words: Andy Brown
pics: David McDade
He's the sound of the underground, but not in a Girls Aloud stylee. He's 'comin' through like a right fat knacker', reprezentin' for his man Russ Abbott. He's KID ACNE.
Hello there. How are you?
Couldn't be better thanks. Just got me sen a new phone after dropping the old one down the urinal. The blood test is all clear and I just got paid.
Tell the good people who you are and what you do.
Aye Aye, Knife & Fork Town this is Kid Acne AKA Ken Acid. I got the Ghetto Karaoke rap style locked down and I draw with the hands of a drunken baby. I play two bags of wrestle mania down the wet house every Thursday and co-run the Invisible Spies label, now hear this.
You've got a new EP out now ('Reality Raps', from the 'Council Pop' album). Your website describes it like this: "Pop outside during double CDT and you'll find Mr Langam dragging it with the baggiest girl in yo year. He faces away but her eyes peep you. Them knuckles get tight and you feel pinchy too. Can you keep a secret?" Want to add anything?
'Reality Raps' is the way you make me feel. It's the reason your girl is pukin' up in the bog every morning and only talks in one word answers nowadays. It's the reason you got direct debits going out your account what you never knew about. It's the reason you ram a tammy up your arse just to feel the bass line a bit better. Twist and rip yo. You can peep the video at www.invisiblespies.com
The 'Council Pop' album has gone down very well; Muzik call it "a benchmark for UK hip hop", DJ say "genius", and Mojo call you "ceaselessly inventive". You must be loving it?
Well, they only human aint they? I made a bloody classic this time round see. 'Council Pop' is what's playing on the local twocker's stereo. It's what's on repeat on the flipping duke box 8 days a week, that's why I'm the underweight lover. Connect the dots.
The music of some of the other members of Invisible Spies, frankly, seems a bit mad. It's all as lo-fi as a 70's car-boot sale, and there's heavy metal, cheesy instrumentals, off-key ranting vocals, school-band style recorders, and a real sense of anarchy throughout. It may well be genius, but a lot of it is well nigh unlistenable. Is this the point?
What is it you listen to then? Rae & Christian & Mr Scruff? This aint no student girls music to do the bloody washing up to my friend. This is strictly punk rock for the comedown generation, big pimpin' with Fatcher's youth in the Y2K+4. Supreme Vagabond Craftsman has got a new album out this year called 'Just You Me & The Baby' and it sounds wild. We're putting the finishing touches to the next Toah Dynamic album too, make room for some Oi! Oi! Dance music, ya heard? Earl Shilton has started on his Black Metal album, which sounds amazing; you can also see that fool on T4 this month playing drums for Badly Drawn Boy. It's all gravy. Push the tempo.
Tell me about Zebra Face.
Zebra Face is a comic book I made with Supreme Vagabond Craftsman a couple of years ago. He's a 2D super hero who fights baddies with just the face of a zebra and a sidekick who's got a mouth organ for a gob to help him. We are making plans to turn it into an animated series but that might take a yonk and a half you know. We got some rappers into doing the voices for us though so that's well smart.
What music was important to you when you were growing up?
I grew up listening to 'Two Blacks In A Bubble', and 'DJ Ratty live at Pandemonium'. I taped them off of Wayne Miller who taped em off Duck, but I still got into it once I'd necked half a Bart Simpson or whatever. Now I listen to 'Classic Chillouts' and stick the strobe light on when I got a lady round. There's Ben & Jerry's in the freezer.
What do you think of some of the stuff labelled 'UK hip hop' that's broken through in the past few years; Roots Manuva, Black Twang, The Streets?
My man Clev Cleverley does a well good song called 'So Rotherham' over a Blak Twang instrumental. It's a battle track to Jeremy Clarkson, you can hear it in the live show. Clev's a good guy. There's a lot of good stuff going off in UK hip hop right now, my boy Infinite Livez just done an album called 'Bush Meat', he's on a track on my new EP too and is real fresh. I think Roots Manuva is doing his third album this year which'll be mint. Ricochet Klashnekoff is good, I like his stuff, people say he's the British Ghost Face. There's this guy called Serocee from Birmingham who's well good, he's recording some stuff with a few guys from Shef called Small Arms Fiya. I'm looking forward to that coming out.
What have you got coming up?
I'm starting work on my third album and an EP with Andy Votel for Lex Records. I got a few gigs in France and an exhibition in New York. I'm designing more graphics for East Skateboards and finishing off the next Toah Dynamic LP. I plan to develop my Blood & Sand illustrations and print up a bunch of girls T-shirts too. I'll sell them through the web site which has just gone up this month; www.kidacne.com
Salt n' Peppa or Kid n' Play?
I'd have to say Kid n' Play 'cos they were in the movies too, but I prefer listening to NWA and Hard Skin with my top off doing press ups in front of the mirror.