LATE has been an integral part of the UK Rap scene since 1999, and even before that he was rhyming and dropping verses on various tracks. This year has been without a doubt his busiest year with his Urban Shop sponsored mixtape ‘Two Thousand & LATE’ doing some serious damage. Now set to release his debut album ‘Below Street Level’ which features legends such as K-Rino, Willie D from The Geto Boys and JT The Bigga Figga, we sent Alan Jenkins to find out more about the L, the A, the T, the E. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you LATE, the UK’s hardest working!!!
How ya doing LATE. Thanks so much for taking time out you’re increasingly ever busy schedule to do this interview! Okay, let’s start at the beginning. You have been in the game for a while what releases have you had out?
I released my first single “UK SOUND” under the name Villains on my own label Wolftown Recordings in 1999. In 2000 we went on to release the album VILLAINS – WELCOME TO WOLFTOWN and have actively been releasing music ever since. Together with Tricksta we put the group Wolftown Committee together and released the album “LEGENDARY STATUS.” Along side Tricksta I have done so much its hard to keep track of what we have done, I know when this interview goes live I will remember lots of other achievements… I featured on 100’s of mixtapes worldwide I was the first person in the UK to record a posse track with 50 mc’s on it in 2003. I have recorded with artists from The East coast, West coast, Midwest The South, Canada, Jamaica, France, Germany, As a dj I have done mixtapes with Chamillionaire, Trae, K-Rino, Papoose, Grand Daddy Souf to name a few. I’ve released 3 underground mixtapes projects The Villainous One, An English Man In New York and 2 Thousand & LATE and this year released my first full length solo album “BELOW STREET LEVEL” featuring Willie D from the Geto Boys, K-Rino, Dope-E, JT the Bigga Figga plus quite a few more special guests.
Wolftown has always had a different approach to promoting its music than the traditional UK artists with lots of different concepts and always colourful artwork what made decide to break the mould?
was inspired by labels like Rap A Lot Records, No Limit, Suave House and Big Tyme Records they where strictly independent but had good distribution deals. I liked the way all their artists used to collaborate with each other doing big posse tracks, and they way they used to market their selves really influenced me by having big bold artwork that stands out in a saturated market.
You have had 2 releases out this year 2 THOUSAND & LATE and the album BELOW STREET LEVEL tell us about those releases.
2 Thousand & LATE is a collection of tracks that I had in the vault, tracks I’ve featured on and some remix tracks and exclusives all mixed together by Tricksta. It was a basically a teaser for the album to get the fans fired up for the release, it features; KB DA KIDNAPPA from the group STREET MILITARY, JT THE BIGGA FIGGA, JON CONNERS, BRICK SAAVY, LO–KEYS, STRESS, FAMOSO, MOKEOUT, JAI-BOO, SIZE8, RICKY LEE, CONMAN, CEE-ROCK “THE FURY”, NUT-RAGEOUS, PANAMA, JAK DANIELS, and S.P.C rappers THUGSTAR, MURDER ONE & KUWAIT, there is also a bonus chopped n screwed track on there by DJ LOON.
BELOW STREET LEVEL is the full length album all produced by TRICKSTA this is my best work to date. I have done a lot of underground projects in the past just teasing the fans but on this album I have held nothing back I talk about a lot of social issues my own issues and gone deeper lyrically on each track. I have also had the pleasure to work with some of the artists I grew up listening to. I have collaborations with WILLIE D (Geto Boys) K-RINO, KB DA KIDNAPPA, DOPE E, JT THE BIGGA FIGGA, GEEZY (Fendi Boyz / ThizzWorld) ESINCHO, D.A, JUSTICE ALLAH & JAI BOO. There isn’t an album like this that has ever come out the UK
For someone that have never heard of you before and want to check out the album what can they expect to hear?
100% uncut reality rap/hip hop there are NO back pack lyrics stringing words together just because they rhyme. It’s just pure from the heart lyrics about life and about the world we live in. There are no samples on the album all the music is created by UK vet TRICKSTA and mastered by the man they call Ryan Pinson.
I see the album has been getting a lot of good press what is your favourite track from the album?
I don’t know really every track has a piece of me in it and my life in it so it’s hard to pick a track. I only put 14 tracks on the album I wanted to keep it quality over quantity no fillers just pure good music.
Tell us about the title BELOW STREET LEVEL?
I chose that title because I’m an independent artist on the underground that has been releasing music actively for nearly 10 years but doesn’t get accepted in certain circles of UK hip hop community. I felt like my music must be so underground it’s below street level, that’s why I ran with that title.
So what’s next for LATE?
I’m working on a few projects at the moment but I don’t want to give too much away just keep a look out on the websites www.wolftownrecordings.com and www.myspace.com/latewolftown and all will be revealed when the time is right.
Interview by Alan Jenkins.
To buy your copy direct please just simply click LATE – Below Street Level is out now on Wolftown Recordings.