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The Icepick, known for his affiliation with UK Britcore giants Hijack, and in particular his work with DJ Supreme, first burst onto the scene with his appearance on the B.R.O.T.H.E.R record, which was closely followed by Music of Life debut ‘Burial Proceedings in the Course of Three Knights’. Icepick’s intro line on that track ‘Enter the Tormentor’ being perhaps one of the most memorable opening lines in UK Hip Hop history. He went on to venture into the extremes of some of the darkest and some of the funniest lyrics to be heard this side of the Atlantic. His work with Supreme and of course the HQ has been critictly acclaimed; This includes songs like emcee killer (under the banner ‘Bodysnatchers’ with Grizzly & Soops), Phenomenal Criminal and the Icepick EP.
Through the late 90’s to the 2010’s Icepick would see several more releases, notably in 2013, with his ‘Revelation 13:9 – The Anthology’, his complete works compiled, remixed and released by DJ Supreme on BackBone Records.
After too many years away from the music scene Icepick returns alongside the legend who is DJ Supreme (Soops) with a new single (Arctic), amid rumours of further material in the works.
I caught up with him on the video shoot for Arctic and managed to get a few words out of an artist who does few interviews.
Underground New Media* (UNM): Welcome Icepick, thank you for taking the time to talk with us here at Underground New Media, we appreciate the time!
The Icepick (IP): No worries, thank you for having me on.
UNM: Twenty something years on, your back working with DJ Supreme, how did that come to fruit, have you kept up your craft performing or broken out of retirement for this?
IP: Actually, I’d been working alongside Soops (DJ Supreme of Hijack) on a separate Erm…not necessarily hip-hop related project for some time. Whilst putting the Hijack 25th Anniversary project together he was asking me to spit something on one of the remixes he was working on.
To be honest with you, I hadn’t written a rap lyric in a long time and with my mind on other things I was like, nah….then other times I’d be like hmm….let me think on it.
Behind the scenes I was playing around with some lines but, nothing concrete. I started throwing a couple lyrics his way, to get feedback as it had been so long since I had written anything. Soops sends me a track he’s working on for another artist; He asks me to pen a verse and feature.
Ok, I couldn’t resist! So I start writing and throw some ideas over but due to personal commitments the artist the track was meant for couldn’t bless it so Soops asked me to run with it. Arctic is the result.
UNM: Looking back at your body of work, what do you think has stood out as being some of your best? Or is the best yet to come? Can we expect an EP?!
IP: I couldn’t tell you which one of them was my best. I rated all of them at some point whilst in the process of making them. For me though, once a track is done I’m already thinking about what else I can do, once another idea arrives, well, it automatically becomes my favourite work. I’m sure all writers & producers feel the same, no?
As for an EP, I’m not actually thinking that far ahead. Right now I’m committed to working on the DJ Supreme album which I hope will have a real impact when it drops.
UNM: What are you listening to at the moment? If any, what direction would you like to go in terms recording for future projects?
IP: I’m listening to acts like the Red Sparowes and GodSpeed You! Black Emperor. I mean, that’s what I was listening to earlier today but later on it could be some Section Boyz or Robert Glasper. I listen and find inspiration in all genres of music and my mood dictates what I’m listening to at any given time.
Direction, that’s a funny one, what direction would I like to go in? I’m not sure what you’d call it but where ever it leads, I hope to discover myself.
UNM: On the topic of future projects, are there any particular artists you would like to collaborate with?
IP: Yeah, anyone who I can relate to and vice versa. Anybody in particular you ask? It’s hard to say to be honest, I’m open for collaborations if the right sound and energy presents itself.
UNM: We see you are billed to play at the Chip Shop in Brixton on March 23rd with DJ Supreme, Curoc (Son of Noise) & guests, can we expect to hear the new single there?
IP: Yeah for sure, it’ll be a great chance to test the track out. Looking back, I think myself and Soops have always been experimental so let’s see how it goes down and how the people respond to it. We’ll be jamming with Shaka, Grizzly & Matt Chrome too so it’s going to be lively for sure.
Also got a Special Guest from stateside, NY touching down to bless us with a set. The fact that it’s in the heart of Brixton as well?!….yep, I’m looking forward to it!
UNM: Finally, could you list your Top 5 U.K. groups or solo acts and briefly explain why?
IP: You know what… I’m not a big fan of these type of questions. UK rappers/DJ’s forever get asked this. I mean, are you talking about my top five Brit rappers? Nah, I can’t do a top 5 as I rate too many.
Even if I did run off a list of five, I might change my mind come sunset. I’m sure you’re top 5 wouldn’t be too dissimilar to mine though. All of the pioneers who made a difference; all of those that are pushing the envelope today. They know who they are, and if you don’t feel like you fit in that bracket….. it’s because you don’t fit in that bracket, but no worries…. It is what it is…. All love.
UNM: Thank you Icepick for taking the time to speak with us, we look forward to the new single release! – Before we end with a preview of Arctic, where can people find you online?
IP: Thank you for having me on, appreciate the love guys! Peace… you can find me on Facebook.
UNM: And with that, lets get in to the preview!
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*Here at Underground New Media we focus on binging you the best in new music with that authentic feel, Britcore, BoomBap and more. Watch out for more from us, launching soon.