Scott Patterson grabs rapper Trademark Blud to do this exclusive interview for us…
Okay lets start at the beginning, When did you start rapping?
I’ve been rapping since I was a little kid, but i didn’t attempt to write a song or improve my skills for some years. I just used to freestyle with my friends at the time hanging around the streets for fun. That was directly influenced by hip hop being my favourite music to listen to. I think I was around 17 years old when I wrote my first song. The more I saw in the world the more wanted to rap about these things. Self-development, self-awareness, freedom and unity were always a big part of my thoughts growing up so hip hop music and myself were always destined to be connected.
Who would you credit as your influences?
Wu Tang have and probably always will be my main influence. I grew up on their music and have listened to all sorts of different hip hop and no matter what, I fail to find a collective of emcees that keep it as real as Wu. Nowadays u get rappers with cheap gimmicks or rappers that say ridiculous things to get noticed. Wu tang kept it 100 and just laid out the essence of true hip hop and also made a world changing comparison of martial arts and Rap. I’m very ignorant when it comes to people saying this rappers the best in the world or the king of New York etc. because when I hear them, most of them aren’t touching Wu back when they 1st dropped or now. Another big influence is my older brother Kopywrite who produces, dj’s and raps. He introduced me to most of the hip hop I listen to and the music industry in general, he gave me the first part of my stage name trademark and has helped me to develop as a rapper over the years.
What would you say is your biggest tune to date?
I would say Lyrics are weapons produced by DJ Buzzword, although it hasn’t had any BBC radio play as some of my other tunes have due to it not being suitable ha-ha. This is because after 2 years of battle rapping a lot of people were putting me in the box of a battle rapper. And as we see with some of the other leagues in the UK most of these battle rappers are pathetic when it comes to making songs. Lyrics are weapons hopefully showed a lot of my newer followers that I can spit with the best in the UK. After all I’ve been rapping a lot longer than I’ve been battling.
Your new mixtape is out now, ‘Tricks of the Trade’. What would you say are the standout tracks?
Music is an art form, compiled of expression and understanding, therefore I feel a stand out track would apply to the listener more than it would to me. With Tricks of the Trade I tried to follow the title and put a vast mixture of subjects and styles across. I myself love heavy hip hop bangers so from a listener’s point of view I would say tracks like cant stop, lyrics are weapons and cornered. But from an artist’s perspective I would choose B.L.U.D which talks about making the most out of life and tracks like Fragile which talks about the death of God’s presence in the hearts of humans. There’s too many to mention really. Every track has a meaning and a place on the mixtape and I feel every track will speak to each individual in a different way. Stephen Lawrence and Swordless Samurai also mean a lot to me personally.
Do you have music videos off the mixtape and are you planning to do any more?
Yes there are two videos currently out, Lyrics Are Weapons and Forever and a Day. I’m so happy with so many tunes off this mixtape I’m actually planning to shoot at least 8 more videos. I’m currently looking into this and hopefully will be shooting for the track recently played on BBC radio Sugar Rush.
There’s a few quality UK guests on the album, tell us more about who features and who produced tracks.
I’m so blessed to be surrounded by real talent. It took a few years to get a unit like this together but now we’re all pushing in the same direction big things are really happening. I’ll start with the Vocals. Jay S one of the best singers I have ever had the pleasure of hearing EVER ! and also a childhood friend, Plain and simple & Jae Sosa both two of the top UK rappers I don’t care what u think u know or who’s in what chart. Lordy another local friend that has mad skills he is still yet to show the world. LATE and absolute legend in my eyes I was already bumping his music before I met him.
Intuitive is my lil brother from another mother who is basically taking his hometown by storm at the moment and setting levels for hip hop in his area. conscious route is such a clever rapper the verse he laid down for me on this mixtape is amazing, we will be doing some more work again in the future I might even roll up to Scotland where he’s at to cut a tape with him. Shakezpeare is a monster with it he reps the midz in a big way that’s why I’ve always liked his stuff because so do i. We will keep making bangers to break your neck to no doubt. Jayde yellow is a great singer from my hometown I spotted her on a local media channel and eventually we did a track together. The producers.
Illyah to me is like a UK Jdillah my bredrin from brum city. it’s mad because I don’t realise how long love known this guy, we used to chat on MySpace put it that way ha-ha. Tazman is a polish producer who send me beats all the time, and no lie I have never received a beat off him that isn’t a banger the guys consistency is amazing. dj mainframe is another childhood friend he also owns fresh midz clothing we been on the scene together for years now and we got each other’s back 4real he’s been making me sick beats from day . dj buzzword another amazing local producer who I was listening to before I met him I think he has probably spent that much on vinyl in charity shops he’s single handedly cured bad backs in England and Wales alone.
Mr Re I met through battling on Don’t Flop out of all the weird people I couldn’t really relate to in that league he is most definitely a real guy who has hip hop and realism in his soul he was top 8 champion in don’t flop and also jumpoff champion, so the guy got bars as well as producer skills. krylon funk is a local producer of every music under the sun, his main stuff is dnb but as u can see he’s dope with hip hop beats as well. DJ Lineton is another childhood friend if we weren’t making music together we were making trouble ha-ha. That’s my bredrin right there he’s been killing the house scene for a while now dj-ing all over the country, he can produce anything u ask for. Embra beats is someone who I want to work with more in the future his beats have that real professional industry sound and it was a pleasure to have him on the mixtape.
SK another lad I’ve known since I was a nipper, he used to mc to dnb back in the day and his production skills have taken his music worldwide. DJK2 is a local guy who I haven’t known that long but damn I wish I knew him a few years ago because he makes beats that could make a whack rappers sound sick ha-ha. Squareone is also local he djs as well, and we have made quite a few nice tunes together he is very talented and I will always work with him. Jynxstarr is from brum I’ve been working with him around tracks and battles for a few years now a real genuine guy who isn’t afraid to jump on the stage and battle, he produces sick grime and hip hop. Sparda also produced a track on there as well as mixing most of the mixtape as I recorded most of it in his studio, Sparda is a good mate of mine and we have been putting it down together for a few years now, he battles, raps, produces, edits video and photos, he’s killing it.
That’s a big list I know but I couldn’t miss anyone out as each link in the tricks of the trade chain is as important as the next. That being said last but not least Tricksta is really responsible for this mixtape being the way it is. He suggested the idea of doing a UK Runnings mixtape he helped put it together, he got all the tracks sounding sweet and I really couldn’t have done this without him so biggup to u my big brother Tricksta..
Where’s the best place to cop the mixtape?
Bandcamp is the best place, U will also see a section to order a physical copy of the tape. Failing that come to one of my battles/ shows and I should have some copies. And for the other rappers reading this interview your mom also may have a copy ( battle rap talk ).
What does the future hold for you?
More music, more battles, more videos, more visiting battle rappers moms for dinner. Seriously though if you listen to the mixtape you will see I talk about existence and life quite a lot. So to me just being alive is a blessing, enjoying every day doing what we love with the people we love that’s a perfect future for me. I guess I’m just one of those people god put on the earth to tell other people how to have a good time. Another thing I hope for the future is the expansion and development of UK Hip Hop as a whole movement and not just in the capital. The west midlands hip hop scene has been overlooked for years and if it wasn’t for people like Tricksta, LATE, Moreish Delta etc., then we wouldn’t even have a foot in the door. So above all, even myself is the survival and growth of REAL UK Hip Hop. Peace!
You can grab his mixtape from the link below….
UK Runnings Presents Trademark Blud ‘Tricks Of The Trade’ (Hosted by Tricksta)
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