Dazed Digital

Dubai

MC Toofless and the Dub Poets Collective

May 15, 2012

Shooting the breeze with hip hop MC Toofless ahead of the launch of a new single, featuring the Dub Poets Collective and rapper Capone

  • Text by Simone Sebastian

Followers of Dubai's music scene will no doubt know Toofless, a hip hop MC born and raised in the U.A.E. This talented young wordsmith has been a part of two noteworthy projects, the (now disbanded) hip hop collective Diligent Thought and the newly formed Employees of the Month (they recently opened for De La Soul).  As today sees the launch of his new single 'Perspective', featuring the Dub Poets Collective and rapper Capone, Toofless speaks to us about his process, influences, and what he refers to as 'wompfth'...

Satellite Voices : Your lyrics always come across as incredibly personal - tell us about your songwriting process.
Toofless :
Yes, I can only speak about myself and how I feel. We all construct our own realities and this is mine, plus if you knew me personally you would know that I am an introvert so music is my only form of expression. In terms of my writing process, sometimes I have a concept that I develop in my head and then find the right beat for it, other times (which is mostly the case) the instrumental itself translates the concept and I go with that. I lay down my verses first and then work on the hooks or any additional creative elements that I would like to incorporate in the song...sometimes I spend days and days writing one verse..and if I ever feel bored of a beat I listen to other beats with the same tempo and feel to give me fresh ideas.

SV : How has living in the U.A.E influenced your sound?
Toofless :
 I would say my sound was and still is influenced by my life experiences, surroundings, interactions, highs, lows, thoughts and definitely the music I listen to.

SV : Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Toofless :
At the moment I am highly influenced by Jehst's music. Also NAS, Lost Boys, 9th Wonder, Dilla, Pharoe Monch, MosDef, Talib Kweli. I'm not limited by genres, I get influenced by jazz, soul, alternative rock, psychedelic chill out, trip hop, acid jazz.

SV : Tell us about your collaboration with the Dub Poets Collective.
Toofless :
Haha, its a long story, however my man Kashmir of DPC responded: "It is what it is, we're on the same wave-length". It was a matter of time before we connected and we did. So voila, let the music speak. Nuff said!

SV : Can you tell us about some of your favourite Dubai-based artists?
Toofless :
I respect all artists in the UAE and abroad, especially that now I have been in touch with a lot of them, they know who they are. I have no favourites, but I respect the fact that each one of them is working hard to reach and deliver quality music. That's what matters..the WOMPFTH!

SV : And what is 'wompfth'?
Toofless :
 Lol! It's a word that we made up to describe a certain element [in a track] that moves us - it could be a bass line, keys, horns.. So it's that element in a song that penetrates you as soon you listen to it. Only a few producers/arists/composers know how to bring that out. For example listen to the bass line in 'The other side of the game' by Erykah Badu, or the horn section in any Dwele track..or a J Dilla produced beat.

'Perspectives' and the b-side 'Lost Days' is available for download on the Another Music bandcamp page. 

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