Culture

Sneakbo on His Favourite Childhood Date Spot – And the Time He Blacked Out

In our latest "Share Location", we chat to a UK legend about all his best (or maybe worst?) childhood memories, from first kisses to fave places.
14 April 2020, 8:45am
Sneakbo interview 2020
Photo: PR

If you've had an ear in the UK dances at any point since 2011, you'll no doubt know the lyric "let me show you the wave... roll out and lock off the rave." The intro to one of UK rapper Sneakbo's biggest hits, "Wave", it is the introduction – a call-to-arms if you will – to an event getting messy.

Bo's been doing his thing since then – he is, essentially, one of the godfathers of the UK's afro-inspired bashment and dancehall sound. His debut album Brixton dropped in 2018. Now, with summer rearing its head, he's about to drop the follow up, Nine Lives. The artwork is a play on the urban legend that Sneakbo once transformed into a black cat inside the infamous Brixton McDonalds.

Following on from his huge 2020 single "Love Is A Gamble" with Kida Kudz, Sneakbo has released "I Used To" – a single from the 9 Lives album. Listen to that below, then read on as we chat to the UK legend for the next in our Share Location series.

VICE: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had to do?
Sneakbo: My worst job… well, I’ve always been rapping so I’ve never had a job. But I did do community service. I had to paint a church and chop the grass. It was sunny and rainy days – some were good. I did 100 hours.

Can you remember your first kiss?
I can’t remember how old I was but I think it was in my mum’s house? Haha. One of my big sisters is two years older than me. One of her friends liked me – it was one of them. I was on one from young.

Where was the classic date spot in those days?
Nandos. That was the top thing for me when I was young. When I go I’m getting wings, hot, with peri chips and Fanta. Them days I would ask for the glass of water and end up pouring water into it.

First time smoking weed?
I was probably 16 in a park in Brixton somewhere. I can’t remember what it was like. I might have felt a bit dizzy? But I definitely wasn’t bugging out or nothing.

Do you still smoke now?
Yeah, when I’m writing songs or in the studio.

What are you smoking?
Right now, I feel like there are too many names. So when I get the weed, I don’t concentrate on what they tell me. Weed is weed now. I know when it’s good and when it’s dead.

Where have you thrown up in the UK?
I’ve hardly gone to a show or party and got so drunk that I’ve thrown up. But one time on my birthday I had a block party – I think it was my 19th. This was before I started going to parties all the time so I was new to drinking – that was the one time I blacked out and was throwing up everywhere. I woke up in vomit.

Gross.
I was sleeping in it. I was laying in it. I couldn’t move.

Ah, man.
That was the one time that was happening to me. It was nasty.

It sounds like one of those ones where you’re drinking some of everyone’s drinks. Was it?
When I go out I’m usually on one drink. But that night I must have had Hennessy, Ciroc, Corvos – shots of everything. When I go out now, I’m usually drinking Hennessy.

Classic. Where’s your favourite place to perform in the UK?
My favourite place is Birmingham. I think because of the afterparties? But my best show was in London, at Koko. That was the biggest – it was when I was on my All White tour. All the production was there. The biggest crowds. It was proper vibes. I had some CO2 guns. Sparklers. All white background. My videos. At the other shows, I didn’t have that – I just had light. I had all the special guests too – Cadet, Dappy, Yungun.

What’s your favourite place to go hang out in the UK?
If it’s chilling, then some shisha lounge. If it’s a party, West End.

Least favourite?
I don’t know, you know. Some places are boring, but it depends who you’re with and the vibe you bring. Everywhere is lit as long as you’re enjoying the vibes.

Who is the worst person in the UK?
That Katie Hopkins or whatever her name is. I see her doing the most. She’s an angry person. She’s racist as well. She’s what you call a real hater.

@ryanbassil

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