The story so far …
When one thinks of the U.K. and music their minds wander either to The Beatles whose invasion took over the world in the ’60s, or it can head towards the Punk Rock that emerged in the late ’70s and bled through into the ’80s. Rarely does one picture Hip-Hop, but it’s there and it’s there in part thanks to Born 2 B. He will be forever celebrated as a leader of the British Hip- Hop scene that sparked up in the ’90s after he dropped “The Band Played The Boogie” with NW1, also known as Hip-Hop Jazz act Us3, on London’s Ninja Tune Records..
Of course, he’d started way before that, playing his first show in London in ’86 as the Rapper of a South-East London Sound System and being featured on Invision’s 1990 single, “Moments In Love.” It was that second release though, “The Band Played The Boogie”, that really set the pace for what was to come in his career. Fast forward to today and has just completed his new album release, “Original Olde English”.
“Original Olde English” began as Born 2 B’s first solo album venture back in 2016. A year later, he introduced the world to the album’s lead single, “Musical Evolution”. Produced by Born 2 B and Canada’s Bobby Sox, it is an extension of his work on Ninja Tune Records with NW1. Away from the watered down commerciality of what US3 were to become, Born 2 B has stayed true to the aim of creating a smooth, organic blend of Hip-Hop, Jazz and Drum & Bass. People will say he’s just stepping on the toes of someone like Eminem, but Born 2 B was on the scene long before the Detroit Rapper ever asked about his name.
As one reviewer put it from UrbanPR after listening to his latest album, “Very interesting & well put together incorporating the different musical styles, it does put me in mind of the kind of releases for which Ninja Tune became known. It’s also a really good title because both lyrically and musically, it “feels” very English, and as I say there’s traditions there via the likes of Ninja Tune. With that incorporation of various genres, my feeling is it moves beyond the specific “hip hop” market or anything pigeonholed as “grime”, but has a broader potential within the urban/independent marketplace”.
Born 2 B notes, “I was one of the first white rappers on the UK hip hop scene at a time long before Eminem, Third Bass and House Of Pain, although the Beastie Boys were about and were a big influence on me. I am a product of my environment and I write my lyrics to report what I am seeing around me, reporting what life is like in the suburbs of London, UK. Musically, I have absorbed all of my musical influences throughout my life and in Hip-Hop fashion, represent them in my own unique way. Lyrically, I feel there are important life messages that need to be heard by the public, however, I try to approach dark subjects in a comical way where possible with a moral to the story.”
Inspired originally by The Beatles when it came to creativity, Born 2 B got the itch to rap after hearing LL Cool J. Taking both of those artists to heart, Born 2 B started to craft his own style that eventually evolved over time. He’s a storyteller at the end of the day and has been rhyming his tales since the start. From his very first single through to “Musical Evolution.” A song he says is “a reflection of popular music history, the legends that forged the way to where we are today and ponders the question of where we are heading next, what is the next big scene.”
Born 2 B has performed across the UK at legendary clubs such as The Wag Club, the Starlight Club (London) the Hacienda (Manchester) and throughout Europe since starting out, including a concert at Juliana’s in Istanbul. From here on out he’ll be focusing on planning his first worldwide tour