RC Premieres: JLB x R0kitman ‘Swayin’
Swayin drops as part of a 2-track UK Hip Hop release from the producer JLB and the UK MC R0kitman.
We are proud to premier the second track titled ‘Swayin’ from ‘Faded’ the latest UK Hip Hop collaboration between JLB & R0kitman. Dropping on B-DEM Records, an independent UK label, Swayin features a laid back UK Hip Hop vibe with looping piano melodies and bars from the Manchester based MC, R0kitman. We also caught up with Paul Radford aka R0kitman ahead of the release.
Coming from Manchester, how would you describe the UK Hip Hop scene in the North West?
I was actually born in Kent and now I spend most of my time travelling the world for my job outside of music. But, when I’m home in the UK I’ve been based in Manchester for a while now, mainly because I love the scene up there. I feel that the scene in Manchester at the moment is like no other and that’s what attracts me to it musically. It’s got something unique and the city has pretty much paved a new sound and style of rapping. Guys like DRS, Skittles, Children of Zeus and Strategy… (to be fair the list is endless) have got something that you just won’t find anywhere else. They haven’t followed any other sounds, they’ve really just kept it real and that reflects in the sound those guys represent. People listen and are like “that’s that Manchester sound”. But I’ve always been a bit of a nomad, I guess the road seems like home.
Talk us through the latest JLB x R0kitman Faded collaboration and how it all came about?
JLB and myself clicked massively many years back and have been working together ever since. Behind the scenes we always had plans to make music together. We actually ‘bonded’ over Garage back in the day and we used to do sets together with JLB on the decks and me MCing. I feel that we understand each other when it comes to my lyrics & writing, and JLB’s production. The guy is amazing and I’ve honestly never worked with someone as talented, versatile and unique in their production as JLB. When we work together it just flows and we always come up with something that seems effortless and that’s quite rare.
‘Faded’ is an example of bringing shared passions of a few different genres that have inspired us both over the years and putting together 2 tracks that we believe bring a fresh and almost surreal approach to the U.K. scene. I’m not gunna say too much more about the tracks as I like people to listen and work them out for themselves and hopefully relate to the lyrics and feel something new from JLB’s production style.
What else can we expect from R0kitman for the remainder of 2018?
I have a few more tracks in the pipeline with JLB as we feel like we have way more to give and hopefully another future release with B-DEM. Myself personally, I am working on a lot of new material, I feel that I am really growing into my style recently and I am excited for people to hear more what I am about. I also have plans to perform more of my current stuff on the live scene.
If you had to name your top 3 (UK only) Hip Hop/urban artists from the last 10 years who would they be and why?
Wow that’s a hard one! This is an area that I could talk for hours on and probably do with most of my mates after a beer! I’ve always been inspired by rappers from all different styles not just Hip Hop so I’m going to go with 3 UK rappers in general. In no particular order:
Kano – To me his style and flow is one of the best in the world. As a kid growing up, he always completely blew my mind in his talents. He’s one of the greats and I don’t know many rappers who would disagree with me when I say he’s a lyrical genius. When I think of U.K. I think Kano.
DRS – If someone said who has inspired me the most over the years in Manchester it would be this guy. I’ve never known a guy who could MC a drum and bass set and spit the most real, moving and passionate bars in this environment. He has made a career based on a genre that he loves and has deep passion for (Drum and Bass) and it doesn’t just stay behind a mic at a rave, he has managed to invent a unique flow and style that makes his own albums and EPs in his own Hip Hop flows stand out way further than D&B.
Mike Skinner – OK, another slightly left turn here but this guy for me has created something in rap that some would argue never should have worked but changed the way we look at modern music culture forever. Growing up listening to this guy rap made me realise that in a world where I was extremely nervous and a bit embarrassed to admit that (being a white pasty ginger kid) I actually thought I could rap, meant I could. If this guy did it in his own way, being himself telling a story about the only life he knew, then I could too.