DJ Troublemaker & Killer Reese One aka King Fantastic
When I was a young lad I used to listen to a weird mix of rubbish and good music, but I always remember listening to a good bit of rap music back in the 90's, some of it a bit dodgy, like Cypress Hill and Coolio, and then, because I was Irish, it was mandatory to listen to House of Pain, but they had some great tunes and lyrics, and don't forget the Beastie Boys & Grandmaster Flash, still favourites. Admittedly it was a lot later on that I began to enjoy the late 80's and early 90's East Coast and West Coast hip-hop groups such as Public Enemy,the epic N.W.A. and a little bit of Warren G for da laydeez. As the 90's wore on though rap and hip-hop got shit, it became over-produced, there was no message, there was no intelligence to the rhyming or lyrics and all of a sudden every 'artist' and song melded into one and I lost interest, that's not to say there wasn't good groups out there, but it was pre-Internet and too hard to find something decent.
Lately though, there's a mini-revival going on, Kanye West has some talent I suppose, even if he's a total dick, (you might enjoy this French lady recently asking him who the fuck he is in Paris http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dplf7vSuhs ha, get's me every time, in your face Kanye!), there are also other rappers getting back to tackling politics such as Killer Mike from Atlanta, Georgia (check out his great song and video 'Reagan' here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lIqNjC1RKU) and a handful of others, but for me personally, the best of the new wave is King Fantastic. I came across their LP, Finger Snaps & Gun Claps three years ago and haven't stop listening to it since, it's immense, there isn't a wasted second on the album and it has everything, great lyrics, great beats, bass, brilliant humour and a great frontman in Killer Reese One.
King Fantastic, 'Hollyrock Jam Session'
Not only are King Fantastic, particularly DJ Troublemaker and Reese, a very talented bunch, they're also very decent to their fans, I've noticed this over a long while on Twitter where they constantly interact with fans and give them the time of day. Based on this, I decided I'd chance my arm and send them a set of ten questions in interview form, and lo and behold these two gentlemen responded within only a couple of days. So, below is the interview, and scattered around are some of my favourite tracks off Finger Snaps & Gun Claps. They also have a mixtape out at the moment, Call My Lawyer, which is equally great, you can listen to it here - http://kingfantastic.bandcamp.com/track/call-my-lawyer-mixtape
Interview via email by Remy Connolly
Massive thanks to both Killer Reece One & DJ Troublemaker for taking the time to respond to my questions, I couldn't agree more with their insights on modern rap. Here's another favourite track of mine to finish off, essential before heading out at the weekend, 'All Black Ying Yang (The Party Song)'
King Fantastic, 'All Black Ying Yang (The Party Song)'