The one and only…
Cut from the cloth of rappers that put authenticity above everything, Skrapz’s immersive conversational flow and compelling backstory have built his reputation as somewhat of a people’s champ.
As he approaches The Different Cloth Part II Tour, Skrapz is primed to be more successful than ever. The UK rap sound that he’s been involved in for almost a decade is now at the biggest its ever been; it’s attracting worldwide attention, and its creators no longer need to pander to making traditional radio hits in order to enjoy success.
As “Skrapsta” – the nickname he’d earned from fighting at school – he’d join the now legendary SLK crew at a time when grime was yet to be given a name, but being its youngest member would often be overshadowed by the older MCs such as Flirta D and Van Damage. His time with SLK would be his musical education; sneaking out at night to perform at raves that he wasn’t old enough to be in, jumping fences to spit bars on pirate stations like Freeze FM, and even sharing sets with the genre’s Godfather, Wiley.
The scene was still niche, and he cites Joe Black, Giggs and Blade Brown as early influences. He noticed that the rappers from South London were leading the scene by circulating mixtapes, and in an interview with Beat2Beatz to follow up his freestyle he found himself announcing that he had a mixtape of his own on the way. “I didn’t mean it,” he laughs. “But because the video had done well, people started asking where the mixtape was.” He decided to answer the demand by recording his debut mixtape ‘Skrapz Is Back’. “My name started popping, people was hearing about me,” he remembers. “I started making my second mixtape, ‘Shutdown Season’, and in the process of that I went inside.”
On his new album, Skrapz is also focused more carefully on the message that he’s delivering to his listeners. Without preaching to his audience, he hopes that his stories will inspire self-belief in his younger fans, reminding them that any goal is achievable if they set their mind to it, and set an example to listeners closer to his age.
“My generation needs to start putting our money into things like starting our own businesses,” he says.
“Just applying our energy into meaningful things, instead of wasting all this time. If you believe in something, then make it happen.”