Hip Hop Chronicle Interviews Karl Hinds
05 May. 2012

Hip Hop Chronicle Interviews Karl Hinds

Karl Hinds first started his career in UK Hip Hop in 2000. Since then he has released 2 albums and been nominated for several awards.  Apart from rapping and producing music, he also manages his own music label ‘Ill Flava Records’. In 2004, he took a eight years break from music and is now returning with his new mix-tape called ‘BlackTiming’.

  • The title of your upcoming project is called ‘Black Timing’, where did the title come from?

It’s a well known saying amongst the black community that describes someone that states they’re going to do something, or be somewhere at one time and the reality is it gets done hours or weeks later.  It really refers to our laid back nature as a people.  In the context of the mix-tape it refers to the dark period I’ve come through and the time it took to do it.

  • Will there be any features on the mix-tape, if yes, can we have some names?

Yeah there are some big features still, we’ve got Durrty Goodz on 2 tracks, Mr Midas came through, we’ve got Badgal Ronster (who has just signed to my label) she kills it.  Genesis Elijah is on it and Theme, both lyrically strong artists.

  • Which producers will be on the project?

I do all the original production but I do have 3 tracks that are freestyles over other people’s beats.

  • Are there any tracks on the mix-tape that the fans should keep an eye out for, and if yes, why?

Honestly I feel my fans should pay special attention to the whole shit (even the skits) because the mixtape is made for them so every track deals with things I think they need to know.  But for people just becoming aware of my music I’d say “Re-introduction” is a great starting place because it makes u aware of my lyrical agility and I talk a bit about my contribution to British music period (not just Hip Hop).  “Greatest” & “Future” both featuring Durrty Goodz, each are club bangers but two completely different style of Hip Hop.  “Fuck wid dem” needs to be heard just so you can hear Bad Gal Ronster kill shit.  “Checklist” is a freestyle that deals with what type of person you need to be to connect with my music. The whole shit is hot

  • Will it differ from your previous work?

It differs in the sense that things have moved on and that is reflected in the production as well as my flow BUT as far as the quality of my content that never changes.  The fact that it’s a mixtape meant I didn’t do as many concept tracks as I normally do with an album.

  • You twitted that you are sorting out a video for a track called ‘Future’ off of the BlackTiming mixtape. Do you have any plans to shoot any more videos from the project?

Yeah we’re absolutely going to shoot another 2 videos at least, we’ll leave it up to the fans to decide which tracks they will be.

  • Is there a theme to mix-tape or a mood that you would like to get across to the fans and listeners?

I guess there is a loose theme.  The message I’m really trying to get across is there is a place for mature adult music in hip-hop.  I AM NOT trying to be one of those artists that are running away from who they are.  I’m proud of my 12-year career in Hip Hop music.

  • What is your current opinion on the UK hip hop/rap scene?

On one level I think it’s in a great place.  Artists really understand that they can make money in this country, which is something I’ve always believed was possible when no one else did.  But the bad thing is that they believe they have to compromise the Hip Hop sound to do it.  Overall though, I personally think that Grime was the best thing to happen to the UK Hip Hop/Rap scene. 

  • Which artist do you think have the potential to go really far in the UK rap game, and why?

The first artist I’d have to say is Badgal Ronster, which is why I signed her.  I like English Frank from what I’ve seen his bars are crazy.  I like Benny Banks and Black da Ripper these types of artist could shatter the elution that your sound has to be overly commercial, as they’ve taken such a strong stance in their style that they risk losing their fan base if they switch up but I sense a massive desire in them to go all the way.

  • Over you time as a music artist from 2000 till now. How do feel like you have evolved as both an artist and a manager of Ill Flava Records?

I have matured as a man so I think my evolution as an artist comes from that maturity.  I’ve passed that difficult stage that all these new dudes will hit when there needs to be more about your style then just youth.  For me longevity is the ambition so from young I always made sure that what I’m saying now I’ll still be able to say in my 30’s and I have successfully evolved into that artist.  As a label owner I’ve evolved technically.  I had to take on areas of my business I would normally delegate to someone else in that field, but in order for my business to survive I had to become technically savvy.  As a result I’ve become better at running my business.

  • You have recently signed Badgal Ronster Ill Flava Records, how did that come about?

Her Management made me aware of her, they hit me up on Facebook with a link to her freestyle over Eminem’s “Fast Lane” I called up my manager and said I think I need to sign this chick.  I hesitated because I’ve never committed my label to anybody’s career to that extent before, we usually just help artists along she’s the first artist I have ever signed exclusively.  When I heard people talking about her in America that was it.

  • Are you able to tell me if there anymore artist you may think about signing?

I don’t have any artists in mind at this time but I’m watching heads.

  • After Black Timing is released and people get their hands on it, what will be next for you?

The true answer to that question is it depends on how many people download it.  If I feel I have enough people’s attention then I’ll release my third album, if not then we’ll do another mix-tape until the numbers are right.

  • Black Timing is your first material in about eight years, what made you think it was about time to feed the fans?

Everything is how it needs to be at the label.  Things behind the music fell apart but my music never did so it was never a question of if I could deliver music but weather my label could deliver the product, in the right way. Until I could be confident of that I didn’t put out anything now I’m confident.




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About the author

Amari Ellington
Hip Hop is more than music, its a culture! Follow me on twitter @MarsBar4Real


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