This article was originally featured on Lost Culture.
Over the last few years, road rap’s popularity has grown leaps and bounds. Artists like Snap Capone, Morrison and Suspect can all be credited with helping the scene. But one artist has been doing this for a minute, albeit with a an 8 year intermission inbetween, this artist is of course Tiny Boost. Originally famed for being part of SN1’s PYG group, but has since carved out his own path and is on course to be atop the game. I recently got a chance to chat with Boost about everything from dream collaborations, who his competition is and what’s next for him. Here’s what was said below.
This interview has been edited down for readability.
So how have things been for you since the release of your mixtape Strictly for the Streets? And what’s been the biggest change?
Well, I’ve secured what I’ve wanted. I’ve secured the streets in a way so it’s just trying to level up from there really. The biggest change is probably having so much support, I’ve never had so much support around me in my life. A lot of people noticing me, even going to cornershop people noticing my face. That’s been the biggest change really.
Yeah yeah I get you, how do you think things have changed for you since your PYG days?
I’m around a lot more positivity, a lot more positive things in my life.
Ah that’s good man, I’m glad you are. Do you think being attached to SN1, especially since before you went down they were big but since you’ve come back out they’ve transformed into a global force, do you think that’s elevated you as well in a sense?
Yeah 100%. It gives me more of a drive, because where it’s gone – not that I’m not there, but I have to make sure I’m producing the same level as the rest. It gives me a target and I think I have to hit that, because I’m gonna be carrying this, I’m gonna be the last. There’s gonna be a day where I’m the last one there, you get me?
Yeah fully man, so in terms of new music as well you’ve got a new mixtape coming out, so how’s the process been for that?
The process for that, has been understanding the feedback from Strictly for the Streets and taking heed of it, to deliver something and perfect my craft. Deliver something that’s a level up, everything’s about levelling up that’s the way I see it.
What is the biggest feedback that you took away from what people were saying about it?
The biggest feedback, is people saying that it’s real. People always telling me “it’s the realest shit I hear” so that makes me know it’s gonna be timeless. So they get it, it’s not just people nodding their head. But on the constructive criticism side of it, I get that it needs to be more smooth because it’s real rough. That’s the main thing I took from it, like aight cool how we gonna make it easier on people’s ears? Not that I’ve got a problem with the hard stuff, but at the same time you want as many people to hear it and not think this is scary haha, you know what I’m saying? That’s the most I’ve took from that, and hopefully, and well not hopefully, when they hear the new stuff they’ll know that’s it.
I know what you mean about the smoothness, but it is what it is with some people you won’t be able to please them all. Tracks like Like Mike off of your last project to me were great but some people I know not so much.
Yeah exactly, it’s about finding a balance for people.
Moving forward with that, you have a track with Snap Capone coming out, how did that come about?
Ha! The anticipated Snap Capone track, people have been ringing me for that haha. Honestly, that one there, Snap is my people. We grew up together. If people know the history of this music and where we started they’ll know that. But I’ve noticed a lot of people now weren’t around then. So they think it’s some crazy link up, but really and truly it’s just reunited! The whole time I was away, I never seen my man, cause he was going through what he was going through. Then came out and made a big name for himself when I was away. So how it came about is just natural. It’s one of those as well, a bit of competition with us. I can’t wait for people to hear it, you’re either gonna be on my side or on his. That’s coming real soon.
I can’t wait for that. Do you think there’s anyone else on yours and Snap’s level in terms of road rap?
You know what it is, I would say even Snap is in his own lane too. We rap about same stuff, but different style. He’s straight to the point with it, so I don’t think nobody on his level with that. But on my type of shit, when I go in depth I don’t think anyone on my level with it either.
Yeah I get what you mean, there’s a few names around you that you’ve worked with. You were on a song with Suspect and Skrapz earlier this year, how did that come about?
I’ve known Sus since I was a kid so that was just natural, he bust me on that whilst I was on my way out he told me “there’s a tune here with Skrapz and that, we need you on it”. So I came out and did it, was kind of like a favour from him to me.
That’s a lot of love there though, you don’t get that too often.
I got love in the streets though, that’s what I can say. I get a lot of love, because musically and outside of music I’ve held people down. So the respect is overdue, people don’t have no problem giving that to me.
Yeah rightly so, with the music though how do you think it will be received by the general public?
I think I’ll go down as the realest ever. When I hang up the mic or whatever, people will know that’s my legacy. That’s the way it’s gonna go, the voice of the streets.
When you talk about realness in the scene and you look at the UK and the US there’s big differences…
Especially right now.
Yeah definitely, even with 6ix9ine at the moment in court snitching on everyone, there’s a big difference, why do you think it is?
I think over the years, because it’s so small everyone can found out a lot quicker, as well it makes people a lot closer. But at the same time in this industry people aren’t too real because they might bump into so and so, so a stuff over here is fabricated too don’t get it twisted. I get what you’re saying though. It’s not hard to find out about somebody down the road from you. Not that it even really matters, because music is music, some people will get away with being phoney anyway. But in terms of what you’re talking about, UK’s too small to pull the wool over people’s eyes so to say.
Well in terms of good music, what were you listening to growing up and what as well now?
A lot of US Hip Hop, a lot haha. But at the same time, if we’re talking UK, a lot of underground. It wasn’t underground to man, but man was listening to it in an underground way haha. Mashtown, Channel U shit not gonna talk about Peckham cause that goes with saying. Apart from like Crazy Titch I wasn’t really a grime head too much, but it’s always been there innit. Listened to Boy in da Corner, old school sidewinder sets. But now, listen to a variety of shit, because so many people make different type of music. US wise, depends what mood. But if I want melodic then probably a Lil Durk, but rap wise probably Mozzy, Nipsey, Meek. Lil Baby kind of like a mix of both, the one’s that don’t go too left with it haha.
Yeah I get you haha, UK wise?
Hmm, Skrapz, obviously Hollow, who’s going hard right now? On a melodic ting, D Block. Obviously Snap, Kojo. You know who I been listening to recently actually? M Huncho, he goes hard. I’m late to him still, he goes hard though.
Yeah he does 100%. In terms of American rappers, we’ve seen D Block and Lil Baby link up, Skengdo x AM and Chief Keef, so for you who would be the dream collaboration?
That’s gotta be Meek. My guy, the Dreamchaser. When I was away that’s what I was bumping the most, coming out of my stereo the most. But on some legendary shit, like a Styles or a Jada. Imagine me and Styles.
Hahaha, the streets aren’t ready for that!
You get me haha, or a Fabolous or a Jim Jones.
For real, get some Dipset on that haha. Now I’ve been told you want to help rehabilitate the youth, so what’s going on there?
Yeah, of course. But how I need to do that is by levelling myself up. It’s about getting in contact and in position to do stuff with people, what I’m doing recently will help that. To help the masses I’ve got to get in a position where my voice is being heard. Then when it’s time for them conversations, my name needs to be in the conversation. Then from there, because I know this stuff in and out I’m gonna be the guy to be like “oh you gonna do a programme in prison, this is what you need to do…”. Because it’ll then get to a point where the funding is pushed, and even coming from my own pocket. Right now we’re leaving it up to people that don’t have a clue what’s going on, or have a clue how to talk to a youth who carries a knife. That’s what the problem is, the gap is not being bridged correctly.
I get you, there’s a lot of middle class and upper class people doing this but they have an outside view and don’t really get what’s going on.
You get me. They don’t understand, the effects of the streets are not something you can just learn. You’ve gotta dig deep in the depths of what people have gone through. You don’t know what it’s like to grow up on estates, mum’s struggling, this guy got pressure and so does this guy. You gotta go school but have no school money, the whole thing is a madness. So you need someone who has been on that, see I went jail. I been on that. Until we get people like that in positions of power we can’t really develop this properly. That’s my aim with that, not necessarily with the music but my music will bring my name up and into conversations.
Yeah I feel you, what you’re doing is selfless. It’s a good view to have, not many others do it in the game, you’re looking out for other people.
The reason a lot of people don’t care, is because they haven’t been through it as deep. A man that hasn’t lost friends to the streets, or been jail isn’t gonna care as much as someone who has. A lot of man live on the ends but don’t live the ends life. They won’t have the same passion for it as someone who’s been on the wing. That’s what I was trying to say about being real, the real have more passion.
That’s a good point. Authenticity is key in the game right now, people like Morrison are being championed for bringing that realness to the game.
The real will win, you know that.
100% fam. So we have a mixtape coming soon, but what does 2020 hold for Tiny Boost?
More levelling up. More building. This real rap, that’s what I’m on. We’re gonna start probably doing more collaborations to show versatility, broadening horizons and do things people thought I wouldn’t do, for example me and Sneakbo got it in the other day. It’s very serious now. It’s one of those where if you haven’t noticed, then by the time you turn around we’re gonna be there haha. Don’t worry, the lane’s being built.
I love that haha, any final comments for us then?
Stop bullying me for the Snap tune you man haha, it’s coming.
Words by Rohan Parmar