ukhh.com: Ok to start this off, introduce yourself and tell us what the project is all about? - Rhodesy
© ukhh.com 2002
interview 0106 added 20.05.02 words Rhodesy
I'm Wordsearch from Community Service Productions, based in Retford, Nottinghamshire. The video documentary, which I'm making, is called 'Look Norf, I'm looking at the northern rap scene. The aim of the video is to push big name acts further forward and get the names and faces known of unsigned artists.
ukhh.com: What kind of artists can we expect to appear on the video?
Tommy Evans, Jehst, Out Da Ville, Cappo, P Brothers, Taskforce, Phi-life Cypher, Aerosolik Records, Braintax and a whole host of tight, unsigned talent.
ukhh.com: What inspired you to undertake such a project?
I'd be lying if I said the Pioneers video didn't influence me. I thought of making a hip-hop video before I saw it, but didn't know how to go about it. The Pioneers showed me that it was possible to do. I was amazed when I first watched it because it was the fact I was seeing people rapping that I'd been listening to for years but never actually knew what they looked like live. There was no point in me making another video on southern hip-hop as there's two videos out already (the dark n'cold videos), so I wanted to do a video representing the northern scene, as it seems even more underground.
ukhh.com: What does this video offer that other available UK documentaries don't?
This video has such a contrast in style, race, accent, everyone is so different. The video offers opportunities for unsigned artists to show people what they're doing and what they're about. When people think of northern hip-hop, only a few names spring to mind, this video shows that there's a whole lot more out there.
ukhh.com: Given that much of UK hip-hop is based in London, do you think there will be a big market for a Northern hip-hop video? Or are you aiming for recognition rather than sales?
I don't see why not. If it's good hip-hop and it's different it's bound to make people curious. I'm mainly aiming for northern recognition but if it does sell well then it's a bonus for everyone. I love UK hip-hop that much I just want to make a contribution!
' .. . I was shocked how big the northern scene really is, but it's just not promoted enough...'
ukhh.com: Are there any artists you would have liked to have featured that weren't available?
Krispy, Microdisiacs, Def Tex, Yogi, Mr.45, Doyen & Cocka, The Ruf, New Flesh and All Time High.
ukhh.com: After advertising through suspect packages and the Internet, how large was the response from people wanting to appear?
A lot more than I'd ever expected, I wasn't sure how it would take off 'cos this is my first project. Through working on the video I was shocked how big the northern scene really is, but it's just not promoted enough. There's still people ringing me up and sending me demo tapes, but there's not enough space on the video now, so they'll be on Volume 2.
ukhh.com: Do you think that it is possible for an artists to come from the north, not move down to London and still make big moves within UK hip hop?
Yeah people like Out Da Ville, Doyen & Cocka, Cappo, Microdisiacs, Def Tex, Krispy, P Brothers and Yogi are all doing that now. They're making big moves but unfortunately no financially, it's all a matter of time.
ukhh.com: Prior to this documentary what was your experience of video/music making? What's your general background in hip-hop?
I have no video or music making experience but I've always been artistic, I know how to use a camera and I know good hip hop so it's not that hard really. I'm not trying to do any slick jiggy video, this is just bare, in ya face, gritty hip hop.
ukhh.com: What's your general background in hip-hop?
I've been into hip hop since I was 9 or 10 but it's difficult when you're a kid with no money living in a rural town where the only record shop at the time was Woolworth's, so I had to wait 'til I was a bit older to get into it properly. In the mean time I was a devoted Dance Energy fan and caned my '3 Feet High and Rising' CD until I was 14 when I got into Ice Cube, Cypress Hill and Snoop, Gangsta shit. Now hip-hop's an addiction, especially UK.
' .. .UK hip-hop in general isn't recognised enough, most people ... get it confused with garage...'
ukhh.com: Which cities/areas in particular would you saying are current hot bed's for hip-hop in the north and east midlands at the moment?
Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham. I've only got a few acts on the video from Leeds and Sheffield but there's so many crews out there. Dermo of the X Offendaz sent me a contacts page of Leeds artists and there were shit loads I'd never heard of. There's about fourteen other MCs and crews from Sheffield as well, until I started this video I only thought there was one.
ukhh.com: Why are Taskforce and Phi-Life Cypher on your video when it's a northern hip-hop documentary?
'Cos they're playing in the area and it promotes the club they play at. All good hip-hop is welcome on the video no matter where they're from if it's near me and I haven't got the money to travel far. Plus they're some of my favourite groups anyway, so it's an honour to have them on my video.
ukhh.com: The video is entitled 'Look Norf' but there aren't any Scottish artists on it, how come?
No Scottish MC, DJ, breaker or graff writer contacted me. I would like to have Scottish representation on the next video, so if anyone is interested, get in touch.
ukhh.com: How much does the video represent the four elements? For example is it mostly MCs or are there DJs/graffers/breakers on there as well? I'd imagine it might be difficult to get hold of graffers who'd wanna show their faces on video?
I'd say about 95% Mcing, 4% Djing and 1% B-boying. It was only MCs that responded to my flyers.
ukhh.com: What kind of situations have you filmed people in? Are there live shows as well as street/studio rhyming on there?
There's everything from live studio sessions, gigs, street accapella's, bedroom rappers and DJs and people rapping in their living rooms.
ukhh.com: What do you ultimately hope that this documentary will achieve?
An awareness of hip-hop in the North. Hopefully people will recognise what's going on and want to link up with certain people and get the ball rolling a bit more. UK hip-hop in general isn't recognised enough, most people don't even think it exists or they get it confused with garage because there's someone Mcing in a British accent.
ukhh.com: Do you have any plans to circulate it to T.V. companies or will it be strictly sold as a video package?
E4 and Channel 5 might be interested but I haven't thought much about it yet. I'm just concentrating on getting it out as a video package at the moment.
' .. .All good hip-hop is welcome on the video no matter where they're from...'
ukhh.com: Are there any previously unknown artists in particular on the video that you think will be making big moves in the near future?
All the unknown acts have great potential to, I hope this video helps them towards a career, these people need to be heard.
ukhh.com: When can we expect the video to hit the streets and where will the people be able to pick it up from?
I don't know yet, I'm so busy at the moment I barely have time to take a dump! I'm working 12 hours a day, I have my son at weekends and I'm in the middle of decorating my flat. It's frustrating being stuck at work when I could be working on it but I need the money from work to put into it. I've made several promo tapes, I just need to get it together professionally now.
ukhh.com: After 'Look Norf' is released do you have any other projects lined up?
When Look Norf's eventually out I will be making several other videos just focussing on Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham. I'm working on some T-Shirts and Hoodies as well.
ukhh.com: Any shout outs?
Firstly I'd like to send a shout out to Jezz and Laura at Aerosolik Records for the endless help, support, hospitality, freebies and jacket potatoes with cheese and beans,AD-1, Digga, Samo and the whole Aerosolik family. My triplets Craig B and Mr.Lee. The Norris family, Craig P, Resta, Blammah, Dermo, Ritual, Mr.CRF, all the artists on the video (cheers for the demo's they keep me going when I'm too skint to buy owt!) Penny for helping me out when no-one else could be arsed even though she was ill. Jehst, Tommy Evans, Taskforce and Phi-Life Cypher for giving me the privilege of standing on the same stage as them whilst filming. Levi @ the Po Na Na in Sheffield, all my family, Out Da Ville, Johni Atcha, Josh, Joanne, Toby and all those that have shown supports, cheers.
Thanks to Wordsearch for his time, if you would like to get him touch with him with regard to purchasing the video (when it's finished) or if you are interested in appearing on a future video call him on 07980 127505.
ukhh.com: Ok to start this off, introduce yourself and tell us what the project is all about?
© ukhh.com 2002