Last week we named British rapper Giggs‘ excellent “(Is It Gangsta?) Yes Yes Yes” one of the songs of the week, and today we’re happy to premiere “What It Gets Like,” the grittiest and grimiest track off his new album When Will It Stop?. Where “Yes Yes Yes” has a triumphal air thanks to Mark Ronson‘s full, multi-layered production, “What It Gets Like” sees Giggs in full gangster mode, riding an ominous see-sawing synth line before Styles P drops in to complete the cross-Atlantic collaboration.
Giggs’ last album Let Em Ave It was released back in 2010 via the impeccable XL Recordings, but the release of When Will It Stop? was delayed by the rapper’s second imprisonment related to gun charges (he was found innocent this time, after spending seven months in jail) at the beginning of 2012. With the album now finally released, it’s clear that Giggs has made his best, most rounded album yet, mixing unforgiving subject matter and hard-edged production with smoother more reflective moments, and even some radio-friendly choruses (Ed Sheeran, Anthony Hamilton on the smooth-as-fuck “Mr. Kool”).
Giggs’ new album When Will It Stop? is out now. Buy it here, and read a few words from the man himself below.
If you were explaining your music and style to someone who’d never heard you, how would you describe it?
My style is original as it gets, and it’s just the straight up truth coming from the heart.
How did you link up with Styles P and get him on “What It Gets Like”?
One of my people reached out to Styles, and he showed us mad love featuring on the album. When he sent verse over, I was sittin’ in prison, so I was over the moon with the love he showed.
You’ve also previously worked with Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane, are there any other US rappers you’d like to collaborate with?
Whoever wants to work to be honest, I’m not really fussed to be fair. I just get on with things and if someone sounds right for the track, I try to reach out.
What would you say are the main differences between UK and US hip-hop?
Not much apart from an accent, and awareness to be fair. But everyone is coming from the same place whatever country there from, and that place is the struggle, they just have different meanings for different words.
Walk in da Park was released on your own label, and then Let Em Ave It came out on XL, why did you choose to go back down the independent route for this record?
XL was still behind me on this one, but they just let me take the wheel and I was cool with that.
Last year you were in jail for a second time on a gun charge, how has that shaped the new album?
Just added another story to the project, more pain, and it definitely made me a lot more focused, and I thank God for that. Sometimes you gotta learn the hard way.
Any plans to play any live shows over in the US?
I’d love too, but with my old gun charge it’s kinda hard too get over though. We’re working on it.