This guy’s pretty undercover, and he likes it that way. Though he has appeared on tracks with Jehst, Fallacy and Doc Brown; Broke N English DJ Konny Kon has the ill flow you may not have heard yet. Or, you have heard it; you just don’t know who this dude is and where he sprung up from.
With a compilation CD coming up and featuring on Broke ‘N’ English’s debut album I had to delve further into one of Manchester’s most low profiling hip hop head’s.
He might be quiet, but he doesn’t lack confidence. With a surprising discography, and self proclaimed versatility, meet the man who states he does it because ‘I think I’m better than everyone else’.
Tell me some about you and the journey so far…
well I’m Konny Kon from Manchester, MC/DJ/undercover beat maker…started rapping in primary school before I really checked for hip-hop just the random stuff that you’d hear. I was more into soul and reggae cos I used to listen to the pirates back then and I used to tape all the reggae shows. In secondary school I got more into hip-hop and wrote lyrics every now and again and did the odd show at community evenings/end of year assembly etc. Then I got into it seriously when I left school and started Microdisacs with people I went to school with. The line up changed a bit and Strategy became a member. He went on to start Broke ‘N’ English and then a bit later I joined as their DJ. That’s where I’m up to now!
I miss pirate radio like mad. How do you think it influenced you, if at all?
It totally influenced everything I do. Those tapes I recorded off Manchester pirates made me wanna make music, made me wanna DJ and made me wanna stay out of trouble and just do some thing positive. All the pirates back then were major.
Yeah they were. Tell me about Microdisiacs…
Microdisiacs was me TBC, Brainboxer and Velocity. We all went to the same school and just made 90 minute freestyle tapes all the time like it was nothin! I think I was about 17/18 when I first recorded our first release. I’m the only one of the original members still doing it. Strategy (Broke ‘n’ English) joined later and Didjit (Skullsnap Records) became our DJ.
What drew you to hip hop?
Around the time I got into hip-hop it was just standard for an 11 year old in Manchester to be into hip-hop, it was before jungle got big, before garage, before grime so everyone I knew was into hip-hop. Since then I’ve always spent any money I had on buying tapes/records.
Do you see yourself more as a DJ or an MC?
Well I started as a MC and now I’m probably known more as a DJ. I think I’m a better MC than DJ but I think I’ve got better records than most DJs out now. I’ll burn a lot of DJs when it comes to selection! I’m versatile.
You’ve done tracks with Jehst, Cappo, Fallacy and Ricochet to name a few, yet you’re still pretty low profile. Why do you think that is?
Cos I’m lazy and I should be out there more. My heart isn’t in it like it used to be I don’t give two fucks about the whole shit really. It’s just that I think I’m better than everyone else that’s the reason I still make music! I think I get a lot of support from people who’ve heard me. I just need to be out there doing more shit really.
Which rappers do you respect?
Well I don’t respect any of them cos when you meet most of them their not what you think; but MCs I like are Nas, Wu and Krs – when I listen to them I think there’s no point me trying to make music haha!
Do you have any plans to work on some solo material?
Well I guested on a few peoples tracks by myself but I haven’t had anything out as just KONNY KON. I’m trying to get an album/compilation done but its taking forever. People are long on beats and I’m really picky. I will get that done and then once that’s out my system I’ll probably stop writing rhymes. I don’t see much point to it now. Who knows I might get a good reception from what I release and it might inspire me to do more but right now I feel like that’s gonna be it.
So you think you’re gonna quit rapping and concentrate on DJing?
We’ll see how it goes. I still enjoy DJing and I’m making beats so hopefully when I’ve fully mastered it I’ll get some out to people. I think my beats are nice but people are too quick to put shit out before they mastered their craft. That’s why hip-hop is kinda dry right now – no quality control
There’s a lot of music circulating through Myspace. It has it’s pro’s and cons..What do you think?
I think its good, but people who have been rappin for 2 years need to practice a bit more before they start asking me to listen to their music. On the flip, I got heard by a lot more people since I’ve been on it and I heard people I probably wouldn’t have before.
What’s your favourite track ever? (I know that’s a tough question!)
I just sat here for 10 minutes and the answer is I don’t know. But some music I’ll never get tired of is…
Garnett – Silk Complaint
Biggie – Every Day Struggle
Sounds Of Blackness – Optimistic
Wu Tang – Mystery Of Chessboxin
Roy Davis Jr – Gabrielle
Smif N Wessun – K.I.M
and most tracks produced by Pete Rock
I like a lot of 90s hip-hop/soul etc. I know it sounds a bit backpacky or whatever you wanna call it but I don’t give a fuck – come to me and tell me bout I’m a backpacker and see what type of response you get. I remember people who woulda jacked you, people who done time and they were into Beastie Boys, Ultramagnetic, Public Enemy etc. I think this whole thing bout people who listen to that type of hip-hop are nerds is a big lot of bullshit. I’m not gonna change what type of music I make and listen to just cos some guy who likes Kano/Jim Jones/Soulja Boy thinks its backpacker/nerd music. Just to get that off my chest haaha. Does that count as my favourite track ever?
Yes it does. Anyone who knows me, knows I have 100 ‘this is my favourite track(’s)’’! And as for that backpacking bullshit, if you are too young or to ignorant to understand good music, fuck off until you do understand.
You DJ for Broke ‘N’ English, will you be rapping on any forthcoming tracks?
Well they’re doing their album and I wanna get on it. I was pretty gutted when the last album came out and I was on one track. I think I need to be on about at least 60% this time!
The names: Kon the Baptist aka Casper Swayze. Explain please!
Kon the Baptist comes from John the Baptist -just baptising MCs..Casper Swayze just means that I’m on the low. – I’m ghost I’m Casper I’m Patrick Swayze (obviously in his Ghost role, not Dirty Dancing) – you ain’t seeing me!
‘Cos I’m quite ignorant and if I don’t really know someone I hate them being all up in my face! When I’m in a club with my gyal people will come up to me sayin’ I’ve got all your records I know all your lyrics your dads called bob and blah blah blah’ and I’m like ‘ok…’ and they look at me expecting more. My gyal always says I should be more outgoing with them but I hate all the stuff that comes with people knowing who you are. So I just like to make music and be on the low. I don’t mind people coming up to me and saying ‘nice set’ or ‘you smashed it on so and so’s record’ but all the long talk does my head in.
What do you think of the music scene in Manchester?
It’s ok. Some of the younger guys I might not really be into their music but I do really give them props when it comes to hunger and determination to do something with their music. There’s not many people out here who I think are that good, a few, but on the whole we could be doing better.
Do you have any residencies?
I dunno all the nights I’m a resident at seem to be on hiatus! The only one at the moment is the Big Payback with Didjit and Mikey d.o.n (Krispy). We just play whatever in there – didn’t just wanna restrict it to hip-hop.
You went to Australia recently right?
yeah basically I known Jehst and Asaviour for tiiime. DJ IQ was meant to DJ but he didn’t end up going so Jehst asked me. It was me Jehst and Mical Parknsun. It was crazy out there. We went for 2 and a bit weeks. The shows were rammed, the weather was good, and Parky smoked all the weed in Australia. I defo need to get back out there.
What do we need to look out for Konny?
Basically look out for me with Broke N English and anything on Skullsnap Records. I got a bout 6 tracks I did with Cappo that will either come out soon or on my album/compilation. Check my myspace www.myspace.com/konnykon and apart from that I probably ain’t doing fuck all!
The Broke’n’english album ‘Subject 2 Status’ is out now on CD on Fat City. A 6 track 12″ album sampler is also available…
– Lady Jay UK