Interviews

Published on August 25th, 2018 | by Jerry Doby

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UK Hip Hop Pioneer Parallax Discusses US Influences on The Culture Across the Pond

Parallax (Press Photo)

Parallax (Press Photo)

Back story: Parallax is a London based conscious and lyrically adept emcee and producer who has already worked with the likes of Rakaa Iriscience from Dilated Peoples and Life MC from Phi Life Cypher. He’s also been recognized by names such as Raekwon, Mr Scruff, Guilty Simpson, Diamond D, lewis parker and more, which could be one of the reasons he’s successfully sold physical copies of his debut EP Depth Perception, in twelve countries! He’s currently working on his debut full-length album which is slated for release sometime this year.

The East London based rapper and producer has established a name for himself within the UK underground Hip Hop scene and has ventured outside the realms of the United Kingdom across Europe and Asia. Gaining respect from Hip Hop heads he has received co-signs from legends like Raekwon, Mr Scruff, Atmosphere, Lewis Parker and many more. In addition to this, he has toured over UK, Europe, and Asia and supported the likes of GZA, Lord finesse, Dead Prez and Tha Dogg Pound.

Pioneering the movement of Hip Hop from the shores of the UK to all corners of the globe Parallax has been at the forefront. Bearing the flag for the emerging scene across the pond, The Hype Magazine got Parallax to discuss his journey as a Hip Hop artist in the UK, how the scene in the US has influenced him and working with Rakaa Iriscience of the legendary crew Dilated Peoples on his latest collaboration “Round and Round.

Bridging the gap between cultures the music video is shot on both sides of the pond; London and LA. The juxtaposition of imagery from the UK and the US merge together seamlessly mirroring the fusion of stateside and homegrown Hip Hop. Constructing a blueprint that entwines the overlaying of samples and breakbeats with a contemporary twist, ‘Round and Round’ pays homage to the stylistic essence of old school Hip Hop.

Focusing on hard-hitting rap with soul and substance, his repertoire of music pays homage to this ideology. From ‘Hip Hop Philosophy’ to ‘Rat Race’ his music represents his reality as the wordsmith takes us on a journey through his work.

Parallax Weighs In (Press Photo)

Parallax Weighs In (Press Photo)

Tell us about your current project and how it represents UK Hip Hop!

My current/up and coming project is packed full of hard flows and lyrically charged content from social commentary to personal deep subjects that aim to emotionally connect with the listener to paint a vivid picture of my life and life in the UK especially London. Mainly focused on boom bap but also including a touch of newer elements…this project has a throwback yet modern take on real Hip Hop. I’m defo tryna keep this culture alive by preserving integrity in this new climate of throwaway mumble rap. I’m tryna carry the essence of the raw lyrical UK Hip Hop I grew up on but bring it forward to the present day sonically. Even if you’re not into lyrics you can vibe to the musically of the project.

Do you feel your current project is the best introduction to you as an artist?

100% it’s my most complete body of work to date and I really explore a range of concepts that flow from a-z to complete the truest picture of where I’m at now and have been over last few years. I’m pushing my songwriting to the limit as well as my rapping ability with sharp flows and patterns and also different melodies around the bars. The beats are hard and also soulful and structurally it fits together like a puzzle interlocking. I feel people will see me in a new light after it drops.

What is the music landscape in your neck of the woods and do you have any plans to come back to America?

The music scene in the UK is the healthiest it’s ever been with the rise of independent success through the internet. The UK has always been a powerhouse in the music world pioneering everything from the biggest bands to the biggest genres of dance music you hear today. Now we are finally starting to gain the world recognition we deserve in Hip Hop with what’s going on over here whether that’s grime, afro swing or underground boom bap. It’s taken many years of graft and grassroots building in the underground via private (illegal radio) and shows before we benefited off the internet but now with the technology changing everything it’s becoming evident we are making our stamp in the UK and on a global level. Even though our product and videos are professional it’s still raw here and we’re all hungry…. bars are mandatory!!!

I do have plans on coming to the states… I’m actually going to be in New York in October and I hope to go back to the west coast again to build further with my Dilated fam and connects out there down the line.

Parallax (Press Photo)

Parallax – On the horizon (Press Photo)

What’s on your horizon for a great finish to 2018?

Finally dropping my full-length debut LP. Dropping a few more videos off it also not to mention freestyles, interviews, and merch. Excited to give the fans a full package of stuff by the time the year is done. Keep an eye out…It’s takeover season!!!

The Hype Magazine wants to know: What’s been your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?! Or “WTF?!” moment thus far in your career?

Flying to LA and shooting a video with one of my idols (Rakaa Iriscience) then straight after hanging backstage at a show with a load of LA legends like J5, Beat Junkies, Supernatural etc., kinda blew my mind. I put myself there on my own so it was a real dream to reality kinda realization at that point. If you said I’d be here to me as a teenager I’d never believed it in a million years….life can be a trip!!

Parallax - "Life Can Be a Trip!"

Parallax – “Life Can Be a Trip!” (Press Photo)

Bonus: Editor’s Pick From The Parallax Vault – Hip Hop Philosophy (Prod by Sam Zircon)

Website – http://www.parallaxofficial.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/parallaxofficial

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Parallax_uk

Instagram – http://instagram.com/parallaxofficial

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/parallaxofficial


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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