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Baker's Dozen

Fanatic Energy: Flowdan's Favourite Records
Ollie Zhang , August 3rd, 2016 06:34

Following the release of the grime MC's new album, Disaster Piece, he talks Mollie Zhang through 13 records, from N.W.A to Lexxus, stopping by Shy FX, DJ Krust and Vanilla Ice, that he blames for getting him into music


Vanilla Ice – 'Ice Ice Baby'
Oh gosh. It was the 'U Can't Touch This' effect again, but this felt a bit more detailed because I bought the album. I bought Vanilla Ice's album, and the words were on the back of it, on the sleeve. The lyrics for all of the songs were there, actually. So I learnt a lot of them and I really thought, "Wow, this is like a better version of MC Hammer, a more street version. Even though the man's white, this is definitely cooler and the video is sick." I definitely learnt all the words to that; it was a cooler rap to say and because I was growing up a little bit now – I was around 12, 13 – and I was kind of understanding the coolness of certain terminologies used. It was also worlds apart from my own, but I still enjoyed rapping Vanilla Ice's words.

Because I had a stereo by then, I used to be in and out of the record shops looking for albums. I had MC Hammer's album, and I think we had MTV at the time as well, so when I saw the video, I thought, "Yeah, that's what I need, I need to find that song" and he had a whole album out, so I just bought it, took it home and just learnt it. Learnt the album. I blame these songs for me making music because I felt like they provided the tools for me to, not necessarily be creative, but just understand the structures of music: where the raps go, where the choruses go, where the intros go. Because I was mimicking these songs, I was subconsciously taking in their structures. All of these songs had something in common with each other, whether that was a catchy chorus or standout melodies. The instrumentals on all these songs as well – I liked them and I could just listen to them. They were contagious. I didn't learn my style from them but I did learn the inner workings of a structured song.

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