17/08/2005: Urban boys set to rap up future:Grainne McLoughlin

more news... back to home page...

Dublin-based trio Urban Intelligence is set to change the face of rap in Ireland with their new self-titled album. Grainne McLoughlin chats to them about their latest work, their love for Ireland’s Ballymun and what it was like supporting the legendary rap artist Snoop Dogg.

Following in the footsteps of Beastie Boys, the Ballymun lads that make up Urban Intelligence, have been rapping to audiences throughout Ireland for several years. But, it was a chance meeting with American rap artist Snoop Dogg, that led to one of the best professional experiences of their life — playing Dublin’s Point Depot in front of thousands.

Now the group including Harry Webley — aka DJ Moschops, Shane Farrell — aka Teknical, Daniel McDonnell — aka Lunitic — and DJ rapper Andrew Farrell — aka 4 Real are ready to take the hip-hop scene by storm.

And they’ve already made a good impression in all the right places having impressed famous rapper turned movie star Snoop Dogg earlier this year.

On a trip to Ireland, Dogg paid a visit to Tower Records in Dublin’s Wicklow Street where band member Webley was working. In a bid to be noticed Webley played Urban Intelligence over the speakerphone — a ploy which had exactly the desired effect.

Manager Graham Harte who works on staging also met Dogg at the Meteor awards and gave him a copy the band’s EP.

The rapper was so impressed he asked them to open for him at The Point Depot in Dublin. He consequently invited them to support his pal Nas as well giving them the huge exposure they needed in the mainstream market.

A big part of the group’s appeal is in the content of their music. They’re not afraid to speak their mind on controversial issues and they take pride in writing about their home in Ballymun.

“More and more people are showing interest in the hip-hop scene in Ireland and I think in the next 10 years or so we'll see a huge increase.

“The lads are all determined to make it. They’ve played some huge gigs in the last year or so, but they’re also willing to play in town centres as well. They take their work very seriously,? says Harte.

Urban Intelligence has also recently been working with Damien Dempsey on a new single, which they're all really excited about.

“It’s a re-mix of his track Patience on which Damien has contributed a verse, and we’re hoping to take that straight to the top. We're going to conquer Ireland and then take it to an international level. We’d love to come to Britain and are available to all promoters. We just want to be heard.?

Lunitic from Urban Intelligence got up close and personal with rí-rá revealing his greatest love, the key to making it as an artist and his most desirable date.

What was the last album you bought?
Damien Dempsey’s Shots.

What was the last film/play you watched?

What TV programme would you not miss?

Who would be the first person you would invite to your birthday party?
My brother

The key to making it as a musician/rap artist?
Never forget where you came from.

What do you love most about Ireland?
The fact that I was lucky enough to be born here.

Who would you most like to work with in the future and why?
Immortal Technique, he’s a genius.

Best personal experience to date?
Seeing Liverpool win the Champions League.

Best professional experience to date?
Playing the Point Depot.

If you weren’t pursuing this career what other profession would you have chosen?
Who knows!

What’s your greatest ambition?
Play to thousands of people night after night.

Favourite method of relaxation?
Listening to Christy Moore live at the Point CD

The most important lesson life has taught you?
To live it.

Humanity’s most useful invention?
Digital recording.

What’s your favourite tipple?

What’s your greatest extravagance?
Our tour bus.

Most desirable date?
Kelly Brooke.

What is your favourite smell?
I have no sense of smell.

And your favourite word/phrase?
In Ballymun you hear so many great ones it’s hard to decide.

Weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Working in a butchers.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Seize the Day or Spraypaint Back Alley by Damien Dempsey.

Three songs you’d most like to have written?
Rewind — NAS; Working Class Hero — John Lennon; It’s Important — Damien Dempsey.

Best career move?
Staying independent.


Email the author
Printer-friendly version