Issue 08 featuring: Danny Brown, Big Daddy Kane, James Lavelle, Edan, Mike Skinner, Killer Mike, Thundercat, Mount Kimbie, Gold Panda and Kon
“I did it my way,” crooned Ol’ Blue Eyes in what may have become one of popular cultures more hackneyed expressions, yet it is certainly one that can be applied to all those who feature in issue 08 of Bonafide. There is a restless streak of individualism that connects all the people we have spoken to.
Big Daddy Kane was a majestic lyricist, a seminal individual in hip-hop’s Golden Age that was able to be both tough and smooth, while stylistically his influence on fashion in hip-hop and popular culture has been far reaching. Remember who started that whole shaved eyebrow thing. It wasn’t David Beckham.
Someone who has always had a studious approach to hip-hop is Edan, referencing the greats while melding his music in a collage of 60s psychedelia, funk, world music and even rock (his next project) to create a sound of his own. The Bostonite has been on our radar since day one and it sounds like he’s about to release some new music too. No doubt that will come packaged in Edan’s distinctive vibrant DIY collage of filtered and reworked imagery, whether or not he’s going to hand draw each LP cover (like he did on Echo Party, 2009) remains to be seen.
James Lavelle knows a thing or two about record covers. He collaborated with the likes of Futura 2000, 3D, Haze and more to package music on his ground-breaking Mo’ Wax label. From DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing…..(1996) through to Psyence Fiction (2008), his own artist project UNKLE (alongside Shadow), Lavelle helmed the release of several classic albums. Yet his experience running the label wasn’t always a joyful one, as Lavelle reveals in a frank portrait of Mo’ Wax.
In the same year that Lavelle shutdown Mo’ Wax another figurehead began to emerge who united electronic music and (by way of UK garage) rap. The Streets’ debut album Original Pirate Material (2002) sits comfortably in many best album of the 00s lists and arguably paved the way for Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and the subsequent grime movement to gain critical claim and eventually, mainstream acceptance. Mike Skinner may have retired The Streets project in 2011 but as our interview proves, he has has lost none of the easy charm and intriguing quirks that helped him top the charts while referencing Richard Dawkins.
Despite, or perhaps even because of, being intrinsically British Mike Skinner’s unorthodox delivery caught the ear of a certain Detroit MC. Danny Brown, by his own admission may have been ‘British in a past life.’ His forthcoming album Old features production by numerous vocalists and producers from the UK (including Mount Kimbie’s label mate Rustie). But, sartorially speaking has there been anyone since a certain B.D.K with as much swagger as Danny? Happy reading.