Monday, 25 October 2004

Lords of the Manor

It probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that Lord Of The Decks (LOTD) is an underground phenomenon. Primarily a two man crew consisting of the multi-skilled cousins Capo, 25 and Ratty, 23, these east London soldiers have taken the industry into their own hands taking grime culture to the mainstream. Having started out distributing vinyl for the likes of Skepta, Jammer, More Fire and Ruff Squad the duo soon exposed a big gap in the market – raw mixtapes and DVD’s. With two volumes currently available (Lord Of The Decks 1 and 2) it doesn’t get much realer. On the eve of their first Birthday, the third installment, Lord Of The Mics Battle Arena is landing…

Touch: Happy Birthday!
Capo: Thank you. It’s mad that a year ago we were selling the first LOTD up and down the country. We’d set up a Sunday stall at the market in Hackney Wick shotting them for £5. A lot of shops weren’t taking us seriously because of the way it looked, straight outta the bedroom.
Ratty: Then we were seeing these DVD’s, like Eskimo Dance but it still wasn’t enough, they were short (hence LOTD being two hours long) and were bad quality. We just went and got a camera and here we are.

Touch: The brand has blown up overnight…
Capo: We’ve ended up creating a monster that’s stomping its way out of a cage living its own life! A lot of people and artists don’t appreciate it still.
We’re trying to promote the streets because for too long the industry have looked at us but won’t do nothing about it. It’s about us people at a street level forming a united front and getting this thing rolling cause we can make this what we want it to be.

Touch: And you’ve put this DVD in a lot of peoples hands haven’t you?
Capo: Missy Elliott, DJ Green Lantern, Westwood, Damon Dash, Young Gunz…
Ratty: We even got contacted by a Canadian rapper, Cardinal, and he’s working with Durrty Doogz now.

Touch: What’s next in the pipeline?
Capo: Europe, we need to conquer that first. We have a rave starting in Germany on July 23rd, then there’s the big one – Lord Of The Mics Battle Arena Volume 1. That DVD should be dropping late May, you’ll see bare clashes –Footsie V’s Scratchy, Kano V’s Wiley…
Ratty: That will go down in history as a classic like LOTD ha ha.

Touch: You’ve started doing your own music video’s too right?
Capo: Yeah, we’ve just done the video for Lethal B’s Forward Riddim directed by our boy Mighty Mo (not the Heartless Crew hype man). That should be on screens very soon.

Touch: What have been your fave filming moments?
Capo: Ministry was off the heezy fo’ sheezy. That was Femme Fatale’s Birthday bash and we taped some ill shit. Certain guys know what was poppin’, groupies like the camera. The Narni Shakers were big too, Doogz on 1Xtra, N Double A…
Ratty: Tell us what you wanna see and I bet you we’ve got it. Our theory is no one can deny us access, we’ll try get through anywhere.

Touch: What would you like to set up?
Capo: G Force V’s SAS. That would be big. G Force are east rappers who’ve been in it for years and they’ve got skills. And right about now SAS are the top boys, if you’re with the Roc you can’t get it twisted
Ratty: We should go get on that…

Watch out for Lord Of The Decks filming on a street near you soon

Words: Chantelle Fiddy

A version of this article appeared in Touch Magazine 2004

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