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Interview: Mr 45

1 December 05 interview: Jesse Keene
photos: Kevin Lake

"I have many things that influence my music. The biggest is Jah."

Welcome to the world of Hiphop soldier 45 (formerly know as ‘Mr’ 45). His rhymes deal with true-life hardship that he observes on the streets of Nottingham. Born into a musical family during the late '70s, music has always been a big part of his life. It was no surprise then that he hooked up with local production heavy weights like Joe Buddha, Big Trev and Black Viking while working alongside emcees such as Cappo, Tempa and Lee Ramsey among others.

A long line of releases including his biggest release to date ‘Radford Ya Get Me’ received critical acclaim and set his name in stone (at least in the Nottingham scene). He even received praise from US rap mogul Jay Z, who proclaimed live on radio "Big up 45 that cat is tight" after hearing his single ‘Funky’ on the Tim Westwood show. So please take up your positions as we speak to one of Notts most infamous characters….

Tell us about musical influences and how they affect your style of rapping?
I have many things that influence my music. The biggest is Jah. My family is another. My life, from something as simple as when I get up in the morning and hear the sound of birds and hustle and flow of the day, to me laying my head to rest at night. Musical influences include Juice Crew, EPMD, LL Cool J, BDP, Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick. All these influences puts me at an advantage because I have the best of the old-school style mixed with the new, which makes my own style so unique.

How do you feel the Hiphop scene in Nottingham has evolved since you started rhyming?
When I started there was only a few people doing their thing and plus less facilities or industry support. The game has evolved to the point that there are now more artists, producers, studios, independent labels and much more industry support. It has changed for the better in Notts for sure.

What has been your most memorable show, who did you share the stage with?
My personal favourite show was with Tony Touch in Manchester. The most memorable show was in London with Busta Rhymes, the place got totally trashed, tills, bar, sound system all gone or smashed up.

Who do you rate on the Nottingham scene?

Joe Buddha, Mista Jam, Shortie Blitz, One Step Ahead, Smokes and Blunts, Matic, Wariko, Tower Hemp, Shotz Movements Fort Knottz, Willis Rose, Denzie, Lee Ramsey, Streetbeats, C-Mone, Nick Stez, P-brothers, Cappo, Scorze, Oh My Gosh records, Virgo. They’re all doing there thing and making waves.

Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
At the moment just finishing a few projects. I have a mix tape I’m doing, few singles coming out, and album to drop. The two latter are already done. Finalising the tour schedule for next year, local, national and abroad. Just finished the video for 'My Lover (Baby girl)' featuring myself and Denise, another Street beats banger!! Went to ATL to hook-up with a label over there so we working on a few projects together. We're off to LA to do some label and film business and I'm going to do another music video out there, so all in all we're just keeping it moving. The music just gets better and better.

Any shout outs or words of wisdom that you would like to share with LeftLion readers?
Big shouts: Jah, big up Jah! Bless massive, nuff love to all them that love me and all them haters suck a dizzle. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits. Big up all the mans them in ATL for making things happen. Peace.

For future 45 releases keep an eye open for new Notts-based label Hustlers Flow.

A few standout moments in the career of 45…..

  • Radford ya get me, Freestyle frenzy and dozens more tracks with Joe Buddha (Notts)
  • 6 by 12 with East Flatbush Kids (New York) *Chronic Irresponsibility with EL Fudge (New York)
  • Hoggish with Rodney P and Skinnyman (London).
  • Showstopper, 3 Kings and more with P Brothers (Nottingham)
  • Getaway with feat Denzee (Notts)
  • Willie Murda with Slar Hussain (London)
  • Resilience EP with Cappo (Notts)
  • Whatcha Gonna Do? with Klashnekoff (London)
  • Opening for DJ Premier at Rock City (Notts)
  • Notts Life Smokes and Bluntz (Notts)
  • Ya Get Me with Tempa (Notts)

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