Interview: Iron Braydz talks new album, all time favourite records, joining Triple Darkness and more!
Representing Harlesden, North West London, underground lyricist Iron Braydz is a member of the Triple Darkness collective and has collaborated with some of the iconic names of underground hip hop including Public Enemy, RZA, Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez and Saigon!
We spoke to him ahead of his forthcoming release Verbal Swardz, which is set to drop 14th April.
Tell me about your forthcoming release Verbal sWARdz – what can we expect and how did you come up with the name?
You can expect to hear some complex wordplay, thought provoking lines, dope beats and features. Verbal sWARdz is a body of work that will either offend you or inspire you. Regarding the name, the title says it all really with it’s multi meanings and subliminals.
They say “The tongue is mightier than the sword”, swords are sharp and they cut deep just like words do and when you’re in WAR mode you’re aiming for the death strike. You wanna inflict the most painful and destructive blow that will put a halt on all opposing forces.
What do you feel you learn in terms of artistry whilst working with Sean Price, Guilty Simpson etc?
I’ve learned how to be more confident in the words I choose to use and to possess more conviction in my delivery.
My choice of beats have become more intricate and selective as well, these brothers have also given me the confidence I’ve always needed in order to keep this going by their compliments and support/friendship.
Outside of the main contenders (Illmatic, 36 Chambers etc), what are your 3 favourite hip hop records ever?
Not in any particular order, it would have to be.
●Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Links
●Ghostface Killah – Iron Man
●Killah Priest – Heavy Mental
“Wu-Tang Forever” will be my all time number one, because that album literally saved my life and educated me in a way no school can. I wanted to read and learn. I was thirsty for knowledge it made me want to become an intellect with street knowledge.
At that time I was also recuperating from severe stab wounds so it was nurturing this new being I never knew about until that album. That album is the reason for this interview.
Tell us about the film you’re working on with Simon Baker. . What role are you playing?
Simon and I came into contact via mutual friend. He needed an emcee with lyrics he felt would completely reflect his movie and through our close friend who also happens to be the man partly responsible for my ‘Devils Death Day’ video with M9, also the Director and editor for my Braydz in Paris Video. Mad Love to my bro Ibrahim.
Simon came across my ‘Grey Skies’ video shot by Genesis Elijah and instantly felt a connection with the lyrics to that song. Simon immediately reached out to me and once we connected his vision was clear.
My role in this movie is one of a sort of narrator. I will appear three times during the movie (titled Night Bus), casually reciting the lyrics from ‘Grey Skies’ and getting on the night bus where you embark on this moving world where peoples lives and perspectives are being explored. Have you ever got on a night bus and sometimes wonder “what’s that persons story?”. Well this movie delves and captures that in a thought provoking way.
With your time spent with DJ Ronin’s All Elements Clik, and now Triple Darkness what skills do you take away from the group into your solo projects?
For All Elements I’ve mainly taken the drive, the persistence and motivation to get things done. With Triple Darkness it’s about the artistry and knowledge of what we rhyme about.
How does it feel being the newest member of Triple Darkness – how have they initiated you into the unit?
It feels good. It was alarming to me seeing how many people thought I was already a member or being over the moon that I had become a member. I remember seeing a comment like “I’ve always seen Braydz as a TD member, him Cyrus and m9 are on another level”.
I feel especially proud because my history with M9 pre-dates TD and I met Cyrus when him, M9 & Crown Nectar started the movement. I have no shame in expressing how proud I am of these brothers (Triple Darkness). Each member makes great music individually and collectively.
I reached out to both M9 and Cyrus Malachi about joining them, because we had kinda brushed on the subject a few times in the past and we were always seeing comments where people labeled us as their favorite three out of the UK, eventually it made me think and I called M9 and I remember saying “fam… I wanna rep the TD if it’s ok with you, a lot of supporters out there wanna see it happen, lets make it official”. I called Cyrus and said the same to him and after a week of talking with the team, they welcomed me with open arms.
Ever since I started rhyming I’ve been in crews, cliques, mobs etc… after the last group I was in I swore never again, but seeing how the supporters always put me in a category I felt was honorable I had to go back on my word, and now I’m part of the best team in Europe.
With the support that you have in Europe and Canada, how do you best want to reach out to them, e.g. any local collaborations or tours in the works?
I’m definitely up for collabs and shows. Shows are always the best way to reach new and on going supporters worldwide.
Cop Iron Braydz merchandise here http://ironarmour.bigcartel.com/
Editing by Nick BlatantlyBlunt