It might not surprise you that a hyper-lyrical, unabashed political critic with “SORRY MUM” tattooed beneath his collar bones, is indeed drawn to unorthodox artistry. Rap was so readily woven into his childhood that he still can’t recall his first instance of hearing it. Rather, he spent more time tracing the inevitable combination of his love for tried-and-true rap greats like Nas, Eminem, and GZA, with the defiant attitude of UK Punk music. Despite his evident admiration for rap, he failed to recognize it as a viable career path. As a young adult, he worked humble, blue-collar jobs that never quite brought the same excitement as music. During this relative downtime, slowthai developed a drug addiction that would cost him much of his livelihood.
As overcoming addiction and recognizing his love for rap overlapped, he noted, “It’s like that cliché thing they say, ‘When you need it most, it happens’.” This proved to be a fair description, as his 2018 single, “T N Biscuits” amassed tens of millions of streams on YouTube and Spotify alone. His snarling irreverence was aptly placed over a haunting instrumental, collectively making an entrance onto the international rap scene that was nearly impossible to ignore. This was at least the case with Method Records, who signed slowthai shortly after the song’s release. Under the label, he released his EP, Runt, and his critically-acclaimed 2019 debut album, Nothing Great About Britain. Since his stock has risen, he’s collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, James Blake, and Tyler, The Creator, leaving fans to eagerly await another masterpiece.