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Ty the Rapper, Being Frank as Per Usual

Best known for his lyrical frankness.

By Will Seal
February 13, 2014
By Will Seal
February 13, 2014

Ben Chijioke, better known as British rapper Ty, has a reputation built on his original style and refusal to hop on any industry bandwagon. Best known for his lyrical frankness and honest portrayals of everyday life, setting him aside from many mainstream hip hop acts, we think he's the perfect representation of Splore – the iconic kiwi festival that doesn't conform, yet continues to provide truly amazing experiences.

A lifelong love of hip hop has seen the honest-speaking South Londoner gain skills in sound engineering and producing, the latter leading to work with Scratch Perverts, Talib Kweli, Blak Twang and Arrested Development. Ty is also known for his work as a spoken word artist where his efforts have seen Ty put in performances at The Royal Albert Hall. Alongside his work, he's a member of The HipHop Shakespeare Company, showing the influences and works of Shakespeare in today's music scene.

So really, could we think of anyone better to interview before Splore?

Like many critically-acclaimed rappers, your work is celebrated for its lyrical frankness - why do you think so many of those in the mainstream hip-hop scene are afraid to do the same?

I'm not quite sure why so many are afraid to explore their truthful side in music – I don't really fraternise with folks that don't speak their truth, so really, I have no idea?

Given your work often portrays everyday life, what do you think that adds or brings to your music?

I think what I bring to the table is a clarity I'm not afraid to be me, which clears the table for you to be you. It's simple – now let's enjoy the music…

Most importantly - what are you looking to convey or get across with your music?

I'm looking to convey many things – as simple as this question is it's probably the hardest. My music and my words are all food of sorts, some get it and some don't. I don't wanna spoil it for those that are tuned in, it's all about interpretation and how we all digest different things uniquely. Basically, what people get from my music is subjective to them, personally.

Beyond your music is your spoken word art - what, aside from a backing track, separates this from your rap work?

Nothing separates my rap work from my spoken word work, I don't put them in boxes, they belong together.

Some of our readers haven't been lucky enough to attend Splore before, can we ask what you've heard about the festival?

I have heard that Splore is one of the best, freshest festivals in the territory. I am stoked that they booked me! And I'm going to make it memorable – simple. Also I'm gonna be rocking it with Short Blitz, we haven't been on stage together as a group in nearly 18 years so it's gonna be emotional as we started together!

Published on February 13, 2014 by Will Seal
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