Loki, Gasp, Louie and Mistah Bohze launch new hip-hop collective, Toy Control
A renaissance in Scottish hip-hop is underway, with more quality work by more producers, rappers and bands emerging all the time. Four of the Glasgow scene's leading lights have this week launched a new venture, in the form of a hip-hop collective, Toy Control.
The collective features four main members – Louie, frontman of Hector Bizerk; Loki, a veteran Glasgow rapper and activist and the founder of hip-hop charity organisation Volition Scotland; Gasp, a solo rapper and member of The Being alongside Loki; and Mistah Bohze, founding member of the II Tone Committee, often referred to as Scotland's first hip-hop band. "There are three generations in Toy Control," observes Bohze in the video below. "It just feels like one generation – because it's all about A-game hip-hop, elementary hip-hop."
Toy Control are newly-minted as a collective, but are already building hype for their first release – this weekend, they performed an exclusive live street cypher in Glasgow's West End, as part of Detour's Winter Wee Jaunt.
Over heaving boom-bap beats, the foursome delivered a blisteringly tight half-hour performance, announcing their incendiary live collaboration in fine style. Issuing a challenge to the current wave of rappers and producers by referencing Scottish hip-hop's past and their deep connections to it, the video below sets out their stall. As Loki comments, "We're here to compete with crews on a global level, because hip-hop in Scotland, at it's best, is of that kind of calibre. That is manifest through us, Toy Control."
Speaking exclusively to The Skinny today, he continues: "Toy Control is a verb and we are here to compete. Hip-hop is far too passive in Scotland just now. We want people to be experiencing this crew at a visceral level. We came to compete, and what we bring to the table is history and cultural capital... so of course emcees will be rattled. It's time to challenge the idea that Scottish hip-hop isn't viable, and this also means questioning pre-existing assumptions and expectations of hip hop in Scotland. This is what real artists do... they fuck with everything. We're channeling a feeling shared by lots of people, that there is a quality control issue. We've drawn a line. It's all love. Unite behind it or get out of the way."
On 19 December, Toy Control have a confirmed live appearance at King Tut's Hip-Hop Christmas gig – live, their collaboration will expand to include appearances by producers Scatabrainz and Konchis (also a rapper), NC Epik, DJ Bunty and others. In a video statement released last week, Toy Control members Louie, Mistah Bohze, Loki and others discuss the ToyControl philosophy, and perform some exclusive bars.
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