By Cammy Thomas
A Rude Awakening!
Securing this interview with one of the Lords of the decks, Grime producer Rude Kid, has presented my greatest challenge, since I nearly broke both thumbs, figuring out the combo code on street fighter 2 turbo to execute a flawless Chun Li upside down, spinning helicopter scissor kick! The interview at Grime originals went according to plan, or so I thought. There I was, ready to jump into transcribing my next interview from my Dictaphone when I heard “Over here?” then nothing but white noise! Nooooooooo! ‘What happened to the interview?’ I panicked, 6 reloads later on the Dictaphone told me what I already knew – the interview had been mysteriously wiped, gone, dust! Luckily Rude Kid is a patient (yet understandably busy) kind of guy and agreed to do the interview again because unlike him, I couldn’t get it in ‘One Take.’ ‘Oh that’s cool I’ll just interview him at his Halloween party in central London in a few weeks’ I thought – WRONG!
Rude Kid’s surprise Halloween guest was unmasked, as none other than the genius ghetto gospel preacher; Ghetts. As Rude Kid hosted an unforgettable Halloween party with close friends and respected peers he’d personally invited, he wasn’t officially ‘on duty.’ Rude Kid’s main duty that night was to get gassed with his people (even super powered producers need to kick back and let loose!) After asking a third time if it was a good time to do the interview, I didn’t have the heart to ask again after watching and grinning at the epic turn up Rude Kid was having with Ghetts, Sharky Major, Lost Souljah and UK Grime who also showed face in support of his event. After confirming he’d send me his answers via email the party continued into the early hours with some garage classics.
Three weeks later it occurred to me ‘Cam, are you really going to get one of the top 5 in demand producers in Grime, who constantly travels nationally and internationally to sit still for long enough to type up answers for your interview, when he’d rather be typing into his logic pro building new beats?’ Answer: Girl bye!! So it was on Black Friday, (Some poetic justice to be had somewhere in that, I’m sure) that I called Rude Kid on a third time lucky flex and finally got the epic interview you’re about to read. An artist and their producer can be a complex dynamic of yin and yang. Both bring opposing as well as shared attributes to the studio which complement each other so well, a unique chemistry and an almost supernatural understanding of each others strengths, weaknesses and quirks begin to form. It is a meeting of minds, and a union of innovation, which can rarely be duplicated, much like the spell binding sounds created between Timbaland and Missy for decades, DMX and Swizz Beats or closer to home Wiley and everyone in the Grime scene he lends his Midas touch to on production. Rude Kid and Ghetts emulate the combined craftsmanship gifted to every legendary artist / producer duo, eventually prompting an uncanny telepathic twin like understanding of the end to end creative process, resulting in the iconic beats and bars that have blessed us for 10 years, and will do so for another 10 years.
Rude Boy Riddims
Dine on Grime//Munch on Music, Cammy: Hey Rudes, Thank you SO much for doing this interview again,I really do appreciate it. The little light is blinking at me, that’s what we want, ok let’s go! What was it about Grime in particular that grabbed you and made you fall in love with the music and genre?
Rude kid: Awww sorry Cam you cut out there
Cammy: Oh nooooo!! *Laughs thinking about how god does not want me to get this interview!*
Rude Kid: It’s only ‘cos I’m in a uber right now
Cammy: ha ha ha are you literally in a uber right now though! Ha ha, GOOD! I’m gonna put that into the interview haha, maybe in the intro, you know for scene setting! *Repeats the question*
Rude Kid: Erm, d’ya know what, it was the sound (of Grime), like before I even started listening to Grime, I used to listen to a lot of Garage and before Garage like everyone, I used to listen to hip hop and pop music but then when I heard garage I thought, yeah this sound is sick, but then Grime came along and was like a darker version of that and it was just something that I really really enjoyed. Then one of my cousins showed me sets of Ruff Squad and N.A.S.T.Y crew and from then I’ve always been hooked on Grime and I loved it, I loved the sounds.
Cammy: Yeah definitely, that’s similar to me, I liked the Oxide and Neutrino sound and then by the time Grime came along I was like – YES! This is me, this is my music so yeah it makes sense.
Rude Kid: yeah yeah it’s exactly that
Cammy: What does Grime mean to you?
Rude Kid: What does Grime mean to me? Errrmm, Grime means maybe everything because, I’ve made a good living from it, but not only that it’s the reason I started doing what I do, and everything I do from liking Grime and working in Grime has been a blessing. I get to perform in front of thousands of people…like basically everything that I’m doing now started from me liking Grime, so yeah; it means everything.
Cammy: How long have you been in Grime actually?
Rude Kid: I think…probably like…I’m not sure you know, probably like 10 years. I think when I made ‘Sing For Me’, that’s when I started blowing up, or my name started getting about, that was around 2009.
Cammy: See people don’t realise, it’s a journey. It’s not just an overnight success, some people probably see you touring with Ghetts and think ‘oh he’s just appeared’ but it’s not like that at all, it’s hard graft.
Rude Kid: Yeah you get me. I think the thing is recently, the mainstream and a wider audience know about me now, whereas they didn’t before. I’ve been working for years and years and tried to remain consistent and that’s how it’s happened.
Cammy: It’s definitely paid off. How did your close working relationship form with Ghetts and how did you meet?
Rude kid: I think I met him ages ago at a youth club I used to go to, but I didn’t know him. Back then it was like, oh that’s Ghetts, sick, and then the ‘Sing for me’ tune that I made, I knew his DJ at the time because he used to go to the same youth club and then he gave me a call and said “Ghetts wants this beat” and he’s got an idea for the video where girls are singing to him and I was like, “Yeah that’s sick.” From then I think I went to the studio for the first time and I was proper – sh!t I’m in a studio and I’m here with Ghetts, this is mad! After that we just started working more and more. The real work came when he was trying to do his album stuff, he came to mine and I was showing him bare beats, we went to (Record Label) Relentless studios to film something and from there he said “Why don’t we do a joint EP in 7 days?” ( Me: “I LOVE that EP “, knowing he’s talking about the EPIC ‘653′ EP) but still I didn’t know him like that and he didn’t know me like that, we were just getting into that work mode zone. I mean I’ve known Ghetts for ages, but now I know him properly, I know what he’s like in the studio, he knows what I’m like in the studio, but that’s how it all really started. We were always at Relentless and from that, me and him got the ambassadors deal with Relentless energy drinks, from then things were sick and one thing came after another and then…
Cammy …You blew UP! The rest is history, ha ha. What I like about you and Ghetts is that I can see you have a musical chemistry, but I can see that there is also a friendship there, it’s good to see that.
Rude Kid: Yeah, yeah. A lot of people who see us perform together say that, they say – “The chemistry between you guys is CRAZY!”
Cammy: Yeah I agree the chemistry is off the scales and to witness that is a very special thing.
Rude Kid: Yeah yeah but to us that’s just natural, it’s not anything we plan and it’s not a forced thing.
Cammy: How did you come up with your tag line “Are you ready?” In my opinion it’s probably one of the most recognisable producer taglines, and why didn’t you include your name within the tagline?
Rude Kid: D’ya know what I used to, I used to have “Rude Kid productions” on loads of my tunes. I used to think the “Rude Kid productions” thing was unprofessional. The “Are you ready?” thing came from me using that tag on loads of tunes, then I thought without the “Are you ready?” on the tunes how do people know whether I made it or not and I was like how do I let people know this a Rude Kid tune without me having to blatantly big myself up on every tune, so I started putting “Are you ready?” on every tune. Once I left out “Are you ready” on a tune I made for Skepta and he was like “Where’s the ‘Are you ready’ part gone?” so I put it back in.
Cammy: it would be weird not to hear it and then see that the track was by you, I’ve got to admit.
Rude Kid: Yeah exactly so whether I’m making a garage tune, Grime or whatever I think I would always put that in there just so people know it’s me, so that whatever I make; it’s still me.
Cammy: Is it you saying “Are you ready?” by the way?
Rude Kid: Nah it’s not you know, it’s like a sample I’ve had for ages but I lost every single sample due to my computer messing up, but that one sample has always been there so that’s a bit weird.
Cammy: OOooooooooh that IS weird, it’s like some fate type thing?
Rude Kid: Yeah yeah for real, I’ve never lost that one sample, so yeah!
Cammy: That’s sick! So, in your opinion, why do people like to say “Grime is dead?” every few years when the frequency of new content dropping, is rapid and everyone’s work rate is mad?
Rude Kid: Do you know why, I think if you see Grime from last year or the year before it was everywhere, and that dust has settled now, so Grime has become the norm. People that didn’t know what Grime as a genre was before, know what Grime is now. There’s always new genres of music, I think UK music on a whole has been sick this year, it’s been charting loads, selling loads, but the whole “Grime is dead” thing, I think that’s a load of bollocks.
Cammy: Me too, I hate hearing that because when I see all the back to back releases it makes me think ‘Why you chatting crap’, it’s clearly a lie.
Rude Kid: Yeah but the thing with that is, it only takes one journalist to say it and then everyone starts saying it, because it gets clicks and views, it gets people talking because the readers wanna know why Grime is dead and the people who work for the newspapers and magazines need to sell what they are writing and the negatives sell more than the positives. So yeah I don’t think Grime is dead at all, I mean look at Bugzy Malone, I think his album went to number two, he’s consistent and all his tours are sold out all the time. Also there are people like Jay Kae, Ghetts’ album not long dropped. There’s bare people that are still flippin’ killin’ it at the moment.
Cammy: Yeah I hear that. New gen. coming through as well, Yizzy’s there doing his thing…
Rude Kid: Who’s that, U.V?
Rude Kid: Who?
Rude Kid: U.B?
Cammy: * Cracks up laughing * NO Rudes! YIZZY!! Ha ha ha
Rude Kid: Huh???
Cammy: * Through the giggles, spells * Y-I-Z-Z-Y?
Rude Kid: Oh YIZZY!!
Cammy: Yeah!! It’s the way I’m saying it I think ha ha, it’s the accent!
Rude Kid: I was thinking who’s this new artist, I ain’t heard of him! Ha ha yeah yeah Yizzy’s doing his thing as well, and there’s just so many different people putting in work so we know it aint dying. At one point Grime was at a low point trust me…
Cammy: Do you think that was due to lack of creativity and inspiration?
Rude Kid: Yeah I think so, and I think maybe when people in Grime saw other genre’s doing well, those people have thought – oh we need to go over there now to that genre, but now it’s got to the point where you can put out any sort of music and it does well
Cammy: That’s true, it really is. Long live Grime man, I’ll always be a Grime head, through n through. Why is it important to have an event like Grime Originals in today’s current scene?
Rude Kid: It’s important, not only for the new fans but the older fans, they can see the day 1 MC’s there that don’t really spit regularly but you might only see them at Grime originals spittin’ those old school lyrics and I think it brings that nostalgic feeling back and at the same time you can see people like me there as well as the other people who are doing their thing now, as well as the MC’s that don’t spit any more but they will still come to a Grime originals and shut it down with their old lyrics. Yeah it’s sick to see a mixture, like the fact they have the new gen. set as well, the new dons in the scene, Grime originals is a good rave man, it’s a very Grime orientated rave there’s no other genre…well obviously there are other rooms there but if you are in that main room you’re there to listen to Grime.
Cammy: Yeah definite, the atmosphere is just CRAZY…CRAZY!! Have you done an Eskimo dance as well? Do you do those or is it mainly Grime Originals you do?
Rude Kid: Yeah I’ve done all the Eskimo dances actually.
Cammy: That’s great! You mentioned before sometimes you do garage, sometimes you do Grime, I’m sure I’ve heard a bit of dubstep from you as well, I’ve heard a few different genres coming out of your productions, so what upcoming projects can we look forward to hearing from you? What’s on the horizon in 2019 for Rude Kid?
Rude Kid: In 2019 I’m just trying to drop loads and loads of singles, that’s my main thing and trying to make sure people that don’t know about me, know about me, that’s my main goal of 2019 and then the year after hopefully I’ll do an album. But yeah my 2019 aim is to make my brand expand even more, and put on more of my headline shows instead of me doing other shows with other people, they’ll be Rude Kid shows…
Cammy: Do mean like a Rude Kid and friends or something?
Rude Kid: Yeah, like a rude kid and friends, that’s what it’s gonna be, but every show is gonna have mad people there that you wouldn’t ever expect.
Cammy: Ooooooooooohhh I can’t wait to see that. Who would you like to work with in 2019?
Rude Kid: You know what I’m open to working with everyone, I don’t really go by the name, I go off if they’re sick and talented then let’s work and that’s where I’m at now at the moment, if you’re good at what you do and I feel you, then let’s work and there’s no one specific where I would say – yeah I wanna work with this person or that person.
Cammy: That’s a great mind-set to have because everyone gets the opportunity, and it’s not like you’re thinking ‘If you’ve sold this much I’ll work with you’ and you’re not thinking ‘Oh you’re a bedroom MC so that rules you out’ …
Rude Kid: Oh nah, just say you for example have a friend and your friend is a sick singer or a sick MC and I heard the person and thought you know what this person is actually sick, then I will work with them they don’t have to have a huge following or mad status.
Cammy: That’s sick Rudes, watch my inbox get busy with MC’s and singers sound bites ha ha, if I receive any I like I’ll pass them on to you! Thank you again for doing interview a second time from your uber, you must have reached the studio by now, where’s your Christmas party going to be at anyway?
We speak a little more about Rude Kid’s Kiss Christmas set and black Friday bargains before he hits the studio to unleash some big deck energy!
‘Sing 4 Me,’ produced by Rude Kid, performed by Ghetts