1. Can you give a bit of a background about yourself and your journey into music?
I started making music at a very young age. I was sharing stages with artist like Naughty By Nature when I was like 8 – 9 so music has always been a massive part of my life. Round about the time I left school this was in 1999 I started doing shows as a solo artist. Mashing down the place with lyrics that would turn a good kid in to a killer and in many ways it did. The first tunes I recorded were on my bedroom stereo onto tapes. All the man dem would take copies. The tapes got sent around the streets and the prison system. It was a year or so after that I started using Gold Mind Studios. For any old school fans that’s where I recorded Ghetto Kids, Swing to Dis and Feel da Rush of A Real Nigga.
Nuff man were influenced and started to write bars, some man were already writing. So O Dizzle, one of my Big bro’s organised a studio session for the man dem and shit went off the chain. There was 4 -5 of us on separate mics and probable another 4 -5 out side. The engineer drops the beat and another one of my Big Bro’s, Banna B, may he rest in peace, screams “B6 SLASH LOZ”. And that was the first track officially recorded by B6 Slash. From there the name stuck. If you know you know.
Shortly after that I went to jail for just over 3 years for possession of a fire arms and class A’s with intent. I came out in December 2004 with a tonne of bars ready to go ham; B6 SLASH were doing bits and had started a whole movement across Birmingham. We made a lot of music and created a massive following but we were as real as they come so our lyrics were far from just bars. That’s what was going down at the time. This meant we would see many murders and many of the man dem go to jail with life sentences which, destroyed the movement.
I continued making music for a while with Stardom and hands down that was the best combo the UK has seen (BIG MAN TING). We definitely had the whole of the West Mids on smash but at the same time was going through a load of shit with the police all over us like a rash and my close friends were still dropping out whether it was to prison or the streets.
I went through a little period where I was basically on house arrest cause I was banned from the whole of Birmingham except a small part of Erdington and was on electronic tag signing on at the police station every afternoon. Being stuck indoors I started learning about my history and a range of other things that really opened my mind to the BS. I went through a crazy change which nobody could really understand at the time. I knew I couldn’t continue to live how I was living and being as real as I am this meant the message in my music would change.
This took time ‘cause I really only wanna make music with a positive message now but only foolishness gets you out there in this industry – as far as I’m concerned. At first the music I was making people said was too intelligent and going over people’s heads. I had man calling me from jail telling me to dumb it down lol, no gas. This was from tracks like “Pinky and the Brain” and ‘Lion Out The Cage”. This lead to me developing “Jedi Rhymes”
2. Tell us about the new project Jedi Rhymes
Jedi Rhymes is a 12 track EP which, I’m releasing on July 16th 2019. I’d say the overall theme is about the true self overcoming the ego or the character. With tracks like “Narrator in My Head”, Use What You Know” and, “Shifting Realities” the EP has a deep and powerful meaning that at face value most won’t see. I’ve put a few tracks on there to expose some of the BS I see within the industry as well as my own BS cause nobody’s perfect lol!
This EP will definitely change the game and start pushing man to talk about more than just how much money they got and guns they shoot. I’m saying already that it’s the hardest ting to come out of Brum since “Dirt Beneath The Earth”. Somebody tell me different.
3. Is there a particular track that you feel people should pay attention to? If so which one and why?
I think people should pay most attention to “Narrator in My Head” and “Shifting Realities” cause they will teach you the most about life with the correct understanding. Listen to “Use What you Know” cause of the type of programme it will have on your character and “Workaholic”. Those songs are Vegging Kings and Queens. “The Take Over” is my favourite though cause I go ham and it shows a side to me I try to hide lol.
4. You’re very outspoken on your social media and quick to call out BS when you see it! Why is that important to you?
This is really important because I know the impact it has on our community. There’s a way of life being glamorised and falsely advertised through social media, urban music and film and it’s killing us all over the country. The people who rule the world know the power of black and urban arts and use it to keep us where we are mentally, spiritually and financially. Its like we are too stupid to see what’s really going on. I’m not having it and I’m a worrier by nature so I’m killing it.
5. You’ve been on the scene for a long time – what positive changes have you seen in the Birmingham industry?
Things have really come on in Birmingham and people are really making a living from music now and changing their lives. There’s much more opportunity for Birmingham artist and much more artists are coming through. There wasn’t really an industry in Birmingham before just man gang banging and putting out tunes, now there is.
6. What positive changes have you seen in the music coming out of Brum?
Many more artist making a successful living from it.
7. Will you be doing any more documentaries any time soon? Maybe one to go with the project??
Dats TV will be making a film here in Birmingham in the New Year in partnership with Penny Woolcock and Tiger Lilly Production. I’m training to be a producer now so expect to see many more documentaries and films from us in the future.
For the actual project Jedi Rhymes, I aim to write a book called Jedi Rhymes Decoded breaking down the deeper meaning of some of the songs. I think some of them deserve breaking down to show people the levels I’m writing at.
8. What are the main three things that you would want people to remember about Zimbo?
That I’m for my people, I’m as real as they come and I started this gangster rap shit in Birmingham if not the whole UK.
9. Who are you listening to at the moment? and why?
I’m listening to Joyner Lucas at the minute, J Cole, Ghetts and Skepta’s new ting. To be fair I just like to listen to people that are actually saying something and not just putting words together.
10. Any last words of wisdom for people who are entering into the industry – or just in general?
1 R DA 1 NATION Any Ting Else Dead!