I had an opportunity to chat to Raptum ; a new hip hop artist hailing from East London who recently released a single entitled ” New Jack Swing”. We managed to touch on various topics from creating music to the state of the music industry.
Hello Raptum , how are you ?
I’m fine thanks.
Does creating music come easy to you ?
Fortunately yes, but it hasn’t always been that way. I actually used to make music as a hobby in times of boredom, but none of that left my room. So when the time came that I began taking it seriously, it just came to me naturally. So I just assume that in those years spent doing music for kicks, that I was actually honing the ability to do it unawares.
Do you feel hip hop in this country will ever compete with the USA on an international level ?
Well for one, England could fit into the US 39 times with room to spare. So the US is a lot bigger and so is their global influence. However, there’s always been crazy talent in England, it just doesn’t get endorsed in as much as it should , so for there to be competition internationally, a political shift would need to take place in the industry over here, which would need to become more open minded.
Why did you call the single New Jack Swing ?
Well ‘New Jack Swing’ was the definitive sound of black music in the late 80’s. But aswell as that it’s a culture, which involves Stylistic Haircuts, Upbeat Power moves, Funky Apparel. But the Pioneer of the Sound (Teddy Riley) defines it as ‘the new kid on the block that’s swinging it’ and that’s the energy I’m communicating with that song, I’m like the ‘new kid on the block’ that’s swinging it, it doesn’t get more Gangsta than ‘New Jack Swing’ , that genre for me defines ‘Style, Rhythm and Originality.
How did you cultivate your ability to rhyme?
Well to begin with, I think that everyone below the age of 21 was writing bars in 2007, so it all kinda started there, then like an instrument or any craft for that matter, the more you do it, the more you advance, the only thing is, I wasn’t necessarily trying to advance per say, I just enjoyed doing it and I still do, I think that’s one of the best ways to cultivate your abilities, through enjoyment and obviously consistency.
Who influenced you when growing up in London ?
There’s no one that solely influenced me, I took influence from a myriad of people from my Friends, Family, Locals, Musicians. See London’s so multi faceted in race, culture, religion, Arts..The list goes on, so you’re very unlikely to find a person that that hasn’t been influenced by a bunch of individuals from completely different backgrounds.
Hip Hop is about more than drugs , b•tches and money. Do you agree ?
Well of course, it never has and never will be about that mainstream trinity. The thing is when the statement ‘lets go back’ is heard, people think sonically. When ‘let’s go back’ entails the mentality, mentally the approach to music was different back in the days, it was way more thought and skill based. Nowadays people are not bothered to think, they’re so distracted by social media and technology, that they let these vices do their thinking for them. That’s why Hip Hop is oversaturated with drugs, bitches and money talk; I wonder what the teens of 2080 will be listening to, if that is what is having the majority of commercial success right now.
What is your vision for you music in the next 5 years ?
For it to continue to grow, you know I see music like a planted apricot seed, it has the potential to become an apricot tree, given that it is paid attention and focus, so growth is always the vision, to get it to reach the masses, accumulate interest and the like, it needs to grow, so yeah that’s the vision for my music, continuous growth.
If you could collaborate with an artist dead or live , who would it be and why ?
Hmmm if you asked me this question 4 weeks back, I would have a different answer for you. Well at this current moment in time it would have to be ‘Clyde Stubblefield’ , his drumming breaks are craazzyyy, like he laid the foundation for funk drumming, I think he has the most sampled drum breaks in Hip-Hop, I would love to get something fresh off him while he’s still out here doing it.
Are there any interesting facts about you that you would like to share with us ?
A lot of people write my name as Raptum, but its actually meant to be written in All Caps so ‘RAPTUM’ , I means its kool, but I prefer it to be written as RAPTUM lol.
Where can people find you and when is your next project been released ?
You can find me on
Soundloud; RAPTUM (D.O.O.R)
Just Google My Name
It’s TBA at the moment, but we do have some new joints coming your way soonish, so stay