Big Cakes takes no prisoners. The no nonsense rapper from Deptford doesn’t mince words and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. His music is food for thought: he combines reflective life observations with gritty story telling. His clever word play and sharp sense of humour all suggest that Big Cakes is one to watch for the future. His latest album S.K.I.M has been receiving rave reviews and it’s easy to see why.
Big Cakes tells the truth- whether you wonna hear it or not and set against top notch production from the likes of The Elementz, Nutty P and DJ Tactick- it’s a Hip Hop classic in the making. On top of all of this- he just may be one of the safest cats in this game. Britishiphip.co.uk catches up with him to talk realness.
BHH: You have an album out at the moment; it has received great reviews. What defines success for you? Is it how much you sell or the critical acclaim?
Big Cakes: It’s a bit of both really. Obviously if I sell loads of units that helps but it’s more dynamic than that for me. Some people just wonna go platinum and get lots of money and some people wonna break into different markets. I want people to really listen to what I’m saying. You know how people respect Bob Marley? I wonna make music people respect, that will be successful for me. If I can sell enough units for people and their children to hear that will be success for me.
BHH: Everyone speaks highly of you as a lyricist and as a person. Is it important to you that you stay true to yourself i.e. your beliefs and your principles-in this industry?
Big Cakes: Yeah it’s very important to stay true to what you believe in and your views. It is important to stay true to yourself or you gonna have a problematic life anyway. With the music, it’s also important to know yourself and not limit yourself. I don’t want people to put me in a box right now. I think it is important to justify everything- if you can’t justify why you did this, than you’ve got a problem still. If I can say ‘I wore a pant on my head’ (laughs) and people will be like ‘why did you wear a pant on your head?’ and I can say I wore a pant on my head so people can see that wearing pants on your head is stupid than you might see where I’m coming from.
BHH: So you’ve worked quite closely with a lot of brilliant producers including The Elementz, who are blazing a trail in UK Hip Hop at the moment. Creatively speaking, why do you think you work well together? The track you did together (Never Had Time) just seemed so natural…
Big Cakes: With The Elementz it’s one of them ones. Where they’re so far; Elementz are based in Nottingham it was crazy but I like productive people who work well. Elementz are good because they are on it. When we made Never Had Time they sent the beat .If I said ‘ah there’s a problem with the beat or can you send me this’- they are on it, so we work good together. At the moment because there isn’t much money motivation in the industry you can have other people who have beats Puffy would use but because there is not a lot of money involved they’re not as on it- if you see what I’m saying. It’s the love. They really love the music. I have a skit on my album which we did by accident. If you listen to the album it’s called The Food Skit. It happened completely by accident, it was just a joke, we were in the studio and I didn’t even know it was recorded, but when they sent the tune down it was like wow. They really love the music.
BHH: Your lyrics can be very real and honest and sometimes a little harsh depending on your outlook on life. Are you worried about how people will respond to your lyrics and is it important that you remain uncensored?
Big Cakes: Right now you know what we are living in- in London. You say certain things and you get stepped on and you will actually feel this invisible force crushing your career (laughs). We are getting more and more censored everyday but for me it is very important to be real. Anyone who knows me- knows I’m the kind of person who you can’t say ‘that’s not blue’ when it is- and get away with it. I’m gonna start have a discussion with you, I want a justification for everything you’ve said. When I talk about society and a lot of things in this society are fucked up obviously, it’s important to be honest. I’m not gonna be here forever; I want people- the next generation to look at the music and be like ‘ok, was that what was going on then’ unlike some artists who are out there right now talking about trivial… well- shit.
BHH: How would you describe your album to anyone who hasn’t copped it?
Big Cakes: I would class my album as easy listening, if your not really too fussed about a couple of swear words and a few opinions you may not agree with. Its more a take on the industry right now from our point of view rather than me trying to imitate something that is already out there but you’d have to form your own opinion. I call it easy listening because my mixtapes have got the real opinions on them but I think it’s educational.
BHH: Do you think the UK media outlets support UK Hip Hop?
Big Cakes: Yeah they do, the radio does but then you have the secret agendas. Some people have an agenda for UK Hip hop- or what they think UK Hip Hop should be or sound like. You’ve got the Phoebe Ones out there, who showed me mad love just because she’s feeling the music, 1Xtra shows a lot of UK artists a lot of love but there are bare forces at play in this game.
BHH: So what’s next for Big Cakes?
Big Cakes: I’m always recording tracks for the next album. I’ve got a mixtape coming out soon; I might not really sell it. It’s called Real Talk I just want people to listen to it, so there’s no real excuse for people not to hear it.
S.K.I.M is available now on Stuff Music.
By: Michelle Adabra