Interview: CLBRKS talks hip hop fads, Preemo and Jehst!
Introducing CLBRKS – the 20 year old rapper from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire who brings a confident blend of lyrical imagery and spacey boom bap beats, which is sometimes described as ‘cloud rap’.
We spoke to the man himself on his most creative writing mind set, being influenced by Dilla, Common and Nas and how Big Pun’s ‘little Italy’ tongue twister line is inspiration in itself!
For anyone new to your music give us a quick introduction to paint a picture of your stance on the game
I’m trying to look at everything from an audience perspective at the moment. I want to create music that has longevity to it, one of my main goals at the moment is to not fall into a particular rap ‘genre’ or ‘fad’ so to say, and to come out with projects that are cohesive as well as exhibit the amount of hard work I’ve been putting in.
When are you at your most creative when song writing??
I find that inspiration comes and goes and it doesn’t really depend on much of what I am doing. I can’t really write when I’m tired, and I used to think that smoking weed was an absolute key to coming out with something different or creative, but sometimes it can really slow me down. A lot of people come out with their best shit when they’re depressed, that’s agreeable to some extent.
Which artist or album stands out for you as a significant catalyst for you to become an emcee?
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was played a lot, I must have been eight at the time. Speakerboxxx / The Love Below came out in the same year and I think we went on a family holiday to Florida, so we had all these CDs for the rental car. I probably hadn’t heard Illmatic until I was about thirteen, when friends at school put me on to things like Nas, Common and J Dilla. A lot of rap influences my style. The ‘Little Italy’ tongue twisting bars in Twinz (Deep Cover 98) by Big Pun always makes me want to rap.
Thoughts on the current state of hip hop in the UK?
Too many old dudes. Except Jehst and Skinny Man, tha gods.
Your imagery online is pretty eccentric and quirky- is that something you did to intentionally differentiate yourself or more of a reflection of your mind’s eye?
Thanks! All the images and music videos and whatnot are all closely collaborated upon with close friends/family that are into their art and videos. Big up Henry Croston, Rory Brooks and Andy Smith. I need to try my best from falling into any cliché imagery that might make people click on my tape or whatever and get something they weren’t expecting. I try my best to be as involved in that as much as possible, I try to take it all very patiently to come out with stuff that’s attractive and that I can be happy with I guess.
What would you say would be a dream UK and/or US collaboration?
Doesn’t every rapper want a legit Preemo beat?