Lethal Bizzle in Dubai

UK rapper makes UAE debut at N'Dulge

Hi Lethal – looking forward to your first gig in Dubai?
I passed through the city a few years ago for a bit of pleasure, a bit of business. It’s very surreal, the whole surroundings are very futuristic. It has lots of things I’ve never seen before – a whole new world.

We hear Dame Judi Dench is a fan of your clothing line, Stay Dench.
When they interviewed her on (UK) Radio 1, they said, ‘We’re going to give her some Dench stuff.’ I was scared she might think I was trying to cash in on her fame. But then she said on the radio she loved it. There’s a picture of her wearing the cap and now we’ve sold out of them. It’s really cool for someone like that to acknowledge what I’m doing.

Do you now make more money from clothes than music?
I don’t know – it goes hand in hand with the music. But the clothing line is very healthy. We’ve made a fair bit. I’m not complaining, that’s for sure.

How is the London grime scene doing these days?
The scene is cool, it’s still thriving – it’s less the artists progressing, and more that you still get new talent. It’s a platform; you come out and get recognition. You have to do it to get noticed.

And then most acts sell out?
The music industry hasn’t acknowledged grime on a commercial platform. Even what I’m doing – I have to make different types of music. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘selling out’. Some artists try to make that pop hit. It’s limiting myself to say I’m just doing grime.

You worked with fellow grime king Wiley on your re-release of ‘Pow’ last year. Are you two over your well-publicised feud?
We’re good. Back then it was more competition and rivalry. Now we’ve become businessmen; it makes sense for us to work together now.

What direction are you going in with your new LP?
I’m brainstorming as we speak. I have a new-found love for trap music – I’m really experimenting with that, and the dubstep sound, and some grime. It will be a mixture of those.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in your career?
Making my first record, ‘Oi!’. I was young and new to the game – I didn’t know what was going on. We went from a council estate to drinking lemonade with Cliff Richard on Top of the Pops.

And the worst?
The battle lyrics between me and Wiley. Some of them I don’t think you can even print. We were talking about each other’s mums. I’m not proud of that at all – it was all very disrespectful.

How ‘lethal’ are you, Lethal?
I wouldn’t want to do anything where I would die put it that way, but I don’t mind a bit of pain – that’s nothing new, as long as I survive. There’s definitely a few things I want to do before I pass away.
Lethal Bizzle plays on Friday November 30 at N’Dulge, Atlantis The Palm (04 426 0561).

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