One random afternoon, I was sat at my computer just happily downloading some tunes when big man Stiggy Smalls hops online and tells me he’s homeless. Being as I hadn’t heard from Stig in a while, that surprised the hell out of me. So for everyone else who’s wondering just where the fuck that crazy Geordie blokes gone…we knocked up this little interview…
Good Afternoon Stig, you’re a regular and a welcome face throughout battles in the UK, but for those that don’t know….would you care to state your name, where you’re from, and what you’re about?
I’m from Newcastle, via a whole bunch of other places, but Newcastle is where my heart is. I’m a piss head who has a nack for making words rhyme and when the moment strikes, insulting people. My name is Stig of the Dump, aka Stiggy Smalls, aka Stiggasaurus Wrecks, aka Stigmata, Stiggamortis, Stig Dastardly or Stevie Dickhead to my kin folk. Oh, and i’m fat.
Hahaha ok, nicely summed up. So what is it that got you so intrigued by MC battles in the first place? Did you have a sudden inspiration?
Battles wise, I dunno, I mean its a standard part of hip hop and I just enjoyed watchin ’em, so when they sparked up randomly at jams i’d try ‘n jump in.. basically I took the piss out of me ‘n mine on the regs, so putting in to rhyme was just natural progression. It may surprise heads, but I fuckin hate organised battles. I jus need to eat, and more importantly drink, so the money pulls me in. Infact, let me re-word that…I don’t hate organised battles… I hate organised single battles…if its a round for round thing, so you don’t know who you’ll actually draw, then its dope. Its got that live vibe and generally means theres more of an onus on freestyles…but if heads know they got one battles on one date, alot of ’em put pen to paper.
Do you think more battles should have rules in which pre-writtens simply can’t be utilised?
I dunno, I mean, I dont think you can really judge that, cos alot of heads drop mind blowing lines in freestyles so alot of cats assume that its written. I just think when MC’s rely on writtens and they make up the majority of their lines, its bullshit. A lot of heads i know ‘n respect fall back on writtens…but they can free sick. It just really boils my piss when people get labelled as sick freestylers..or..front like they’re all off the top, when its a blatant lie. I have the honour of cypherin’ with some of the sickest freestylers in the world in possessed, BA, Whashisface and Dr Synners…and when i say ‘world’ i mean it. So to see heads lie about possessing the talent they have and other people believing it. It kinda degrades the art.
“…I’m a piss head who has a knack for making words rhyme and when the moment strikes, insulting people…”
No doubt man. Ok, so you spent a lot of time in London recently, for battling purposes, What are the main notable differences between Newcastle and London for you? Hip hop scenes included…
I live in London at the mo’…i’ve been here for just over a year. As I said battles aren’t a thing to me. Yeah, I got alot of love and exposure and a few beer tokens, but its far from my main flex. As for the differences between here and back home…they’re huge. The talent back home is sick, but heads aren’t as progressive with getting heard. The scene relys on the hardcore and students, people are just starting to push themselves more and more. Whereas down in London you can’t walk down the street without having someone trying to sell you their mixtape. Another difference is the regularity of nights. In the Big Smoke, you can go out almost any night of the week and hit up a hip hop jam, back home they’re few ‘n far between, even just open mics and shit theres only one or two regular. We have had some massive acts a lot of which i’ve had the honour of hosting or supporting, from Raekwon, Gza and Jeru to Biz Markie, so we do get to see some of the legends, but its just a much much smaller scene. It’s a dance orientated city. So if i went out ‘n got my hair highlighted, filled my snot box with coke and made repetitive 4 by 4 beats and rocked labels that my pay cheque doesn’t cater for…i’d prolly be livin it large by now, haha.
Haha, i know the feelin man. Still, you’re there now and livin it up. So lets get into that. I interviewed Respek BA not long ago and asked him a few of these questions but i think they’re just questions that you have to put to a battle MC, so here goes….first…Spin the mic…..undoubtedly one of the best battle events the UK’s seen for a while. You were there, how did it feel?
Yeah, it was a huge concept. Very clever, but simple…it felt horrible tho, i wasn’t on it, i don’t wanna sit here an’ cuss anyone, but a lot of the general public are stupid as fuck. I don’t wanna battle in front of ignorant people. I mean, I wasn’t feelin it anyways, as I put maaad pressure on myself ‘cos i didn’t have a penny at the time, and when you drop a clever line and it gets no response, but someone drops some piss weak fat or mum joke and people cream over it, it doesn’t help the vibe. Also, I remember a dude called Riz flippin a line from my boy Whashisface about him bein an immigrant ‘cos he was asian…it was along the lines of “He’s so ignorant, calling me an immigrant, he obviously doesn’t realise the colour of his own skin pigment”…a clever flip met with respect from Whashisface, but the crowd boo’d and hated on him like he was on some anti-black shit…and that ignorance i cant abide. I aint gonna dumb myself down, so i can’t cross reference people and drop lines I would find funny. So yeah, I defo wasn’t feelin it, but gotta give props for what they’re doin with pushin the battles and comin up with new ideas. Let me just state for the record though, for everyone… I AM NOT A BATTLE MC… dont pigeon-hole me.. battling is a quick route to exposure and money, pure and simple…it hasn’t aided me with links or actual record makin. I can’t complain about what it has done…but now every fucker wants to try ‘n run their gums at me ‘n battle me at a show. So yeah, im an MC who has battled, but i ain’t a one trick pony…sorry had to get that off my chest, bo! hahaha
Haha, yeah i can picture that getting annoying man. Ok, well i got a few more battle questions to ask before we move onto your song stuff though ok? haha. Next one being – Whats been your favourite battle to date? and why?
Jeeezus…there’s loads. I have to say though, my favourite dude in battles is The Saurus, his multi’s and punches are flawless and funny. So my favourite would have to be either him ‘n a dude called Franco Flip, or Illmc vs Swann.. Craig G vs Supanat defo has defo got a huge part in history though. That battle is monumental…its standard isn’t as funny or tight as the newer shit…but its one of those legendary stories.
Cool, But I actually meant which battle of your own breddeh? Like …a battle you were in…haha. Any faves?
Oh shit…hahaha…urm I did enjoy the tag battle me ‘n BA had with Ark and Kulez, and I was mad happy with my performance at BattleScarrs. I was on it and i’m rarely happy with myself…but the multi’s, the flow and punches were just comin to me in a stream of subconscious, all ‘Matrix’ like…but the beef that happened overshadowed my performance, and i don’t think many people were there. Other than that, I regular get provoked by the Beggars when i’m drunk up. Kinda like when rudeboys have a big fuck off dog on a leash and they poke it with a stick just to see it go wild…they’ll sit and just provoke me to let off with disses and like a fool I always start barkin, but they’re always fun.
Haha. Ok, last battle question. Whats the best line you’ve spat? and the best line thats been spat against you? …in a battle situation.
Best line against me is one of the earliest disses I caught, by a young dude from home called Spuggy Fitz…another fat joke, but it was just too funny. We were on a stage with a second floor above us and a balcony lookin down, ‘n he dropped summin like “I spit fire and burn frauds / He’s so fat this stage was part of the balcony on the first floor”. I had to give props, I was laughin myself. As for my favourite line i’ve droppped, urm…I was battling a dude in Oxford on some little random recently at a night called ‘Blunted’…and dropped “I’ma start beating his face / i’m defeating this fake / it looks like Peter Kaye hasn’t eaten in days”…an’ he looked spittin dabs of a skinny Peter Kaye, so that’s the first that springs to mind…props to him by the way, dude called Capskey I believe. Only other recent one ive been really happy with was against some young dude who battled at a show i was hosting for and he cussed me out while battling a guy called Mr G, on some “you only look good cos you’re stood next to a fat kid” shit.. so i paused the procedings after the round was over to school him and dropped “your getting blazed to hell, you look like a teenage Dave Chappelle with aids as well” i was maad happy with that.
“…Fuck a home and a 9 to 5, I havent got either, but get to do what I always wanted to…get fucked an’ act the clown…”
Haha, nice man. So moving on then. You mentioned before you didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as a battle MC alone…So what have you got coming in the way of releases? Are you working on an LP or a mixtape maybe?
Yeah, actually i’m dropping “The Homeless Microphonist EP” very soon. Its basically just a spur of the moment thing to try and raise some funds, its just gonna be a low budget affair, good quality, but low budget. It came about after a few days of drowning my sorrows and a couple of shows to help keep me fed. My boys and I conjured up a genius plan to write, record, and release a fully complete EP…IN 7 DAYS…’nuff people have told me it can’t be done, but i’m only on the 2nd day and i’m in the Dented Bunker, 2 new tracks deep, so its more than possible. That said, although the idea is to make the full EP in 7 days, I will be adding 2 old tracks…”Ill Billys” & “The Introduction” – both on my myspace page. Just to bulk it out and to drop them on something before they get old. Man, im so far behind…I was working on having a mixtape or kinda intro LP called ‘Sasquatch Prophecies’ droppin recently…but its still uncomplete. I’m planning to drop a 7″ on a record label from Brighton called “Beer & Rap Records”. They got a place in my heart…so look out for that. It’s gonna be ‘Intoxicated’ which you can find on my myspace (www.myspace.com/stigdastardly) and a new track with my crew Live Poets Society and Dr Syntax, over a siiiiick beat by 184. Apart from that, just sorting out my life…i’m homeless as we speak, and pennyless, so i need to focus and get my shit done…but trust me I got big plans and some collabs waaaaay overdue. Expect me to be running tracks with my Beggar Fam, Syntax, Baron Samedi, Taskforce, Skrein, Rhyme Assylum…shot loads more. I’m maaad privileged to be linkin with such talented heads when i’m still on the first rung of the ladder. I ain’t unrealistic, but believe if you aim for stars and fall short at the sky you still gonna achieve more than setting your sights low. “Carpe Diem” , that said, if you ask me in a few weeks i’l’l be sittin on my homeless ass still, half cut and preaching about how I got shit set up. It’s ironic…I got “Carpe Diem” tatoo’d on my arm…but i’m too busy seizing my pint or my nuts to be getting stuff done. Fuck it…lifes a bag of randomness and I aint bored of dippin in ‘n seeing what I pull out…sorry man i’m rambling…this skully bug is gettin me mashed.
You are like…quotable city. Hahaha. Have you done any live shows or anything recently? or do you have any lined up?
Ain’t any live shows lined up…few hosting gigs…which involve me getting drunk and chatting shit, tryna steal the main acts lime light…hahaha…an’ I love it. Last gig I did was back up in Newcastle. Dented Records showcase type ish, with Foreign Beggars, Skreintax ‘n me ‘n my boys LPS. It was dope, goin home always is and linking with my crew is inspirational. S.U.B and Mr Burnz are two of the most talented dudes i’ve ever met…and people will find out believe me. Other than that, i’ve been running along with the Beggars on some of their UK dates…like some regular tag along just freestyling with ’em and jumpin’ up for some quick appearances, but I gotta say for anyone tryna get heard, keep pushing, ‘cos touring is the most fun I ever had. It’s hard work, but I haven’t laughed so constantly or drank so heavily and regularly than runnin in the Beggars Bang Bus, and my boys have the liveliest show in the country, no doubt, so you know i’ve been gettin wild. Oh shit yeah, I hosted/supported RA the Rugged Man in Brighton the other day at Beer & Rap…that was fuckin’ next level wrongness. Basically, i’m doin whatever comes along. Fuck a home and a 9 to 5, I havent got either, but get to do what I always wanted to…get fucked an’ act the clown.
Haha, man I gotta admire your constant level of positive enthusiasm. Do you draw strength from the thought that hip hop will provide? I mean…Is this it for you?
“…I don’t wanna sit here an’ cuss anyone, but alot of the general public are stupid as fuck…”
No, i’m not stupid. I know hip hop will never buy me the house I want or fool some pretty mrs into believing i’m a keeper, but to be honest, this is all I want to do. I’ve done the 9 to 5 and it’s the most soul destroying shit ever. It sounds played out to quote a friend, but Orifice from Beggars summed it up twice once in a verse where he says “All I really want to do in life is recite rhymes” and the other day when we were on a road somewhere between nowhere ‘n somewhere an’ he said “I love rap, it’s like a licence to act like a yoot for the rest of your life”, and both are exactly what i’m tryna say. My life isn’t for everyone, and God knows at the moment it isn’t for me either, but I keep having memories pop in my head of what i’ve been doin’ the last few months, and i’d much rather be where I am an’ struggling on the day to day, than living comfortably and dedicating my life to makin’ money for someone else. Life is too short, ‘specially when you burn the candle at both ends. So i’d rather enjoy what little time I have, than drag it out, bored out my tiny mind. I’m human. I’m not always on some positive tip…some of my music reflects that…maybe thats how I exorcise the demons or some ish. Everybody has their stresses, but today and right now i’m stickin’ to the positive. Maybe it’s the ganja i’m blazing. Maybe it’s the fact I got some good fam around me…but today everything is fucking bisto mate.
Couldn’t have put it better man. So whats next then? Do you have a plan of action so-to-speak? or are you just gonna wing-it and see where you land on the hip hop map?
It’s a bit of both. I ‘spose I got a blueprint…but life doesn’t work in straight lines. So my plan is just to get some money, keep working on my solo shit and tryna get more done with my crew, ‘cos as i say, they make me raise the bar every time i hear ’em. I still have to complete the collabs i’ve had planned for time now aswell, but i’m just tryna live. By any means necesary i’m tryna live. If I need to battle to get money i’ll do that. I defo plan to get more tracks for people to hear, as the feedback i’m getting is huge and kinda humbling, ‘specially as, like i said, i’m still on the first rung of the ladder. If in a years time, as long as i have a few things out, i’m still cyphering with the same heads, and acting like the same arsehole, I do know I wont complain. I defo plan to progress, but not at the expense of my sanity.
“…It may surprise heads, but I fuckin hate organised battles. I jus need to eat, and more importantly drink, so the money pulls me in…”
Haha. You mention your crew man. Can we expect any group effort to be released soon? How’s that working out?
Its working out slowly, but its working out. Basically, like i say, they will feature on my 7″ and definatly are part of what i’m about. I plan to make sure Live Poets Society are a name people know. Not ‘cos of me, but ‘cos of the group as a unit. Subliminal is next level as a rhymer, presence, lyrics ‘n flow in abundance. Mr Burnz is on his own shit, hes got his own style as well, sick sick lines and flow and his beats…oh my days…i’m just gonna keep my mouth shut and let people hear our tracks when they eventually drop.
Haha sounds good to me man. Lookin forward to it. So lastly then, do you have any shout outs or thank you’s to make before you go?
Yeah, I got a whoooole bunch hahaha…Thank you’s: At the mo’ obviously my Folks and Big Bro Leeroy ‘n his Mrs Ali for just bein my peoples. Also I HAVE to thank Foreign Beggars and my boy Dug from Craggs n Parallel Forces (if you like DnB they’re on Valve by the way so buy it! hahaha) for letting me crash on their floor ‘n sofa. Also Synners ‘n Nuborn for the Brighton Hook ups with gigs ‘n pads to crash at. Shoutouts: LPS, Sub n Burnz, Dj Disscuss aka the Dirty Turk, Ken Masters, Origin, Earl, Image, NCK, Skruffz, PPP, all my fam back home , Beggars ‘n Doc Syntax again, DoubleEdge, Skrizzle, Doobs, Moodie ‘n my Undali people, Blunted Needles, Possessed, Whashisface, BA, Heinzy, Koaste ‘n all the Imagineers, Tiny, RareKind lads and the rest of my Brighton kin folk. Baron, Apoc, Tom from myspace…fuck man, my memory is dink!…I forgot nuff people…but either they will know they deserve props or they didn’t in the first place so fuck em! I just wanna basically thank any hip hop head that ever contributed…even the proper wack ones ‘cos its allll insprirational. Oh fuck, and me.. i’m amazing and i’d like to thank me for getting me drunk and generally being funny and making me laugh.
Haha. Well i’ll drink to that. Thank you very much for your time Stiggy mate. All the best. Peace.
Big Stig – homeless and rhyming for beer in a city near you. Look out for the Intoxicated 7″ dropping soon and the LPS crew in general then. Big thanx to Stig for jackin his mates computer to get this done for you guys. And big thanx to the guy that lent it him, haha. Thanx for reading…Peace peoples.