Big Toast / Gatecrasherz interview

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Gatecrasherz debut album might’ve felt like a long time coming, but the highly anticipated UK Hip-Hop album has finally arrived.

The London based Revorg Records collective consisting of Downstroke, 2016 UK End of the Weak champion – Gee Bag, Oliver Sudden, Jack Diggs and Big Toast have teased fans with tracks like 2,3 Break and Say Rah taken from their debut LP for a while now, but last Friday Gatecrasherz put an end to the wait with the release of their debut album – Uninvited.

This album showcases the finest flare and finesse from each of the MC’s, with sharp lyricism, humorous punch lines and thought-provoking concepts, whilst producer Downstroke orchestrates a high-class selection of funk-infused percussion, deep, rhythmic basslines and dusty samples In short, if you’re looking for a true representation of some of the purest Hip-Hop to come out of the UK at the moment, look no further.  

To celebrate their release, Wordplay caught up with Big Toast to find out how the Gatecrasherz collective first came about and what to look forward to in their debut album.

How did the Gatecrasherz collective originally come about?
It was shortly after me and Jack dropped Hot Water Music as part of TPS. We were in the studio a lot with Gee, Ollie and Downstroke and worked together on a few things before. To be honest, I think Toast of the Cronx off Gee’s last project was the start of it.

After we’d got a couple tracks finished we decided to make it an official crew thing. The name came from the idea that we’d all individually been on the periphery of the Hip-Hop scene waiting to be brought in by someone. Now we’re looking to gatecrash!

What influences your style and sound?
Individually I think we all take influence from a range of different things. As a group though we go for a more old school hip hop style with the DJ at the centre of things, nothing too deep concept-wise, just 4 rappers coming with 4 different styles and Downstroke bringing it all together.

For me, my solo stuff is a lot more conceptual and a bit darker so this is kind of the antidote to that with just fun rhymes, more up-tempo beats and a load of energy. We all bounce off each other with ideas and bars and everything.

If you could describe Gatecrasherz album in one sentence, what would it be?Essential for any serious record collection and quite possibly the pinnacle of human achievement.

What was the process for making this album? Did you write and record together or work separately?
There was no blueprint for how we put it together. A lot of it was written in the studio on the day but every track was different. Some we’d get the beat in advance and write before recording. A few tracks were started by a couple of us then finished another day.

It was quite an organic process. We didn’t set out to make a track like this or that particularly. It just came together over a couple years.

What’s your personal favourite track off the album and why?
I think Say Rah. It was one of the first we made and it has that ‘classic’ kinda feel. It was a good couple years ago we made it but I still rate it, which is rare for me.

What’s in store for Gatecrasherz in the future?
We have a few shows lined up. In March we’re supporting Taskforce at Boogaloo in Bournemouth, we’re also playing an Inner Peace night in Clapham and a few others. Jack and me are also going over to Munich in June for a show out there. And we should be on a couple festivals as well.

Aside from shows, I expect more Gatecrasherz music in the future but we all have solo projects we’re working on now so it may be a little while in the making. I’ve got an album dropping with Ill Move Sporadic after this and I’ve started a project with 184. Jack has a production album in the making as well as another solo album, Gee’s done a few tracks for a project with Illinformed, Ollie has a tape with Steady and an EP with Downstroke. Downstroke and Gee are also working on something and Downstroke is doing an instrumental thing. Hoping to drop a new TPS thing as well. There’s also Higher Learning and Cypher Lounge night’s and Ollie and Downstroke both do their radio shows.

We’ve got a fair bit going on.

Shout outs to anyone who has helped contribute to the album?
Thanks to Cracker and Datkid for the features. Shouts to Curt Cataract for making it sound nice and Al Mighty for the cuts. For the full list of shutouts, go buy the wax and read the sleeve!

Be sure to visit the Gatecrasherz Bandcamp and Revorg Records website to check out the full album and get your hands on the Uninvited 12” vinyl.

Words by Abi Lewis

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