This week The Whole 9 takes a trip across the pond to the UK, where we chop it up Mr Clutch and Lawds of Partnership Of Sound. In this interview, we speak on their beginnings, being a Hip Hop artist in London, their massive Gathering P.A.C.E. project and their plans going forward. For more on them, check out their website. Peep the interview below.
the9elements: What inspired you to name the group Partnership Of Sound?
Mr Clutch: As you know, Partnership Of Sound consists of two Producer/MCs – Mr Clutch and Lawds. Music was one of the things that drew us together. The two of us, as with most people, also experienced hardships. But no matter what we went through, we always came back to the music. I’m of Jamaican heritage, and Lawds is Nigerian but we had the same philosophy. The “Partnership” element is from our friendship that sees us bearing witness to exactly the same stance on things. The “Sound” was the other element from our love and appreciation of music as one of the blessings to Humanity. So what we do is essentially us giving something as gifts to whoever feels it.
T9E: What’s it like being a Hip Hop artist in a city like London which is not traditionally known for Hip Hop?
Mr Clutch: Sure, it’s not a city known for its ability to reward as you’d expect. But there is reason to be thankful. If you see it as a gift of art first, as we said earlier, then it is easier to ignore the lack of proportional reward. Put it this way, if I were a friend of yours and I GENUINELY gave you a gift, just because you don’t “reward” me by naming me your best friend and thus buying me loads of drinks in return doesn’t sour me. I have worked to ensure I could afford that gift. I gave it not for you to like or hate me. I just did. What is done with it is up to the recipient. Regardless of where we’re at, we do what we do.
T9E: Where do you take your cues for your old school, classic fashion vibe from?
Mr Clutch: Hip Hop has always existed. It just wasn’t named. Hip Hop is recognizing that a lot of folks WERE Hip Hop without knowing it, until Hip Hop then manifested itself by some creative minds being able to put the pieces together. The break from James Brown? Hip Hop. That old Chuck Mangione string section? Hip Hop. Hip Hop is combining the elements from the separate genres to create something as starkly different to others. Hip Hop was birthed to speak volumes. It’s true calling is to task the listener with a higher level of responsibility with self-introspection.
You speak of scriptures, you speak verses. You speak Hip Hop classically, you speak verses. With that kind of understanding of Hip Hop, it is inevitable we would embody what you refer to as “old school, classic fashion vibe.” But what we do now is NEW, though it feels classic and old school. We compose each song from the ground up. Essentially, The Roots embodied it best. They made it clear that musicians can, and should get together to create Hip Hop. It ONLY takes One or MORE.
T9E: Gathering P.A.C.E. is staggering in scope. How do you recommend new listeners approach the project?
Lawds: Gathering P.A.C.E. has to be staggering in scope, otherwise it’s not worth the effort. It’s a body of work that’s similar to Hip Hop’s own growth process in that it sure didn’t happen overnight, nor was it appreciated by most overnight. As with Hip Hop, some people are blessed enough to get it the first time they heard it. And with some, it takes a while to get it. Listeners need to do one thing. Make sure they listen to the singles as they are released. If they get it immediately, they should consider themselves blessed. It’s not a body of work that will be released at the same time.
T9E: What’s your plan for 2016?
Lawds: We’ll be releasing singles in digital, CD and Vinyl format as well as continuing the video series. We have an exciting year ahead. You haven’t heard from us because we’ve been busy working on a few deals that should help to gather pace. We have a new single due from us in 8 weeks. There is also other singles due from other artists on the Gathering P.A.C.E. movement. We’re essentially dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s” in time for an exciting year.