South London’s seasoned battle MC and rap aficionado Press1 was the first person that came to mind when considering the unsung heroes of UK Hip Hop. A fan of punchline rap, he regularly frequented Deal Real Friday’s and cites his main influences as being Professor Green and Poisonous Poets. Here are my three reasons why not to sleep on this artist.
Don’t Flop On-Beat Title Match
Battle Royale – Press1 entered the battle arena in 2006, crafting a highly decorated career and battling his way through various Jump off and Don’t Flop contestants, notably Skinnyman at the tender age of 16. This career reached an apex when he won the Don’t Flop On-Beat title match against Bilzar in May 2017, he is currently set to defend this title in the Summer of 2018.
Crown (Prod. Yanaku)
Cross-over – There are not many battle rappers that have successfully crossed over into making music that is album worthy, Press1 is one of the few. He formed Camouflage Children in 2010 with lifelong friend Lenz Wan and Yanaku, a producer with stylings born from deep house and garage music. This culminated in a sound synonymous with his part of South London and when the rest of the UK was focused on boom bap golden era throwback, Camouflage Children were creating alternative rap music that is even more relevant today than it was back then. An interesting fact is that the group entered an o2 battle of the bands competition shortly after forming and won £1000 worth of recording time as first prize. This studio time was used to create their first EP ‘Bangalore Volume 1′.
Camouflage Children x Yanaku – Help
Aesthetics –Every Camouflage Children video is a masterclass in film making. Each song was created with a video in mind and each video created to tell a story, an immersive soundscape directed by collaborator and visionary Joe Wright of Grin & Bear Films. These videos complement Press1’s style perfectly and paint a bleak post-apocalyptic portrait of South London life.
Camouflage Children disbanded in 2016 but Press1’s dynamic solo career continues to shape with his latest offering Super MC being released in September 2017 and The Press Release dropping the previous year. I asked Press1 to name the top 3 videos of his career and he listed them as being ‘Help’, ‘No More’ and ‘Crown‘, with ‘Help’ being his top choice. ‘Help’ and ‘No More’ are directed by Joe Wright, ‘Crown’ is directed by Bones Productions and are all equally impressive.
Make sure to check out his videos, back catalogue and future projects, this is 1 to watch.
Words by Theo Specone
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