For this month’s Levelheaded hip-hop section, we thought we’d switch things up a bit and tell you about a new compilation series from the Ultimate Dilemma label and Austin Wilde, creator of the Another Late Night compilations.

They’ve launched their Badmeaningood series for what they describe as “an attempt to get to the heart of what hip-hop means in the 21st century” and to do this they’ve brought on the UK producer/DJ Skitz because of his excellent grasp on the history and diversity of the music. Skitz has followed this music for years and his original inspiration came from an 1987 trip to the U.S. when he saw KRS One perform live. Since then he’s been working hard as a DJ and started producing tracks in 1994.

Skitz released his acclaimed debut 12” in ‘96 on the Ronin label and opened doors for his collaborator, Roots Manuva. This was only the start of Skitz’s career. 1998 brought ‘Fingerprint of the Gods’ featuring stellar UK talent like Roots Manuva, Tony Vegas, Phi Life Cypher, and Skeleton and was the only UK track in Hip-Hop Connection’s top ten list. ‘Dedication’ won Best Single of the Year in the 2000 UK Hip Hop awards and the year 2000 saw the release of his debut full-length ‘Countryman’.  We asked him about the series, his latest projects, and the state of the UK hip-hop scene.

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Tell me a little about the concept behind the Badmeaningood series and how you got involved with the project.

The concept is basically designed to show the influences and inspiration behind many of today’s producers within the hip-hop scene. They asked me and I jumped at the chance cos the idea of showing people my musical background...the tunes that have made an impact on me or changed my view about certain aspects of music. Specifically I dealt with tracks that I felt pushed borders...rocked parties or set production templates.

From some  classic tunes to Donovan etc, the sound really branches out. You could of selected any tunes out there. Why did you select these particular tracks?

They are personal tunes to me also and represent different areas or eras of my life.

I was thrilled to see you include Fu-Schnickens! They seem to get overlooked a lot in the U.S. Their live shows were amazing but I think they lost a few people with the Shaq collaborations....

Yeah they’re definitely innovative and meant a lot to me cos of the strong reggae element.

Was there anything your were trying to accomplish specifically with the mix?

Hopefully people just get a little insight into the life of Skitz...maybe others can take the cloth out of their ears and realise that its bigger than hip-hop. The mix just starts mellow takes you up and then drops back down so it's a good listen...y'know if you're driving or chilling or partying or fucking.

What other projects are you working on now?

Titan Sounds Lp, Tracks for Rodney Ps Lp, Radio show 'Original Fever' for Ixtra , the next Titan Single, production for Eva Abraham...a Folk singer/guitarist for City Rockers, production for Nice Nice Records, collaboration with Dj Die/Rodney P/Dynamite/Tali for Full Cycle/Wordplay, trying to get royalties owed to me, and looking after my son.

I fee like the U.S. hip-hop scene gets exposure all over the world which would make sense but the U.K. hip-hop scene really deserves a lot more attention then it's getting stateside. Thoughts?

We've always been held back by the fact we speak the same language....now we're standing stronger and prouder talking about our environment/culture/heritage and the kids are getting behind their own. No longer do we look to the Americans to inspire us. We have our own sound and diction and history and its taken a while for us to realise that being true to yourself makes you stronger and nothing can hold you back. We just need some industry investment now....

What do you think of the U.S. scene now? It seems like the major label are dominating the direction with the exception of the independent scene....

Rapping by numbers....beats by template...nah...that’s a bit harsh cos there is  still loads that I love but just not enough innovators or people breaking the mould. I mean rap music is popular music now.

Any plans on coming to the U.S. soon?

Nah.

What drew you to hip-hop in the first place and what else are you listening to now? I see you did some work for Roni Size.

I've always been inspired by revolutionary music. Punk/reggae/hip-hop y'know they are all kick over the statues kinda music. That's why it's a shame so many rappers talk shit about material bullshit...I get bored of it all and wanna hear some heartfelt anger...some passion...some hate ...some political PE kinda shit y'know. I listen to all music. I go to a lot of D'n'B things and Full Cycle are like family.....raving with them is more fun than with hip- hop kids who tend to be  a bit narrow minded and boring. In my car I listen to reggae...I like garage...I can listen to folk/rock/or my son’s Linkin Park CDs.

If you get a certain message across in your production, what would it be?

 It should make you ribcage shake with the bassline and make your booty wobble and uncontrollable headnodding. Oh yeah... not forgetting fighting the power.

Track listing:

  1. Intro
  2. The Blackbyrds - Wilford’s is Gone
  3. Donovan - Get thy Bearings
  4. Anthony Redrose and King Kong
  5. Afu Ra - D&D Soundclash feat. Cocoa Brovas & Jahdan
  6. Roots Manuva - Witness
  7. Fu-Schnickens - Ring The Alarm
  8. Slick Rick - Mona Lisa
  9. Wu-Tang Clan - Method Man
  10. King Just - Warrior’s Drum
  11. Talib Kweli & Hi Tek- Africa Dream
  12. A Tribe Called Quest- Check the Rhyme
  13. Black Sheep - Butt in the Meantime
  14. Goodie  Mob - Cell Therapy
  15. Masta Ace Incorporated - Born To Roll
  16. Nitty Gritty - Hog in a Minty
  17. Kool and The Gang - SummerMadnes

If you missed last month's LHHIPHOP, don't even trip.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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