Interview with Black The Ripper on Mainstream Music

Do you consider yourself a conscious MC?

People have been calling me that for a minute now. That’s a way to categories me. If I talk sly shit I can talk it better than niggas. I’m consciously aware and I say it.

I think most of them [other rappers] are conscious but most of them don’t know how to express it.

Because you have to remember certain issues attract haters, certain issues make powerful people realise you are there. When you keep it fairly simple you don’t have the haters.

Why aren’t artists like you promoted in the mainstream?

Because it’s against their agenda. For them to push us, it’s working against them and the polluted messages they send out.  For record labels it’s all about money.

Given the recent unrest in this country – riots, occupation at St Pauls – are things slowly changing?

We are in England and it has just started now. We are just starting our wave now. We still remember were we come from. There are a whole bunch of white people who are cool with how things are.

The media has got everything to do with it. If there’s a political rapper in the media the whole world would fall in love with them. But they [the media] then have a problem ‘coz they’ve now got to silence them.

Why are a lot of your lyrics about political issues and things other MCs wouldn’t talk about?

I’ve got self-belief. I stand for something. I don’t think they [other rappers] do – they just need that quick money. For them to talk political they could get black boarded.

You’ve got a song called Wake Up. When do you think people will ‘wake up’ and what do you think will happen when they do?

I think it’s about time. I don’t think nobody is going to wake up – everyone is comfortable, they are cool. Get benefits, not really starving. You don’t get no help in certain countries like Libya. Man are getting free shit here.

I’m second generation. Our grandkids, they are not going to give a flying fuck. They aren’t going to take it. We were born here we aren’t going to be content. They’re [our grandkids] going to be less content. Ultimately means nothing though. Nobody stood up [after the riots] when they came to your mums house and arrested you… they weren’t on a bad ting then.

Twitter: omar_shahid

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