Wretch 32 – Before the Success

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I’m named Wretch 32. I’m a rapper, UK rapper, worldwide rapper. Wretch is something that everyone used to call me when I was growing up and I was a bit naughty. You know what I’m saying? So the whole family would say, “Ah you’re a little wretch. You’re a little wretch.” And I kind of thought being bad was cool so I kind of just slapped it on.

3-2. They’re my lucky numbers. So, you know, I thought it would be sick to have numbers at the end of a name, almost like a surname but with numbers. But I use them as words, too. It’s like Wretch Three Two, Wretch Free to Live, Wretch Free to Rap, Wretch Free to Make Music, Free to Die, whatever you want to call it.

I grew up in North London, in Tottenham, in a state called Tiberton Interstate. I’ve got my fair bit of stuff. But you know what happens when you grow older and you see some sense in some things and you don’t see sense in other things. Sometimes you just choose a path.

When I started making music, it kind of meant more to me that fighting and all other kind of things because it was a way of getting my tension out and getting what I want to say and getting my point across rather than coming home with broken knuckles or scratches on my face and stuff like that. So, it made a lot more sense to pursue making music because it was potentially a job and potentially a career, obviously, at that time, the keyword being potential.

First record I bought I think was a tape. I think it was Michael Jackson. I think that tape was about $2.99 or something like that or $1.99, getting the little tape with the little case. When I get home, I slap it in and I try to do the moonwalk. That was like the coolest thing ever.

I was in my house at my computer and remember and saw it was a tweet I think from a girl called Susan Eunice. And I just remember feeling very confused. I switched on the news and on the news, they were saying that and I was like, “Wow.”

50-year old pop star, Michael Jackson, has died. Kevin, as we’re saying, extremely shocking news this evening.

And it was just such a shock because nobody knew he was ill. It adds more of a shock to you. You know what I’m saying? It was just out of the blue. You’re just sitting at home and you’re seeing tweets.

And it’s weird because when you look at this, it’s like when you’ve feel like you’ve grown up with someone, because we’ve obviously known Mike since, I say ‘know’ but I obviously don’t know, but known of Mike since he was tiny, since you can remember.

When you’ve seen someone grow like that and has been in your life like for all these time, you kind of feel like you know them. And Michael Jackson is definitely someone that everybody felt like they knew. It’s weird because I think he’s one of the only people in the world that can affect every generation that come took in life form. My gran was upset. My oldest aunt was upset. My mom was upset and my oldest sister, my sister below that, me.

Big family man, but obviously not all in the same house. I only ever lived at my sister’s. There’s the two older and the two younger plus mom. So yeah, we’re a big family.

If I received 20 million, I would give away 19 and all the 19 in family, charity, anyone. [0:04:02] is maybe, I don’t know, maybe so why I have record labels something like that. You see, in life my desire has nothing to do with money. It’s weird because I couldn’t care less for a penny, honestly. So, I absolutely have no idea. I have no idea. I got nothing.

I wanted to get into music because I wanted to vent. My bridges were like they were already on private radio. They brought me in. They were like, “Come on. We’re already here.” But, you know, each time I got better and I thought I could progress, I wanted to better myself and I wanted to get better and I wanted to make a difference until today.

I think it’s important to read YouTube comments and blogs and stuff. It’s direct feedback but I think as important it is to read, it is unimportant not to take in any nonsense. And I think in music, it’s exactly the same thing. I think it’s the same in everything in life. When you’re reading a comment and someone says, I don’t know, something random like, “You’re ugly.” That benefits me how? So you don’t take that in. You just read it and you laugh at it.

Sometimes there’s constructive criticism. Someone would say, “I don’t think this is Wretch 32’s best song. I think that’s his best song,” and then someone else will come back in and say, “Yeah, but if he released that, it wouldn’t have went as high as that one would. So it’s like, they kind of diffuse themselves in their own common world with their friends and stuff.

It’s definitely important to read comments but it’s definitely more important to not take in anything that’s going to depress you or affect your day in anyway because it’s not about being depressed because someone you don’t know said you’re rubbish. But yeah, I do read my comments definitely.

If I weren’t a musician, I don’t know. I’ll probably be maybe like a youth worker. I’ve never ever wanted to be a youth worker but the only reason I said that is because what keeps me going is my desire to make a difference and my desire to make a change. I think the only other thing where I could feel like I will be making a difference into something what matters to me would obviously be communities.

The advice I would give a younger me would be work your socks off. Work your ass off. I want to be the best, chase the dream, don’t let anything knock you back. There’s so much knock backs. There’s so much hurdles, obstacles, and stuff.

But it’s weird because when you have the look at the charts and you see what’s been done, what’s been created by the others as late. And you know it’s within beautiful things. So it’s possible and I think once you know it’s possible, I don’t see the problem with going through it, you know?

I always want to make a difference. I think I always look at like people that made a difference are never forgotten. Even someone like Cardiff, he doesn’t put down a cut back. Anytime somebody does that cut back, that’s the Cardiff turn. He made an impact.

Penne, Mara Donna, Mohammad Ali, these people I’ve never forgotten because they were special and they were unique and they’ve done something different in a spool which everybody does. And I think it’s really important to be remembered and strive to make a change.

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