Big Cakes – Interview

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After releasing the highly slept on album “S.K.I.M.”, UKHH thought it was only right to try and bring to your attention the wonders and artistry that is Big Cakes aka Mr Kipling! Take a read and then make sure you check the links at the bottom to take your ear holes to a happy place…

So then, for those who don’t know the coup, who is Big Cakes?

Big Cakes is an independent London-based Hiphop artist. He is a co-founder director of the independent label STUFF MU51C which is behind him.

%image_alt%Big Cakes aka Mr Kipling, how did that name come to stick?

I’ve been known as Cakes or Caker Don since my younger days. I had a few other ‘tags’ at the time but that’s what stuck. I was always known for rapping in the playground and classroom in school, so as the word got round I took on the saying, ‘Exceedingly good cakes’ from the Mr. Kipling advert. I never stopped rapping and as I got bigger and left school and ventured into the big wide world, I thought I’d add a ‘big’ to my name to let those who new me at the time know that I was now older and more mature. It was at this time too that the lyrical content of my music became more conscious and more original, different from all the rest.

So, you’ve dropped the album ‘S.K.I.M.’ recently. What’s the feedback from the people been like?

The response from those who have heard it has been generally very good. Peeps have definitely accepted and respected it for what it is; a good album. The reviews have been very good too, there is definitely something on it for everyone but at the same time it’s being labelled as fresh, analytical and in some ways educational/conscious Hiphop. Very opinionated though. Peeps will have to have a listen to make up their minds. We’re still on the underground though, so it’ll have to hit the mainstream for us to get a much more broader response or feedback.


…I love mixtapes man, you are a lot more free in the studio when recording a mixtape…

I see the album was dedicated to your daughter. Is she the motivation behind you releasing an album?

She definitely was a major motivational force for me behind the release. At the time I recorded the EP – Keep It Moving (6 tracks off the S.K.I.M.) I was going through the whole pregnancy and birth period with her mother. There were times when I lost focus and I felt like giving up. Being a father smacked me with responsibility. Knowing I’ve got someone who looks up to me as their guardian gave me the strength I needed to do what I knew I had to do and it still does.

%image_alt%You’ve hooked up some production for the album that gives it a truly massive sound. Was this intentional on your part?

It was intentional in that I picked all the beats because I liked them but that was it. There was no intentional plan with what producers or artists I worked with, it really just happened. I knew what they were about, they knew what I was about, I needed some beats, they were willing to provide and the rest is history. Expect straight bangers!

So are you planning to take the album around the UK on a tour, or are you just pushing it more in London as it’s definitely a London sound?

God willing we’ll take the album around the world. For now we’re concentrating on probably touring nationally. I do a lot of shows and I’ve performed at most of the main cities around England so I’ve never really limited myself to just one ends or just London. I done a show at an event in Nigeria a couple weeks ago so you never know.

Your sound is actually quite difficult to pin influences on, probably because it’s fairly unique in many ways. Who was Big Cakes rocking when you were growing up?

I’m the son of a DJ. My dad had all the latest American records when I was growing up so I’ve always been around music. As a child I was into all the old school cats even though I couldn’t fully appreciate what they were saying at the time. A few of many are Naughty by Nature, EPMD, Redman, Onyx. As a teenager I was the biggest Biggie and Ghostface fan. Now I just listen to good beats and good lyrics, anyone who fits that criteria will do.

You’ve done a few mixtapes before too. Is this a format you like releasing material in?

I love mixtapes man, you are a lot more free in the studio when recording a mixtape. Album tracks are always taken more seriously. I love making music so I released my album and mixtape at the same time on the streets


…There were times when I lost focus and I felt like giving up. Being a father smacked me with responsibility…

%image_alt%You were involved with MTV Base’s ‘Black History Month Campaign’ back in 2005 and your album speaks volumes for your passion on the subject. Is this something you’d like to be involved with more?

Yes. With music we can make people more aware of a situation that is otherwise ignored. I chose to speak about a black man who got shot 41 times in the USA but the police were not convicted of any wrongdoing.

There’s a fair few references about the escalating gun crime in London. What’s the situation and potential cure in your opinion?

There is no one reason for the gun crime; it’s a mixture of many factors. Some are bad parenting or lack of it, lack of funding in youth development certain areas, access to the guns, social glamorisation of gangsters in films and on TV and so on. When we generalise and put the blame on just one factor we never get anywhere. Potentially, I think we can cure the problem if everyone took it upon themselves to show love and understanding to everyone in society. If it was more cool to be a good and decent person I think the problem will be significantly reduced.

You also touch on the whole concept of Blood Diamonds on ‘I’m a King’. Is this something you feel passionately about?

Yes definitely!

Ok moving away from the seriousness now. Really stupid question, but I’ve got to do it. If you were indeed a big cake, what would you be?

I’d be a multi-layered Madeira cake!

%image_alt%When growing up, what did you want to be and how happy are you to be in the position you’re in now?

I wanted to be a pilot when I was growing up. I’m still growing, living and learning so we’ll see. I can’t complain about the position I’m in right now in life, my glass is half full not half empty.

Right, to wrap things up, any final words?

My debut album S.K.I.M. is out now in all good record shops so go and buy that because it’s big. Get on myspace.com/bigcakes or youtube and check out my new videos.

2-Hip

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