Trouble by name. Trouble by nature. At the top of the year, Leicester rapper Trouble burst onto the scene with "Chat Shit Get Banged", a track inspired by the city's man of the moment Jamie Vardy. A footballer known for his no-nonsense attitude, lack of care for public opinion and all-in-all excellent form, Trouble's debut tape, 10—an upfront trap-rap set, packed with cutting lyrics and banging instrumentals—mirrors all those Vardy qualities. The project is best summed up in its opening hook: This ain't grime, this is gangsta music. Featuring J Spades, J Avalanche, Charlee Drew (yes him) and more, Trouble isn't wrong when he tells us this one is for the streets.
Being in Leicester must be interesting right now, what with the thriving football activity. What's the music scene like there at the minute?
The scene is definitely on the rise. You can see it building, forming, and some artists are making a bit of noise. But I think I'm gonna take it to the next level, without wanting to blow my own trumpet [laughs]. I'm about to make my mark and show that I can pull strings. Not to sound ignorant, but everything I do is dedicated to my music. If I'm at home, I'll be writing, not watching football. But one of my friends came to me and said, "Bro! Have you heard about 'Chat Shit Get Banged'?" I was like: "No. What's that about?” He clued me up on what was going on, telling me that Leicester could win the league this year. So we just got in the studio and did the track and I'm happy with how it went down.
Producer-wise, who have you worked with on 10?
I'm yet to find a producer from the UK that I've wanted to build something with. More and more producers are picking up on that Metro Boomin, 808 Mafia vibe. The tracks have got those levels, but with a UK twist to it. Charlee Drew is my sound engineer, though. He works with X Factor and Universal and has music out there already. Me and him have gelled and the music we're coming up with in the studio is getting better and better.
What other surprises can we expect? Will we hear you spitting on any grime?
Firstly, all the songs are brand new. It's a completely fresh mixtape: 10 tracks with 2 bonus tracks. On "Gangsta Music", in the hook you'll hear me say: This isn't grime, this is gangsta music. I've got a little twist to it as I'm trapping, but with more of a grime flow. I'd definitely say I'm in the trap category, but I'm not saying I couldn't change and be versatile. I'll always do something that is me, whilst remaining versatile. Expect something for the streets, but there's also something on there for the ladies too. And lots of features: J Avalanche, J Spades, and an artist from Leicester who I've done a project with called TDF and another artist from Birmingham. This is the first time a Leicester-based mixtape has had so many artists from all over the UK feature on it.
Nice! And finally, what are you plans for the rest of the year?
Loads of freestyles and just getting myself out there more. Networking is important for where I'm at right now, but creating new music is my main priority. The next mixtape will hopefully be out within the next four months. I'm not playing no games! I wanna bring out two or three mixtape a year, man. Pure dedication.