This is not your average Rapper. This is not your average Lyricist. This not your average Producer... This is HALF DECENT: an Oxford-based rapper and producer already turning heads in the UK and beyond with music he describes as ‘a mixture of personal reflection and innovative sound’ motivated by his experiences, both what he sees and hears in his own life and the lives of those around him too.
“I’ve loved music as far back as I can remember, making beats with a cheap little keyboard and an old record player recording into a tape cassette. As a kid I was into acting and scriptwriting after seeing ‘The Blues Brothers’ but soon realized the chances of making good movies in my bedroom where slim, but figured I could make good music in my bedroom and tell the stories I had in me that way...”
His descriptive use of wordplay snares interest and expresses feelings with a use of a dynamic, stable then at points spray-can flow, that can mould with or jump out of detailed, diverse production that most rappers would have to employ a whole host of producers to achieve. In fact, he produces beats for a diverse list of international acts like Kitty Cowell, Knothead, Deverlish and Inspect-A-Rhyme as well!
“My music got serious when I’d finished school and my father had passed away. Two days after the funeral I went to see Eminem in Milton Keynes: my first gig. Seeing 16,000 people singing the lyrics really put things in a different perspective. All the troubles in our lives didn't matter, the only thing that mattered was the music. When music touches you on a personal level it means so much more.”
His latest EP release ‘Pieces of Life’ (on Quickfix Recordings: YouthMovies, Mr Shaodow’s single for LoveMusicHateRacism, Smilex and MC Lars) features a mixture of hip-hop, drum & bass, soul/RnB and other styles (hinting at a wide range of tastes taking in Prince, The Libertines, Chase & Status, Rick James, Jim Morrison and Tech-N9ne) and honest thought-provoking lyrics touching on issues people deal with on a day-to-day basis. ‘Losers’ depicts the lifestyle of many as they spend weekends trying to unwind from a humdrum week. Other songs deal with holidays, adulthood, relationships and other themes familiar to us all, yet always treated with the HALF DECENT perspective:
“Pieces of Life is my experiences over the last few years: ambition, frustration, reflection, imagination and most importantly, realisation...kicking off with 'Time' to show that ambition/frustration and ending with 'Life Is What’s Important', saying ‘even if I don’t get what I want, things could be a lot worse’.”
It’s this down-to-earth and sometimes insightful approach that have hip-hop fans of old who have long since tuned-out due to a seemingly endless parade of bling, bragging and ‘bitches’ switching back on in their droves, while for ‘the kids’ - it’s all about those trademark fresh beats and catchy hooks!
“I only really listen to rappers who use their words wisely, I rap because I love being able to say twice as much as most singing lyricists do in the space of a 16 bar verse. Like many rappers, I am influenced by 2pac – he really shows the many sides to a person in his lyrics and has songs to suit all moods”
After years of quietly honing his live shows in a variety of clubs, arenas, festivals, open-mics, house parties and even prisons (!) supporting the likes of Dj Format and Abdominal, Kyza and Stylah, HALF DECENT is ready to take centre stage with performances that are spontaneous and adaptable to the surroundings and atmosphere of any crowd, any venue. See him as a one-man-show or bolstered with kinetic DJ Theoretical and the ice-cool vocals of Natasha Chomyn, no two shows are the same. HALF DECENT is even in the process of becoming a fully fledged live-band experience in collaboration with Quickfix labelmates The Prohibition Smokers Club...watch this space!
“My name HALF DECENT is a way of saying that from the get-go, you won’t be getting what you do with most rappers. I'm not saying “I’m the best” but you can be sure I will always give you my best...”