EazyMan has seen many from his neighborhood progress into superstars. So it was good for us to hear his own perspective of the emergence of Grime from something that was hyped from the underground to being the prime influence of UK pop culture.
In case you’re wondering, Eazy Man has bars to kill. As we all know, if you’re from the streets, you have to at least have a credibility for your bars. EazyMan had just that despite his laid back personality. Already building a popular MC from the age of thirteen, EazyMan witness the first wave of Grime, where Dizzie Rascal, Wiley, and crews such as Mo’ Fire built the hype for UK Rap (or MC’ing as others would call it). All of a sudden, kids would spend their free time doing rap battle; both during school breaks and after school.
However, despite the success of his peers, Eazy Man wasn’t seeing it for himself and decided to take a break.
Now in 2017, the MC is fully geared and ready to go. Being the original MC from Croydon comes with a full new mixtape titled ‘Eazy Street’. He’s released two singles ‘Work Rate’ and ‘Man Like This’, with ‘Get Em’. Both tracks (‘Work Rate’ and ‘Man Like This’) have been premiered on GRMDaily, and with this comes heavy support from Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Target, Rinse FM’s Morgan Keyz and Toddla T.
Reaping with the success of ‘Get Em’. EazyMan gives us his thoughts on the current climate of UK Grime. This includes the authenticity of lyrics in rap songs and the separation from real rappers from the amateurs. He gives reveals his feelings on returning to the second/third wave of Grime, where Grime is now recognized and in full abundance thanks to social media. He told us as to why he chose to do a mixtape instead of an EP and the importance of being unapologetic about your street roots through mentoring the next generation of talent.
1. What the inspiration behind your name?
The inspiration? Well, I think this for a long time! I mean when I was 13, my peers used to say to me ‘Yo, you’re easy; a laid back type of guy.’ I also used to graffiti and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, that’s where EazyMan came from.
2. Tell us your personal perspective of the rise of Grime.
Yeah. When I was younger, Dizzee Rascal and Wiley were the first artists from the ends that were breaking through. I used to MC during those times as well. In my area South London, I was quite known to be a good MC. I got to the ages of 20/21 and I just thought ‘Urm, this is not getting me anywhere.’ So when we started getting the internet and these types of things, I just left it out.
I took a break, but I always had a passion for music.
3. What made you decide to return to the music scene?
I like the direction of UK Music at the moment. I noticed the few guys that lived near me e.g. Krept & Konan, Storrnzy, Section Boyz…they’re younger than me, but they’re doing well. I’m seeing their success and I was like ‘RAH, this can really happen…it’s going places.’
I got my own studio in Croydon, got my own microphone and I thought to myself ‘let me test it out’. I was told that ‘I still got it’ and I was like ‘Cool.’
4. Do you think there’s an issue of respecting the legends who’ve paved the way for UK Music? Giggs (who’s known for doing UK Rap) has been very vocal about the lack of support he’s received whilst breakthrough through.
I probably think there’s a slight issue with that yes, but at the same time when Giggs was coming up, people didn’t recognize the UK market then. He shouldn’t take it too personally. Sure, they might not have let you through but the genre wasn’t that big then.
Don’t take it too personally. There’s still money on the table and that’s what we’re really here for at the end of the day. We’re all artists trying to get on. He needs to take that into consideration.
5 a). What are your thoughts of the authenticity of rap in the Grime scene? Do you think that it still exists?
There’s definitely a part of me coming back to the game. I’ve seen a lot of artists that I do like and young artists coming up whereby I’m listening to their lyrics and I’m like ‘Nah – this is garbage.’ Obviously, I know that I got barz. Innit? So I come in with my barz, my flow, my originality and put it on the table. I’m sure that it’s going to get somewhere because they are getting somewhere with their amateur lyrics, and the whole world is listening to it.
Where I’m coming from, we deal with bars. We look at the Biggie Smalls, the Tupac’s…You get what I’m saying? Like the 50 Cents…they got bars and that’s who I’m listening to. That’s was the kind of music that I listened to whilst growing up. Nas, Mobb Deep…
I can’t really respect it when I hear these couple of words. It’s not really from the heart. For me to feel a rapper I got to really be digging him as a person as well. I got to be feeling that he’s on another level. I’m not going to just bounce around to some guy who’s chatting loads of garbage.
b) Should there be a sort of separation between real rappers and amateur rappers in the UK as they have in the U.S?
I think there should. Though I wouldn’t know how one would do it.
It wouldn’t be a thing that we can easily go by. People are watching and these artists are getting the views, getting the hits…
It’s music at the end of the day. So I got to respect their thing too. You know what I mean? I see that people are into it so it’s obvious that they’re doing something right. Just me personally, I don’t really listen to that type of music…Actually, I do listen to that type of music. If it’s in the club, I’d bounce to it. Most of the time the beats are good – it’s just the lyrics, which are basic. Already, I know what it is. I know better.
6. Skepta went back to his community to mentor and nurture new talent under Levi’s Music Matters initiative. Should it be part of every artist endeavor to return and help their community through nurturing the next generation of talent?
That should be. I got my own studio in Croydon. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do right now. Collaborate with the young artist around; trying to bring everyone else in as I can… Let’s really embrace this thing and see where we can really take it.
I’m never going to forget where I came from. That’s what we should all be doing, helping the younger ones and guide them to the right path. None has to go through the same ol’ cycle as it gets boring.
7. Your personal thoughts on DIY music thanks to social media and music platforms like LinkUpTV.
I think it’s great. Like I said, I stopped music back in the day because I couldn’t see where I was going with it. I was thinking ‘RAH! How am I going to get my music to big corporations? How am I going to reach my sound to the masses?’ I was young and broke and it was just hard work.
Now, if you got good music, you can easily put a video together, upload it on Youtube and get out there. When I was younger there wasn’t any Youtube; internet was in its early stages. Now, I got to respect it and I like it. Although it can be hard at times because I got to get used to tweeting every minute, but I’m getting used to it so it’s good. I’m embracing it.
8. Tell us more about you new single.
Well got the mixtape, which came out last month. It’s entitled ‘Eazy Street.’ It’s doing well; got good feedback from it. The single ‘Get ‘Em’ is basically me coming back again. It’s 2017, I’m going hard whilst bringing the new energy into it. Just go for it that’s it.
9. What’s the reason for producing a mixtape instead on an EP?
You know why? Cos I’ve been back in the game for seven months now and I basically wanted to show everyone that my work rate is 100%. I didn’t want to give people a couple of tracks, I wanted people to get a little bit of me. I wanted people to ‘feel’ me and give them a couple different stories at completely different angles. One for the ladies, another for the hard hustlers, one for the club banger…
I wanted to give variation, which you can’t really do with six tunes, so I gave 12 /13 tracks. At the moment, I got more music laid out and a video ready to go.