- 19 Jun 20
The Southwest is seriously awake at the moment when it comes to quality hip hop
While great hip-hop is being produced all over the country, something really special is happening down Limerick way.
We’ve already drooled on hotpress.com over MuRli whose powerful Black Lives Matter anthem wrapped inside a summer pop tune, ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off’, came out the same week as Denise Chaila’s cut to the chase ‘Chaila’.
“I do what I want with my pronouns/ Keep it low on my profile/ I raise the bar when I come through/ You already know it’s gonna go down/ My name’s not that hard to pronounce/ Pre-K, it’s not profound/ C H A I L A/ Sound the words out,” she recites over the most beguiling of beats.
There’s solidarity of scene as exemplified by the South West Allstars version of ‘Who’s Asking?’ conjured up by God Knows just before lockdown came along and scuppered his summer touring plans.
“‘Who’s Asking?’ is a celebration of the talent we have in the South West,” G reflects. “I wanted to take a snapshot of what’s happening in terms of who’s who in this moment. I couldn’t get everybody on it but there’s a vast amount of the people that are killing it in the city at the minute. Some of those would be Denise Chaila, who’s getting a lot of praise for doing her thing; Hazey Haze from the Island Field in Limerick City; Strange Boy from Caherdavin; Gavin DaVinci from Tipperary; and Citrus Fresh from Thomondgate in Limerick as well. There are so many to check out.
“This isn’t a sudden thing, though. We’ve been shouting it from the rooftops for the past five years. ‘Who’s Asking?’ was my kind of like, ‘Yo, if you don’t hear it you’re gonna feel it. This is what it looks like when we all hang-out.’ This is regular for us. Everyone in that video – and there’s a lot more you didn’t see – does this all the time. There’s an event called the Unseen Bazaar, which took place – and will take place again – in a pub called the Wickham Tap where we all met up and played our new songs and productions. Everybody brought something to the table. It’s like a dinner but with music instead of food. I don’t mind people calling it a ‘scene’ but really it’s a way of life.”
With her previously featuring on the Rusangano Family’s Let The Dead Bury The Dead album, God Knows isn’t the least bit surprised that Denise Chaila is making such major waves at the moment.
“What makes Denise so special is that she’s got lots to say, and is well-informed," G reflects. “If you look anything she references up you’ll be like, ‘She’s right, that’s what’s happening.’ Denise is bringing a lot of knowledge into her raps.”
While God Knows and the Rusangano Family have been a catalyst for so much of the great hip hop coming out of Limerick, G is eager to acknowledge the elder statesman role played by Naïve Ted.
“He’s the godfather who nurtured MuRli and myself,” he enthuses. “Ted and mynameisjOhn were the guys doing the workshops and spreading the knowledge. MuRli and myself joined John in Rusangano, and Ted was there on the frontline working with everyone and, I mean, everyone.”