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Partners in grime
Why dance/hip-hop crazies Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip will not be giving away their new record free online.
Ed Power, 13 Nov 2007
Dan Le Sac thinks Radiohead are fucking nuts.
“Maybe giving away your music for free works if you’re a big band with a massive following,” says one half of the year’s hottest avant-rap duo. “For us, to simply post our album on the web would be crazy. People think we’re stinking rich but, even after having a hit single, we have very little money. Giving the album away would be commercial suicide.”
Tucking into oddly geometrical slabs of apple pie in the front lounge of Dublin’s Village venue, Le Sac and partner in grime Scroobius Pip present a peculiar sight. Responsible for ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, the bizarro dance-floor smash that may or may not be a greatest rap song in years (Pip shudders at the rap tag; Le Sac isn’t so swift to dismiss it), the pair are, in person, surprisingly matey and – whisper it – normal. This is especially shocking in regards to Pip, who wears a proper crazy dude beard and fell into music after cutting his teeth as a ‘performance poet’. “Hip hop isn’t really we’re I’m coming from,” says the Essex native between mouthfuls of tart. “I still go to poetry jams. I regard myself as a poet rather than as a signer.”
Still, there’s no disputing the mesmerizing tug of Pip’s flow (Scroobius Pip, incidentally, was the name of a character in an Edward Lear poem). Backed by Le Sac’s glitter-ball disco judders, he rhymes like a ghetto natural, spitting out seductively weird metaphors and dealing in quirky signature changes with virtuoso dazzle. “Confidence has never really been a problem for me,” he says. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed attention. Getting up on stage feels like the most natural thing in the world.”
Pip and Le Sac fell together 18 months ago, more or less by accident. “I’d remixed some of his stuff and posted it on my MySpace page,” reminisces Le Sac. “We had both worked at the same branch of HMV in Essex, so we’d known each other. Then we were booked to play the same gig, so we decided to collaborate. It took off from there. A few days after, we posted ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ on MySpace. Next thing you know, XFM in London had jumped on it and suddenly everything was happening. We’re still trying to get our heads around it.”