This weekend, Converse will be throwing their first UK Block Party, a unique urban music & culture event at London’s legendary Old Vic Tunnels. Celebrating the release of Converse’s Spring '12 Star Player footwear range, the event will see some of the best emerging & established acts in UK street culture making live performances. In the lead up to the big blow-out event, they hosted a series of MC Clashes across the UK, inviting local MCs to battle it out for a chance to perform alongside their music heroes at the Converse Block Party.
The two key things to winning a clash for me would be 1: saying some memorable, truthful, funny punch lines and 2: know your opponent's style inside out so you can counteract and use it against them when you need to
Alongside live performances from Wiley, Skepta and P Money, the final London Converse Block Party, in partnership with JD Sports, will also feature live graffiti demonstrations by artists Neas and Vibes, and skate performances by Jerome Campbell, Rory Milanes & Harry Lintell from the Converse UK Skateboarding team for a one-off cultural feast. Here we spoke to Skepta ahead of the gig about pirate radio and his involvement in the series.
Dazed Digital: You’re taking part in the Converse Block Party celebrating UK Street Culture. Do you think that it’s important for people like yourself to nurture & encourage the scene?
Skepta: ... If it inspires anybody in any way then that is a positive and I'm all for that.
DD: Any grime crews/MCs on the rise out there that you currently rate?
Skepta: Since YouTube took over pirate radio, a lot of MCs started to sound the same but the stand out guys for me would be Solo 45, Kozzie & Sox.
DD: How do you win an MC battle and what is the most enjoyable part of them for you?
Skepta: The two key things to winning a clash for me would be 1: saying some memorable, truthful, funny punch lines and 2: know your opponent's style inside out so you can counteract and use it against them when you need to.
DD: Having just released the video for Make Peace, Not War, what other musical plans are you most looking forward to?
Skepta: I’m looking forward to bringing my new album 'The Honeymoon' out this summer and breaking more boundaries as an underground UK MC/rapper.
Converse Block Party at the Old Vic Tunnels, Station Approach, London, SE1 8SW: 2pm - 9pm on Sunday April 29, 2012. It will be a free ticketed-event, simply apply online via www.converseblockparty.com by midday on Wednesday April 25.