Foreign Beggars are a 5 man crew comprising of rappers Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis, DJ NoNames, Beat Boxer Shlomo and Producer Dag Nabbit. Their label Dented Records is home to some of the UK’s most talented artists, and the succession of creative musicians, singers and rappers are keeping them constantly challenged and fresh.
They ain’t sleepin’ on it
Talented, creative and mad as cheese. Orifice Vulgatron, Metropolis and (I even got a few words out of) Dagnabbit, let me know wassup in the land of the Beggars right now.
You wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of musical work these fellas are getting through if I told you. So I’ll let them tell you instead. They’ve a whole new show with ballet and necrophilia they wanna tell you about.
Ok let’s do some intros, tell me a bit about you, what you do.
[Metropolis] It’s Gordon Brown, I’m the prime minister, and I’m good at bottling it
Cool, obviously some very high calibre people here today
[Orifice] Yo, it’s Orifice Vulgatron aka Patel Williams up in the place today, wearing my tighty whitey, and I’m here to rap. Cos that’s what I like doin. I like to do other things..but if this is being recorded for a daytime radio show I better not really go there..
For legal reasons we can’t discuss previous things he’s been arrested for. What’s cracka lackin tonight? We’re at the Warehouse project…what’ve you got in store for the people this evening?
[Orifice] We got this brand new show, it’s kinda like a fusion of ballet, necrophilia, little bit of electric guitars, little bit of ice skates…we’ve got a new show, revolving ice rink that we bring onto the stage. We were actually inspired by the The Lido when we were out in Paris… I was like yo we gotta get some of that in our show. I don’t know if there’s an age limit on this show, so we’re not really allowed to have titties up on the stage; but same way, we’re here, Foreign Beggars are in the place. The sound system is magnificent, Manchester Warehouse project DJ Kentaro. Rick Astley’s making a little cameo appearance…
You got Dagnabbit up in the place to be today, Beatnick, E Wan Dan, Trusty Jo Diesel, big up Bench for the lovely tight ass clothes I’m wearing. Lovely. Trust me. Sexual Beggars. That’s what it’s about.
(N.B. This would be a good time to inform you that Bench very kindly left the guys some free merchandise. It was however too small for most of them, but I made them wear their tight ass T’s anyway. Very sexy. Especially Orifice, who very kindly rolled up his trouser legs to create hotpants)
I’ve got a feelin these guys are gonna be touchin themselves tonight in the clothes they got on. I’m telling you it’s some tight look we got goin on.
[Metropolis] Yea, definitely gonna be loads of that..cos that’s just fun, you know… It’s gonna be a good night tonight man. It’s gonna be crazy, we’re gonna try and get people properly energized. I’m also looking forward to checkin out the other acts that are comin through, you get me.
You’ve got very diverse backgrounds. I’m interested in how that affects you musically, and, doyou have major disagreements about music at times? And how do you deal with that?
[Metropolis] Not really..one of the things that brought us together was that we’re all into the same kinda music and stuff. But having said that, I know Orifice is mad into his death metal. I can take a bit of it but, but after a while, it feels like someones hacking my head off with a axe. But it’s all good. I think we all appreciate different kinds of music
In terms of our background…we all have similar backgrounds, and stuff and it’s all brought us together it’s made us a much tighter unit.
[Orifice] For real
[Dagnabbit] Yea I think cos we all grew up in loads of places, we’re used to different cultures, so I reckon that helps as well, like diverse music tastes, we get along pretty well so…
What are you listening to at the moment?
[Orifice] We listened to all kinds of stuff in the car on the way here, we played some Stones Throw, some dub step, played some Julie Driscoll, some Sade, some Justise, Presidents of the United States of America. Oh, we had some billy idol up in that shit. We’re into all kinds of stuff man. I would have pulled out the Pantera, but; discrepancy. I left the Pearl Jam cd at home as well.
With that said then, tell me a little bit about Foreign Beggars sound. I don’t want you to put yourselves in a box, but what’s your sound?
[Metropolis] I’d say our sound is, I mean, it all depends on what we ate for breakfast, you know what I mean. Me personally, I’m a full English kinda guy, so that’s quite meaty, quite solid, yea, substantial. ‘Specially, I like my bubble and squeek as well. So we try and put that into the music. I dunno man…if you listen to the first 2 albums, we’ve dropped like, we’ve tried to reinvent ourselves each time around, and always try an’ come with something different. And it also depends on what we’ve been listening to you know. Because we’ve got such diverse musical tastes and stuff, I think we can take it anywhere, you know what I mean. Whether that’s in the studio, or whether that’s us working with a live band or whatever, you know what I mean. We just try and push boundaries and stuff you know what I mean
[Orifice] I mean essentially it is progressive. Raw, underground hip hop music. It’d from the UK so we have different influences. I mean electronic music and dance music has been very prevalent in our backgrounds production wise, lyrically and in style so… You know we did the drum and bass thing, we still love drum and bass so, you know, very inspired by that movement, and also just the whole grime garage thing. You know, I’m a fan of grime, and in terms of spittin’, that’s real fun to do as well so we’re looking to just bring elements of that stuff into the picture as well so.. We done a track with Subfocus, we’re doin’ some electro stuff with Noisia, we done some real sub low, bassy weird stuff for this guy called Early Man who’s part of Space X outfit. We done a bunch of collabs, we done some real soulful kinda Saraesque . We working with a girl from Paris she’s a girl called Dajlah, and she’s really soulful. She’s a soul singer basically. It’s like soul poetry; that’s what she does. And production is kinda real Dilla Saraesque..we’re tryna move to that a lot, but still capture the essence of who we are and bring that to the table. Done a track with a guy called Griffi, who’s just recorded an album with Aloe Blacc from Stones Throw; who is the illest producer without a doubt. From Spain at the moment, he’s workin’ with people from all over the world. That’s gonna be comin’ out soon. We’ve done some stuff with Virus Syndicate; we’re workin’ on some grime stuff, people all over the world. On one side we’re working with like Dudley Perkins, on the flip side we’re working with Guilty Simpson. Had Phat Kat in the studio a couple of days ago, at the same time we’re doing tracks with people like Shameless, Ghetto & Aftershock Recs, people like that so. You know we’re just tryna flip it up. I’m not gonna put our sound in a box cos one minute we’re doing’ crazy underground dirty, stinkin’ UK rap with Stig of the Dump, and London Zoo; then we’re doing’ like Soul Poetry in France with Dajlah….Whether it’s grime dubstep, drum and bass, we’re in your face. All over the place
Well that kinda killed my next question which is how do you keep it fresh, but I think you just answered that one.
[Metropolis] I think you know, we just try our best to be as versatile as we can be, you know. To approach hip hop, which is mainly what we do, from as many different angles as we can. So don’t be surprised if in 2008 we come out with like a Jazz record, or with like a death metal record. It just depends on where we’re at; and also we’ve got a studio in London and we’re surrounded with a mass of musicians, and we’re just constantly surrounded by beautiful music of all types. I mean even yesterday, Orifice’s brother was in there playing drums on a death metal style ting, you know what I mean. It’s like, just having so much inspiration, and having so many wicked musicians come through; it’s impossible not to be fresh you know.
Would you say your base, your home ground is hip hop, and then it’s anything from there on up. Is that fair to say?
[Orifice] I think we’ve all been through loads of different stuff because personally, I was playing guitar and bass for many years in metal rock bands. Dag was doing’ the same; so at the same got into producing electronica, trip hop, and then we started doing hip hop, and then we moved into dance music. And then, after doing drum and bass few years, I mean, hip hop has been a constant, and I think hip hop is definitely the medium that we’ve all linked on. For the people that we are, what we’re doing is the most expressive outlet. And it has been for the past 10 years… we’re open to change. We love change. We don’t just find one thing and just sit there. We’ve had changed imposed on us whether we like it or not.
I wanted to ask you about collaborations that you’ve been doing, or that you’ve got coming up.
[Metropolis] Dags done a remix for Corrine Ann Bailey
You mean Corrine Bailey Rae?
[Dagnabbit] Yea Corrine Bailey Rae, Ampfiddler, at the moment there’s about 20 people on rotation I suppose, within our studio which is our base, and every day there’s different people coming through
[Orifice] We done collaborations with obviously Stig of the Dump, Dr Syntax, workin’ with this guy Nathan who’s a flute boxer, this group called Solenca. Also done tracks with Subfocus, we’re workin’ on some electro stuff with Noisia and also Dajlah from France, Griffi and Shotta from Spain, Tote King and Puto Largo, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Dudley Perkins, you got Metropolis album, you got Beat from Dabrye, you got a track he’s done with OhNo and RocC, track with Jehst, Kashmere, Sir Smurf L’il producers out of Leeds called Ghost town, producer from Scotland called Hudson Mowhawke. Heralds of Change, who is the illest producer, who is seen as the illest producer; they just shipped him out to do the red bull academies in the states.
We got Sonny Jim’s mixtapes comin’ out on the label. The label’s growing and expanding. While other labels are dropping off, we’re poppin off! We’re working closely with Y N R productions as well; Jehst studio’s right round the corner as well, so all his artists and our artists are workin’ together, so it’s like the labels are teaming up. We’ve got a big distribution deal now which is international and digital, so we’re looking to take this UK rap shit worldwide! We got deals in France and Spain as well, so we have two different albums coming out in France and Spain, which is hopefully gonna go out to Germany and Switzerland as well. We’re doing some tours out there. There’s some potential work with Phatbeats in the pipeline, but I don’t wanna say anything yet cos it’s not confirmed, erm MF Doom, we doing an album with them actually, and Ghostface as well. No, no, I’m lyin’ I’m lyin hahahaha
Yo check out this produce from Manchester, Mr Dick. Doing’ some stuff with Mr Dick. He’s an animal. We got Richard Marks and Jon Bon Jovi on the next record as well Celine Dion did a chorus for us too, that’s about it really.
[Metropolis] We’re always open to working with people, as long as the material’s good enough. As long as we feel it can take us in a new direction and inspire us, you know. Look forward to lots more of that in 2008…
Have you had a particular collaboration that you’ve rally buzzed off, or you thought, yea, that was my favourite?
[Metropolis] I don’t know, cos we worked with some crazy dudes. The heads that been on our last few albums, it’s been amazing to work with; but I must say though, I had a wicked buzz,, we went to cargo for a Stones Throw night and Guilty Simpson came through, that guy’s so ill man, I been feelin that bro for time; and he just came through to the studio, and it was like, it was an amazing feelin, and he was mad safe as well. Both him and Phat Kat. And OHNO, and Wildchild, infact everyone. DJ Vadim man. He’s a bredda shown us mad love as well, always love workin’ with him as well. It’s mad, it’s like growin’ up, seein’ an artist, and like really respectin’ them and then as you get older, meet them actually makin a une with them. It’s an amazin thing.
Can you think of a particular point in your career when you thought, this has just stepped up, or, was it a gentle progression , or like: this shit’s blown up now…
[Orifice] Things happen all the time. And before things happen you have the preconception that things are gonna happen, but it’s strange because they pass by, and it’s as if nothing has happened. So people know us now, we’ve put a lot of hard work in. We’ve toured a lot..opened a lot of shows, Snoop Dogg the other day out in Spain, we opened for Ian Brown a little while ago , we did Amy Winehouse. It’s real cool to be on stage with thease people. Especially people you been lookin’ up to since you were a kid you know. Shlomo was gonna tour with Bjork actually which is really cool. Shlomo’s actually got a whole load of stuff in the pipeline. DJ Nonames just got a call from James Lavelle, and he’s doing the US tour with Unkle. So he’s doing like 15 dates across America…doin’ the cuts for their projects. Schlomo’s in talks with a whole bunch of people. I think he was gonna do Bjork’s tour but he had to turn that down just because he had a whole bunch of other stuff goin’ on.
Look out for the beatbox choir, the vocal orchestra, cos that’s one of the most magnificent that’s happenin right now. Even Bill Bailey is hollering at Schlomo to get beatbox lessons, no joke, you can check it out on YouTube man. I was watching Jonathan Ross the other day, and Bill Bailey’s telling Jonathan Ross about Schlomo. What the hell?
Tell me a bit about your radio show. Luckily it doesn’t collide with mine, or I wouldn’t be tellin’ anyone about it
[Orifice] Every Saturday 10-12, BBC Asian Network. Illest hip hop and grime, talented Asian MC’s as well. Nice platform for underground rap music in the UK, sendin it worldwide. Check it out
My girl DJ Sanskaras wants to know if you’ll be workin with Shiva Soundsystem any time soon?
[Orifice] Yea gonna do a couple o things for them actually. They’re workin on a couple of remixes as we speak, couple of collabo’s with them. Just wait and see…
Ok, I want you to complete this. You can be as long or short as you want. Everybody wants to be a rapper nowadays…
[Metropolis] Yea, bring it on init
[Orifice] Fuck ‘em… It’s too late, it’s too late there are too many that are far better than you already, so you may as well just quit when you’re ahead
You workin’ on any solo projects?
[Metropolis] I gotta solo project comin out it’s called Sludge Music featuring the likes of Jehst, Kashmere, OHNO, Roxy the Brie, Hudson Mowhawk, production by Dag Nabbit, Ghost town, Orifice gonna be up on there. Be a big album. And in the future got a project comin out with DJ 2tall, just startin on that Lots of good stuff comin out for 2008.Get me.
[Orifice] Check out my mixtape coming out next year; it’s called the fastest rapper alive. Try catch me, and die!
[Orifice] Check out Dentedrecords.com, check out myspace/foreignbeggars check the top friend, everybody’s there. Check out the radio every Saturday 10-12 BBC Asian Network, check out London Zoo, check out Stig of the Dump, Check out Beer and Rap records, check out Soletrader records
[Metropolis] Gotta send a shout out to my mum
[Dagnabbit] Big up to Lady Jay, Unity Radio
Foreign Beggars and Dented Records have got all sorts of stuff happening in terms of forthcoming gigs (Newport, Paris, Nantes and London over the next few weeks) and releases, check the sites below for the full info. The album ‘Stray Point Agenda’ is still available from all good hiphop stockists…
– Lady Jay UK