Mr Porter and Dilla.
Are you familiar with any UK Hip Hop artists? Would you be open for collaboration if the beats were good enough?
Guilty Simpson: Foreign Beggars and Dizzie Rascal, there’s a few more I’ve heard, I’m always down to collab if it makes sense… note that the BUSINESS has to make sense too, you must invest in your craft and I do.
What did you think about the Eminem / Bruno MTV stunt? Would Guilty Simpson ever drop something like that for publicity?
Guilty Simpson: I’m still amazed by it. No I’d never allow a man to put his genitals in my face, NEVER! To each his own.
By: Max Weldon
Guilty Simpson will be performing at The Doctor's Orders 4th Birthday Spectacular on Friday 3rd July 2009 at Herbal 10-14 Kingsland Rd, London E1. On the night there will also be live sets from Phat Kat and Big Tone as well as DJing from DJ Vadim, Spin Doctor, Paul White and DJ Khalaas. Tickets are £7 in advance or £10 on the door. Advance tickets available from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.