Lunch Hours is back in session and today Bayfield is catching up with the man they call Big Dope P, a Parisian beatmaker who has a penchant for doing literally whatever he likes and has always been about three steps ahead of the curve. From his A&R’ing skills with his Moveltraxx imprint to shelling down a dance with a fresh batch of hip-hop bootlegs it seems there’s nothing P can’t turn his hand to and subsequently do better than you and his new EP Off Da Bottle (available on Local Action HERE) is further proof of that fact.
Read on as we discuss Parisian politics, music, cous-cous and smashing patio furniture at the football.
Bayfield: Ahoy Yung Doppie! What’s good sir?
Big Dope P: All good my dude what about you ? how’s it’s going at Purple City Soufflé ?
Bayfield: Yeah all good thanks! Just published our festival review for Born & Bred and kicking in two scotch eggs for lunch. Bloody love a Scotch Egg. What about yourself? What’s on the plate today?
P: Got that damn record getting released today, so got some ITW and stuff like that to do, then I’ll eat a couscous as a reward haha.
B: What sort of couscous you aiming for?
P: Chicken couscous. Chicken all day everyday.
B: Good call. I always keep it one hunned with the poule.
P: Yeah I’m aiming to do it more like the Tunisian recipe but it’s a bit of a remix as you can’t find everything you need here.
B: You gots to improvise out here in dese streets / Tesco Local! Anyway that’s the tenuous lunch reference of this interview dealt with; let’s have a gas about your new(est) banger “Off Da Bottle.” Give us a little background flavour on making that tune and how it found its way into the hands of Tom and the Local Action crew.
P: I started it about 2 years ago and I probably got 456 versions of it, but something was missing… and it all started to make sense when I autotuned the vocals which is something I never do. I’ve been a big fan of Local Action since their 3rd or 4th release, which was around 2011 I think, and we met at Radar Radio last year when Tom (Local Action owner) invited me down to play on the show with Nightwave & Feadz before our party at Birthdays. He said send me some stuff, and I sent him the track as soon it was ready last winter and it just went from there.
B: Oh yeah I remember that party. That was the London leg of the Hit The Blokk launch parties wasn’t it?
P: It was that exactly. Tom loved that record and I feel like Off Da Bottle is like an evolution of that sound so it made sense.
B: It’s funny you mention the auto-tune vocals; they really stuck out in the track for me. I absolutely fucking hate the things by and large but they actually work in the way you’ve put them on a chopped up sample. It doesn’t fatigue your ear as much as when they aren’t thrown all over the entire vocal performance.
P: I hate autotune too most of the time; that’s why it’s weird. but when I started playing with it I had to admit it sounded better with autotune. That’s when I told myself the track was like it should be.
B: When you know you know! Mind you… and without trying to sound like a grumpy old man auto-tune is absolutely ruining US hip-hop for me right now.
P: It’s the same for everything: If you over use something of course you it’s going to suck but sometimes it’s great, on a few records… and there are some creative ways to use it too.
B: Oh without a doubt there’s always some good bits about… Future can get to fuck though. I will openly admit I do not even remotely understand the hype there.
P: I get the hype; it goes well with our era. I like some songs actually, but yeah if you have a certain vision of what rap should be I totally get the hate too haha
B: I don’t even have a certain vision; I listen to all sorts. I just cannot get into his stuff… OOooh here’s an idea after the interview maybe you could do us a P’s Future Top 10 and we’ll stick it alongside.
P: Shit I don’t have a Top 10… maybe a top five? I don’t love enough Future records for a top 10 and its mostly features on other artists’ songs that I like.
B: Even better! Dunno if my heart has the juice to sit through ten Future tunes. Five it is.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On reflection we decided a Top Zero Future tracks would be even more enjoyable than a Top Five and buoyed the whole thing off… soz Future.
B: Right talk us through the remixes on the new EP… Because they bang harder than Chris Brown on a dinner date.
P: Haha yeah! So I brought DJ Sliink in as soon I finished the track actually. He loved the previous record too and I wanted a Jersey Club remix but with those sounds I used I think he was the only one who could do it that way. That’s definitely in my top three of remixes other artists have done of my work. Played it at every gig since January and it’s definitely a banger. Tom from Local Action brought Sudanim through later and I really love what he did: like some kind of futuristic kuduro hybrid shit. Super happy with those two remixes really.#
B: Yeah man it’s a right solid package. I love that strange mechanised dancehall / kuduro thing Sudanim and the HER Records gang are pushing right now. That’s next for me. The sleeve was a collab with a French design firm too wasn’t it?
P: It’s a brand called WRUNG from France. They are like 21 years old which is crazy for a street wear brand. I used to see my favourite rappers in magazines & videos wearing that and two years ago they got in touch to do some things together; I was over the moon. We worked on a limited edition T shirt (coming real soon) & they also did the cover. We have more stuff coming together as well but yeah I’m super proud to have them involved in the project, it’s a big deal for me.
I said they are 21 years old; but they also still on top this is why it’s crazy. We’ve had so many clothes brands in France who got super hype for like 2 years and then totally disappeared.
B: Yeah man that tends to be the way with street wear. You have a few years in the sun then the next big thing comes along and you just have your super faithful crew remaining. They’ve done the double and got the longevity… So what’s the scoop for the merch then? Will it be the EP sleeve? (I’m getting one if so)
P: Yeah it’s pretty much that; hopefully its gonna be available next week, super excited about this really. We had another version in the same “font” with my name but I wasn’t comfortable at all with that as I’m not Metallica or NWA! So it’s gonna be an Off Da Bottle t-shirt 🙂
B: Who the fuck wants to be Metallica really though? Wastemen. Off Da Bottle sounds about right too as I don’t think I’ve ever actually bumped into you when sober…
P: It definitely makes sense haha!
B: Right so that’s the new stuff man but I wanna hear about The History Of P: Take us back to when you first got into this whole beat making thing. Think the first thing I heard of yours was Diggity Two after we met at that video shoot.
P: I started when I was thirteen or fourteen in the basements of the projects I was living in. It was full of people doing illegal studios etc… I started making rap beats like that but as I was also discovering house music I started putting elements of that in the recipe too… I did a lot of production under a lot of different names but the first record I did as Big Dope P was in 2007 I think. It wasn’t even legal to put that out but it was the 1st Moveltraxx release anyway! Diggity Two was the first REAL EP I did I think; before it was more singles or appearances in compilations etc…
B: Whereabouts were the projects you were living in? In Paris?
P: I moved a lot between Ivry, Vitry and Paris 13th district, on the border with South Banlieue… spent my first 17 years there.
B: What sort of place was it like back then? Unfortunately, my knowledge of Paris extends to sitting in the basement of the Olympia doing a live stream about six months ago and watching La Haine when I was about 16.
P: Ah Olympia is like in the centre of paris (around the good areas) and I believe La Haine was shot in the 78 area which is west suburbs. I don’t know, I think the South and limits with Paris are different. Of course a lot of crazy shit is happening but I feel like it was the only place (and still to this day) where people from all social backgrounds, origins etc can live well together. France right now is a very hateful place but still in that area it works.
It changed a lot through the years too, one of the places I grew up in got destroyed and rebuilt but they kept the people who lived in it there which is not the case elsewhere most of the time: they just get you out so they can put richer people in. Like gentrification or whatever it’s called here in London. Today it’s really different but you still have that melting pot of people with different backgrounds and people still manage to live well with each other. I never saw that happen in other areas of Paris and suburbs really.
The crazy shit happens on the low, it doesn’t really touch random people that’s what I like; there was always some code with that.
B: Yeah that sort of shit always seems to spill out on people that have nothing to do with it in this country to be honest. UK in general is a pretty hateful place too these days. That awful thing with the Labour MP a few days ago was just horrific… And we currently have half of England acting like huge twats at the Euros.
P: Yeah but that’s in Marseille so it’s ok lol
B: Hahahaha! Patio furniture on smash. National past-time.
P: You couldn’t do that in Paris since we’re already doing the job ourselves; I don’t hear about it a lot in the UK media but there’s basically daily conflicts between people and police in Paris. Destroying stuff in a UK hooligan fashion, but about a new law the government are pushing.
B: To be honest (and as much as it pains me to say it) I think that sort of “get pissed up and throw things” attitude is engrained in the British psyche. I know ‘nuff people who are lovely when you’re chatting with them and after three WKD’s they’re fisting a fruit machine with a pint glass.
P: Hahaha that’s definitely a more British thing!
B: Paris has always seemed to have that more revolutionary edge. Maybe I’ve just romanticised it a bit as this more artful place but when things pop off it’s not usually just because everyone went to the pub at lunch. There seems to be more of a cause.
P: Yeah I don’t know if it’s gonna lead to anything though as it’s only the young ones in the streets right now; what we need is people from 40yo/50yo bracket who got their situations sorted showing they’re against that shit too… but it’s never gonna happen obviously.
B: That’s kind of the same bullshit we’re fighting here with the whole Brexit thing. Young people want to stop shit deteriorating but all the older, more comfortable people think it’s a great idea and want to sit on their little pots of gold and get fat whilst us youth are forced to live under the stairs like some Harry Potter flex.
P: I really wonder what the result of this vote will be. I mean whatever happens I can’t imagine they will just close the borders, there’s too many people from EU living here for that.
B: Ah mate I’m bloody terrified.
P: I fucking love living here so please don’t fuck this up.
B: Hahahah if it goes to shit I’ll head across pond with you. Anyroad let’s stop worrying about the almost total deteriation of Great Britain and get back to the positives. Let’s talk about the label. MOVELTRAXX!
P: I realised next year it’s gonna be 10 years we’ve been doing this shit, so we will do something big for sure!
B: Shit the bed I didn’t realise it was 10 years deep in the game! Nice work. It’s a label that never ceases to find the fun in all music. You just dropped Street Bangers 4 which is (fittingly) a bit of a banger too! Do you have any real music policy for the label or is it literally just a case of getting on stuff that’s well good?
P: I think there’s still this spirit of blending dance music subgenres I love with hip-hop at the core but we kinda won that war so I don’t know, I think I just put out the tracks I love that matches that vision. Recently we put out an EP from Detroit’s Filthiest which is new moniker of Ghetto Tech legend DJ NASTY, which was a huge deal for me as he’s a big influence… and next we have another Street Bangers Factory volume and a Dudley Slang EP on vinyl/digital.
B: Fucking ‘ell son I loved that EP but didn’t realise it was Nasty on the controls!
P: Yeah I wish he kept the DJ Nasty name but he’s saying there’s too many people with that name in the US which is a fair point but he’s the original DJ NASTY for me 🙂
B: It’s a fair cop really. There’s bloody tons of Nastys about. Who we got on the next Street Bangers??
P: Feadz, Lockah, DJ Earl from Teklife, Dudley Slang just before his EP, a super talented Japanese guy who sent me crazy 160bpm tracks called Hiroki Yamamura and I still have to figure out the 6th track.
B: aaaahhhhhh sick Lockah is in the game! I bloody love Tom’s stuff. Absolute G. Makes a badman ramen soup too.
P: I was lucky enough to hear songs from his next album; it’s really amazing. Yeah his Instafood posts always pop up in my feed when I’m starving… I’m often mad at him for that.
B: Yeah he’s got some sort of third eye power for knowing when you’re skint and hungry the Scotch bastard.
P: Oh yeah forgot he was Scottish. Damn all my favourite people are actually from or living in Scotland… I’m not going though. The weather. I can’t. Birmingham is my limit.
B: Hahaha yeah it takes a special constitution for Scotland. I bloody love Glasgow though. My home is Yarmouth but my second home will always be Glasgow.
P: I love Glasgow. Love Edinburgh too but the accent is too strong. I’m not ready yet: I watch Limmy with subtitles.
B: Hahahahah. I suspect you’re not alone to be fair. After two pints I have to try and subtitle DJ Milktray IRL to be fair.
B: You’ve got a little party with me buoy Toby coming up in a week or two haven’t you? Let’s shamelessly plug that real quick.
P: Ah yes! July 1st we’re doing a party at Miranda / Ace Hotel with DJ Milktray (who is on the latest Moveltraxx release), Tom Lea for Local Action, me and a few secret guests poppin’ off last minute!
B: Looks like we won’t be meeting sober for a while.
B: Anyway fam unfortunately I’m gonna have to call time on the Lunch Hour there as I’m actually off to the pub for a bit (it’ll inevitably end up in deck chair destruction I’m sure)
Thanks for you time, it has been a beautiful waffle! I’ll catch up with you smashed at the MovelT party inna couple of weeks for certain… We can fuck up some patio furniture together.
P: Thank you! Can’t wait for the party. See you there.
GRAB BIG DOPE P’s OFF DA BOTTLE HERE:: http://bit.ly/2617NC7
RSVP TO THE MOVELTRAXX PARTY:: https://www.facebook.com/events/246497269075441/