Hailing from South London, Rup’s music is somewhat of a contradiction. Lying somewhere between the south side of the river, and the true wilderness, his metaphors and similes manage to blend the day-to-day routines in SE5 with a refreshing zest for life outside of our capital.
While he is content to drop the staple hip-hop braggadocio – he is equally at home being self-effacing and examining his regular tendency for over-excess, all of which instils his music with an undeniable and appealing honesty.
Rup’s past is somewhat of a mystery. What we do know is that he turned in a top-drawer performance on the TM Juke album ‘Maps From The Wilderness’, appeared on a clutch of 7”s on the 27 Beats label, and released the killer solo ‘King Cnut’ EP (which not garnered support on Rodney P & Skitz’s 1xtra show but also turned heads in the beats / funk / nu-soul scene too – getting picked up by Giles P, Jazzie B & Mr Scruff). And therein lies the attraction of Rup. The all too canny ability to appeal to forward thinking non-specific hip-hop music fans while maintaining a solid fan-base in the UK Hip-Hop community.
Tracklist: A1. Rollin’ A2. King Cnut Remix ft. Dr Syntax & Koaste A3. Step B1. Do You Know B2. King Cnut Remix instrumental B3. Step instrumental
The EP features 4 super-nice tracks from the forthcoming ‘Rup On Zebra’ album (dropping in early 2007). The opening track Rollin’ is a high-octane skewed club-banger, which has been getting crazy amounts of interest whenever it’s played in a disco (just ask Robert Luis). The production is formed of a great funk sample which is largely a slappy bass and a few Hammond notes. Very nice. Rup steps a line towards the darkside, but also incorporates an element of humour as in his relatively high pitched voice he reps for his area with a BDP remincent chant of ‘South Bank’ whist the South Bronx stab is cut up behind it along with a KRS One vocal.
The King Cnut Remix is a reworking of the massive King Cnut original and features man of the moment Dr Syntax, plus Koaste and DJ Manipulate. This is slower paced, but is still a heavy offering. Much more on the braggodocio tip, all the MCs come on strong, it is refreshing to hear Koaste once again take over verse two with strength, but in the second half of the third verse Synatx just destroys it. The track ends off with some impressive cutting up of DJ Cheese snippets by DJ Manipulate.
The remaining track on side A is a full on wall of sound that makes my speakers go a bit funny. I think so many frequencies are boosted / effected that it is hard for my equipment to deal with it. Step is the introspective track in which Rup explores the steps he has taken in life and how he has acheived what he has.
The B Side starts off with Do You Know, a down beat and down tempo track that contuinues to really showcase Rup’s ability to change down a gear and deliver a slightly more introverted style, while all the time maintaining his high standard or wordplay. Full of metaphors, this one is a bit hard to follow on a normal level, but allowing for an abstract element this can be seen as quite deep.
The 12" rounds off with two instrumentals and altogether feels like a quality release where all the tracks are pretty strong and appeal. Look out for the ‘Rup on Zebra’ album dropping early 2007 and further appearances on the forthcoming Dirty Diggers album; ‘The Pleasure Is All Mine’, the Skillmega album, the TM Juke 12” remix of ‘Skin’, which also features long time Copenhagen based compadre, and borderline neo-future-pop-Soul-Jazz genius; Naim, and more.
Having recently given a couple of fantastic live performances at London’s Cargo (supporting Quantic and killing the mic at The TM Juke Album Launch Party), Rup is equally at home getting drunk at his monthly neighbourhood jam ‘Speakers Corner’, or at Brighton’s low-key but legendary ‘Beer & Rap’ monthly.