J2K Insulted My Creps

The Roll Deep rapper is very particular when it comes to trainers.

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19 September 2013, 11:22am

J2K's new single “Fresh” secures him as one of Roll Deep’s most promising alumni. But for J2K, being fresh isn’t just about “rollin’ through the city lookin’ very squeaky” or “likkle gym, likkle trim then makin’ up a CD” - it’s a religion. On top of his solo singles and continued work with Roll Deep, J2K has also released a superhydrophobic shoe protection spray called “Crep Protect,” which YouTube, Twitter and Wiley are all really excited about.

I can’t stress enough how much J2K likes trainers – apparently he keeps hordes of them in a safe at home – so you can imagine how awk it was when I showed up in my five-year-old running shoes. Once we'd surpassed the huge crep discrepancy between us, we moved on to talk about the effect of media on the female body image and how gentrification has affected East London’s music scene. Then we even got to try out some Crep Protect, and – let me tell you – is effective as fuck at repelling liquids.

Noisey: Where did Crep Protect come from?

J2K: It’s a shoe spray. A repellent for rain and stain that me and my friends developed.

Were your creps getting stained frequently before? Was that a persistent problem for you?

The thing is, I really love my trainers. I like taking caring of them to the point where I walk funny because I don’t want to crease the fronts of my trainers. I’m just really all about maintenance, so this is natural, get me?

Why do you like sneakers so much?

I just like the freshness. A fresh trainer and some fresh socks can make your day. Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh sock.

Agreed. What do you think of these bad-boys [referring to my torn-up running shoes]?

Yeah I was gonna say - those are smoked. Like, I really don’t like that you’re wearing these. Like...I really, really don’t.

:( But when my mom bought these for me five years ago she told me they were cool?

Yeah, maybe when they were brand new, but you’ve worn them into your skin, bro.

Yeah I know, but I biked to work today.

Look, I’ve been wearing running shoes lately because I’ve been trying to exercise and shit, and do you know how comfortable they are? But my obsession comes from the need for looking and feeling fresh – especially with socks, don’t underestimate socks. A new sock on your toes is heaven. It’s about keeping it fresh.

I’m starting to understand your new single now.

Yeah, exactly.

Are you going to get the Air Yeezy Red Octobers?

I’ve never bought a pair of Yeezys. Ever, surprisingly. Everybody says “You should get the Yeezys,” but when I’m told to do something that’s when I don’t do it.

Moving on from trainers…So you joined Roll Deep kinda late – did they easily let you into their fold?

Yeah, because we’re from the same area and I knew them anyway. One day I was going to the studio to check Target for some beats and they said, “we need some good MCs, we need to spice it up a bit.” I said, “Yeah, cool, but I’m gonna be doing my solo too.” From then on we just did our thing. Got some chart success. Couple number ones.

Just a couple casual number ones. Did you used to see Wiley and Dizzee fight a lot?

Hahaaaaa, I don’t know them things. No, I’m joking. There’s some disagreements…It’s old news now.

Have they kissed and made up then?

Nah, they’re not cool. They haven’t spoke. There was a couple of incidents happened, there was an issue that happened in Ayia Napa, but it was also personal things – it’s not for anyone to know other than them two. There’s been attempts to reach out from certain parties and other parties don’t wanna know. It ain’t gonna be resolved.

I only know Wiley from his Twitter, but based on that it seems like whatever it was, it was probably his fault.

Yeah, he seems very erratic and whatever, but who knows.

Moving on. What did you think about Kendrick’s "Control" verse?

It was sick, but it wasn’t as serious as everybody made it to be. Obviously it just gets blown up and I just think people saw it as an opportunity to get some exposure. No one was talking about them, now they’ve got a lot to say. Jay Electronica just got rubbed completely out of that song, I feel bad. I would hate to be him right now. People are saying “oh he killed you,” but it wasn’t really like that.

Which UK MCs would you call out on a track?

I got no need to call out anyone right now. I’m always chill because I don’t like to seem like I’ve got a problem if I haven’t got one. Back in the day when you was coming up and there was a lot of grime battles and stuff, a lot of people used to say some really wayward things and I’d think "if you ever said that to me I would just punch you in your face", because it was so disrespectful for no reason. Like people would always say, “suck your mom” – so disrespectful.

What does that actually mean? How does one suck someone’s mum?

Like, I dunno – straws? Whatever you want, but do you get what I’m saying? People got into little rap rivalries and they’d say things like that. I ain’t got enough of a problem for anyone to say that to me.

What if someone fucked up your sneakers? All of them.

No, they’re all in safes at home, anyway, so you can’t just get in. Nah, I got no problems with no one. If I did, I’d do what I have to do.

You posted on Instagram, and I quote, “Man laugh when I rate certain big tings but if u see what I see then u would know!! #potential #gyaldemsupportsystem,” with a couple of heavier girls. Is this something you feel strongly about?

Yoooooo! I’m a feeder. I’ve seen them fat programmes. Nah, I’m definitely not one of those guys, but I can appreciate a full-figured woman. Voluptuous – I’m not talking a big sloth here. I’m not talking about a sloppy thing can’t get up out of her chair, or whatever. I’m talking a curvy. 'Cos you know we’re in an age where skinny, stick thin models are presented as the best girl and I just don’t think that at all - I like a woman with curves and some rotundness to them. A bit of meat. It’s nice. It’s soft. I like a woman to feel like woman. I don’t want them to feel like a man, or a brick or feel invisible. I like a bit of something on the bone. See, over the years, there’s a lot of cases where I’ve seen a rough diamond – I pride myself on that - and I might have even gone for a girl that’s not obviously stunning, but she is, but you just can’t see it. Do you remember that film Shallow Hal?

Yeah.

I think that might be me, still. You can see that some girls, with a few improvements here and there would go up a few more points on the scoreboards. And I can help them.

So you’re like a personal trainer for fat girls?

Nah, but they can get their emotional goodness from me.

Lulz. OK, how has east London changed since the early days when you grew up here and grime was just starting to explode?

You see a lot more people from out of town now. They’ve made it into something they can sell to people outside the area. Before it was just the locals who’d live here and die here.

It’s expensive.

Don’t let me get onto the prices. Especially for the area that it is, once upon a time this was the ghetto - now its upmarket. For birds I personally think it’s west, north west.

I dunno, I live in Ladbroke Grove and all the girls are too posh to talk to me. But then, I guess, I’m not in a world-famous grime collective.

I mean, getting into anything is different, but on a visual basis I just think with east everyone dresses the same now and it’s a bit boring. Throw on a beanie hat. Yeah babes, I hear you, you got that Brick Lane look. Cool. I dunno, for me west and north west: I’ve always seemed to crash into those a lot more

"CRASH" into them?

Yeah, you know, pulling up to the bumpers.

Is it kind of sad that this area’s changed so much because it’s the home of grime?

Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s hard to live round here now. Everything’s just gone sky high. The soul of the ends is different, man - it’s not the same. The community is different - so many people trying to make money. In terms of grime and all of that, there used to be a unity, a unified movement going on. It’s not really like that as much any more in the east. So yeah, it’s changed in that sense. And I don’t know what to make of it. It’s not gone, but it’s in a transitional period.

Cool, thanks J2K.

Follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_A_Shea

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