By Tom Watling
Both hailing from London, Fahad Al-Amoudi and Alfie Leach have embarked upon a series of podcasts, discussing everything under the umbrella of Hip-Hop. It is the perfect concoction of knowledge and debate, agreement and disagreement, and their first episode aired on the 19th January. I met up with them in the DSU last week, to ask them everything from their favourite artists to their opinions of trap, and this is what they had to say:
So, why did you guys decide to do this?
Alfie – “I thought it would be good starting a conversation with other people. A lot of the time, people don’t think that’s [hip hop] something I’d like to talk about, but there’s a surprising amount of people that do have an interest in hip hop but don’t really know who else is into it. So, by doing a podcast, hopefully we will get people talking and asking, you know, what we think about this or that. It’s just a good way to start a conversation.”
Fahad – “When we first talked about the idea of doing this, one of the first things you said is you want to have proper debates about big ideas within hip hop, so I guess that ties into wanting to start a conversation.”
If you had to choose, what would you say are your favourite three artists?
Fahad – “Can we guess each other’s?”- to which, after pondering the outcome, I responded “yes.”
Well, I know what yours is (to Alfie), it’s Q-Tip.” – (Alfie) “Yes, slash A Tribe Called Quest but okay.” – (Fahad) “Then, okay … De La Soul?” – (Alfie) “Nah. Just for me, you’ve got the Spotify limitation there, so I haven’t listened to enough of their catalogue to put them in my top three.” – (Fahad) “Fair enough … You know my top three?” – (Alfie) “I think I know your top three … Mos Def?” – (Fahad) “No” – (Alfie) “What?… Kendrick?
[Lamar]” – (Fahad) “Yeah. Wait … who’s actually in my top three? … oh yeah, I got it … It’s very basic” – (Alfie) “umm, I don’t know. I would say Anderson. Paak” – (Fahad) “In yours?” – (Alfie) “Yeah, In mine. Sorry, umm, I’m still tryna guess yours … Outkast?” – (Fahad) “Well André 3000, yeah.” – (Alfie) “Yeah … Ah, I don’t know. I can’t think who’d be your third.” – (Fahad) “It’s (MF) DOOM.” – (Alfie) “Really. Oh, I’m disappointed.” – (Fahad) “Who’s your number three, then?” – (Alfie) “I don’t know. Who would my third be? … Ah god it’s not Kanye is it? It might actually be Kanye.” – (Fahad) “No, don’t you dare … don’t you dare … Tell me it’s Lupe.” – (Alfie) “No. no. Again, I haven’t listened to enough of his stuff to put him in the top three … I think I may say Kweku Collins.”
What was the album/song that got you into Hip Hop?
Fahad – “Stan (by Eminem). Believe it or not.”
Alfie – “Really?”
Fahad – “I know it’s mental isn’t it. I was in the car with my guardian and we were on the way to visit her mum, and umm, she’s like ‘okay, you’re old enough to listen to Hip Hop now, I want you to listen to Stan and tell me what you think’.”
Alfie – “That’s like me saying the first song I listened to was ‘Dance with the Devil’ by Immortal Technique. Like, it’s that level of cringe.”
Fahad – “Well, at 12-years old you’re just impressed that anyone can tell a story in that way and I think I was really fascinated by that. So, then, from then on, I just went off
and dived into Hip Hop. But I think the album that properly got me into Hip Hop was Good Kid, M.A.A.D City [by Kendrick Lamar].”
What do you think about trap music then?
Alfie – “We have different opinions.”
Fahad – “I can’t listen to it.”
Alfie – “Umm, I just, hip hop is just not one genre anymore, like to criticise it as bad hip hop is ridiculous.”
East Coast or West Coast (back in the 90s)?
Alfie– “East Coast.”
Fahad – “East Coast, yeh.”
Alfie – “East Coast because of, like, starting with Native Tongues …”
Fahad– “That’s enough for me to be honest.”
Alfie– “… and kind of just, like, soulquarians, as well. I feel like it’s more art that happens in the east coast.”
Fahad– “Is that not a stereotype? … I mean the question, now, is Atlanta or New York?”
Alfie– “Yeah, but that’s so divisive in terms of comparing within one genre. That’s more like comparing different genres, like trap and rap. Soon, a better question will be Atlanta versus Florida. Who’s making better trap.”
Fahad – “True.”
What’s the plan for releases and stuff?
Alfie – “Chicago this Friday, Soulquarians two weeks the Friday after.”
Fahad – “Top Ten after that, then two weeks from then on we’re doing a big sort of … basically we’re trying to create our ultimate label from the labels that exist at the moment. So, we’re going to put TDE, Dreamville and GOOD music, I think, together and we’re gonna try and create like a roster of five, like basketball style, and then pair them off, like Kendrick and Cole then SZA and Teyenna Taylor etcetera.”