Too Many T’s have been circulating around in the hip-hop industry for a while now, supporting shows for fellow hip-hop luminaries such as De La Soul, Public Enemy and Big Daddy Kane. With the opportunity to travel the well-worn road with musical heroes such as these, their confidence grew within their music, rhythm and lyrics to create the outfit that come to Brighton this month. The dynamic duo, made up of Ross and Leon, are renowned for their high-energy performances, bringing their blend of excitement and musical exuberance to gigs and music festivals over the last few years, which in turn has enabled them to expand their horizons and produce South City, their first full length album.
From the moment the future musical partners met, a musical bond was created and developed, based around a shared love of all things hip-hop. Having originally crossed paths whilst studying at college, the two stayed in touch, bouncing musical ideas and thoughts back and forth. Meeting around twice a year, to make a tune or two, “just for the mutual love of rapping really”. A couple years later, they both moved to Camberwell, London, from where, after a trial gig at a local club, the concept and reality of Too Many Ts was born.
I ask Ross who they saw as major inspiration growing up, he begins with his passion for old school hip-hop. He fell in love with late 80’s to early 90’s fast rap, like Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and Jurassic 5. As well as having a new found love for what he describes as “weird, underground rap”, – labels like Def Jux Records. When I ask who Leon grew up with, Ross laughs, saying he was initially a “cheesy RnB guy”. However, a three month stint in New York shifted those musical boundaries and his interest in hip-hop and rap came to the fore.
The duo’s debut album South City has recently come out, with the influence of combining all their hyped high-energy from the last few years of touring at festivals into a record. As with many artists where the live show dominates, it became all about trying to effectively translate this dynamic stage performance onto a record. With the help from Flux Pavilion, a hybrid of old-school, new-school and live energy was introduced. Skits populate much of the record, with the lyricists leaning on the hip-hop tradition of relating words back to ‘real life’ rather than more ethereal concepts. As Ross explains, it’s “a weird sort of background of general life” – going to the shops, catching the bus. Less of the highfaluting, more of the reality.
Alongside the skit-based rhythms, storytelling through comedic value in their music videos is an essential part of what they do and enjoy. “We’ve been spending a lot of time on our music videos, making them as unique as possible, and not just like any other music video.” I asked for a sneak peak into what we could expect from them in the coming month and gained a glimpse into that creative process – the song ‘Patterns’ is going to be a full CGI music video, created by a video-game creator whereas ‘Neighbours’ is a complete stop-motion lego music video, with all scenes made and created using the ever-popular plastic bricks. “It’s completely ridiculous, but it came out a lot better than we ever thought it would.”
For the upcoming show at The Hope & Ruin, I asked what their fans could expect from them. The show incorporates all music from their previous EPs and majority of the new album.