By King City Online ©
Tydal, one of Birmingham’s best grime clashers, has swapped the battle rap bearpit for the sanctity of the studio to make his debut single. He usually uses merciless wit to get the better of direct opponents, but on Ugly, his first studio outing, he turns his brutal bars on himself.
“It’s a definite departure from battle rap” he says.
“The song is me addressing my demons and my own biggest insecurities, not just on a physical level but on an internal level. One of the main themes of.the song is self-image and perception and me trying to work out if I'm a good person that's had a lot to deal with in life or a bad person just getting what he deserves. It addresses how easy it is to develop a twisted negative view on yourself if you just choose to focus on your imperfections instead of learning to embrace them.”
It’s deeply personal and honest but the underlying message is a positive one.
“Everybody makes mistakes and everybody has flaws but you have to he able to see past them and see yourself as a whole being and not just certain parts and thankfully that's something I've been getting better at doing over the years.”
That can be easier said than done when you’re from a family of acerbic battle rappers. Tydal’s sister Loxy is the all-time champion of King of the Ronalds and his brother Penance is also in the game.
“Sibling rivalry is just a normal part of growing up, we just took what we learned from our banter and took it to a more creative and competitive platform.”
In his book King City, Stephen Pennell describes you as ‘the first family of battle rap’. Is that true?
“As far as I'm aware we are, if there are any others then they don't match us in numbers. My cousin Bee has also dabbled in battle rap, so that's four of us so far. We’re just waiting for my mom and dad to debut.”
Haha! What would their battle rap names be?
“Dad already calls himself Old Father Grime. I haven’t thought of one for Mom yet.
Who are the battle rappers you look up to and why?
“Shotty Horroh for bringing UK battle rap to new heights and to a more global audience. Briggsy, Hulk and Micky Worthless for bringing through and developing new talent. Eurgh for starting Don't Flop and putting me on the biggest stages I've ever been on and of course Penance and Loxy for being my big brother and sister.”
Check out Tydal’s debut here: