“Yeah I’m real hyped man.” The elation on G-Milli Krays (Josh Higgins to his mum) voice is almost visible as he sits, almost double bent on a wooden chair, clutching a bottle of purple drank like his firstborn child.
On the subject of his debut Mixtape Milli, he states that “It’s got some good tracks on it, everything’s almost ready, Diamond Supply was a good starting point, I’m hoping to move forward and keep the momentum going. After the Leopard Print EP drops I‘m gonna push the tape, do some shows and maybe shoot a few videos.” He seems happy that the fruits of labour of his almost 5 year long career starting to pay off; “Diamond Supply has been going down well, I got featured in top 40 magazine so that was dope. Some of my singles, including ‘Let’s Party’ and ‘Addict’ with Hero Brazion and Tonesy have been getting radio play on some internet stations, so that’s pretty cool”
Milli’s choice of style has been somewhat controversial from the very get go, his own particular brand of US influenced Trap/hip-hop has been seen by some of his detractors as completely absurd coming from an Englishman. “That’s just what I listened to growing up, and what I feel comfortable doing. If I did grime or whatever, it’d be forced” he says on the subject of localised musical conformity. I’m sure people would rather hear me swag out in my own style, than do things a certain way because it’s what ‘UK rappers do’. A lot of American artists and DJs do say I have a UK tone, so it’s not like my national identity is absent.” However Milli doesn’t completely wash his hands of UK hip hop influence; “I look to UK artists for inspiration on EDM beats, like I looked to Dizzee Rascal for the flow in ‘Let’s Party’, it’s a similar style of beat. I like the buzz UK rap’s been getting, it’s nice to see the UK being taken serious as a rap nation.” The rapper lapses into a faux California accent, belaying the lighter side of his rap persona, “as I say though, I don’t fucks with it heavy enough to keep my finger on the pulse, that’s just me personally.”
Not to forget; the vast majority of G’s influence still come from across the pond: “my two big influences are Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy; those two always inspire me to improve myself all the time. Other than music my main hobbies are anime and video games, I think my music gives off that kinda vibe. I try not to fall into a ‘rapper stereotype’ in terms of creativity, I just have fun with my music. I’m not trying to be “real” or whatever. I’m just trying to be creative, there are already street rappers. If you want music that you can just have fun to and enjoy, I’m right here.”
On the subject of his white British ethnicity, a source of some controversy from Facebook detractors Milli calmly and inoffensively comments that: “If you look at the white artists that have broke through recently; Mac Miller, RiFF RAFF and MGK, who was bad boy’s best selling artist last year, I think it’s easier than ever for white artists to break through. People are starting to look at artists for their content as opposed to what their race is, which is how it should be, race can be a barrier, but it’s not a road block.” Milli continues with an air of vehement urgency in his voice: “I think the reason a lot of white rappers were pushed back before into the ‘novelty’ bracket is because they were try hards.. .shit, I was trying to fill every box on the ‘rapper stereotype’, but I grew up and just did me.”
G muses on the subject of the future with a distant glint in his eye, explaining: “I love the state of hip-hop at the moment, the explosion of the internet means everyone’s on a level playing field. Before, if a certain artist didn’t have an album out, it was almost impossible to get their work, now every sub genre is catered for. If I want to hear like, ‘german space rap’, I can probably find someone who makes it. Some independent artists are outdoing majors now, shit’s crazy, creativity is at its highest. People are shedding the clichés. It’s easier than ever for an artist to build a fanbase, which means everyone has a chance.”
Words by Richard Lowe