It's the M.I.C on the MIC
The Master of Inane conversation is undoubtedly pushing the envelope within grime music. From his experimental and ethereal beat choices, to his fearless subject matter and unrivalled humour; he is expanding the confines of what it means to be a traditional grime emcee. Off the back of his recent Just Jam 117 set with PK Brako and Jawnino which received praise from grime legends JME & Lethal Bizzle and being named in NME's 100: Essential new artists for 2019 we caught up with the M.I.C in Peckham to talk about his influences, hopes for the future and what upcoming video game releases are wetting his appetite.
First of all, where does the name "Master of Inane Conversation" come from?
It comes from the fact that I am absolutely rubbish at small talk.
Prior to the upcoming Duskrunner, you've released two super strong projects in "You're Going To Hell If You Read The Sun" and "Heaven Is Black". What do those projects mean to you retrospectively and where is Duskrunner situated in your journey as an artist?
These projects were integral to my development and understanding that making grime doesn’t mean I have to bend over backwards to do things just like the forefathers of the sound. Duskrunner will be taking that aforementioned process to the next level.
The subject matter of your music touches on a range of deeply personal topics, from race politics to sexuality and gender, which is rare to see in grime. Considering the fact that so much of the black British identity is shaped by sociological issues, why do you think grime (a genre chiefly created by black brits) shies away from these topics?
Grime shies away from these topics because to put it quite simply, self interrogation can be too much work for some people. It’s easier to not change.
You're definitely right that people would rather stay ignorant than self interrogate. Would you surmise that this is a general problem, that isn't more prominent in grime than any other faction of society?
I think it's a everywhere problem, rather than a genre specific problem actually. I probably just blame the grime scene more so than other microcosms of society because I am directly involved in it.
It's great that you don't feel like you need to tailor your subject matter to appease the gate-keepers of grime. You have had some recognition from a couple of established forerunners like JME and Lethal Bizzle in response to your excellent Just Jam set. Why do you think this set in particular resonated with people so much?
The way me and my friends make grime (namely, that rejection of conventions) and the way I presented myself (as a grime MC that embraces gender nonconformity) is why I think the set drawn so much attention.
Your influences span across a lot of genres. Your appreciation for artists like Bjork and Code Orange is well documented. If you could form a supergroup with another 3 artists outside of grime (alive or dead) who would you pick?
Hmmmmm I like this question a lot. I think a really beautiful collab would be a supergroup made from Solange on lead vocals, Robin Guthrie on guitar and drum machine (formerly of Cocteau Twins) and Dev Hynes of executive production. With all of them on songwriting!
Your love of video games is also well documented. Are there any game releases you're particularly excited for?
I love this question! Right now, I’m most excited for Pokemon Sword and Shield, but I eagerly anticipate Shakedown Hawaii, the new Animal Crossing game for Switch.
Two excellent choices, thanks for speaking to us!