Friday, September 14, 2007

Interview: Durrty Goodz

On Thursday 2 November 2006, Dwayne Mahorn aka Durrty Goodz was cleared of the murder and manslaughter of 21 year-old Richard Holmes. Just seconds earlier, his stepbrother Carl Dobson, better known as Crazy Titch was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Goodz opens up exclusively to RWD as we get the latest from one of the UK’s finest rhymers.... [interview featured in the September issue of RWD Magazine]

Firstly welcome back...
Yeah, blessed. [Sits forward] I feel good man, I feel like a new MC, just to be back and making the music.

The last time I actually saw you, it was really deep. You were in the dock next to Carl and Anthony [Crazy’s stepfather] and you were crying...

What was going through your mind at that time?
[Sighs] Man was just mixed with emotions, still. It was so, so deep, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m glad that you said you were there and you saw it because on my [Axiom] EP, I’ve got the bonus track and that kind of explains it. When the peoples are hearing that coming from you, they’re gonna look at it and say, ‘Ah, so it really is real. He really said what was happening.’ So yeah, obviously I just wanted to come home. No one wants to be in there for that amount of time. It’s long.

It felt like you wanted to say something...
I was saying things in my head; I was just speaking to the Lord, if you wanna be that real. No one else could save or help me. In that situation, what are you gonna do? Your best friend, your brother, your mum... no one can do nothing for you. The Lord heard my cry and I’m thankful for that every second of the way.

It could have gone two ways for you...
Yeah, you see the system, it’s kinda funny. Not just to blame it on the system, cos if you get in trouble, you’re in trouble and if you do something, you do something. But when you’re actually in the court system, it’s kinda deep. You could get sentenced for just coming out that day with the wrong look.

When the judge said something like, ‘Even though the killer is not in this room, Carl Dobson [Crazy Titch] still played a prominent role in the death,’ how did that make you feel? Knowing the judge said that the killer was not in the room and that Titch was getting jailed anyway?
That line came up kinda half way through the trial. I was always baffed from the beginning. When they said ‘The man who done it is not here,’ I was thinking ‘Ok, so why am I here? Cos I ain’t done it. Can I go home?’ That’s all I was thinking. But it’s just the system and there is not much you could do when you’re caught in it. To be really real with you, when it gets to the stage where people are getting life sentences and all that, it is everyman for himself. You can speak to anyone in jail and they will tell you that, still.

What got you through all that time inside?
Like I say it was the Lord, a lot of praying and staying righteous.

Did anyone try to move to you, cos of who you were?
Yeah-nah-nah. You always get that still. No one was successful though. The only thing is there was always more love cos of who we were.

Do you regret the whole situation going that far?
Erm, [briefly looks at the floor] you can’t really turn back the hands of time. If I could, I would probably rewind it. Why not? No one wants to go through that if you don’t have to. But I’m a person that walks in the path of the Lord anyway so... [briefly looks up] Whatever happened it was... meant to be. As scary as that sounds. This is God’s way. Who am I to change it? I just have to give thanks that I’m still here and still breathing .

If there was ONE thing you could change, what would that be?
[Pauses] Erm... [Mumbles question to himself] Apart from bringing my brothers and that home, I wish I could change the minds of others. They’re thinking real low and not realising what mans really doing. I’m here for the music. They just see one side to me.

So what’s the difference between Dwayne and Durrty Goodz?
[Smiles] Ah, you see what it is, Dwayne is like much more civilised, still [laughs]. You can talk to him any day. He’s very sociable and approachable, but ‘Durrty’ now, he’s lost his marbles in the studio. You don’t know what he’s going to do next; he’s just unpredictable, still.

You were released in November ‘06. What have you done since?
The first thing, believe it or not – cos I’m so deep with the music – I just went studio. I picked out a couple of UK beats I was feeling, like Sway’s Little Derek (now Little Dwayne) and Swiss’ Cry. Then we came up with Switching Songs Part 1. After that I started getting real focused and started to analyse the scene properly. I want to show the people the truth.

Tell us about Axiom...
It’s the self-evident, recognised truth. It’s like bringing back the music. I’m just trying to take back the scene and bring the scene back to the music. The scene kind of got a bit lost and everybody started jumping up on a gangsta and money flex.

A lot of people think this is the best mixtape they’ve heard in a while...
Yeah? I appreciate that. I did actually try and accomplish that. That was the mission. There was no half-stepping, no half-hearted flex around here. It’s like new levels. I believe I made it harder for the other MCs as well. Like, what are you lot going to do now? Cos I can always raise my level, but can you lot beat this level? See what I’m trying to say?

What’s your favourite track on there?
Give me the Music featuring Ny. My soul is in there. I was feeling it, I was loving it. The track to Titch was the most emotional. The others are like outskilling these MCs.

Throughout the EP there are references to lazy MCs... who are these lazy MCs? Do you wanna expose anyone?
Nah [laughs] just in general. People have been slipping. If you think about it, I’ve been away for a while you know. Not just from the trial and all that. You can go back another year before with the label business [with Polydor Records]. I was working on my album so I was in the studio learning about how to songwrite more and gel with the music. Obviously it was natural to me, but sometimes natural talent can be improved as well.

Yeah, yeah, nurtured. So while I was studying and making the Born Blessed LP – which you’ll be hearing shortly - I didn’t hear no one come with no innovation or anything. Everyone is MCing the same; you’ve got the universe, so why is everyone talking about the high road? [laughs]

You’ve been keeping it ‘REAL’ with grime and dubstep tracks. How do you explain the grimier influence in your music now...
It’s all just music to me. The titles and the names and all that is kinda totally irrelevant to me cos I’m an MC innit. When we are making tracks, we just wanna hear good music. I don’t really care what they call it.

How do tracks get to you? Like, Take Back The Scene, Coki’s dubstep track...
You’ve got to be out on road and have your ear to the street.

What sort of elements make you want to spit on a track?
We just need to hear hotness. If there are any producers out just holla at me, still. Get on those bass-lines and all that. Get the melodies and the drums ready. Check out Axiom and you’ll know where to go.

Before you went away, we had the Durrty Whirl sampler that was more hip hop, would you say you’ve changed from that sound on Axiom?
Yeah, but it’s not really changed my views. I’ve always done hip hop since I was super young.

I remember we played This Is How We Slew all day...
Yeah, that was just me in the studio with an engineer. I remember paying my own money, going studio and... I was with Polydor them times and they were loose balling. So I came up with an idea to do a mix CD and dropped the sampler first.

So what is the next step for you?
The Durrty Whirl 2 project, that is gonna be another big project dere. The Born Blessed LP is done – that’s my whole life right there, and that will be another level up above Axiom.

Weather Man is big, how did that track come about?
Just ears to the streets again. I think that was a kind of dubsteppy kind of riddim. Again, I didn’t hear the difference, I just jumped on it, sprayed it, played it.

Tell us about the side of you that people don’t see... like the guitar playing side?
That is for the album, still. That’s why I worked on it first. By working on that first, by working on that it made it easier to work on the rest of these other projects now.

Lastly is there a message for Titch?
Titch has got his message on the [hidden] track there. He’s cool.

Nah [laughs].

The haters?
Nah man, they’re cool. They’re congratulators really. They love it though really.

Anyone you’ve wronged in the past?
Nah, hold tight man. Yeah. Hold tight still. [Lightly laughs]

The record for fastest rap is 720 syllables in 51.27 seconds. Do you think you could break the record?
Yeah, Durrty Goodz probably can. Yeah, cos he’s unpredictable still. I’m not trying to, I’m just trying to make music and make songs.

If there was any record in the world what would you want?
I dunno? Erm… [pauses] Ah, maybe the fastest MC to come out of England since Slick Rick? I’d be cool with that.