Not a lot of English ukhh fans will go out of their way to peep the sounds emerging from Scotland’s hip hop scene. One such artist decided he wasn’t gonna wait around for a revolution and made his way down to London. Dropping a few jaws with his punch lines along the way. He’s back home now and still making just as much noise. May I introduce to you… Respek BA.
Madrox: Good evening Mr.BA. Heads in Scotland and London should know you well by now, but for those of us in between and anyone who hasn’t caught you battling yet – would you care to state your name, where you’re from, and what you’re about?
Respek BA: Yeah, what’s up? This is Respek-BA AKA Djinn Truf, from South Scotland now residing in Glasgow city, and I’m about making heavy hip hop.
Madrox: That’s what I like to hear! Alrighty then, so I’m gonna ask it straight away. Which is better, Glasgow… or London? And why?
Respek BA: Glasgow, because I’m Scottish and I’ll always love Scotland. That’s the way it goes with everyone, nothing can fuck with your homeland! And all that other Braveheart shite you lot are probably expecting to hear… hahaha.
Madrox: Hahaha, glad to hear it… not being much of a fan of London myself. Of course the reason you were in London asides from assisting the ledge that is Blade on tour – was to do some hardcore battling. What made you decide to first sign on the dotted line for jump off?
Respek BA: Well first of all let me say I love London, and I’ve been shown a lot of love in London. And I’m a fan of it! It’s just Scotland is my place. There was no dotted-line, more me just showing up for a few Jump Off competitions back in 2004, and they kept my details… I got to the final in 3 separate tournaments and lost in all 3! But they must have thought I did ok ’cause Scarrs, who is the Jump Off talent agent and host got back in touch with me when they came to Glasgow for the Street Battle tour… which is where things properly took off.
Madrox: Very much so. Your a regular feature in the Jump Off roster now. I have to say… watching ‘Spin the mic’ was awesome. So how did it feel to be in it?
Respek BA: Yea, ‘Spin The Mic’ was heavy… I was quite nervous since it was my first battle outside of Scotland, but I thought as long as the crowd didn’t hate on me for my nationality, they had to recognise the skill.
Madrox: And they did! You got to the final in a London based tournament full of Londoners, when your not even English! That’s a rare thing, haha. So stickin to battling, what has been your best battle to date and why?
Respek BA: My best battle was either me Vs Stig in Glasgow, or me and Stig Vs Arkaic & Kulez in London. ‘Cause against Stig was my first street battle, and he’s one of the illest freestylers and battle MC’s in the world. I like the tag team battle cause I think me and Stig are a good team… and it’s a sign of things to come in this Tag Team Battle League Jump Off are starting soon.
Madrox: Please… do tell more…?
Respek BA: Well it’s starting on the second of July. There will be two leagues of six teams, running simultaneously in London and New York. The winner of each league will meet in the Grand Final later this year on some international tag battle shit! Go to www.jumpoff.tv to find out more information, and go to the street battle section to watch my battles if you’re interested.
“…the crowd didn’t hate on me for my nationality, they had to recognise the skill…”
Madrox: Wow! that sounds fucking awesome. So we could end up with some shit like BA & Stig Vs Solomon & Syanide?
Respek BA: Well, if all goes to plan… possibly.
Madrox: Lookin forward to it man! Ok – moving away for a bit. What was it like on your tour with Blade? You went to like 15 countries right? Tell me about it… Did you have a favourite? Any interesting anecdotes?
Respek BA: Yeah, touring with Blade was dope. A lot of times it was under tough circumstances, but it’s just tour bullshit you get over. My favourite gig was Hip Hop Kemp in the Czech Republic two years ago… it was dopeness. I’ve got loads of funny stories too, but none of ’em are getting discussed on here!
Madrox: Awwwwww! Savin it for the next LP? haha. Speaking of which… what have you got on the way? Guest appearances? Mixtapes? EP’s? What can we expect to drop from your camp next?
Respek BA: Right, well there’s a few things I’m working on right now… and when I say a few I actually mean a shit load. The main project I’m focusing on is my album with Marrik Layden Deft, on Street Cypher Records, an EP released on Kriminal Recordz, plus a whole bunch of other stuff… look out for a few DVD’s later this year as well.
Madrox: DVD’s you say? Of your battles?
Respek BA: That information is currently classified. Hahah… it’ll have a lot of stuff on it. Whether or not it has some of my battles is up to the Jump Off really… but there’ll definitely be some exclusive shit on there for the battle heads.
Madrox: And some home made porn for everyone else? hahaha.
Respek BA: Damn straight. I’ve got ho’s from 40 different countries sucking my dick on there!… just joking.
“…nobody is willing to back or fund our projects… and we’re all skint basically…”
Madrox: Hahaha, ok… here’s a good one. I’ve known you for ten years – and in that time – hip hop and in particular UK hip hop – has changed very much… How do you feel about the industry as it stands? Especially coming from a place that has had even less exposure than most? (Scotland)
Respek BA: I feel like it’s got a lot worse. It’s always been bad, industry in itself is bad but over the last ten years it really has chewed up hip hop and shat it out. It’s so diluted now, you can’t tell which genre a track is in till the artist who made it tells you! I make hip hop… old fashioned style. In Scotland, nothing has changed. There was no industry for hip hop back then and there is none now… we’re all still fighting to get our names out however we can because nobody is willing to back or fund our projects… and we’re all skint basically. There’s so much music in Scotland that’s dope that’s gone un-heard over the years because of lack of funding. It’s bullshit… that’s half the reason I started battling. Nobody even knew I existed outside of Scotland until I went to London to battle… because nobody checks Scotland for talent… well, not many do. But that’s their loss anyways.
Madrox: Indeed man. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Bringing it back to battles for a second. Do you have a favourite punchline that you’ve spat?
Respek BA: That I’ve spat? I dunno… better off asking an outsider that one!
Madrox: Hahaha, How about the best line used against you?
Respek BA: “Those clothes ain’t his, because he robs mans / Fuck second hand, they’ve been through every tramp in Scotland!” – Kulez in the tag team battle against me and Stig.
Madrox: Haha, does it annoy you if you lose a battle? Like… does it get to you?
Respek BA: The only battle that got to me when I lost was my only street battle loss against Arkaic… cause I genuinely believe I won that. Any other time I’ve lost I didn’t care… but I was proud of my street battle record! Hahah, but maybe he did deserve to win and I’m just being biased.
“…I like the tag team battle cause I think me and Stig are a good team…”
Madrox: I always pictured it being a bit like boxing you know? Some take it easy, others give you a sucker punch after the match haha. Alrighty… you mentioned DVD’s before… do you have any videos in the pipeline? Or are you gathering more material first?
Respek BA: Nah, no video’s. I’m just focusing on the DVD’s. As for the release of them… yeah, we’re waiting to record more footage before we do it… so they’ll come out at the end of this year hopefully. But everything else about them is top secret right now!
Madrox: Hahaha. Is there anything else you’ve got going on that you’d like to mention?
Respek BA: Yea look out for me collaborating with Stig, Blade, Whas’hisface, Possessed, Loki, Marrik, Mac-G, Mr Quiz, D Face, Blu Foot, Big Div, Blade… and a whole load more. Watch this space, and go check out www.myspace.com/djinntruf to keep yourselves updates with what I’m up to, and www.jumpoff.tv for the battle shit. Plus a “Top secret” project me and a few other people are working on.
Madrox: Hahaha, your starting to sound like a secret agent…
Respek BA: I fucking am! ‘Cept I hate the fucking government… it’s an anti-government secret agency… or something like that.
Madrox: Hahahaha, ok… pen-ultimate question. If you could collaborate with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be? and more importantly… Why?
Respek BA: Dead – Big L… he was the dopest! Alive – Canibus… he is the dopest!
Madrox: Hahaha, OK. Short and sweet. So finally then… Any shout outs? Dates of up coming gigs? or any shit you just wanna say…?
Respek BA: Yea shout out to my crews, Kriminal Recordz, The Ghosts, The Tinmen, Being MC’s, Freestyle Masons and the SIN Army massive! Shouts to everyone that supported my shit from a while ago and shouts to everyone doing so now! Also, everyone send me money and I’ll make an album. If anyone wants to throw me some doe I’ll go record one! hahaha. PEACE!
Madrox: Hahaha, it’s been a pleasure, peace mate.
So with many a treat in store, the man they call Respek is hard at work in the lab, and on the streets makin a few easy pounds battling. You can peep his tunes and videos @ www.myspace.com/djinntruf and www.jumpoff.tv. Thanks for reading. Peace.