In a recent interview with TRENCH magazine, road rap icon Young Spray dropped some huge truths ahead of the release of his new album Invisible Tears (out today). In the interview, Spray broke down the album, the guest spots and the story behind the project's creation. He also went into his own personal history, explaining the importance of Northstar (and key influence Moorish Delta 7), how he first met C1 and Chyna, and the group's legacy. In amongst all of that, Spray dropped in a few surprises, including a possible return of the legendary Realer Than Most merch and the extra lengths he goes to hold down his fans.
Below, we've highlighted some of the most surprising points, but you should definitely read the whole thing right here.
On finding the confidence to rap in an English accent: "Moorish Delta, Malik MD7—them man inspired me as well. Malik made me think I can rap in an English accent; everyone was rapping American, but he had that Birmingham twang. He made me think I could spit bars like that. They were one of the first to come through spitting in our accent."
On nearly quitting music: "[My favourite project has] got to be Realer Than Most Vol. 1 because that's when I said to myself that I was gonna take this music thing seriously. It was a case of "Do I give this up or do I continue?" So that project meant a lot to me. That was me saying "I'm Young Spray and I'm continuing this music journey."
On Northstar and So Solid bridging the North-South divide: "As far as our generation's concerned, it's always been patterned. At that time, we all used to rave together. We had it locked! No one could talk to us. So obviously, they were the big thing, So Solid, so it made the link up natural in dances. C1 and Lisa Maffia were together as well, so that made it even more solid. We definitely bridged a gap, though, you're right. That pattern is still very strong.
On wanting to make his album available to all his fans: My main objective with this album was to make sure it was available to prison inmates. [...] That's where my biggest fanbase is, so I wanted to make sure they were able to purchase it from the canteen.
On his goals for new album Invisible Tears: "I'm just trying to keep with the times, but I only do things that make sense. I just wanted to make songs I could put out; I'm old now, so you can't expect me to be saying the same things I did in 2007. It's not like when man was actually stepping on it—this is actually my job now."
On fighting against negative perceptions of Young Spray: "You know when your reputation precedes you? That's me. People just think I'm this fuckin' monster! They've never met me, but that's what they think. They've heard what I've done or my lyrics or whatever, but I'd rather just buss jokes—I'm not that guy. It's a very different situation when people actually meet me. The last three years, that's been me trying to make them see that. I've been going to certain places so they see there's no trouble."