We headed down to the Red Bull Studios to catch up with Shorty, Skepta, JME and Maximum about their favourite clashes, who's big competition and no competition at all plus some invaluable style advice.
So how did you get involved with Red Bull Culture Clash?
JME: They asked me! Tell the truth, tell the truth...
Skepta: The Boy Better Know agent called up and said ‘LOOK…’
JME: Nah, tell the truth!
Skepta: Go on then…
JME: They asked ME, they said, ‘Do you reckon you’d be interested in doing it – Boy Better Know?’ I wasn’t sure, I thought it was quite a big deal. I wasn’t sure if everyone was gonna be on it. But yeah, everyone seems to be so enthusiastic about it so we made the right decision to do it man!
So you're obviously gonna be representing the grime scene properly?
JME: Yeah, it’s gonna be mostly grime stuff.
And you've got Lethal B and Chip – why did you decide to get them in particular on board?
JME: Other artists were gonna be on there as well, but it fell through. I don’t know why we’re so late on everything, but we only realised we had to bring artists at a certain time. We realise now we’ve got to do like special versions of tracks, so we’re organising that now – we’re getting that all running. We wanted Chip for obvious reasons – he’s one of the biggest artists in the UK… Lethal B is one of the longest reigning artists in the UK and he’s got a big hype right now and that’s exactly what we need. We had a few other artists which I ain't gonna name.
Skepta: Cause they’re b*stards [all laugh]
JME: We’ve only announced Lethal B and shit… we can bring whoever we want on the night – you know what I mean?
Who do you think is the biggest competition?
JME: I’m gonna say the same thing Shorty said… it’s gonna be Magnetic Man! Annie Mac presents Magnetic Man, yeah. I think our sound is like a winning sound at a sound clash, especially in the UK… but they have got a similar sound to that, the grimy sound, 'You know what I’m saying?' Where they have the dub side to it as well. The reggae, the bass, the vibes, but they’ve still got the dub side and they’re gonna have P Money who's spitting bars. So they’ve got a real mix of sounds, so it’s gonna be hard to take them out, but we’re gonna do what we do man.
What about the least competition?
JME: The least competition? What you saying man?
Maximum: I reckon it’s the guy on the right in Channel One. [laughs] Move back Simsy! [all laugh]
Shorty: Nah, but which one was talking the tings on the advert about his sound?
Are you on about the Billy Ocean look-a-like?
Skepta: Yeah, the one on the right was talking?
Shorty: Yeah, yeah, about his little man speakers and big man..’20 speaker!’ ‘7 million speaker!’ Oh my god, it was nuts.
Skepta: Nah, I reckon that man on the right is gonna be the least competition man.
JME: We’ll see though, we’ll see...
What has been your favourite clash?
Skepta: Ninja Man and Shabba! Nah, Ninja Man and Supercat! Ninja Man and Supercat is one of the sickest clashes I’ve seen in my whole life.
JME: And Demon and Bashy!
All: OH MY GOD!!! 'It’s Bashy and Demon, and Jammer’s the ref'.
JME: Yeah, Demon and Bashy and Ninja Man and Supercat. The one where Supercat forgot his lyrics like flopped…whathappenedagain, whathappenedagain, whathappenedagain?! Throw me one bar from it?
Sketpa: Whaaa, um… Supercat got murder you know, before you die, before you die… [singing, all join in]
JME: Yeah yeah yeah! He tried to sing and it was DEAD! It died. YEAHHH!!! OH MY GOD!!!
And also, you guys are headlining the RWD birthday party!
JME: Oh my god! Birthday, woah-oh! Yeah! Oh my god. That’ll be SICK!
What’re the plans for that? What can people expect?
JME: RWD magazine man, when I was in my early stages of MCing, RWD was a forum and I used to go on there every day. I was part of the RWD massive and my name was 'Checkit'. No-one knew it was me, you get me? One time…
Skepta: … you baited it!
JME: I baited it bare times! But listen to me. Yeah, one time I was on the forum and I was like - this is irrelevant by the way - but I was like ‘Everyone in the RWD forum, I’m gonna go out and take pictures with people in the street. Give me your names and I’ll do a thing and they can hold up your name.’ So I went out to go and do it and there were feds and they shifted me. They didn’t shift me but I was driving illegally.
Skepta: Leave it…
JME: I was driving illegally and I got arrested, not arrested, I got points from the police cause the car had no insurance and whatnot. All because I was hyping and gassing on the forum. So anyway it's the 13th October, we’ll smash that! It should be fun for everyone that comes down on the night! Boy Better Know, OBVIOUSLY!
You’ve got a lot of shows at the moment… what about the music? What’s coming up?
Skepta: What’s happening? At the moment yeah, I just think that everyone’s doing Rick Ross style music, so, I either do it cause I can… but I don’t think it’s different, I don’t think it’s innovative, I don’t think it’s fresh, so there’s no point. I’m not waiting for the sound to die down, I’m not saying it’s rubbish – I’m saying a lot of people are doing it, some are doing it well, some not. I’m not really inspired at the moment. I’ve just been concentrating on doing shows… me and JME have been working on Wiley's new single as well, so that’s gonna take up a lot of time, and yeah, I just wanna get my third single done, I’ve had some problems, so fixed that, drop my album, then it’s the Boy Better Know album. So a break for now…
Shorty: Um, me, I’ve got…
JME: He doesn’t talk this guy man!
Shorty: I’ve got a new single that’s coming out soon that you’ll probably hear in the next few weeks, called Moesh.
JME: Moesh! See, I’m gonna speak for you if you don’t speak! He doesn’t talk enough this guy.
Shorty: Nah, nah, nah! I was gonna say it! It’s called Moesh. It’s me featuring JME.
JME: JME! Exactly. Produced by Preditah.
Shorty: Produced by Preditah. Yeah, and it’s basically the first thing that I’m properly putting out as a single. I put out a mixtape last year – that was on iTunes, but this time I’m actually gonna do singles and whatever. The mixtape is also called Moesh, and the tune’s just basically explaining the word, 'cos everyone’s bare confused. Everyone’s asking ‘What’s Moesh?’ they’re not saying it right.
Go on then break it down for us.
Shorty: Basically, moesh is something that you either enjoy doing or that you like. So you say…‘Ah, that cake’s moesh!’ It’s a positive, definitely. You could even say ‘Oh, that girl’s moesh!’ That means she’s nice, 'You know what I’m saying?' ‘That drink was emosh’. Then you can change it now and say ‘Ah, I was moeshin’. So that means, I was having a good time.
Getting different tenses involved…
JME: Then you can even say ‘That’s moeshy!!’ and that means reeeeaaallly good, sick. Oh my days!
Skepta: level two. Then there are moeshin' handshakes too. And it’s like… that word is everything, like…
JME: And you can just say MOESH!
Skepta: if you say ‘I’m gonna eat that cake’, I can say ‘go on then, moesh’. [laughs] What’s the mosh later?
JME: Yeah, you can’t say ‘That is moesh’ though. Just say ‘moesh’.
Woah, we're learning right now…
JME: You can say like ‘You know what bruv, I was outside, and they were cooking jerk chicken and she gave me like three pieces of jerk chicken and some bread bruv - Moesh’. You don’t have to say ‘What you just did was moesh’.
Skepta: So I hope that’s gonna take away a lot of the pain… [all laugh]
JME: So basically, that’s his next single coming out – Moesh, and you’ll know anyway. And me, quickly, I did two tracks, did a video for one, put it on TV, did one for the other, didn’t put it on TV. Last one, I didn’t even do a video for, just did a little snippet called Stylee – just trying to keep the underground bubbling by just putting out music to the super minority target audience of JME. If you know what I mean… not the people that are like ‘Ohhh JME! JME BBK!’ For the people that actually liked BBK from time. I’ve got a new track that I’m going to do again with a video for TV, which is coming out next.
But as Boy Better Know, I think next year we’re gonna start compiling the album, we’ve said this a million times, but Wiley (who’s not here today, obviously) he’s done his first single which was number one for two weeks. Second single’s got me and Skepta on it and is coming out some time in October and hopefully that’ll top ten it as well. Obviously he’s open to other album deals or single deals or whatever but after that situation, that’s when we’ll focus on a Boy Better Know album. But I think everybody individually as well is doing so much right now, that it would be stupid to just stop everything and do an album.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the recent issue of RWD, but I know you’ve worn a onesie a coupe of times and Danny has absolutely gone in on the onesie thing. Is there a message you wanna send back to him to back up the onesie wearers?
JME: What, Danny’s not feeling it?
Danny’s had Enough Already…
JME: You know what, it might be right though, cause basically, this T-shirt I’m wearing right now is sick. If everybody in this whole building right now had this T-shirt on, I wouldn’t wear it. In music, people are like ‘it’s all commercial, blah blah blah’. Danny LOVED my track 96 F*ckries, he even did a version…everybody loved it! If it went to number one, and was number one for weeks in a row and everybody played it, all them people tweeting me wouldn’t like it. They want something that only they’ve got. So when everyone’s got something, it looses it’s worth. So, onesies were good – I had a onesie – 'Did you see anyone with a onesie? Did you have a onesie?' Exactly. Nobody had one. I had a black one, a half flipping pink one, blue and white stripes, everything…I wore 'em for shows, hype, which was good for the company. But now, I haven’t been wearing them. I just fold them up, leave them on the side, they’re just there. I do sometimes lounge around in them though when I can’t be bothered to get dressed. I wont rep for them now cause they’re getting a bit bait.
On that note can you all give us one piece of style advice and sum up your style iin one word:
Skepta: Pink and style advice is… everything plain and one statement piece.
Maximum: Matching and for style advice… check my instagram innit.
Shorty: My word is calm. I just wear clothes that are very plain, like I don’t even wear any patterns and that.
JME: Doorag, no Dooragism…I think my style word should be detail. Cause my T-shirt is too sick right now. Okay, let me be real…my advice would be um, obviously, be yourself. Even though it’s hard to be yourself cause you have to buy clothes that people made and you have to buy them, so it’s hard to be them. And even if it hurts sometimes, try not to follow everybody. Be yourself, no matter what. I wear a doorag, for god’s sake!
JME: Anyone coming to the clash, even if you’re coming to see us, support everyone else, don’t be biased. Say you’re coming there for Major Lazer, Channel One or Magnetic Man, when it’s our time, respect it. Know what I’m saying? Be honest and go with the vibe cause we’re gonna be so hyped, it’s gonna be mad!
What’s the celebration if you guys win?
JME: We don’t go and slap each other’s butts or anything [laughs]. We can’t say what we’re gonna wear or how we’re gonna celebrate or nothing but we’ve got a couple of things planned…you’re gonna enjoy it anyway on the night. Make sure you’re open minded to others and when it’s our time respect it and hype with us! It’s gonna be mad!
BBK will play at Red Bull Culture Clash at Wembley Arena on 7th November. Tickets are priced at £15 via Ticketmaster. Visit redbull.co.uk/cultureclash