Unfinished Business: Bashy On His Return To Rap’s Big League

After a decade away from music, the British rapper-turned-actor Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas is back to where it all began. Here, he talks exclusively about the next phase of his already illustrious career.

Photography by Dennis Morris

It’s late 2007. You’ve just got back home from school or college (or, in my case, a short-lived call centre job), and the first thing you do is throw on Channel U, your favourite TV station featuring the best (and worst) in British underground music. This day, as you quickly come to find out, is the launch day for Bashy’s “Black Boys” music video. Over a pitched-up melody, the MC, with a sea of other young Black men posted up around him in West London, intro’s the song, bodly stating: “This is out to all the Black boys growing up; there’s bare positive Black boys around you making moves—making movements toward success,” before going on to shout-out some inspirational Black figures, and their achievements.

This track ignited in many of us a new sense of Black pride, and came out during a time when it felt like the world was against young Black men, especially those of us living in inner-cities; police randomly stopping and searching folk was on the rise, and the negative portrayal of our heroes in the media had reached new lows. Thanks to Bashy, however, we were all given something positive to hold onto in “Black Boys”, a motivational number to put on as you prepared to leave out that front door every morning.

“I didn’t expect it to have this effect, then or now,” Bashy tells me over Zoom, this for an in-depth conversation that hadn’t been had since our last interview in 2012. “I wrote ‘Black Boys’ to inspire a generation of people and generations after that, but it’s exceeded what I thought it would do. People approach me on a daily basis when they see me out, and even on social media, and they’re like: ‘Yo! This song got me through uni,’ or ‘This song made me become a pilot,’ or, ‘It let me know this or that was possible.’ It means a lot to know what it means to the people. I wrote it from a normal guy’s perspective. I was never that super rudeboy, super badman on the street, or even the mad popular guy. Even now I’d say I’m a normal guy. I do have an extraordinary life, in terms of what I’ve been able to achieve and go on to experience, for sure. I can’t ignore that. Everyone was cool with me in the ends and at school, but I was just a normal guy who saw a lot of things and felt a lot of things.”

“Black Boys” would go on to feature on Bashy’s debut album, 2009’s Catch Me If You Can, despite dropping a project earlier in ‘07 titled The Chupa Chups Mixtape, his second mixtape after 2005’s Ur Mum Vol. 1. While his debut tape was a solid introduction, it was The Chupa Chups Mixtape that truly solidified his place in the scene at the time as one of the greats—that, and his regular appearances on pirate radio amongst the grime scene’s elite. Other projects, like Bashy.com and The Crunchie Mixtape, fared well too, but there was something super-captivating about the early hunger he displayed on the Chupa Chups release (see: “Crying Out Loud”, “North West Music”).

2015 was the last official time we heard from Bashy on wax, having featured on Yungen and Sneakbo’s “Ain’t On Nuttin (Remix 2)” alongside Stormzy, Ghetts, Benny Banks and more. Why, you might ask? Well, Hollywood was calling. Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas had already showed off his acting chops in UK films and TV series like Shank, Top Boy and The Interceptor, but it was in 2016 that this creative art form—something he began doing as a child—took off big time for him, going on to secure a leading role in the FOX crime drama, 24: Legacy, and later, NYPD Blue. His most recent role as family man Henry Emory in the Black horror-anthology series, THEM, will also go down as some of his finest work; an Emmy-worthy performance, at that.

To many, Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas is Living The Dream personified, but for a while, he felt there was a void in his life—that void being his other love: music. “I definitely have an unfinished journey in music,” he says. “But I wouldn’t say that I left; I just pressed pause and focused on a different discipline of mind, another creative outlet. What I’m doing right now is pressing play again. I don’t feel like it’s a comeback. It’s me reactivating again in a music space, because I’ve been creating in another space—in a different storytelling space—and I have been fortunate within that space.”

Finally turning his hand back to rap, Bashy is gearing up to release his sophomore album, Being Poor Is Expensive, on July 12. Lead single “Sweet Boys Turned Sour” was released on April 17 with an accompanying video, setting up the rollout for his coming-of-age future classic perfectly. Read all about that and more in Bashy’s first magazine interview since his return, below.

“You can’t fake history. I really was on pirate radio in the infancy of the scene. I really was at Eskimo Dance. My grandma really did come here as part of the Windrush era. I really did go to school in Harlesden, NW10. I really am from Kensal Green. These are real things.”

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COMPLEX: I know you’re back in your music bag—and welcome back!—but I have to start this interview by congratulating you on the mark you’ve been making in the film and TV space over the years. From Shank and Top Boy to 24 and THEM, it’s been dope seeing you make a name for yourself in the field of acting; I still feel you deserve an Emmy nod for your role in THEM—outstanding work. How has working in that space been for you?
Look, man, before we even start, I just wanted to say I’ve seen you always batting for me, showing love. I know you run Complex UK, but you also run TRENCH, right? So certain times when I’m more active on social media, I see you putting up love and just reminding people and making sure that I’m not forgotten and part of the tapestry of the culture. I appreciate that, my brother.

No problem, man. Gotta school these kids on the history; it’s essential.
Much respect, JP. But to answer your question, I don’t think people even know this, but I actually started acting first. I started acting at maybe 6 or 7 years old; not professionally, but just as a hobby. My mum wanted me to do it because she said that when she was younger, she was under-confident. And she was a young parent as well; she had all of her kids quite young, me being her first born. And she was like, “I want my child to be more outgoing and more open.” I guess, in her mind at the time, she thought, “Maybe if I just put him in acting groups, he will be more active.” The maddest thing is I was mad shy. I’ll go into those acting classes and see all these super dancing kids, singing loud, tap dancing. It was a strange environment to be in early on, but I grew to love it. Then I went to school to study it. I went to The BRIT School for Performing Arts, so acting has always been one of my passions. Music was another passion, and I’ve managed to be fortunate in both.

With acting—playing all these characters, learning all these skills, learning all these different stories—it’s the chance to live many different lives and experience a fuller spectrum of the human experience. With THEM, it was about learning the history, speaking to people and really getting a better understanding of what it was really like in a particular moment in time. Sometimes, when I start a character, I start from a place of not knowing, and then I develop a character from there. I’ve been fortunate to work with some great teams. It’s pinch-myself stuff, things that man has really dreamed about. I get love in the UK, and I feel like a large portion of people here are supporting me. When I’m here, when I’m over there, I’m just happy to see people posting and talking about things that I’m in or whatever. My brother sends me stuff, like: “This person said this about you,” and it’s always love. It’s a humbling feeling, honestly. 

Do you have a favourite role that you’ve played so far?
They’re all my favourites, man. I love all my kids! [Laughs] Each character is so different to the next, and I really love the experience of creating and crafting these characters. It’s on the page, but it’s my job to take that from the page, interpret it, and then try my hardest to elevate and create something special. From THEM to Great Expectations to Top Boy to The Serpent Queen, Black Cake—whatever job it is, these are all separate characters, also very much outside of what I think people would expect me to play. It’s like I’m going super outside of my comfort zone, challenging myself with characters that are scary to play. I’m so dedicated to that process that it’s all I could focus on. I couldn’t focus on music until the time was right. It’s difficult for me to juggle both music and acting with the level of intensity that I work at. If I’m focused on acting and a character, you don’t see me. I’m away. I’m in whatever accent it is. If it’s not my natural accent, I’m in that accent for that character for six months straight. I’m not on the phone. I’m texting my family. Or if I do speak to them, I’m talking to them in the accent of that character. That’s how intense it gets with whatever I’m doing. And now that I’m back focusing on the music, I’m locked in again, tunnel vision.

What’s your position on the topic of UK actors taking US-centred film roles? It’s been a point of conversation for quite a while now, mostly with American actors coming for UK actors, claiming they take up space.
I think that America has some amazing, talented actors, some that I look to for inspiration myself. From Denzel Washington to Jeffrey Wright, Alfre Woodard to Sterling K. Brown—American actors are cold. That’s me talking about actors that look like me, right? But then there’s Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Timothée Chalame and Emma Stone, who I think are dope too. I don’t subscribe to British actors being better or American actors being better—I just think we’re all doing amazing work in this field. We have amazing talent here in the UK, and I think what happens is the level of talent from here that goes over to America is top-tier talent. In order to make that transition, and for agents and stuff to take you seriously, you need to be at the top over here first. So you’re not gonna get ones that aren’t that good going over because they wouldn’t ever be able to make it there, you get me? I kinda liken it to sports. I feel like the fastest sprinter in England, if they go to any other country and race against people, they’re going to be one of the fastest there. Whether they’ll be the actual fastest person in that country, that’s probably more competitive. It’s also about respect. When you go there with respect of not knowing and then working to understand the gap in your cultural understanding, then I think things become much easier to navigate. That’s my personal take.

Even you mentioning that you started out acting, I can see how it’s influenced the music because you’re quite animated with certain styles and flows, and you’re also a great storyteller.
I think storytelling is a strong part of my essence as an artist. I’m a creative, and music and acting are two things that I’ve always done since I was really young. Storytelling is just a big part of me, as a creative person. My storytelling might go into other mediums eventually, but from being a kid to a teenager to now an adult, it was always music and acting. So yeah, I think it does transfer into the music a lot, actually. Just even how I’ll craft a song or craft an album… Coming from the environment we’re coming from, we’re using the tools available to us. So at the time, it was mixtapes. If that’s how man’s gonna get the sound out, that’s what we’re going to use as the medium for storytelling. Listening back to the back catalogue, The Chupa Chups Mixtape, etcetera, I was really telling stories even back then.

“I’m thankful for all the flaws that the young version of Ashley Thomas, or Bashy, had. Now, as a grown man, I owe that young man so much because he was so ambitious, so hungry, so tenacious that his drive and ambition allowed me to be me today.”

Okay, so to the music now—how does it feel to be back in the rap game, and why did you decide to return to it now? It’s changed a lot since you were dropping mixtapes back in the mid-2000s, that’s for sure. 
There’s a whole album complete, and I’m still nervous. There’s been great feedback so far from anyone who’s heard it but, bro, I’m just mad nervous. I’m not so nervous about the personal story, to be honest, because it’s the truth. There’s been no embellishment on the album, no exaggeration. Everything I’ve said on Being Poor Is Expensive is 100% the reals! I drilled down on the truth. I had to go so deep into my mind and my feelings and my traumas and my insecurities to make this album. No one can fault that. No one can say anything about that. The ability and the soundscape of the album and things like that, the lyrical abilities, the flows…. Like I said, I’m so dedicated and so intense with creation of my stuff that you’re putting yourself out there for the world to see. I made sure that I was razor-sharp on the project. I had to get up to what me and the mandem call ‘match fitness’. I had to get into that space. But I would say the process of starting to even think about writing the album started maybe around 2020.

So, during lockdown, you were writing new bars?
Well, lockdown time, but I was in the middle of shooting THEM, and then we had to take a break during the lockdown. I was in LA and I couldn’t come home because I was one of the leads of that show. If I came back and I couldn’t get back into America, they wouldn’t be able to finish so they asked if I would stay. I stayed, and I was just in my apartment by myself, feeling a lot of different emotions. A lot of things were happening in the world at that time. I was reading a lot and I was watching a lot of TV series and films. That’s just how I would fill my time. And I was working out a bit as well. I almost finished reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book [Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race] when I got a call from [UK music producer] Toddla T. He was like, “Where are you?” And I was like, “Well, I’m in LA.” He kept on telling me that the world needed to hear from me again.

Energies! Big up Toddla T.
I don’t wanna say I fobbed him off, but he was telling me to release new music, telling me that I have an important voice in the culture and my voice and story should be heard, and that the scene needed me. I just was like, “Sure.” Things that people probably think all artists are like—like, “Yo! I’m the guy”—I don’t feel like that. I just feel, like, mad insecurities. And then someone else called me, another producer named PRGRSHN. He called within the same timeframe and said the same thing. And I was like, “Well, they don’t even know each other, so what’s going on here?” I told both of them, “Yeah, when I get back to England I’ll look into it.” And then, I dunno, man, I just started writing. At first, it was just little notes to go off and start thinking about. I think that time gave a lot of people time to reflect. I started thinking about what my fears attached to music were. Them times there were treacherous as well; it was just a bit of a dangerous time. It’s still dangerous, but during that specific time, everything associated with music I associated all those feelings and trials and tribulations that I went through as a young man. 

Let’s say those years between 14 and 25. Those 11 years, that’s me becoming a man, but that’s when I was also doing the bulk of my music. So all those feelings I was going through at the time growing up in the ends, growing up poor, my proximity to violence, proximity to the hazards and trappings, near-death experiences, interactions with the police, it all came flooding back. I tried to bury those memories super deep in my mind and tried to forget about everything. A lot of good things happened, too, though, don’t get me wrong. You learn a lot of good things growing up in the local area, tools that have helped me survive in this Hollywood-esque hyper-realism world. But I still had to overcome those feelings of the not-so-good things that happened in the ends as well.

That definitely comes through on the album. It’s raw and personal. Being Poor Is Expensive, which lands on July 12, follows on from your 2009 debut album, Catch Me If You Can. Firstly, let’s talk about that title, and secondly, the intro—“The London Borough Of Trent”. What a vivid piece of storytelling!
Literally, when I came back from shooting THEM, I was leaving the train at Kensal Rise Station to get on the bus and everyone had to wear them masks. So no one’s really seeing that it’s me. I’m able to really tap into the environment and take in the ambiance of the area, what it feels like, what it sounds like on those trains, what it sounds like on the bus, what it sounds like on the street, and really dive back into my coming-of-age. That’s what this album is, actually: a coming-of-age story in my part of the city. Everything is from growing up in the London borough of Brent, in North-West London. The album title is Being Poor Is Expensive, and there’s a reason for that because it’s literally how I grew up, how so many other people grew up. This is our story, my generation’s story, but also other people’s stories. If you grew up in Hackney, then it’s a similar story too. There are probably so many correlations between the time when I grew up to what the younger generation’s growing up in now. They’ll be able to relate to it because it’s like, “Oh shit! He was going through that? That’s what I’m feeling now.” 

And the lead single, “Sweet Boys Turned Sour”, speaks a lot to those feelings. I see so many people from my generation, and now the younger generation, who are still going through it. Young people dying. That could have easily been me. That could have easily been my bredrins. This is how me and so many other people grew up in London, and probably the rest of the country and other parts of the world: just regular, nice, sweet kids, working class, trying to navigate being outside and adapting to the environment the best way that we can. I was naive and innocent, but that naiveté and innocence begins to curdle. Now, the people you were scared of, you have turned into those same people to try and survive in that environment.

On this album, I’m talking about testing times in a dangerous period. I’m painting a portrait of my environment and everything that came with that. All the trials, the tribulations—the journey! I would say it’s like a campaign, an homage to the generations before me of that experience, right through to the modern day. Now, where I’m at, I’m on the cusp of... Some of my friends have it already, but they’re introducing the next generation of kids and I’m right on the cusp of that in my personal life. But I would say that it’s a Black British origin story. It’s definitely an origin story for me. This album feels like a limited series, with each track possibly serving as an episode of that series. And that probably comes from my involvement in storytelling via my acting. That’s why it’s so vivid too, I think, because I wanted it to feel like that. So while I’m nervous about putting this out…

—you’re excited as well? I mean, you should be. And I’m not just saying this because we’re cool outside of music and we’re talking now, but this is a truly future classic, and I don’t say that about newer projects often.
Thank you, bro. A lot of dedication, a lot of unearthing has gone into this album. I spent most of my teens shook, and that was something I had never identified before, or how Black men lose their smile, the relationship with our dads and understanding who they were as young men. All these things that we think about our parents, maybe when you’re younger, you’re blaming them for this or that, or questioning why we haven’t got this or that, like: “Why ain’t there ever any money? What’s going on?” It’s only now, working on this album, that I’ve been able to truly understand my parents and forgive them… Not even forgive them, but forgive myself for thinking how I thought about them at certain times. They were just living their life and they didn’t really do much wrong other than give me everything that they had. So I’m very thankful for that.

On the song “Earthstrong”, I say a line like: “My dad’s an old-school tough guy, I rarely see the man cry/But when his mum died, he reverted to a young child/In that moment, in him, I saw I, knowing one day that will be me, the cycle of life/My child watching me as I break down inside.” I saw it like, “Rah! My dad is me! He loves his mum.” I never really saw it like that before, until I started writing the album. Every line on this project has been accounted for. There is no fat, no filler. Everything is intentional. Everything’s the truth. Everything is from my life.

You only have three features on the album: Skrapz and Haile on “Blessed”, and Roses Gabor on “Lost In Dreams”. Roses has been silent on the music front for a while, too, so it’s dope that you got her back out for this. These features seem super specific—why did you choose these particular artists?
The album is semi-autobiographical. I want people to be transported to North-West London and West London when they hear this album. I want them to feel like that’s where they are when they hear it. If you close your eyes and listen, you’re being taken on a journey. That’s why it starts on the train; you’re literally in the area where we grew up, and all the sounds and sonics are from the area. It’s all very intentional. The artists that I worked with, they’re all from West or North-West London, because on this album, the language is North-West London. Skrapz is quintessentially a North-West guy—his accent, the way he carries himself. Me and him are very different, but there are also many similarities. Haile represents West London, which is where I grew up before when I lived on the Brunel Estate. Roses Gabor, same thing: she grew up in West London.

And I think, to a certain extent, that’s missing in music: if I want to know what it’s like in that person’s area, I want to feel that. That’s what I loved about New York music so much, or American hip-hop in general because Kendrick sounds like he’s from LA, from Compton. Nas and Jay-Z sound like they’re from NY. Young Jeezy sounds like he’s from ATL. Kano, who’s a good friend of mine, he fully brings East London into his music and just being around him and us being friends, I was inspired. When I want to know what it’s like around East Ham, I could put on Made In The Manor. Now, when you put on Being Poor Is Expensive, you know where you are: you’re in North-West London, and that’s what it sounds like. That’s how people talk. That’s how the trains sound. That’s how someone feels that grows up in our ends. 

On “Lost In Dreams”, Roses gives us the woman’s perspective on how she feels. When she’s singing lost in dreams, the double entendre there is crazy! It’s like, lost in dreams, lost in your mind, but Dreams was also a nightclub in Harlesden! A notorious nightclub, where some people lost their lives. So it could also be taken as people being lost, in terms of their focus and journey, maybe not focusing on the future enough and moving a certain way, out of character. On “Blessed”, Skrapz is talking about us coming from a working-class environment, from the streets and whatnot, but he’s giving you another side to it, too. “Lord, bless me and protect me, for that badmind, enemy’s out to get me.” That verse is crazy! The song, which has Haile on there, is essentially about God and how God always makes sure we’re blessed. Mum’s praying for us, the things that our parents always want for us. But really, as a parent—I don’t know, because I don’t have a child yet, but I think you just want your child to come home safe in those environments. You’re trying to give your child everything you can, but you’re poor. You’re trying to put food on the table, you’re out working; your kids are out, too, but they’re outside. You just hope that they come home safe.

You definitely left an early mark on the UK rap and grime scenes, but I always felt like you never reached your full potential by the time you left music for the big and small screens. Would you agree?
I definitely have an unfinished journey in music. But I wouldn’t say that I left; I just pressed pause and focused on a different discipline of mind, another creative outlet. What I’m doing right now is pressing play again. I don’t feel like it’s a comeback. It’s me reactivating again in a music space, because I’ve been creating in another space—in a different storytelling space—and I have been fortunate within that space. ‘Reach my full potential’, I’ve heard that sentiment from a few people in your position, real cultural tastemakers. People tell me that there’s been an impact, like “Black Boys”, The Chupa Chups Mixtape, and things like that. Catch Me If You Can as well—which, to my surprise, people have really been rocking with online over the years. You can’t fake history. I have a real history in my upbringing and my creative growth. I really was on pirate radio in the infancy of the scene. I really was at Eskimo Dance. My grandma really did come here as part of the Windrush era. I really did go to school in Harlesden, NW10. I really am from Kensal Green. These are real things. I really did all these things... I really was on Deja Vu, Rinse FM, Freeze FM. I really did have videos on Channel U. I’m ingrained in the tapestry of it. So I pulled on all of those elements to help fuse this album and turn my focus to music again.

Some days, I’ll just randomly fling on your 2004 birthday set at Freeze FM. What a time! Do you have any fond memories of that day?
I love it, man. They’re foundational moments. I made some lifelong connections from that time. I always liken it to we all went to the same school or college. And then when you see everyone out now, it’s like a little reunion. But yeah, from that set there, I hear a young man hungry. That’s what I do know from myself. I’m thankful for all the flaws that the young version of Ashley Thomas, or Bashy, had. Now, as a grown man, I owe that young man so much because he was so ambitious, so hungry, so tenacious that his drive and ambition allowed me to be me today. He’s sown seeds in a scene and a culture that are there forever, and yourself and Posty have made sure to remind people and keep people clued up about the real foundations of this thing. I feel like I’m part of a class, maybe even an early golden era from this culture, and now it’s having an amazing time and it’s a different golden era. From the core of young, working-class boys and girls coming from those inner-city places, creating their own story and narrative and reaching certain heights in music—in other spaces as well—I’m a part of that and that’s something I’ll always be proud of.

I was really there. If you’re looking at whoever—Dizzee, Kano, Skepta—I was right there with them. It feels good to know that and be there in that moment. But with my birthday set—which was, wow, two decades ago now—D Double E’s there, and that’s like the GOAT MC. Lethal Bizzle, you know the impact that he’s had—he’s there as well. A lot of legends were in the room. I was teenager when this set took place. I was spitting for five or so years before that as well, so it’s been a long journey… I’ll always love the art of writing and creating a verse that makes people go [makes screwface].

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The “Ask Carlos?” moment you had with Ghetts is cemented in grime and UK music history. Have you and him ever talked or laughed about that situation?
[Laughs] Ghetts is my friend, man. We represent what it looks like when you can resolve conflict and move forward. People bring that stuff up and they try to make jokes about it, but to me and him, we look at it like: that was 20 years ago! We’ve got songs together, we hang out together, we’ve got mutual friends, we’re in the same spaces. We’re cool! If he wanted to pick up the phone and call me, he could—and vice versa. A clip of that moment features on the project, but it’s more to capture the essence of a certain time. It’s not a shot—nothing like that. On top of that, it’s flipping the narrative where you take a sample and make it something else. So in that story, in terms of the cinematic universe of this story, that is the person—no longer my antagonist in that moment.

“Black Boys” has kept a lot of us going since you released it in 2007. Did you ever think it would end up having as much impact as it’s had when you were writing the bars down?
I didn’t expect it to have this effect, then or now. I wrote “Black Boys” to inspire a generation of people and generations after that, but it’s exceeded what I thought it would do. People approach me on a daily basis when they see me out, and even on social media, and they’re like: “Yo! This song got me through uni,” or “This song made me become a pilot,” or “It let me know this or that was possible.” It means a lot to know what it means to the people. It means a lot to know what it means to the people. I wrote it from a normal guy’s perspective. I was never that super rudeboy, super badman on the street, or even the mad popular guy. Even now I’d say I’m a normal guy. I do have an extraordinary life, in terms of what I’ve been able to achieve and go on to experience, for sure. I can’t ignore that. Everyone was cool with me in the ends and at school, but I was just a normal guy who saw a lot of things and felt a lot of things.

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Take away the music, the acting: is Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas happy in life?
I feel more complete now, and happy. I feel like there was a music void. As much as I’m a reluctant musician, a recording artist, maybe it was missing from my being, my essence. There was something, like a frustration or not feeling fully whole, but that’s because I wasn’t expressing myself with all my gifts. It’s a natural gift that I’ve been given, but I’ve definitely put in more than 10,000 hours in music. So it’s something that was missing from me, but now, I feel like I’ve reached a cycle of completion with that. What would make me happier? What would make me more happy would be me being able to help the people around me more. Definitely my immediate family. I’m living my dreams, doing both passions, but I would love for my family to live their dreams and passions too. I think it starts at home. I’ve got to change my family first; I want them to be able to have a version of living their dreams and be able to achieve what they want, and once they do that, then it’s about the wider community.

I’m glad we had this conversation, man. It was long overdue.
You too, broski! I respect you, bro. I see what you’re doing. I’m always liking your stuff and not just because music’s coming, but from years back. I just respect what you do. I respect how you handle your stuff. I really think you’re a voice of the culture, for real, and a person who really understands the history of hip-hop and grime music in this country. I think your voice is important. I feel like there’s a lot of noise, a lot of people talking like they know and they don’t really know. They’re just talking based on the now. Everything’s very microwaveable, in terms of comments and people being able to have a commentary. I mean, it’s the positive about social media and the outlet, but it’s also a negative. Everyone’s got a voice, and then certain people can put out things that’s not, in a sense, really true or doesn’t stand the test of time. Whereas I feel your voice is very valid, and I think your opinion is very informed. So, bro, my respect to you for what you’re doing; what you’re doing with Complex, what you’re doing with TRENCH. Thank you. Big up.

I appreciate that! For real.

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