The Robbie Williams story, Stig destroying Asher D, the Homeless Microphonist, all these things you probably know about already if you’re reading this interview. In case you don’t, I’d advise you to watch the Asher D thing on Youtube. It’s hilarious!
Ok, let’s get the most obvious question out of the way first. There must have been some moment in your life where you saw somebody rapping and thought I can be better than him.
I just listened to hip hop obsessively from when I was young. I got into it at about eight years old, ‘cause my older brother listened to it and like most kids, whether or not you’re gonna admit it, you look up to your older sibling. Run DMC, Down with the King, a bit of NWA, whatever was about. At the time, I was still into rock. I grew up listening to Guns ‘n Roses and Nirvana. I’ve had quite an eclectic taste as a kid as my parents listened to a lot of Motown and a lot of blues. My Dad would listen to a lot of rock as well – Rory Gallagher and Alice Cooper and all these people. So I had a lot of influences.
I was an army brat, I traveled around a lot and so I was always a bit of an outsider and obviously hip hop was often from people who weren’t part of normal society. When I first got into it, it was just the swearing and something new and cool about it that I liked but as I got older and into my early teens I felt that way. I was always the new face wherever I lived and as I matured hip hop connected with me even more because of that. It was always the one constant in my life, the one thing I was always really obsessed with. I think if you’re obsessed with anything, you naturally try and replicate it. So I kind of did.
I met a bunch of other people around my late teens, early twenties who where into British hip hop and into rapping. I was encouraged by the right people and I realized that I enjoyed it. I’ve always enjoyed English language as a subject, language has always interested me. As I started rapping, I got a good response and I came out on top in competitive situations and that encouraged me.
I fucking hate normal life and shouting words that rhyme and writing about what goes on in my brain and getting drunk and knobbing fat women is much more fun than the real world which is full of greedy avaricious bastards which I want nothing to do with. That’s how I became a rapper. Because it’s fun and it’s an escape from reality while, obviously, being a reflection of that reality that I’m escaping from.
It’s not like I started by jumping straight onto a stage but I hadn’t been writing long and some friends were djs at a drum&bass night that had a hip hop side room. They were into scratching and, as anybody who’s witnessed scratching or anybody who scratches knows, your average non geek doesn’t understand it. That’s why you need a go-between between a dj who is doing a lot of scratching and juggling and an audience. I was a loudmouth, a drunk and a bit of a character and I was friends with these guys and they asked me to host their sets, to be that go-between. That turned into hosting the full set and karaokeing to the beats and maybe dropping a few bars here and there. So I actually learned my craft live.
How long before you did the Homeless Microphonist was that?
My generation where I lived was quite dominated by dance music and stuff, so hip hop was quite alien a concept to a lot of kids in Newcastle and it wasn’t until Fugees dropped The Score that a lot of my peers got into hip hop.
I remember seeing Jay Z opening up for somebody from Germany who was opening up for the Fugees when they played over here at that time.
That was definitely a turning point within global hip hop or that’s how it looked from where I stood. It wasn’t until well after that that I started rhyming but the point that I’m making is hip hop wasn’t dominant where I was from. Being an MC is something that has been aspirational to kids of the new generation from single figures, whereas to me, when I first listened to hip hop, I couldn’t even conceive of the idea of me being an MC; I couldn’t conceive of the idea of a British person being an MC because I couldn’t hear British hip hop until my mid teens. Once I heard that, it still took a while to become a tangible idea.
By my early twenties I had started rapping. I enjoyed that and I didn’t give a shit who did and who didn’t. I lived in Newcastle at the time and I actually only started writing rhymes probably at the age of 18, 19. I started giving it some decent thought in my early 20s and I released the Homeless Microphonist around then. So I only actually had been rapping for four or five years, maybe. It’s a steep learning curve for me and I think I’m still learning to this day. I still learn every time I write a verse and every time I listen to a verse.
Learning is what, for me, keeps things from getting boring…
I think as soon as you’re content as an artist, you become stagnant. I often hear the generation before me being asked in interviews “how do you stay relevant?” I don’t think it’s possible to stay relevant. You just have to stay hungry and enjoy what you’re doing. If you have a passion for something, that will come through. As soon as you become satisfied, that’s when you stop progressing as an artist and you fall behind the times.
I’m obsessed with music, I’m geeky about it and I’m never satisfied with my music. I listen to myself obsessively. If I’m honest about it, every time I record a new track, I listen to that track constantly for days and weeks afterwards. To this day, I still listen to some of my old stuff. Just picking it apart and working out what I could do better. There’s probably only three or four tracks in my entire back catalogue that I bump and that will make me go “yeah, this is more what I want to do. This is what I’m happy with!” There’s a handful of my things that I put up and think people can’t tear that apart.
Which tracks would that be?
Maybe The Journey off my first EP, even though Rhite Wino became the most popular track on the EP.
Thanks to Rod Steward?
Thanks to Python Lee Jackson featuring Rod Steward. It’s very catchy and that’s obviously why it became so popular and I really enjoy performing it live. When I think of the construction of the verses and my lyrics on the verses and the flow in comparison to how I now write double time, I think my double time these days is infinitely better constructed content wise, flow wise, everything! I guess when I first released my EP, I was happy with it. As times progressed and I progressed as an artist, I see more and more flaws. It has a certain amount of charm to it, you know, the naivety of that project, but as an artist I look at like ughhh. With the frame of mind that I got now The Journey is probably the track that I would play if somebody asked me to play some of my old tracks. That’s the track that I would play and just shove the other ones under the carpet.
From my last album – different ones for different reasons… I’ve always enjoyed rapping about tits and booze so much. My sense of humour coupled with my opinion of things manifests itself in this kind of schoolboy bully type sense of humour. Things about hip hop genuinely piss me off so much but also I try and have fun. That kind of manifests myself in me trying to play the bully. I’m not really a bully but that is kind of the way I feel and I do kind of back what I say. But as much as I enjoy that, I enjoy having fun, I enjoy telling people how much of an arsehole I think they are, I’m starting to lean more and more towards writing about my life experiences and my own problems. On my new album that I’m working on at the minute, there’s a lot more personal stuff on there. Wind the Clock on my last album, Mood Swings, was one of the first times where I’ve fully just gone “fuck it, I don’t care, I’m just gonna be honest.” I admit to my depression, I admit to my suicide attempt on there. These are things that before I never really would have had the balls to talk about. That’s important to me.
Hater sounds fairly personal to me as well.
Yeah, Hater as well. I guess there’s a few tracks on there. I don’t necessarily listen to them so much because they are important to me. The ones I listen to more are the ones that are a little less personal. So I guess I’m contradicting myself. The ones that I like the most are probably the ones I don’t listen to the most. I listen to Muddy Funkster, the double time one, quite a bit trying to pick apart my flows and stuff like that. When I say quite a bit, I don’t wanna say like on a weekly basis. Probably every few weeks I listen to my album and the ones I go back to are Muddy Funkster, I listen to What’s Up which is almost similar to The Journey. I guess I listen to everything to pick it apart. If you give me some perfect work of art, I will find a flaw in it. And I’m not saying that any of my stuff is perfect.
Nothing ever completely is…
I find flaws. I love to ruin things for myself.
Is it really all about ruining things? I can only speak for myself but sometimes I look at what I did years ago and it makes me cringe and then I’ll find something which may have certain flaws but I’ll still be well impressed by what I did at the time.
Obviously I’m being sarcastic and joking when I say that I’m deliberately ruining things – I’m not! It is very much about progression. I guess me being the pessimist and misanthropist that I am, I don’t really like to give myself credit and go “that’s me progressing as an artist.” I’d much rather go “I like to ruin things for myself.” That’s just part of who I am. I’m not just looking for the negative. I do like to dissect things. I have quite an analytical brain. I like to analyze things and I guess I get a level of enjoyment from finding the imperfections.
In a positive way I sometimes like imperfections. I got a tattoo done recently, a five hour session, and it’s unbelievable! The roses on it are photo perfect. I’ve studied the picture and looked for imperfection because that, to me, shows that it’s done by a human hand. It’s the same with rapping. I don’t like rap that is too technical and to technically perfect, because it does take away from the human aspect of it. So I guess I break it down and I look for imperfections but if they weren’t there I don’t think I would like it as much in the first place. I do look for them in a positive way to progress and to make myself better but also I look for them to give it more of a human feel.
I prefer rap that is not technically perfect. Sean Price is very technically sound but he’s more of a character rapper than he is a technical rapper. Canibus is very technical. I used to really rate him but I don’t bump him as much these days.
I used to follow what he was doing around the time when he was battling LL Cool J. Then I somehow lost interest.
That’s the same with me. It needs to have something to it. You can paint by numbers and you can become the most technically proficient person at anything in the world. You could draw the straightest line ever if you practiced and practiced and practiced… But for me, what sets out somebody who brings something more than just practice to it is character. That’s the kind of shit I’m into. It’s the same about graffiti. You could do the most technically perfect wild style in the world but I prefer shit that has character to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about character at the cost of ability. There are very few examples where somebody is technically not very good but there is sooooo much character that I like it. For the most part, they have to be technically sound and they have to be very good at it. You could put a million rappers in front of me who all have the same ability and I will no doubt be drawn to those whose characters I find most interesting. That’s why I’m not into much punchline rap. When I was a kid, I was all about punchlines and I was really into wordplay and I still like that but that’s not enough for me anymore. You have to have that within something else. That’s why I find people like Dabbla and Jam Baxter amazing. They incorporate wordplay, punchlines, metaphors, similes and all of the little elements that make up what a good rapper is but, ultimately, they’re characters also. That’s what I’m into and that’s what I try to become and that’s why I look for the things I can improve on.
You seem to be fairly obsessed with negativity. Would you reckon that you get a lot of energy out of that?
The negative thing is really hard to explain. The negative thing is a positive thing in my mind. I get angry about things because I care so much. I’m a misanthropist. Generally I dislike humanity but I dislike humanity because I know what people can be on an individual level.
No matter how much this could possibly work against me, I’m an honest guy, I don’t care, I love people on a one on one basis. I love meeting people. My friends mean the world to me. My family means the world to me. I would give my last pound to a friend and I would lay my life on the line for my family without any hesitation. Because I know what humanity is capable of and then seeing it fail so miserably, seeing those in charge just driving us head on towards Armageddon with absolutely no care for their fellow man, that’s why I hate humanity. So that’s a contradiction in terms. I hate humanity because I love it so much. That same kind of template is applicable in a lot of places.
Remember how I told you when we first met that hip hop may well be my favourite kind of music and that that is the reason why I don’t listen to a lot of hip hop anymore?
Yeah. I can’t watch people butcher it! And I don’t mean butcher it as in taking it away from the elements. I’m not a fucking geeky backpacking if it doesn’t tick my boxes it isn’t hip hop I’m not on about a purist 80 to 90 bpm , I don’t mean to uniform this. The thing with rap is – all you need to be a rapper is a voice. It attracts a lot of glory hunters. Whether they want to be famous and cool and so they rap, or they want to give off some impression that they’re hard or that they’re from the streets… I can’t fucking stand those people! I don’t care what your background is, I don’t care what your ethnicity, your sexuality, your sex is. I don’t care! You could be a, and I genuinely mean this, pink polka dotted purple homosexual with three legs from… I don’t care! If you can rap and I like what you’re rapping about and I find it entertaining, I will support it.
But I see the amount of people aspiring to be something they’re not because of rap. So many people listen to rap and go “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna do that” and then they do what they think they are supposed to do which I can’t fucking stand. I’m very much about self and self awareness and self expression. I find that a lot of people who’re doing what I do don’t do what I do. They paint by numbers, they do what they think they’re supposed to do and they do what they think will sell. They do what they think will give them the image they wish they had.
Me, I don’t say things I don’t mean. Like, on the one hand I might tell somebody that I’ll punch them in the face if they disrespect me and if I’m in that sort of situation and that frame of mind, I’ll do exactly that. On the other hand, I might talk about how much I am in love with my girlfriend and I’m a massive pussy in a relationship. I might talk about how I like to get drunk ‘till I’m being sick on myself which is a moronic thing to do but ultimately funny. I’m about that! I don’t go around every day trying to look hard. I don’t go around every day getting drunk out of my tit and I don’t go around every day being a soppy bollocks with my missus. But these are all parts of 360° of who I am. To see other people hiding behind a facade really fucking winds me up. So I can’t really applaud that. That’s the whole “hater” thing.
It’s a bit of a dickhead thing to say, but, if I’m honest, I get a bit of a buzz from pissing off idiots. I like that people who I have no respect for and no time for have taken the time to dislike me. I’m a victim of that. I look at people who don’t care for my opinion and I bitch about them. Again, that’s cathartic! It’s cathartic to bitch about things and to say how shit stuff is. It’s much less cathartic… Well, maybe it’s not less cathartic to be all positive about things but that’s not my frame of mind, that’s not how I see the world and therefore I don’t do it.
I wish I was like that. I was watching a program last night where there’s a girl from over here, called Stacy Solomon, she’s a celebrity who’s kind of loved because she’s just so innocent and so happy and I wish I could be like that, I really do! I admire the fact that she can be so positive but I can’t fucking do it!
How, with life going on all around you, could you keep that up for even two days?
That’s it man! I’m not even saying this in a disrespectful way, I think in order to be that persistently happy, you have to just not be aware of the reality of life. Maybe I’m completely wrong and I’m willing to accept that – I don’t see how you can maintain a sunny disposition and be aware of the world that you live in and how it is run by greed. All this shit is everywhere and everybody is out for self. I’m not saying that I’m a perfect human being. I think the problem is that as much as I think we can do better, as a species self preservation is the most natural thing and that manifests itself in greed and that manifests itself in ignorance. Hate and fear charge the world around us. Race hate, religious hate, homophobia and all this bullshit… How can you be so happy? How can everything be so smiley and rainbows and bunny rabbits in your world? How does that not bring you down? But fortunately I get by because I do find positives in things. I do! I do connect with other human beings who see these things that I see and there’s enough things in this world that I find worthy of celebration: Comedy, art, films, music and individuals. I don’t see my negativity as negative. Unfortunately, I do deal with depression. So, basically, a massive percentage of who I am is pessimistic and negative and a small percentage of that is purely negative. If you deal with depression, it’s a very dark place to be. But also, it makes me think differently to other people. I think it’s partly responsible for all the positive in my life. It’s such a Catch 22 situation. Chicken and egg… Was I depressed and that made me think differently or did I think differently and that made me depressed? I don’t fucking know! At the minute I’m fortunately able to stand back and see that. I’m, I don’t think happy is the right word, but I don’t want things to change other than those moments of abject fucking depression that do creep in. I’ve got a hold of them a lot of the time but not always. I’m not a negative person in that I’m not unapproachable and I’m not an arsehole and I don’t think everyone should die… At the same time – “fuck people!” But even if it’s just you approaching me with a smile and a handshake – that is enough to initiate me going “he’s a good guy” and you’re suddenly no more one of the many. You’re no longer one of the masses that I hate. You smiled at me. You know, walking down the street and you just give me that nod, “alright, mate”, that’s enough. Until that happens you’re just one of the fucking masses…
As I grow older, the dichotomy of positive and negative, the situation within me becomes more intense. I do hate more but I also love more. One doesn’t seem to overpower the other at any point. They’re both just getting stronger. There is a whole other side. I can sit here and tell you why I hate rap and why I hate other rappers and how hip hop is dying and how hip hop is bullshit and I can sit here doing that for hours. But then at the flick of a switch I could also sit here and tell you how hip hop is alive and well, it’s the most vibrant, the most interesting it has ever been, the biggest it has ever been, how there’s more rappers that are amazing than there have ever been… It is the whole yin and yang thing. It’s very much about balance. All my tattoos are about balance. My life is kind of about finding that balance because I’m a slave to my own brain. I can see so much darkness and so much light in fucking everything.
I almost embrace the fact that I think differently and that’s why I run with the whole hater thing. If you want to call me a hater, I’m happy to wear that title. I’m happy to be that guy that you think is just bitter and jealous. I’m not bitter or jealous.
I think, at least if you are a certain type of person, the middle is easily achievable by not caring about anything. If you’ve got passion, if you’ve got love, you’ve always got hate, passion often seems to cater to extreme emotions…
That’s a brilliant summation. I think I’m a passionate person, that’s what it boils down to. I’m very, very passionate and, as you say, passion rarely finds a happy medium. The only time I’m ever at that “I don’t care!” is when I’m watching shit TV. I really enjoy that. Sometimes it is good to just switch off and put on some bullshit TV. I find reality TV cathartic, because it makes me so angry. I avoid it for the most part but the other day I met up with a couple of my mates. One of them is obsessed with really bad TV. We took some space cakes, smoked a bit of piff and then we spent the evening watching the Made in Chelsea special of Come dine with me.
Was it as good as Geordie Shore?
It’s very close but that’s a perfect example. I Love Geordie Shore, I love Jersey Shore.
I thought you would…
I love them because of how angry I get watching them and that is really cathartic and I buzz off that feeling. If you’re the kind of person who does that for the same reasons, then you’re the same kind of person as me and I don’t need to explain all this shit. If you’re not, if you wouldn’t watch it, if you’re the kind of person who says “well, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it!” then you’re never gonna get it. It’s a beautiful feeling right there, that genuine disgust for something I have watched. So we watched Made in Chelsea where you’ve just got the poshest bastards you’ve ever seen in your life. They’ve got no idea about the world around them, they live in a complete microcosm of posh, a posh little bubble of nothingness; they’re almost caricatures of what it is like to be posh. I just watched it and fucking got angry just looking at these smiley faced twats. I really enjoyed it. I don’t need some highbrow humour. I just like something base that makes me fucking angry. That’s me…
A lot of comedy relies on getting enjoyment out of anger.
Doug Stanhope, Jim Jeffries, George Carlin, Joe Rogan, Bill Hicks – these are people who are very like minded to me, people who are angry but who also see the humour in it. Doug Stanhope, for example, makes me laugh more than, say, Bill Hicks. They are making points and there’s substance and it’s genuine anger, it’s not staged anger. I remember Bill Hicks talking about religion and about the sexualization of advertising, just talking about the hatred between fellow man and it genuinely angers him. But ultimately it’s the balance of tragedy and comedy. It’s still funny. It’s funny to see things a lot of the world would deem as negative! “How dare you laugh at a small child bang its head?” Ahh, fuck off, man!
I get more entertainment out of Stanhope being angry than some bloke standing on a stage telling jokes…
Way more! I don’t think there a many comedians out there who are just genuinely positive. There’s a guy called Mickey Flannegan who is not all out negative. I find him funny. There’s a guy called Tom Stade, a lot of what he does is a little negative leaning but it’s not as abjectly angry and there isn’t a visceral hatred like there is in Doug Stanhope, George Carlin or Bill Hicks. These people are world reknown for that anger. It’s almost as cathartic to punch something as it is to laugh.
The reason why I don’t see my negativity as a purely negative thing is because it doesn’t encroach on other people. I don’t tell other people… I’m not being hateful towards individuals. Even on those occasions that I am, I’m being hateful towards celebrities and I’m afraid that’s part and parcel of being a celebrity. Even off the tiny buzz that I do have as a rapper, I’m getting a lot of hate. There are a lot of people who are like “fuck the arrogant fat fuck!” I don’t care! If you’re known and you have any level of substance to what you do, you’re gonna divide opinion. As much as I don’t care what my next door neighbour thinks, I don’t care what Tommy Cockfingers on Youtube thinks.
I’m not horrible to people, I’m a good dude. Anybody who has spent any level of time with me, nine times out of ten, can vouch for that. There’s a few people I’ve pissed of, there’s a few people I’ve had fights with, there’s a few people in this world I haven’t got on with. But, for the most part, I’m good to people, I like people, I’m a sociable guy, actually, I’m antisocial, but I’m sociable in the context that if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice in return. That is almost a 100% guarantee. I have that standard British politeness in me. That’s why I’m not that bothered with my negativity; I think my effect on the world is a positive one. I believe that I put out a message of individuality, I believe that I’m championing the cause of self expression, of righteousness. While I talk about getting drunk, I’m actually just cracking jokes and being an individual refusing to bow to pressure of what other people do, because they think that is what the world expect of them. I think that is a positive thing even if I’m saying I get drunk and fuck fat birds. Who doesn’t like fucking fat birds? I find fat women beautiful. I find all women beautiful. I find drinking hilarious… We can sit here and discuss the intricacies of Nietzsche or something else highbrow but, really, would you not just rather get drunk and chat shit?.
What would you consider your biggest achievement?
I nearly said “not topping myself” but that would completely ruin all the positive bullshit.Without wanting to sound conceited, I don’t think I have achieved my biggest achievement yet. I got some things I’m very proud of: two times E.O.T.W. world champion, I’m very proud of that! I don’t think many people can say that they competed on a world level at anything and won. I did it twice. So I’m very happy about that! What I’m probably most proud of is the fact that I’m true to myself and I always have been. That’s my biggest achievement! I seem to have still gotten through life and achieved a certain amount of things without compromising. It’s only now that I’m growing up and thinking, maybe in a few years’ time, about doing some adult things like having kids and getting a house. It’s only now that I’m even starting to consider that maybe I need to make a bit of money. Up until now I’ve been like “fuck you all, I wanna do ME and I’m not gonna compromise at all!” That’s all I’ve done since I’ve left school. Actually, since I became homeless, because when I left school I got a job. I’ve obviously done stuff in life that I didn’t want to do. I went to see – what’s that gay vampire film?
I went to see Twilight with my girlfriend. I’m not gonna say that I’m selfish but ultimately, I’ve never compromised my morals, I’ve never compromised my belief and I have always stayed true to who I am. I don’t care how much that makes me sound conceited but I think that’s one hell of an achievement in the world we live in. So that’s probably what I’m most proud of.
Let’s get back to music for a minute. You’re gonna do a track with Action Bronson?
Yeah, it’s already been recorded. Myself, Jehst, and a guy called Brotherman are on it. It’s produced by a friend of mine called DJ Roast, Roast Beatz, it’s for his album. We’ve all recorded our verses and it sounds pretty tight. I think it’s being mixed down and mastered at the minute.
You really got me into Action Bronson even though he sounds a lot like Ghostface. There hasn’t been too much Ghostface I really wanted to listen to recently…
Yeah, I think a lot of people dismiss him because he sounds like Ghostface but I personally think, don’t get me wrong, Ghostface, I credit him for what he has done but beyond Ironman I never really got into his solo projects. He does say things that I just can’t work out what the fuck he’s talking about.
Not too sure that he could do that himself…
… and I think that appeals to some people. I think Ghostface is a good rapper. But remember how I was talking about character earlier on? I find Bronson is a funny guy. I find what he raps about way more entertaining and also it is way more cohesive in that I actually know what he’s saying. I really rate Bronson!
We continue our interview while Stig is doing the dishes and so our conversation is turning towards cooking.
I really love cooking! It’s the cleaning up I fucking hate. When my girl gets home, I’m gonna make this Asian dish called Pho Bo Beef. That’s rice noodles and chicken stock and chili and coriander. You put raw thin strips of beef in with rice noodles and then pour hot stock over it and the hot stock cooks the beef. Banging! Nobody is fucking with my roast, mate! My Sunday roast game is impeccable! I know people out there who are incredible cooks and me and my boy Madison we geek out on cooking quite often. We’re both really into our music and we’re both really into cooking and that’s the other thing about Bronson: He’s a chef, or he was a chef and he raps about food a lot which, as a fat man, appeals to me. It’s just the aftermath… If I was rich or I had a dishwasher, then it would be fine. But I don’t. I live in a fucking shit hole in the middle of London. As soon as I’ve used three or four cups the kitchen looks overrun with mess.
I remember you posting the menu of St. John Bread & Wine on Facebook… That has to be one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.
Mate, I love food! Aside from the fat man jokes, I just love really good food. Since then, when I went back to Newcastle, me and my girlfriend took my brother and his girlfriend to stay in a hotel called Malmaison, a nice boutiqueish hotel. The food they do there is gangsta! Full on cheese board with Chardonnay gel and all this fucking weirdness! That’s what I’m really into these days. I spent the last twenty years of my life getting fucking drunk and I enjoyed that but I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I get drunk for free at shows and so now I can go out and spend on food. I don’t do it every week. Probably every couple of months me and my girl and maybe a friend hit up some pimping over the top restaurant. But at the end of the day, I don’t see it as that extravagant. I can go out on a night out in London and a hundred quid getting drunk easily! If I’ve got a hundred quid on me when I go out, that money is disappearing, no problem! So why would I not much rather not spend that money on getting fucked and steal other people’s drinks or drink for free at a show and once every month or two drop forty, fifty quid on a meal? It lasts for a lot longer – I’m not just battered drunk, wandering around being an idiot, I’m sat down with friends, good conversation for a couple of hours,…
Yeah, balance! I don’t want to be a hundred percent disgusting like I used to be. This doesn’t work. I used to be like that but I need to find a fucking balance. If I’m gonna eat soup and noodles, if I’m gonna steal people’s drinks, if I’m gonna live like a slob, then every now and then I need to counteract it with just ballin’ like an absolute king! I don’t have a proper job and my girlfriend works in costumes and so she doesn’t have a nine to five and we can also go spend like thirty quid on a three-course-dinner in the middle of the afternoon when it’s cheaper. That’s what I’m about! I don’t see it as an extravagance.
I remember the first time I went to one of these places. I went to a place called Galvin at Windows which is on top of the Park Lane Hilton hotel. Even though I’m a confident dude and I don’t feel intimidated by much, I felt really uncomfortable because I’m covered in tattoos and I dress like a fucking scruff and I turned up thinking they’re gonna look at me weird, they’re gonna be weird to me and they’re gonna know this is something I don’t do very often. It almost made me feel a little angry. Fuck these guys! Who are they that they’re judging me? And I hadn’t even got there. When I got there, they were really sound. The waiter who was serving us, he knew that it was a special occasion and he treated it as such. He made it feel like it was a special occasion. You don’t get that service in a bar in London. You have to wait forty minutes to pay five pound for a watered down beer… Much of this doesn’t go with the Stig of the Dump thing but I don’t care! Food and Jordans are probably the only things that I’m happy to spend lavish amounts of money.
I felt fairly intimidated the first time I went to a proper London restaurant but that was because a friend had chosen the place and I thought that it was my turn to pay for that meal as the friend I was meeting had done me a massive favour. As soon as the waiter took our jackets, I felt that the place had to be way out of my budget. I managed to relax when my friend told me that she was paying and that she took me to that restaurant because she liked it and she wanted to have a good time. I really enjoyed that meal!
That’s what it is about! I don’t know why I was reading this but there was a really morbid thing posted on Facebook the other day: “Top ten things people regret on their death bed.” Don’t ask me why people post something so morose because they did and me being me, I clicked that, because I’m a fucking idiot. One of the things was not living life to the fullest. I don’t get how you can not live life to the fullest. I have “No Regrets” tattooed on my arm, I don’t think when I’m on my death bed, which probably isn’t that far away, I can look back and think, oh, I regret this and I regret that. I enjoyed my life. And those things that you’re talking about now are those things that are there to enjoy. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hanging around with my mates and that’s why I’ve become a fucking rapper. I hang around with my mates full time. I get pissed and have a laugh. I get to travel to do what I do. It’s insane to me! I’ve just sorted out three consecutive shows in February and I’m doing a show in Brighton a couple of days before that. So in the space of about four days, I’m going to like four different towns, two of which I’ve never been to before. And I’m getting paid to go there and while I’m there, I’m gonna eat somewhere I’ve never eaten before, I’m gonna meet people I’ve never met before and I’m gonna play in a venue I’ve never been to before. As much as I spend most of my life broke and what little money I do have, I spend, as others would probably see it, irresponsibly, how can I not do that. My options are either this or getting up at eight in the morning every day, putting on the same bullshit tie and shirt combination, going to the same fucking gray office and being told what to do by some person who gets paid for every sale that I make. Fuck it, I did it for too long and it just made me want to kill myself and others around me.
Since we talked about food and telly already, do you like seeing Gordon Ramsey on TV?
Yeah, but I think I do because I don’t. He annoys the shit out of me. His mannerisms, his hand gestures, the way he always does this karate chopping the air thing… I can understand that cheffing is a high stress job and kitchens are stressful places to work, I understand that he has to be authoritarian and I also understand that he sells himself based on that kind of character. But I tell you what, he wouldn’t talk to me like that. I don’t give a shit how hard he thinks he is. Some of the things I’ve heard him say to people, I laugh hysterically at them! How can you say that and how can you be stupid enough to listen to it?
If you’re acting in a certain way, you deserve being called out but the kind of abuse people are getting from him can be way out of line.
When I say that he’s called people “worse than shit”, he has literally used those words. “You are worse than shit!” I don’t watch him for cookery reasons. I do watch a lot of cookery programs, I love cooking. But, like Come dine with me, you don’t watch it for the food. As much as he annoys me some times, Jamie Oliver, I watch some of his stuff and think I’ll try that, I’ll cook that. Whereas with Gordon Ramsey, I just wanna see this idiot with thin hair shout at another idiot. That’s the only reason why I watch it.
On American TV they even blur Gordon Ramsey’s lips. That really cracks me up.
Come on man, America over sanitizes everything. America is such a place of double standards. Don’t offend anybody! Everything is about the surface. Make everything look OK on the surface and it doesn’t matter what’s hidden underneath. It’s the same with a lot of food out there. Make it look nice and it doesn’t matter that it’s made out of shit. You just remodeled human feces into a burger and you’re gonna try to sell it to me as… Sorry, I’m ranting. That’s not just Americans, that’s the world we’re living in. It’s just that America is at the forefront of that bullshit. This is the thing with censorship, I hate it when people bleep things out. I know and you know that he swore. If there’s kids around, fair play, but it’s after the watershed.
Kids do know what people say…
Exactly! For the most part, people who censor themselves and use words like f-bomb and n-bomb and all these things… “N-bomb” for example, I totally agree, it’s not a word you should ever use, it’s a hateful word with a disgusting history but, ultimately, by you saying “n-bomb”, you’re making me say it in my own head. Louis CK does a whole bit about it. Don’t make me be the bad guy. If you’re gonna say “shit” or “fuck”, say “shit” or “fuck” and don’t bleep it out and make my head go “oh, he said ‘shit’, he said ‘fuck’.” Then I’m the person who’s in the wrong in my own head. Unless it’s a four year old child who doesn’t know what the word “shit” means, nobody is hearing bleeping and going “I wonder what he said there.”
It’s just putting emphasis on the cursing.
We’re getting to a point where this kind of censorship is starting to mess with people’s minds. This woman was telling me a joke and she actually said “beeped” only to elaborate that “beeped” obviously meant the “f-word”.
The “f-word”! What? Food? That’s the other thing – what she was suggesting there was that the “f-word” is a swearword and therefore you can’t say it. I can probably come up with about four or five swearwords beginning with “f”. “Fucking” and “fanny” being two that I come up with within a split second. So what do you mean? Which “f-word”? Fuck off! Grow up! You’re an adult! And if you’re not an adult, why are you swearing at me anyway, you mouthy little shitbag of a child?
I just told her that I fucking got what she was trying to say…
I was watching this thing with Stephen Fry the other day about people taking offense. If you take offense to something, all you’re doing is whinging. You’re just saying my opinion counts for more than yours does and therefore I deserve preferential treatment. Unless I physically accosted somebody or unless I’m putting somebody down and therefore my words are weighted, unless somebody is being racist or homophobic, it’s just expletives with no actual malice.You’re saying you’re offended? Then you are just a whiny little shit going “my precious ears have chosen to be offended by that.” It’s a sound! What happens if tomorrow I say the word “spoon” is offensive to me? “In my culture spoon is offensive and so please don’t say spoon.” You’re not gonna spend the rest of your life saying “can you pass me the scooping device”, are you? “Fuck” and “shit”, these emotive swearwords, they do have a place. Language is a beautiful thing. Geoffrey Chaucer used the word “cunt” in the Canterbury Tales, one of the most celebrated literary books of our time! Shakespeare used to swear in the expletives of his day all the time. People are under this misconception that swearing is a sign of a lack of intelligence or a sign of a lack of vocabulary. That’s bollocks! It’s a sign of expression. I know loads of extremely intelligent people that swear like fucking sailors.