We are on the phone with Nick Bam, of UK-based hip hop collective Piff Gang and he is breaking down the group dynamic for us Enter The Wu-Tang style. “Silk (aka Milkaveli) is the crazy, rapper’s rapper. Phaze One is a proper lyrical emcee, hip hopper guy. Skitz is the trap lord, our trap rapper. Super Dertie is like a wise guy, smooth criminal type of guy. Skout is very soulful, but with a London, grimy side to him as well. Motive is Papa Mo, he’s our DJ and helps manage the group too, he’s like a Suge Knight/father figure! Budgie is like the funky record collector of the group. Crankz is like that hood hip hop producer, and I’m the tall clever one!”
The UK music scene exists largely of rappers trying to digitally ram the URL for their new “Pound Cake” freestyle down your throats, or those stuck in the ’90s making pessimistic boom bap. Piff Gang are a breath of weed-infused fresh air!
“The aim was to reach a different market,” says Phaze One, an original member of PG. The group came together two years ago when Milkaveli, Skout and Super Dertie, who were working on various other projects, joined forces. “At the time we were doing very ’90s boom-bappy shit. Our main aim was to come with something a bit more current and get people in our city really excited about something. I’ve always wanted impact, and with Piff Gang, we had that – people were talking about us before we even dropped any music.”
At their first show, which coincidentally was on the same night of the London Riots, they didn’t have any music available online, yet already had a following. “Piff Gang was sort of like a brand. We built a lifestyle before there was music out,” Nick remembers. “We had T-Shirts – you couldn’t buy them at that stage, but people were like ‘What is this Piff Gang?’ and we had a Tumblr page and stuff, so we had a little following just through that.”