Sunday, June 24, 2007
Interview with Ghetto
Kano's former hype guy is now back with a hot new edition to his
growing amount of Grimey bitter-tongued material and this latest
mixtape is a strict lesson in road life and the experience's of a young
J. Clark, which will establish himself as an artist in his own right.
I jumped on the 262 to catch up with Ghetto in his borough, to talk
clashing, reloads and 'bait hip hop'.
Why did you get into music?
It's one of my first loves, if it wasn't for music I could of been an athlete.
I was so passionate about music from an early age and it's a great way
to vent your anger, your sadness or your happiness.
How did you develop your unique flow?
Practice is the key to perfection, I think that I might practice more than
anyone. I definitely write more than anyone, practicing is the key and I
go to Unique's and have little practice sessions for hours. Some people
even say 'How do you breath?', I never woke up and this happened
*spits over fast* it took practice. If you listen to me throughout the
whole year you can hear me developing, that's what I think is great
as well because I always get better. That's why I'm one of the UK's
biggest problems because I'm never content, like some people get
content and think 'Yeah, I'm heavy', I would never ever think that
but course I think I'm heavy but I know I can do better. Some people
say 'You're peaked fam, that's as good as you're gonna get', no way are
you sick? If this is as good as I'm gonna get I'll quit now!
What fuels the energy in your delivery?
From my heart and you see the beats it makes me do stuff, it tells me
to do things. If the beat is very hype I'm gonna try as hype as the beat
or if not more hype than the beat. I'm in competition with the beat, the
beats trying to have me up, but I can't let the beat have me up... certain
beats have done it though.
How did you come about joining Nasty Crew?
We're all from Plaistow and we knew each other before music like me and
Shark(y major). So me being from Plaistow and Nasty crew being a Plaistow
crew, I spit and I was good, So Sharky must of just been like yeah bring
Why did you leave?
Things got very sour man and when you're in a crew with more than three
people things go pear shaped. Everyone has different views and sometimes
its just best to part ways...
What lessons did you learn from going on tour with Kano?
You see everyone yeah, you know what everyone wants to do in the
Grime scene? I'm not saying that there's something wrong with it, I
guess it's a stepping stone but everyone wants to go to a rave and spit
their best lyric and get a reload. But what have you really accomplished?
You've said a lyric, got a reload... but do you know whats better? Going
to a concert and performing a tune and people know all the words to the
whole track - I think to myself that is a much better feeling to saying one
of your biggest bars and getting a reload. At concerts you don't really get
reloads but people sing along and still go mad, they know all your tunes
and lyrics. Now when I make tunes I have that in mind, like where can
I get the sing along and which part is emotional. People often ask me
"Ghetts why do you do rap?" *Screams* - Cause I can! See when I
couldn't do rap, let me tell you something, before I could rap I used to
say 'F*ck Rap! F*ck Rap! I don't wanna rap, F*ck Rap music!' Do you
know why I used to say that? Because I couldn't! Then one day, I think
it was Sharky (Major), Kano and Hyper went on Samarai and they was
rapping. I was at home but I wanted to go so badly but I couldn't rap
and from that day I thought to myself 'You know what - why am I going
to limit myself and miss out just like I have now, let me just try'. Everyone
that says 'ahh why do they Rap? F*ck Rap!!' - It's because YOU can't rap
that's why you say that. That's why sometimes I say 'F*ck Football!'
Because I'm not that good at it. Obviously Grime is my first love but people
need to be more open minded.
You've clashed quite a few emcee's in the scene, from Flirta D and Napper
to Bashy and Wiley. Who was your favourite?
I hated all my clashes because no one has challenged me yet, see Devlin when
we are in the hood we'll be in the back of the car and Dev just says "Reg you
can't bring it to me, I'll stick something in your head" - he just starts on me
and we have to go at it for a little while. Even though Dev and me are on a
joke thing he's been the most challenging person because people who put
thought into their bars, it's like how can you lose? Everyone says 'They're too
technical, their flows too fast and I can't understand what they're saying!' See
my fans you know why they like me? because I do what they can't! See Skepta's
fans they can do what he does, it's not hard. You think them man can spit like
me? NO WAY! It's too hard and when I'm at home I don't write the first thing
that comes to my head, I think... 'No! why am I gonna say that hold on I can
say something better than that'
In your opinion, how is a clash won?
The whole point of a clash is to say truth's and out wit that person, style,
word play, delivery and vocabulary. If you're not ticking all them boxes,
you're not winning! See D double E he can blow up a rave more than
anyone in the whole scene but does that mean he's better than Kano!?
It's not who can blow up a rave, you'll see dub for dub... I think it's won
by wit and a lot of emcee's lie when they clash. If you listen to every one
of my clash bars, I'm not lying about that person. I never said "You got
bummed in jail!" because you didn't get bummed in jail, why am I going
to say that? That's very childish and obviously not true! The truth hurts
Is there anyone you'd like to clash?
I don't want to clash no one!
What about Skepta?
He's not going to challenge me mentally, I'm not even trying to be rude or
to send for anyone but everyone that will challenge me mentally I'm close
to Wretch, Devlin, Kano and all three of them are my bredrins and even if
we do clash it wouldn't be real. Every one's hyping over this Ghetto and
Skepta thing, it's not going to happen unless he/they send for me. Wiley
has a label deal, two videos on the screens and still didn't sell more than
Ghetts on the first day. How can you not sell more than me and you have
a label deal, on the first day!?
What guarantee's you a reload?
Yeah I roll deep in a ringer and F*CK IT - That is a reload straight away.
How would you explain your journey from your first mixtape 2000 & Life
to now with your Pre-Album Ghetto Gospel?
Round the time of 2000 & Life I had a lot of war lyrical and road, I was too
deep in road as well so my foot wasn't in the industry I was just an MC straight
from the road. When that was written I was just on a mad thing all the time
and obviously when I started writing Ghetto Gospel I had matured a bit, I
had gotten older and now I'm seeing things differently. I like the guy who
made 2000 & Life but you see that guy he ain't gonna make me any money.
A lot of people prefer J. Clark right now, but see 'Ghetto' he's who the streets
raised and J. Clark is who my mum and dad raised.
What is your favourite track off of Ghetto Gospel?
I haven't got one but I like the Intro a lot because I just broke everything
down, if you listen to the intro word for word it's a lot.
How did you choose who went on the Top 3 Selected Remix?
I'll tell you the truth, the only person who should of be on there and isn't on
there is Wiley. Everyone else can shut up because you wasn't meant to be
What do you think of the state of the Grime scene? and who is holding
things back from going forward?
Channel U needs a bit of quality control because they seem to be letting
everything through. Imagine you saw a Kano video, a Ghetto video, a
Wiley video, a Skepta video, JME video, No Lay video, Dev's video and
a Lightning video all in a row, you would think this music and channel is
over heavy. But it's like bag of shit, bag of shit, bag of shit, bag of shit,
something good, bag of shit, bag of shit, something good, bag of shit.
I think big labels don't know how to market us so people need to set up
their own labels, you see when people did get to a powerful position like
So Solid, they want to build you up and then they just want to shut you
down so quick.
What about the Fans?
The problem with the scene is that are the fans actual fans or do they
want a part in the music scene. Instead of supporting emcees, obviously
there are real fans that just want to do other stuff and support, but a
majority want to be emcee's.
What about the Fans who download your music?
Try buy the music but if you can't get it please do download it because I
want you to have my music either way. If you can't get to a shop and get it,
download it by all means download it. But don't tell me you're going to
download it when you got P and you like my music.
Do you think being a gifted emcee can translate into mainstream success?
I'd love to have mainstream success and a lot of people think I can't but I
swear watch by the end of the year I'm going to make everyone bite their
tongue. You know what I love? People always have something to say about
me. It was 'he's to angry, he can't be calm on a beat' , ' Can he make a song?'
- Yes - Ghetto Gospel. Now the next one is 'Yeah he's good he's probably
the best but can he go mainstream?' So that's the next one I need to prove
What's your current relationship with 679?
They use me as the Remix guy because I'm hot on the streets, if they use me
then that gives them street credibility, but Ghetto's not stupid. Mike Skinner
does actually like me as an emcee so big up Mike Skinner, but some other people
tried to use me because I've got street credibility.
Have you got any future projects we should look out for?
Freedom of Speech is absolutely Halloween, expect 2000 & Life x 52, it's angry,
angry, angry and they'll be features like Devlin, No Lay, Wretch 32, Scorcher
and DJ Unique making his debut.
What about the movement?
I'm on this J. Clark thing right now, I'm not even on a Movement thing right
now to tell you the honest truth. Of course they will always be tracks with the
Movement but right now I'm on my own thing. I can't focus on everyone now,
I need to just do this because I've been in the game longer than everyone in
What do you say to people that criticise you and the movement for using
Grime as an excuse to make 'bait hip hop'?
Only the forums say that because the streets love it, I don't really care
because I could walk in Brixton or walk down any hood and man will be
like "Man liked the ting" and those are the people who haven't got time
to sit there on the forums and start typing in sh*t. Everyone thinks people
say that but who says that? RWD forum and that's it, have you ever been
on road and you're talking to someone and they say "nah nah the movement
nah nah", NEVER! You only see that on that forum because Boy Better Know
have their whole team on the forum doing their computer work, you them way
there with all their computer geniuses. While I'm on road doing stuff and in the
studio, this guy (Wiley) is locked on arguing with kids. 28 with a kid, COME ON,
COME ON LEAVE IT DOWN NOW!
Ghetto Gospel is OUT NOW!
Posted by Hyperfrank at 7:33 PM