M9 of West London is about to drop his new album 'Magna Carta' (on December 3rd via Red Snow Records); we caught up with him to discuss the project's origins, his writing methods and how he got involved in Hip Hop in the first place.
Taking it back, what is your earliest memory of Hip Hop culture in general? What inspired you to start writing rhymes?
Inspiration stems from following the work of great hip hop legends who wrote with the intention to captivate the listener and gain the respect from fellow lyricists. Beats became major factor in my inspiration also; the more I liked the beat the more I would strive to lyrically match my admiration for it.
Your new project is called 'Magna Carta', what are the origins behind the title?
The origin behind the title is from an old English charter written by barons with the aim to liberate themselves and the public from the inequitable acts of the king leaders in the 16th century. It was the first laws ever to be recorded in English history. My reason for choosing this title was to fashion my album in the same way. My words are written with the intention to do the same.
Name three books that have had an influence on the music you make, how have these affected the music you make?
One of the first books I got into, that geared my lyrical concepts in a certain direction was David Icke’s Children of the Matrix, The Autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley and Solar Biology Vs Lunar Astrology written by Haru Hotep. These three books exposed me to a very uncommon way of understanding the truth behind politics, money, science and just how the world works in general.
Outside of Hip Hop what music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of deep house. I listen to jazz, soul and a little dubstep.
You’re part of Triple Darkness, what projects are you currently working on as a crew?
Nothing really concrete in the works but we have been talking about doing an album.
Do you dabble in production at all? If not is that something you'd like to get involved in?
I used to produce in the very early stages of being an MC. As the years passed I slipped further and further away from that side of the music. My problem was the lack of patience for understanding how to use programs.
What’s your writing process like? Do you write all the time or do you find you are most productive bar wise at specific times?
Most times I write really slowly. A little as a line a day. I find it really hard to live up to my own expectations so it really take me long to finish a verse, most of the time. Which at times can be a big problem, if I have a few verses I need to get done for features or other planned releases.
If you had to name one Hip Hop album in particular that had a profound impact on you which album would that be and why?
'Hell on Earth' by Mobb Deep did some unexplained shit to me... I never heard and till this day still have never heard anything as powerful as that. I don’t think havoc gets enough credit for his production on that and never have I heard Prodigy spit verses on that level since.
What’s your earliest memory of hearing Hip Hop from the UK? Are there any UK artists that have been an influence on your sound?
I got into UK hip hop late. For years I would only listen to music from the States. I got introduced really from about 2003. Klashnekoff was the real reason for wanting to find out more about the scene. I never heard anyone from this country with that style and level of street lyricism. He became a big influence to me. I later started finding out about Jehst, Taskforce and Skinnyman and many other greats through my boy Cyrus, which all also had a big influence on me musically.
In terms of live performance you and Triple Darkness have built up a reputation for delivering a quality live show, what have been some of your favourite gigs and why?
I’d say my fav show so far had to be the one I did this year in Paris. Purely for the amount of love and support we got during and after the show.
How do you feel your style has changed since your last release?
I wouldn’t really say my style has made any changes in my opinion. My aim is to just constantly improve on my craft and expand on what makes me the mc that I am. I’m always learning new things about hip hop and being an emcee and I hope that for as long as I’m making music that continues to go on.
Where can people find you online?
Finally, any shout outs?
Everyone with sincerity and love in their heart, all those who support the culture of true hip hop and music in general and my family.
Words: Aaron Jackson
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