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Shameless ◊
58
SMOKIN’
ACES
W◊ Dr Khan
On the eve Of the release Of his ‘smOkers Die
YOunger’ lP, kmag caught uP with east lOnDOn
raPPer shameless tO get the lOwDOwn anD, Of
cOurse, have a cOuPle Of craftY fags.
When quizzed about the unusual title of his time there was a big d&b and jungle culture and Since then, Shameless has been busy doing
forthcoming album, Shameless expands on the I also fell in love with that scene. I was always shows and scores of features for other rappers.
general themes: “It’s not necessarily directed at really into all different sorts of music. I love guitar He also put out a compilation ‘Bless The Mix-
smokers. There are so many signs and warnings bands and punk which came from my dad and tape’ which enhanced his reputation further. And
that we see in life that we don’t pay attention to. the stuff he was into.” so to 2007’s ‘Smokers Die Younger’: “I never
I’ve smoked fags for the past ten years and I’ve wanted to rush making my first album but a lot
always seen ‘Smoking Kills’ on the packet but Shameless started MCing over d&b in friends’ of people are aware of me now so I felt the time
I still smoke like a trooper. I’ve got friends that bedrooms, emulating the likes of Skibadee & was right.” With collaborations from old friends
are living on the wrong side of the law and they Stevie Hyper D and before long, he was doing Plan B, Lowkey and TB, Shameless has kept it in
know what the consequences are gonna be but sets on local pirates. By 1997, he began to hear the family for his debut: “I didn’t want to swamp
they still choose to do it. We all do things in life the sounds of UK rappers taking the airwaves the album with features to be honest. It would
to get by. We’ve only got one life and we all do and this became a pivotal moment for the young have been easy for me to call every hot rapper I
things to help us tick over and a lot of us have MC. “I heard people like Task Force and Skin- knew but I really wanted this to be about me and
our vices. So the album title is just a comment nyman and it opened my eyes to the fact that let the listeners find out what I’m all about.”
on that. I’ve also had a few friends that have there were people in England doing hip hop and
died over the last few years which has made me rapping in their own accents.” The Shameless live experience is also something
realise that it’s about seizing your opportunities to behold: “I’ve got a five-piece band that I go
and making use of what you’ve got.” This spurred him on to take his music more out on road with. We’re called the Paddyragga
seriously and he started writing lyrics. By 2000, Band. I play instruments myself and I know that
Rewinding 25 years or so, Shameless was born Shameless had his first release out on road. there’s so much more impact when you’ve got
to Irish parents in the Leytonstone area of East ‘Concrete Waves’, produced with long time buddy a live band behind you. There aren’t enough hip
London. He takes up the story of his formative Matt from Dat Sound, came out as a limited hop shows where the crowd are really jumping
years: “I got into hip hop at a real young age. I 7” and was picked up on by a number of radio and losing the plot. I wanted to bring that punk
used to hang around with a lot of older guys in stations. It wasn’t until 2003 that he released aesthetic across.”
the area. I was eight or nine when I got given a ‘A Shameless Introduction’, an EP that exposed
tape of Public Enemy’s ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ him to the wider marketplace: “The EP did really Punk, jungle, hip hop. It’s all in a days work for
so I’ve been into hip hop for as long as I can well. It put my name out there and made a lot of the man like Shameless.
remember. Growing up in East London at that people aware of me as an artist.”
K58_Shameless.indd 58 12/6/07 09:46:36
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