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WORDS: RAHUL VERMA
LUCKY BEGGARS
Grime versus hip-hop. It’s a hot debate, with many like, ‘I don’t give a fuck, this is Napalm Death, this There are an impressive range of guests too includ-
of the UK hip-hop fraternity taking offence when is Pantera. That’s when the mosh pits starts, kids ing the soulful whine of Dudley Perkins, Oh No,
grime’s described as ‘hip hop’. Not five-man crew start stage diving. Girls get carried to the side. Then Wildchild plus the hypnotic production of DJ Vadim.
Foreign Beggars though. They love it. we flip it and Shlo comes on and does his beatbox It’s an example of Foreign Beggars’ ‘open forum’
thing. Then we go double time again and into d&b, ideology and key to their present and future.
‘We’ve got a hip hop show on BBC Asian Network,’ Micky Finn has remixed one our tunes.’
says the er, pigmentally challenged, DJ No Name, Shlomo for example has worked with Bjork, and
‘and we play hip hop and grime, just the real ill ‘But it’s all about the new show,’ says Shlomo. ‘We No Name with Gorillaz. Metropolis has a solo LP’s
shit - underground microphone orientated music. unveiled it at the Jazz Cafe with an eight piece band, worth of solo material to bring out. (‘Ketamine
If you’re doing an underground hip hop show, you three rappers, two vocalists, it’s the next step up rap,’ they joke.) It’s a breath of fresh air to see the
can’t exclude grime. That’s where most of the kids when you get instruments on stage.’ collective encourage, support each other’s solo
are putting their energies, so if you sleep on it that’s projects, particularly in the sometimes bitchy, world
a big miss.’ It sounds impressive. As impressive as ‘Stray Point of homegrown hip hop.
Agenda’, an hour journey into murky sonic disso-
‘Some of the grime reps harder than hip hop’, pipes nance, and streams of consciousness. For example, they’re all obviously very excited by
up rapper Orifice Vulgatron. Shlomo’s solo show. Shlo’s new show is sick! He’s
‘Compared to our last LP, ‘Asylum Speakers’, it’s got a loop pedal, drum kit, he does beatboxing,
‘I saw a Lethal Bizzle show in Amsterdam and it taken a darker turn, it’s more introspective - we harmonies and instrument solos,’ says No Name.
was proper rowdy, like a proper rave. He had more wanted to push ourselves a level artistically,’ explains
people dancing than at a drum & bass rave,’ chips Orifice. ‘Metropolis came aboard after the last LP: It’s a bit of tangent and less urban - it’s got loads of
in beatboxer Shlomo, fresh from getting his chops we wanted to explore that and work with us two African and Latin beats,’ says Shlomo. ‘I performed
around a sizeable frankfurter, some cabbage and mainly on the LP. at the Beyond Beatboxing at the South Bank Cen-
potatoes. We’re outside a fast-Wurst (posh hot dog) tre and the artistic director saw the show and asked
joint in Farringdon, before a Foreign Beggars live ‘We just wanted to say a few more things on the me to be artist in residence and do a load of stuff,
show. album, and express ourselves,’ continues Orifice. ‘We it’s kind of an artsy thing.’
listened to a lot of Non Phixion, Necro and you can
Which brings us, quite neatly, to Foreign Beggars probably hear that in some places. It’s an area we That’s the artistic director of London’s most re-
live: their energy and dynamism is palpable on re- needed to get out of our system. Obscure, abstract, spected cultural and arts centre asking a beatboxer
cord - in particular second LP, ‘Stray Point Agenda’ semi-poetic, weird, fucked up rap.’ to become artist in residence. Homegrown hip hop
(out now on Dented Records). How does it transmit has moved on leaps and bounds in recent years,
on stage? It’s all of the above but don’t for one moment think and that’s down to guys like these. Foreign Beggars
we’re in Sage Francis, or Anticon territory here, are gonna go far. And that’s a fact.
‘The energy comes across a lot more than on this is accessible, and that’s down to the stand-out
record,’ says the most vocal Beggar, Orifice, aka production of Dagnabbit - think hard boom-bap bits, Foreign Beggars tour the UK extensively in Novem-
Pavan. ‘Our shows are really hype - we get people haunting melancholic melodies, providing a counter- ber, check www.foreignbeggars.com for more info
raving, moshing and crowd surfing. Halfway through point for Metropolis’ booming baritone and Orifice’s
we really pick it up and go double time and I’m nasal drawl to dovetail and soar.
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