- 12 Nov 19
“Ringsend n’ Compton on the track. What the fuck’s up with that ? ”
We should've seen this one coming. After all, West Coast legend Coolio pulled Ringsend rappers Versatile onto the Bulmers Stage at Leopardstown just months ago.Coolio’s recognition and appreciation of Versatile’s unique style is an exciting prospect as the Ringsend rappers continue their ascent. This morning, they continue their musical love affair with a brand new single and music video, 'Escape Wagon' (photographed above by Julie O'Brien).
On the fast track to fame, Versatile have found themselves in the midst of a budding friendship with Coolio, known for his Grammy-award winning hip hop anthem, 'Gangsta's Paradise'. Their new track, 'Escape Wagon', blends Dublin and L.A rap styles, mastered by Evan Kennedy.
This summer, Versatile made Irish music history and undoubtedly cemented themselves as Ireland's biggest hip hop group. June 2019 saw Versatile sell out a headline show at Cork Marquee in a matter of hours, making it the biggest domestic rap show to be headlined by an Irish artist, in Ireland.
This success was soon to be dwarfed by their unforgettable performance at Longitude Festival to a crowd of 40,000 with the rest of the festival site seemingly deserted.
"From the outset, the lads have the crowd eating up their every word," wrote Hot Press's Evelyn Tierney. "Their extroverted stage presence seems to transform the audience from a bunch of primarily young, insecure-looking teenagers into an energetic, fearless throng. It is all about confidence and Versatile exude it in a way that’s thoroughly infectious."
Most recently, Versatile landed a spot on Snoop Dogg’s I Wanna Thank Me Arena Tour with dates throughout the U.K and Ireland, and rumblings of some European arena dates to be announced soon.
With the rise of recognition, Versatile have also faced a fair share of criticism for their lyrics which are heavily perceived as racist and misogynist.
“I think people who get offended a lot are weak,” retorted Casper, one half of Versatile, in an interview this summer with Hot Press's Stuart Clark. “You can’t give offence, you can only take it. If you can’t laugh at life you’re fucked, basically. People don’t know what to make of us… I’d like to keep it that way.”
“It’s not my problem,” shrugs Eskimo Supreme, the other half of the duo. “There’s nothing I can do for you. It’s just a sign that you’re a fucking idiot. If what the people slating us are saying is legit, half their favourite films wouldn’t exist. At the end of the day, it’s just art.”
Read the full Hot Press cover story with Versatile, where they discuss the critics, as well as their non-musical career ambitions, first record purchase, and much more here.
Check out the music video for 'Escape Wagon' here.
Versatile's Upcoming Tour Dates
NOVEMBER 30 – 3ARENA DUBLIN, IE ( Headline Show )
APRIL 9 – 3ARENA, DUBLIN, IE ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
APRIL 10 – SSE ARENA, BELFAST, N.I ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
APRIL 12 – MANCHESTER ARENA, U.K ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
APRIL 14 – FIRST DIRECT ARENA LEEDS, U.K ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
APRIL 15 – O2 ARENA, LONDON, U.K ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
APRIL 16 – ARENA BIRMINGHAM, U.K ( w/ Snoop Dogg )
Photography by Julie O'Brien.