Wrap Up And Watch Out: Madhat Mcgore
Introducing 26-year-old Madhat McGore, a rapper from Edinburgh who is currently one of the leading figures in the Scottish hip-hop scene. After joining Music Comes First Records, Madhat's profile rose with his 'The Theophilus Carter LP' release – which featured the likes of No Lay and Klashnekoff...
The Wrap Up's James Walsh caught up with the wordsmith to talk about what got him into music, his muscial inspirations, Scotland's growing hip-hop scene, gaining exposure in the UK so far away from the nation’s capital, his new 'Rampant' EP, and more.
The Wrap Up: Madhat, going back to where it all began, who were your earliest musical influences growing up?
Madhat McGore: I was a big fan of the Proclaimers and, apparently, when I was really young, I used to really enjoy when my parents played Elvis Pressley. Coolio’s ‘Gangsta's Paradise’ was one of the first rap songs that caught my attention, as well as the theme track to 'The Fresh Prince' (laughs).
TWU: And how did you first start rapping?
Madhat McGore: I began rapping and MCing over happy hardcore and moved onto hip-hop around the time I was 15. I've always been a big fan of Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, particularly Method Man, 2Pac, Dr Dre and I was also really inspired by Eminem's earlier stuff. But I wanted to do Scottish rap, and have just gone for it!
TWU: How has it been trying to break through being a rapper based in Scotland?
Madhat McGore: It's been hard work. People weren't interested until artists like Tinchy Stryder and Wretch 32 started making it to radio, but now I'm getting more exposure through avenues like BBC Introducing. I started by concentrating on grabbing the attention of Scottish listeners, but that's changed over the last year. I'm now down in London more, just trying to build the awareness. My aim is to put Scottish rap on the map! A lot of people don’t know that there’s a hip-hop scene in Scotland, but we've got our foot in the door now and we’re looking to get more established in London.
TWU: Which other Scottish rappers are doing their thing at the minute?
Madhat McGore: Mog from Glasgow is great, UV Beatz is a big producer/rapper and Silver Tongue is killing the battle scene.
TWU: How would you describe your sound?
Madhat McGore: I babble on the mic, talk about what I'm thinking and don't hold back. At the same time, I don't stick to just rap, grime or dubstep – I like to mix it up. I'm an artist, first and foremost, trying to do my thing regardless of genre.
TWU: Going back, you mentioned BBC Introducing has helped with exposure. How did that come about?
Madhat McGore: It's funny, because my manager, Jay, was out in his car and happened to drive past Vic Galloway, who used to present it. He stopped the car, got out, gave him a CD and, thankfully, when Vic played it to the team, it developed from there. I got to play at ‘T In The Park’ in Scotland last year, which also had Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah and Chipmunk on the bill, and also got to go to the Abbey Road studios for a masterclass off the back of it.
TWU: For people who may not have heard your music before, what do you recommend they check out?
Madhat McGore: The 'Findin Time' EP is a free release that really showcases me, my ideas and my lyrics, so check that out. My new free EP, 'Rampant', dropped recently and it’s definitely my best release so far. It's eight tracks long and has features from Lioness, Zambian Astronaut, Regime and Brinkworth.
TWU: Finally, what else is to come from Madhat in 2012?
Madhat McGore: I'm pushing the new EP a lot at the minute, doing as many shows and as much radio as I can. After the EP, I'll be putting out my long-awaited album, 'Babblin', which I've been working on for the last three years. Everything I've done so far is building up to the album. There is no release date for the album right now, but that will be a release for people to purchase.
Download Madhat McGore's new EP, 'Rampant', for free: H E R E
Stay up to date with Madhat McGore on Twitter - www.twitter.com/Madhat_McGore
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)