There is an interesting new rebellion towards Hip Hop’s more cosmetic obsessed artists now being led out of London. One of these new artists is Confz, who has just teamed up with Oliver Whitehouse to present ‘Deadman Walking’ a video mocking Hip Hop’s more glamourous side – one of the lines in the hook ‘making money but your mum lives bummy’.
We caught up with Confz for a quick insight into what drives the next generation of rap artists out of London
How long have you been making music for now?
Well, in my early teens I would rap in the playground and with my friends like every other young person did trying to become the next Wiley/Dizzee Rascal. But I think I started seriously making music in 2008.
What musicians influenced you?
From the UK it’s Ghetts, Kano, Wretch Skepta, Plan B, Black the Ripper, Wiley, Devlin and Griminal. From the US its Eminem, Nas, Tupac, Big L, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, Jay Z, J Cole, Hopsin, Lauryn Hill and many others that I can’t think of at the moment.
What do you see is the future of UK urban music?
To be honest, not very good. We have talented artists but no originality, I see too many imitators of the US through UK music. That won’t get us anywhere. Our pioneers like Skepta, Plan B, Kano etc have paved a way for us yet I don’t think the newer generation of artists are using that. I do think Benny Banks, Squeeks and Maxsta are doing good for the UK urban music scene right now though.
Your video ‘Deadman Walking’ has just been released, what does the track represent?
Originally when i wrote it I had no idea what the outcome would be but as i started to pour my emotion into it I started to realise I was actually ranting. So the song turned out to be a rant on our generation and me being fed up of some of our mentalities. Also ranting on rappers and their concepts. My 2nd verse is an example of how as soon as fame is acquired you then become popular and girls start to notice and like you all of a sudden. As a whole its simply just one big rant.
How was it going up to Newcastle to shoot the video?
It was a great experience, that was the first time i travelled so far for a video shoot and hopefully it won’t be the last getting away from the London environment can be good just to see other surrounding cities lifestyles. I met some cool and different people, Oliver (Whitehouse) is a crazy motherfucker so working with him was a fun experience. I also met the person who created the electric chair for Konan in the Paranormal Activity Remix video (Miles Harrison), he is a talented guy too. All in all it was a great experience, I hope to do it again really. Not too often though as its pretty expensive…
What is the best advice you have received so far?
‘Don’t give up… You have a talent, use it’ that was from Ikon a director that shot my ‘Common Knowledge’ video. Its speaks for itself and gave me a little boost of confidence.
What inspires you to make the music you make?
The ideals and morale of my generation, I see such stupidity that it makes me just want to rant about it on a song and show how stupid people actually are. Like trend followers and sheep. Eminem’s earlier aggressive music also inspires my sound a lot.
Why do you feel being a rapper is the best career for you when in your songs you rap about the frustration of rap and rappers?
I don’t want to be generic and say ‘i can change the game’ because i probably can’t, but my songs are aimed at mainstream artists who have the shittest concepts and only talk about degrading women, money, cars and taking drugs, these songs are sometimes fun to listen to don’t get me wrong, I probably have a few on my iPhone. BUT its overused and boring. I want the scene to allow through more artists like Lupe fiasco, who portray an actual message. With me being one of them… Wow thats a big statement…
Do you have any UK MC’s you are a fan of?
Yes! Kano for me sits at the top of the UK scene, I like artists like Devlin his conviction when he spits and concepts are just sick. Plan B, mainly his old stuff because I think he was one of the first UK artists to branch out and use multiple concepts in his songs. Ghetts, Krept and Konan. Although it would be a bit much to say i’m a ‘Fan’ of Krept and Konan…I just rate them a bit.
Does what you study at university influence the music you make?
Not directly, I study digital media which focuses on production. So it won’t have an effect on the music i make, however it does give me video production knowledge which I use on video shoots to determine what video shooting techniques I can use to depict the message my song has clearly.
What has been your highlight so far?
I genuinely don’t have one, nothing big has happened to me yet. I could say dropping my mix tape next month will be a highlight, but until then nothing.
Where do you want to take your music?
I just want my songs to be heard from a much wider audience than i have now. I mean selling albums doing shows would be a dream but right now I want everyone to actually listen and take in my lyrics. Because their are artists out there who have a major fan base and are heard about everywhere. yet they are shit….
How has the response been to your work? What are the best pieces of feedback you have received?
The response although its from a small audience has been very positive overall. I’ve had negative feedback obviously, one person said that i was trying to imitate ‘Tyler The Creator’ and that i should stop. I thought that was just a stupid comment anyway so i didn’t look too deep into it. The best pieces of feedback have been from my close circle. Only because they are actual pricks and never compliment me on ANYTHING but they actually supported me with music and believe i might have a slight chance. Which is cool but overall they are pricks.
What music are you working on at the moment?
Right now i’m working on the finishing touches of my mix tape and organising collaborations just to branch me out a little bit. I also have a video called ‘Showcase Flow’ which will be out soon hopefully. That will be a funny video for a number of reasons so look out for that.
FOLLOW CONFZ ON TWITTER @Itsjustconfz
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YOU CAN SEE CONFZ ‘DEADMAN WALKING’ ON Y**TUBE ON SEKTION RED’S VIDEO CHANNEL /SEKTIONRED