Interview Conducted By: @cubkxvu
Edited By: Chris Kelly
Around the world, we have seen a very exciting five to ten year period of growth and expansion across near enough every different realm of hip hop, from the ATL-sounding takeover of America to the explosion of Drill in the UK. At 2&6, we take great pride in keeping ourselves up to date with the latest movements and maneuvers from different figures from around the UK hip hop scene, with today’s exclusive interview being yet another perfect example of our aims.
Enter: Micall Parknsun, a veteran of English hip hop’s extensive history, finding himself heavily involved as both a ground breaking producer and slick-whited lyricist, never going anywhere without his trusted Akai pad. Over the years Micall has established himself as one of the most forward thinking artists working with the UK scene, putting together numerous top quality album projects and memorable instrumental features.
I was very excited to sit down for a full length exclusive Q&A with the man himself, looking into his unique relationship with Akai, his approach to production and how he finds additional inspiration watching rap battles.
You can check out the full Q&A below:
First of all we hope to find you well during this unusual time, how are you doing & what’s helping you with the boredom ?
“To be totally honest, I’m not really bored! It’s weird cause I’ve been self employed and worked from home for like 8/9 years now so the only time to go out would be a gig or something work related or the usual taking the kids to there after school activities. Even back then I always wish I had time to sit back at home and just do nothing but I don’t think I’m wired that way.”
If you could collaborate with any one rapper and any one producer, who would it be and why?
“That’s a tough question, Producer wise it would be out of J Dilla, Pete Rock , Kev Brown, Nottz, Primo, Alchemist, 9th Wonder Or Madlib. The reasons being I’ve loved and followed and still study and get inspired by everything they do till this day. Rapper-wise it would have to be Nas Or Phonte from Little Brother. Nas because he’s one of the reasons I decided to write rhymes and actually try and rap. Whereas Phonte, I have always been a huge fan of. But in all honesty, above them all, I would rather collab with Sean Price Rest In Peace Cause he’s the best, end of discussion.”
We saw a lot of touring from yourself and Joker Starr across 2018/2019. Do you miss being on the road? & what are your celebration plans post lockdown?
“I ain’t gonna lie I do miss doing gigs. I had a couple cancelled due to the pandemic which I was really looking forward too, due to us not really getting booked regularly but selling out of record releases. For now, I’m happy to stay working on all fronts. I think I’ll celebrate by either going to an Arsenal game or having the fattest munch in a five guys.”
You’ve become a pretty inspiring figure within UK rap music across the board, both as a lyricist and as a producer, what came first for you, the beats or the bars?
“The bars but to be really honest with you I’d say both. When I was in a group called N.W.C (Northwest Collaboration) which consisted of Myself, Ramson Bonez, Ahmos, Kyza, Marcus Explains, and Selom, I always had a major hand in trying to make the beats. When I produced ‘Freedom Fighters’ featuring Me, Ram, Kyza, Jehst, and Klashnekoff on a Yamaha su10 in 2000, I knew from that moment I was on to something. I just felt like this type of shit was what I was meant to be doing.”
Me, Myself and Akai has a lot of awesome features on it from the likes of Jhest & Apollo to Ramson Badbonez , what was the process behind deciding features, did you know who you wanted on the project from the beginning? & what was it like working with Ramson ?
“Me Myself And Akai was really self explanatory. The only thing I used was YNR studios at the time, Jyager recorded it all of it for me (so big up Jyager!). In terms of working with Badbonez it’s always a pleasure to get his skill on anything. I gotta big up Jazz T for making that happen also cause he recorded his verse for Money in the bag.”
How long have you been working with Akai and have you enjoyed the relationship?
“My first ever MPC was in 1999, what was then Mpc 2000, it still had loads of floppy disks galore loI! I would be bold enough to say every album I have ever released has had production by an MPC on it since my debut single The Shit/The Struggle Down on Working Class Dad LP to when I got my MPC 1000. My 2000 was broken. I made ‘Me Myself & Akai’ entirely on it all the way to the albums I have out with Mr Thing & Giallo Point who both use Mpc’s as well. Now I have had a MPC renaissance that makes my work flow hella easier.”
Bar the Akai of course, what is next most essential piece of studio kit for yourself?
‘I would love to get the new MPC live if possible. That or the new MPC One. I like the new stand alone machines I think it elevates my production.’
A few years back we saw you very actively attending and judging at battle rap events around the UK, was it something you were ever tempted to get involved in?
‘No my life’s been a battle enough lol! I’ve always been a fan and inspired by battle rap even today I still watch. My peers like Joker Starr or Verb T have dabbled in these arts. I’m just a fan the same way I’m a fan of the many other elements in hip hop.’
Lastly, if you could see any artist in history perform live, who would it be & why?
‘Wu Tang Clan (all 9 members with ODB alive ), Tribe Called Quest (with Phife alive). Reasons being I’ve never seen them all on stage live ever and that goes for both groups. I’ve supported Phife at the Jazz cafe when he was alive and did a 5 day tour supporting Gza, but never got to see them perform’.