New Book "Write Lines" out now: https://velocitypress.uk/product/write-lines-book/

This week we sit with Andrew Emery to discuss his experiences as a journalist for Hip Hop Connection, founding Fat Lace magazine, and loads more from his past as an aspiring rapper (he's also done bits of DJing so we aren't cheating), and much more.

This book covers his time in publishing, and is his second memoir after "Wiggaz With Attitude: My Life As a Failed White Rapper" ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wiggaz-Attitude-Failed-White-Rapper/dp/1999760700 ). Both books are highly enjoyable and a fun look at different phases of life told through a lens of hip hop.

SHOW NOTES

Summary

In this conversation, Andrew Emery discusses his passion for music and his career journey from being a rapper to a journalist. He shares his early experiences with hip hop in Nottingham and Leeds, including the vibrant hip hop scene in Nottingham and the influence of Rock City tapes and Arcade Records. Andrew also talks about his transition to writing and his work at Paul Raymond. The conversation concludes with a discussion about his early recognition of Eminem's talent. In this conversation, Adam Gow discusses various topics related to hip-hop, including the disappointment of artists who didn't live up to expectations, the short-lived hype around Dr. Dre's album 'Compton', and the changing landscape of music consumption. He also talks about the influence of regional hip-hop scenes, the mixed reception of shiny suit rap, and the fun and freedom of working on 'Fat Lace' magazine. Adam shares his experiences and challenges in writing and publishing books, as well as his thoughts on the ethics and boundaries of writing about controversial topics. He also mentions his journey of self-publishing 'Wiggers' and the potential TV show based on the book. Lastly, he reveals his ideal dinner guests: Chuck D, Charles Dickens, and Woody Allen.

Takeaways

  • Andrew Emery's passion for music has shaped his career journey, from being a rapper to a journalist.
  • The hip hop scene in Nottingham and Leeds played a significant role in Andrew's early experiences and love for the genre.
  • Andrew's transition to writing allowed him to explore his passion for music in a different way and make a mark in hip hop journalism.
  • His work at Paul Raymond provided unique insights into the world of adult publishing and the evolution of lads' magazines. Artists often face high expectations and may not live up to the initial hype surrounding their talent.
  • The reception of an album can be short-lived, with initial excitement fading quickly.
  • The way people consume music has changed significantly, with streaming platforms offering a vast array of options.
  • Regional hip-hop scenes have had a significant impact on the genre, with different styles and sounds emerging from various locations.
  • The shiny suit era of rap had a mixed reception, with some appreciating the more commercial sound and others criticizing it.
  • Working on 'Fat Lace' magazine provided a fun and creative outlet for Adam and his colleagues, allowing them to celebrate hip-hop culture and poke fun at its more serious aspects.
  • Writing and publishing books can be challenging, with the need to navigate the industry and find the right audience.
  • There are ethical considerations when writing about controversial topics, and it's important to approach them with sensitivity and respect.
  • Self-publishing can be a rewarding experience, allowing authors to have creative control and reach a niche audience.
  • The potential TV show based on 'Wiggers' could have been a compelling exploration of hip-hop culture and personal journeys.
  • Adam's ideal dinner guests would be Chuck D, Charles Dickens, and Woody Allen, representing different eras and perspectives.

Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Background

02:02 Passion for Music and Career Reinvention

03:03 Early Era in Nottingham and Leeds

04:00 Discovery of Hip Hop

05:24 Influence of Hip Hop in School

06:46 Vibrant Hip Hop Scene in Nottingham

07:43 Rock City Tapes and Arcade Records

09:09 Transition to Leeds and Establishing Tribe

09:39 Journey to Get Signed as a Rapper

12:06 Formation of Crew and Demos

15:31 Transition to Writing and Career in Journalism

25:34 Work at Paul Raymond

28:00 Interviewing Eminem

29:21 Early Recognition of Eminem's Talent

30:19 The Disappointment of Artists Who Didn't Live Up to Expectations

33:11 The Short-Lived Hype Around Dr. Dre's Album 'Compton'

35:09 The Changing Landscape of Music Consumption

37:01 The Influence of Regional Hip-Hop Scenes

38:00 The Mixed Reception of Shiny Suit Rap

41:21 The Fun and Freedom of Working on 'Fat Lace' Magazine

44:43 The Challenges of Writing and Publishing Books

46:38 The Ethics and Boundaries of Writing About Controversial Topics

50:01 The Journey of Self-Publishing 'Wiggaz'

52:00 The Potential TV Show Based on 'Wiggers'

55:50 Andrew's Ideal Dinner Guests: Chuck D, Charles Dickens, and Woody Allen

Transcript

Adam (00:03.567)

when I'm doing the edit or when I've done the edit, I'll go back and redo the intro just to have the right sort of things in it. So the intro might sound really flat, but it'll have the most pertinent points to lead into what the conversation's going to be. Excuse me. So I was thinking I'd kind of introduce with something like former rapper, journalist,

occasional DJ, talking head, a man who's done pretty much everything. Mr. Drew Huge, Andrew Emery, welcome to the Once a DJ podcast, how you doing?

Andrew Emery (00:44.458)

doing really well thank you that was a very exalted introduction to basically say jack-of-all-trades master of none

Adam (00:52.807)

Yeah, I worked really hard on it to be honest, but I've not got that kind of condensing things down to a finer point yet. That's why my podcasts are all too long. Thanks for coming on the show. I think now you're not kind of a long-term DJ per se, but I think there's so much stuff that overlaps with the nature of the type of conversations that I like to have on this podcast.

and particularly with your new book coming out, which I literally just finished a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed. I thought it would be quite fun to kind of have a look at the different touch points around your passion for music and that sort of thing and how you've kind of made a career out of it. I guess in ways you've kind of reinvented that over the years. So what would be good to do because your new books come out, Write Lines, which is a memoir of the journalism.

part of your life, but prior to that you had the book Wiggies with Attitude, which is a memoir about your journey trying to create a career as a rapper, which is a hard career to have. I read that when it came out, so there's probably a load of stuff that I've forgotten from it, because without trying to boast, I've probably read, let's say I've read in the double figures of books, so you've always got to make room for some stuff to come in where some's gone out.

Andrew Emery (02:19.002)

It was seven years ago it came out now. So, you know, you could be forgiven for getting what's in it. When I was writing the new book, I had to reread my old book to make sure I didn't tell the same stories twice because there's always a danger of that.

Adam (02:31.207)

Yeah, yeah, ask my missus about that. Especially the morning after I've been drinking and she goes, oh yeah, you told me that word for word last night, twice.

Andrew Emery (02:34.382)

I'm going to go ahead and turn it off.

Andrew Emery (02:40.852)

Yeah, I've been there. I've got a few friends who sometimes I'll just say, yeah, we've heard that story, mate, five times. Get some new anecdotes. All right.

Adam (02:48.317)

Yeah.

So for the benefit of the people that don't know, do you wanna kind of give us a little bit of oversight of your early era in Nottingham and then in Leeds and just where hip hop came into your life?

Andrew Emery (03:03.134)

Yeah, so I was born in Leeds but very much grew up in Nottingham. I was there from when I was two and a half to when I was 14. And it's the typical kind of suburban childhood. My dad had a taxi business, video rental business, and also he had the mobile disco for our market town Bingham. So I was always massively into music. There was always music around us.

My dad's own metal collection, so I was a junior metaler, big on ACDC, wanted to be a drummer, guitarist without ever trying to learn any of these things. And then one day I'm at school, it's 1984, I'm 11 years old and someone puts in the common room or whatever. Common room makes it sound like I went into a private school, I didn't, it's just a state school. But the kids would get together and break dance there.

Breakdowns was just arriving in Nottingham. I've never seen it, I've never heard it on TV. I'd probably heard rap in as far as Sugarhill Gang or whatever in the charts or stuff like that. But then someone put in Electro too, a term we used to call ghetto blaster, which is a term we no longer really use these days. We have to use boombox because it's a lot safer. But everyone called them that back then, even if they had the tiniest little one like me.

Adam (04:03.319)

Hmm.

Andrew Emery (04:29.984)

and

Adam (04:30.723)

I've not even thought of that.

Andrew Emery (04:33.05)

Yeah, it's a term we don't really use anymore because it's got certain associations and rightly so with you know language evolves and you know there were worse things than that there were really racist phrases associated with as well if you remember any of those but yeah I'm not going to repeat them because obviously that could be taken out of context by some miscreant or new dual who edits my voice out of this and you know within days I'm cancelled but there were like you know quite horrible racist phrases for like you know boomboxes as well.

Adam (04:36.916)

Yeah.

Adam (04:45.141)

No.

Mm.

Andrew Emery (05:00.834)

But yes, someone put that on in the thingy room. I'd never heard anything like it before. The way it was mixed, that all the songs blended into one and each other. The sounds were stunning to me. And it was almost like someone flipped a switch on the back of my head from metal to B-Boy. Cause I went, you know, like, Action Man's eyes have got a little thing on the back there. And that was it. That was it. That was 39 years ago.

And, you know, whilst I've got room in my life for other music, hip hop has dominated every bit of it since. And at my school, there was like six or seven kids into it. One of whom was a couple of years older than me. That was a guy people might know, DJ Ivory from the P Brothers. He was a kind of big hip hop cheese at our school. I remember like going up to him in the playground because he was in my sister's year and like saying, oh, I hear you're into hip hop. And he was like, yeah, whatever, mate. I spend 50 quid a week on records. Who are you?

Adam (05:45.453)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (06:01.27)

And this was like 1984, 85. So there's no way he was spending 50 quid a week on records, but you know, playground bravado. And a guy I didn't know was at my school until years later, DJ Superix, who a mutual friend of ours. He was also at my same school, yeah. Cause his dad was at the nearby RAF base, which my dad had the taxi account for. So we probably ran into each other without knowing each other. So.

Adam (06:15.371)

Really?

Andrew Emery (06:27.382)

When rappers tell all these stories about Wyandanch High School and the day Raqem came in and they were beating on the lunch room table while he rapped, well my school was like that but probably better.

Adam (06:38.155)

I'm gonna go.

And Nottingham had quite a healthy scene, didn't it, in the sort of b-boy era.

Andrew Emery (06:45.726)

It did and the tapes that kind of used to circulate around Nottingham were the kind of Rock City tapes. So you have the Electro tapes or the Rock City tapes. And the Rock City tapes were just recordings of jams that were taking place there. And you'd have The Breakers, which is the Rock City crew. You'd have local DJs. You had a guy called Mongoose who used to DJ there. Graham Park used to DJ hip hop there in the early days. And I was probably like, I don't know, 12 and a half, 13 when I went to my first Rock City jam.

Adam (06:52.399)

Mmm.

Adam (07:09.121)

Oh wow.

Andrew Emery (07:15.834)

And yeah, saw Graham Park there, all the breakers, got taxed by some kids for bus fare, you know, kind of write a passage stuff when you're like a really skinny, as I was then, 12 year old kid going to a hip hop gig. But the scene was really vibrant and we were 12 miles outside and it was still getting to us. And yeah, it was incredibly exciting. Arcade Records was the focus of it in town. They had all the latest imports. So yeah.

Adam (07:39.776)

Mm-hmm.

Andrew Emery (07:43.466)

I mean, I was just head over heels in love with it from the minute one. And I was immediately like, let's form a crew. You're the DJ and the rapper. Um, I couldn't rap, they couldn't DJ, but you know, we just wanted to have like B-boy names and do all that kind of stuff and do shitty graph at the back of the school and all that kind of stuff. You know, cause it was like such a fresh culture then it was so, you know, it was so unknown, there was the odd news story. You know, you might get a thing on John Craven's news round with him saying,

You know, the craze sweeping the nation, blah, blah. You know, parents didn't know about it, you know.

Adam (08:20.307)

Yeah, I had Sy Spex on and the big thing that he found was breakdancers at a monster truck festival. You know, it's all these, in like tomorrow's world having the SP1200 on it and there's all these kind of little touch points. So

Andrew Emery (08:27.106)

That's it.

Andrew Emery (08:35.03)

I think that was really important for me was like when I wrote Wiggers, was I was trying to capture that moment in time of, you know, now it's so hip-hop so big and global, you know, I think when I was writing that book, I had the radio on and I heard like Nicky Campbell on Radio 5 using the word diss, right, in the right context. And how that's unthinkable in 1984, when like you say, you're just getting like Judith

Andrew Emery (09:03.438)

about the culture that you've fallen in love with.

Adam (09:05.771)

Yeah, that's interesting. So then from there, moving, what was it like moving from one city to another at 14 when you've got this strong identity with something like music? Did you go all in when you went up and try and establish your tribe or did you kind of hide it a bit and just try and work out how to blend in?

Andrew Emery (09:27.266)

I'm going to say it was a real mixture of both. I was really lucky in that the new school I moved to, I did not want to move, I didn't want to leave Nottingham. I had all my crew there. Me and DJ Touche were one day going to blow up and do something together. But in the long run it was a good move for me for school and everything. But I got put with somebody on day one. I was just giving to him and they said look after this kid. Me and that guy, Paul Chatterton, are still friends to this day. We were at...

DJ Huda had a concert together a few weeks ago. He's now a professor at Leeds University and a lovely guy. And he helped me kind of establish myself in the school a bit. And I found the other hip hop fans really quickly. But again, it was still, hip hop was so weird then. I mean, we're talking about 87. And you know, we think of that as kind of the golden era of hip hop starting, 87, 88. But over here, it was still so randomly unknown.

I remember taking the first Big Daddy Kane album into school to show somebody and then looking at the year on the back and going, well, this is really old. And I was like, well, no, this is from this year. And he went, no, it's looked 1965 Broadway. I'm like, that's the address. And he was like, no, this is an old album. It's like, people did not realize that hip hop did not exist in the sixties. And this was in 1987, you know, really weird stuff like that. So yeah, I quickly established my

Adam (10:47.788)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (10:52.47)

hip hop credentials, but again, I mean, this was an incredibly white school. Um, and I would say there were three hip hop fans in it, three hip hop fans in it tops, which is so strange to think of that now.

Adam (11:05.747)

Yeah, I mean, so I'm from Emily, so I don't know if you know it just a bit, what is it, about 15, 20 miles away from Leeds, and I grew up around there, very rural sort of area, and going to school there. I think one lad rapped some Tupac at me when I was about 10, but there was, other than that, that was the only time I ever kind of really saw.

any hip hop influence in my schooling really. It was all that happy hardcore and stuff when I was there, although this was kind of ten years later. But yeah, we just didn't have any sort of hip hop there. And we were only six miles away from Huddersfield where I think there was probably more of a, maybe more of a just like a connection to Leeds. So then from there, Wiggers with Attitude then, just to kind of...

Andrew Emery (11:47.446)

Yeah, definitely.

Adam (11:55.439)

skim over that a bit for people. That is your journey of trying to get signed as a rapper and there's the crew, it was yourself, hopefully future guest Dan Greenpeace and...

Andrew Emery (12:05.962)

DJ Countdown who is a friend of mine, Martin Allen. So yeah, I mean, so like I said, my little school crew wasn't really a real woman. None of us had equipment or any, you know, wherewithal to do anything. And I was doing a school project one day and I decided to do it in Crash Records in Leeds because I used to hang out there a lot. And then I got talking to Dan

Andrew Emery (12:36.29)

Free Behind Rising had just come out because he did me a cassette of it, I think, for our second meeting in the thing. So, yeah, he was basically like, we're DJs, we're looking for a rapper. And I was like, well, I've got hundreds of pages of handwritten lyrics and I've been looking for a crew to do them with. So yeah, I went and did a little audition around a dance house and they had a big blocky sampler they borrowed from somebody and Martin was the scratch DJ, Dan was the producer. And yeah, they had the...

They were already the PA posse when I met them. But like when I came in, I was like, okay, well, this is gonna stand for this. And we're gonna have this acronym and you know, all that kind of eighties, nineties bullshit that you used to do and all that. But I mean, yeah, we tried to get signed. We did demos, we did studio time, probably did three or four demos in all, maybe 20, 30 tracks, sent them off, got the inevitable rejections, almost got a little 12 inch deal with G Street.

Adam (13:16.223)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (13:35.094)

they wanted the Stereo MCs to produce us. And Dan was like, no, I'm not doing that. And I was like, I don't like them anyway, they're rubbish. So I don't wanna work with them. We'll do our own thing. And that was the one glimmer we ever got offered. You know, and happily to say that, you know, Countdown went on to be a solo artist and they needed loads of stuff with like, Leeds groups, he's been a big stalwart of the Leeds hip hop scene until today. If you go to the Leeds City Museum at the moment, there's a big hip hop exhibition.

Adam (13:38.175)

Right.

Adam (14:03.211)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (14:04.222)

And he was one of the main guys putting that together. He built like a seventies New York subway car for it with graffiti and stuff. So he's been doing that. Dan obviously went on to be XFM, DJ Greenpeace, Fat Lace Crew, stuff with DJ Yoda, and then now making music moves in the Middle East. So yeah, everyone kind of carved out their own niche in the end.

But we had so much fun doing that stuff. We were in the studio with New Flesh for Old and people like that and York Crews, Leeds Crews. And there was a really good scene in Leeds in the late 80s, early 90s. You had BTI, you had brain tacks. Nine Mets on Wax, he'd already kind of moved away from it by then, but he was still in the scene and playing hip hop records in clubs and stuff. So there was always a good place to hear hip hop on a Friday, Saturday night. The scene felt really good and charged.

Adam (14:49.463)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (14:58.134)

We were kind of the poor relations of it in terms of talent and ability.

Adam (15:03.768)

So that's effectively kind of the journey in a nutshell from your first book. But I remember really enjoying reading. It's a really fun read. I think your writing style is really good as well. Like I say, I'm in double figures of books, so I'm in a good position to judge. But yeah, so from there then, I think what's interesting as well is...

Andrew Emery (15:17.006)

Thank you.

Andrew Emery (15:21.006)

I'm going to go ahead and close the video.

Adam (15:30.795)

With a lot of these things, I never made it as a DJ. I probably achieved a lot less in my DJing than you guys did in your rap career. But it's being able to look at it, frame it in the right way, and look at it and go, okay, how can I use this in a different way? What skills have I got from it? And it's all that sort of thing. So that's something that I think's nice about getting you on here as well. So with right lines, then that's.

kind of covers the next phase of your life where you went into writing, doesn't it? So kind of goes from uni and then we go through your career from there, right?

Andrew Emery (16:07.511)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (16:12.33)

Yeah, because I'd always been like a bit of an amateur writer on the side. You know, if somebody in sixth form was putting out a little fanzine, I'd try and write a hip hop review in there. And then when I went to uni, I wrote for the student newspaper. Um, didn't never write about hip hop for them. It was like, you know, go and cover the blind date at the student union bar. Or, uh, I did a regular TV column and stuff like that. And I think I look, I've still got every cutting I've ever done. Everything I've ever written, I've still got. And that stuff's embarrassingly bad. But.

I like to keep it as a kind of reminder when you're trying to find your own voice. And for me it was a case of, well, in hip hop terms, I've failed as a rapper, but I've still got all this passion and knowledge for the music. And I really wanted to kind of do something with that. And I could have gone the business route, which is kind of where Greenpeace went. But instead I was just like, well, you know, like a lot of people went to university, didn't know what I was going to do, came out. I was a big hip hop connection fan.

Adam (16:46.295)

Hmm

Andrew Emery (17:11.67)

thought I'm going to send off some stuff to them really. And that has proven to be like the perfect outlet for me, for my pent up ambitions. I couldn't be a rapper. There's not a lot else you can do if you can't DJ. And I've DJed a fair bit, let's say, just for the sake of the podcast justification. I used to do a little bit at Spread Love with Rob Percy, James Labenz, DJ Yoda. I used to DJ at the...

Adam (17:21.353)

Mm.

Adam (17:31.091)

Yeah

Andrew Emery (17:41.858)

Elbow Rumour read the short-lived, scarcely attended Fat Lace Nights. But my approach to DJing was always very amateurish in terms of skills, but I would always have good records.

Adam (17:55.575)

Well, this is something that comes over in the book and it's quite obvious really, but your musical knowledge is gonna be obvious based on what your career's been, but I think your record knowledge specifically that comes over in the book is like, I'm reading it and I'm like, what? What is any of this? You know, I mean, I'm not saying that as someone who knows an absolute ton about hip hop, but I'm beyond basic.

I'm not beyond basic, I'm above basic, I would like to say, just to get my English right on that one. Yeah, yeah, basic plus. But the level of knowledge you've got over the years from probably the start of your journey in hip hop is crazy deep.

Andrew Emery (18:30.437)

your basic 2.0.

Andrew Emery (18:45.806)

I think that's something in my nature that I was always a bit of a completist and a hoarder. So when I was a kid at school, I was the first kid in my school to read all the books in the kids library. The kids library, not the girls library. Because once I started this project, I want to finish it all, I want to see it all. And then I'd go to the library in my town and read The Hobbit. And then, you know...

Adam (18:59.968)

Right.

Andrew Emery (19:11.698)

Oh right, now I need to read every other word that J.R.R. Tolkien's ever written, no matter how dogshit it is. And in the case of the Silverillion, it's entirely dogshit. But, and that kind of carried through to the hip-hop, like, I want you to read the liner notes and see who the producer on a certain track I liked was and, right, what else have they done? And that stuff was quite hard to research in pre-internet days. You know, what did Paul C. produce is quite easy to find now. Very hard back then.

Adam (19:15.117)

Hmm

Adam (19:39.159)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (19:40.33)

So you rely on fellow rap nerds and trading stories and trading cassettes and stuff like that. But I always wanted to have, I remember setting myself as Target, I wanted to have the best collection of rap records in the world. And I came nowhere near because I've not got the pockets for it. Dan's got an incredible collection, one of the best in the world. People like Shadow and people with deeper pockets than me hoovered up a lot of the rarities online.

Adam (19:53.579)

Hmm. Heh. Yeah.

Andrew Emery (20:10.046)

I've kept up that, I've still been inquisitive about new records. And when you said your basic, I think ultimately you have to kind of accept the fact that the basic records in hip hop are the best records. The ones that everyone knows are the best records. You know, Tribecore Quest, De La Soul, Gangsta, Public Enemy, that's the best hip hop music there is. You know, all these weird obscurities that trade hands for hundreds of pounds, they're great to know about, but...

Adam (20:23.719)

Hmm

Adam (20:30.871)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (20:37.666)

but they're no better than these other things. And I love the musical arcana and the kind of the digging. And I was part of the digging in the diggers with gratitude kind of bored and we'd, I take pride in finding stuff that no one else had posted before, sticking it on discog, sticking it on YouTube to share it. Cause I never wanted to be that kind of guy who was finding new records and like sitting on them and being like, no, if you want it, you gotta buy it. I wanted to like just put it out there so people could hear it,

Adam (20:40.011)

Hmm

Adam (21:00.577)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (21:07.682)

But ultimately, you still come back to the classics. And for me, you know, the key thing about hip hop culture is the music that we all love together. And whether that's Liz The New School then, Black Sheep then, the 80s stuff, What's Happening Now, Kendrick Lamar, you know, the mainstream hip hop thing has always been the best stuff, I think.

Adam (21:31.267)

Yeah. So something else that comes through in the book and one of your points earlier on kind of lent into that is there's certain, so it's lots of stories throughout your career about say interviews, columns, things like that you've done. And I think what's interesting is certain decisions creatively.

that say you did the same thing now.

either as an elder adult or with a 2024 lens, you'd think the taste would be really poor. But it is really interesting being able to look back on your life, I guess, through having these articles, your writing style, and being able to kind of pinpoint what your identity was at the time, because our identity's always shifting a bit, isn't it, as we grow and we get older.

Andrew Emery (22:27.99)

Yeah, yeah. So as part of writing this book, Andy Cowan, the erstwhile editor and owner of Hip Hop Connection sent me every issue ever to go through so I could do a timeline. And going through those cuttings was really illuminating. At times it was, you know, things I'd forgotten I'd done. I totally forgot and I interviewed Scarface, one of my favorite rappers of all time. How did I forget that? You know, well, that was in there.

Adam (22:40.342)

Wow.

Andrew Emery (22:56.034)

And then I kind of see the period in my life as a writer where I'm not as engaged with music. And I think that coincided with me being working in London, drinking heavily with lots of friends every night. You know, I'm not saying this with regret. They were great years, but I was possibly less engaged with my hip hop friends then for a while. And you see the ebb and flow in your writing style. And some of it's quite embarrassing. You know, you look back and you use words that everyone used as a pejorative term that you're kind of embarrassed like.

Like you use gay in writing. Oh yeah, I don't like this record, it's gay. You know, now I'm embarrassed about that. It's childish, it was silly. And it's no really excuse to say everyone was doing it, but everyone was doing it. You know, even in the trendiest style mags, people were doing that stuff. And it's kind of, I'm quite proud of how far everyone's come since then. And you know, I'm all for political correctness. I've always been a big fan of it. To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's gone mad. I think it's good to...

Adam (23:29.704)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (23:56.226)

to watch what you say and how you say it and who you say it to. And my older me looks back at the younger me sometimes with a bit of embarrassment, equally with quite a bit of pride, I think, when I look back at my hip hop connection career, because I think I kind of pushed hip hop journalism in the UK in a certain direction, which I don't think it had gone into before. And I did that not on my own, but with support of Andy Cowan and people around me, like Dan Greenpeace and Mike Lewis, who, you know.

Adam (24:14.812)

Mm.

Andrew Emery (24:24.782)

DJ Yoda, Rob Percy, you know, they all kind of were on board with trying to be really musical experts, but not making every article a loving, you know, having some critical distance and being able to be funny about music as well because music is intrinsically hilarious as well as being incredible.

Adam (24:37.524)

Yeah.

Adam (24:44.871)

Yeah, and I think what comes through as well is you're prepared to stand by your word and you don't mind if you ruffle some feathers or if someone gets a bit sensitive about a review or anything like that.

Andrew Emery (24:55.358)

Yeah, and I think it's very easy and I think the source at its worst, when it was... The source, let's not mess around, was the most important hip hop magazine ever in terms of its cultural importance, in terms of its reach, because it was in the US. But it only had a real short period of being any good. And the main problem with the source, when you look at it, you think of the access they had, the budgets they had, their reviewers were terrible. And they were...

often scared of saying the wrong thing. And there was a sense of committee to it as well. And like I said, I've got the utmost respect for Jonathan Schechter and when he edited the magazine, I thought it was wonderful. I think beyond him, it really suffered. And I think what was great about HAC, and not just HAC, but some other British magazines as well, I think that physical distance also led to some critical distance. And it allowed us to maybe say some things.

that were, you know, you could slay the sacred lamb in a way that you couldn't in American rap mag, you know. And also British humour is obviously very different from US humour. And I think we, as a country, we've done really well. And like I said, not just me, not just Fat Lace or whatever, you know, I think Grand Slam did it. And lots of the fanzines and stuff of being very British about a very American culture.

Adam (26:22.748)

So just moving away from hip hop, because that wasn't the only thing you worked in, you were working for adult publishing company, Paul Raymond, right, when you first went back down to London.

Andrew Emery (26:34.376)

Yes.

Andrew Emery (26:37.942)

Yeah, I was desperate. All my friends had moved to London and there was just a couple of us left and I was working in a video shop, part-time, bit miserable, living in my mom's attic, and hearing all these stories of gigs at the Scala and all this and thinking, ah bollocks, I'm missing out. And my friend, one time lead rapper, Barry B, AKA Said when he was a rapper, he moved down and got a job at Paul Raymond as a designer.

Adam (26:41.365)

Ahem.

Adam (26:54.433)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (27:06.866)

and he got me in as a sub editor there for an interview. And yeah, that was what I thought would be like, oh, this is by my little step into London journalism, get a bit of experience here and then, you know, move on to The Guardian or whatever lifestyle mag. And in the end ended up being at Paul Raymond for 15 years more or less.

Adam (27:19.779)

I'm gonna go.

Adam (27:26.211)

How was that?

Andrew Emery (27:29.522)

It was an interesting period in my career because I've met some of my best ever friends there. You know, what was... I'm not going to say the phrase good about pornography back then, but what was interesting about Lads Mags is that there was not a lot of difference between the top shelf and the middle shelf and they were getting closer all the time and in a way that the middle shelf destroyed the top shelf before the internet came along and finished the job.

Adam (27:56.823)

Right.

Andrew Emery (27:57.018)

middle shelf did it by suddenly saying well actually you can see loads of celebrity boobs in our magazines and actually some really good writers and you know we

Adam (28:05.027)

Do you think it became like the acceptable face of it then?

Andrew Emery (28:08.142)

I think it did, yeah. And I think a lot of people who've worked in Lads Mags in Nuts and Zoo and Lo did look back on some of the things they did with a bit of, oh my god, can't believe we did that. Oh well. And at least I think there was something honest about our magazines. And you know, I'm not defending pornography, but there was an honesty to it. You buy it for a certain reason. You know, we did sometimes pretend to be something we were not. Like I remember, you know, going, me and my friend Nat taking Louis throughout for lunch to try and...

convince him to write a column for a porn mag. And he umbed a nod and he slept on it before saying no. Cause we were trying to get that kind of crossover to the middle shelf going back the other way a little bit. Saying you can get your fix of ladies, but also with some good writing in there. What was really good about... Sorry, go on.

Adam (28:39.808)

Mm.

Adam (28:55.154)

Well, like in the 70s, Playboy had some, they would have really legitimate interviews, wouldn't they? I remember reading the McCartney one and then reading the Lennon one as well and they'd have that sort of level of profile of journalism in there.

Andrew Emery (29:06.858)

Yeah, they'd have high profile writers interviewing high profile artists. And we tried to do some of that, but obviously there's always been a, you know, certain publicists will be like, absolutely not to their artists. You're not going in that and fair play to them. But, you know, I managed to get Eminem on the cover of Club International. That was really good. Yeah, yeah, I met him for lunch. It was the second time I interviewed him. Obviously we did him for Fat Lace and then, yeah, I did him for Club. I think I was interviewing for Music magazine.

Adam (29:24.107)

Really?

Andrew Emery (29:34.75)

And then I just said, can I get you holding a picture of Club magazine and use it on the cover? And he was like, yeah, fine. Because he was so new then, he didn't have the kind of six layers of publicists to go through who would have vetoed the idea. But that was a really good selling issue. Just a little drop in of him on the cover next to some girl.

Adam (29:52.892)

So would that have been the raucous era then?

Andrew Emery (29:55.507)

just after his first album had just... I think my name is it just dropped basically.

Adam (29:59.987)

Right, because I did want to ask you about that, because yeah, I interviewed House Shoes yesterday, and he was saying he actually DJ'd that M&M launch party that you mentioned being at. Yeah, small world. And I was asking him, so I asked him about, I'll edit this bit out, because it's literally gonna be in the episode before, but I was asking him, you know, did you know what M&M was gonna be like at the time?

Andrew Emery (30:08.05)

Oh yeah, yeah. That is a small world.

Adam (30:24.099)

Based on the first time we saw him do the battle that I can't remember what the place is But you know where proof used to hold all the rap battles Did did you say again, sorry? Yeah, yeah

Andrew Emery (30:30.602)

Yeah. Neurosis Lounge. Neurosis Lounge. Oh no, sorry. Proof Detroit guy. Sorry. Edit this whole bit out.

Adam (30:39.739)

Yeah, yeah, I'll make it neat. I'll ignore that I've said any of that then. So speaking of which you were at the launch party for Eminem's first album. Um, well, Eminem's first Interscope album. So did you kind of, what was there a feeling then? Because say like, my name is, is obviously quite different and quirky. It's not a reflection of what his work was going to go on to be.

Did people get it at that time that he was gonna be absolutely huge or was it like, oh this is just another rapper who's kind of skillful?

Andrew Emery (31:13.306)

I think there was a real sense that he could be something very special. I remember being in the raucous offices on Broadway with Greenpeace, listening to the Shabam Sadiq track, Five Star Generals, where he's on it and they were like, yeah, he's been up in the offices and he's incredible, this kid from Detroit and he's already got an EP out. And I think we picked up that EP while we were in New York, a couple of copies each, and the CD, the Slim Shady CD, before he got properly signed.

Adam (31:26.566)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (31:43.006)

And there was a real excitement about him because he felt like the real deal. He felt like a street rapper, but with incredible lyrics and also quite emotionally honest and raw. And I think that's what he lost almost immediately once his major label career started. I think he's a very skillful rapper. I think his love for hip hop runs very deep. But I think in terms of decisions about his sonic approach, his production,

Adam (31:51.358)

Hmm

Andrew Emery (32:11.778)

the voices he puts on, that lost me straight away. I mean, it left me cold. It's obviously been very successful for him. I mean, you know, who am I to knock his hustle? But I think even before he started doing that stuff, there was a sense that he is like a unique, once in a generation talent. And even if he only ever made like, you know, raucous and fondle and b-sides, he'd have still been regarded as a potential great.

Adam (32:38.855)

Yeah. Is there anyone else that you remember kind of hearing initial sort of early promos or debut albums of and being absolutely bowled over by?

Andrew Emery (32:50.294)

Yeah, a few people. I mean, I was a huge fan of R-Ray the Rugged Man. And, you know, again, a very niche talent in hip hop terms, but very unique, I felt. The early... those first raucous records like By Most Deaf, Reflection Eternal, I was really blown away by them. I really... I thought, oh, this is the new movement. This is the future. It didn't quite pan out like that. And I was in the studio while they recorded some of Black on Both Sides. And...

Adam (32:57.603)

Mm.

Andrew Emery (33:18.666)

You'd think over the years I'd have spun this anecdote out a thousand times and embellished it and be like, I was there at the recording of a masterpiece. But for me, that's a six out of 10 album all day long. I'm not a huge Mo-Safan. I think on a personal level, he's a prick. And musically, he's a disappointment. And I realize I'm not in the mainstream with this view. That's fine. There's room for lots of views. But yeah.

Adam (33:26.46)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (33:45.938)

I was really excited about him. Having heard him on like De La Soul, Big Brother Beat, then you hear like Fortified Live and all that. I was like, oh man, this is going to be another generational talent and it hasn't quite panned out. And I think often it's over time you learn not to become too excited by the next artist because no matter how great their talent is, it can go in various directions depending on how they're handled, who they're paired with in terms of producer. It would be really interesting to look at Eminem's career.

without the influence of Dre and to see where that would have gone if he worked with local producers or if he'd been paired with a different super producer, where that would have taken him. But yeah, like I say, I tend not to get too excited these days, even though I listen to a lot of hip hop because I can hear one great album on Spotify and then that artist will release 17 more albums that year because that's the way you do it now.

Adam (34:19.456)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (34:45.406)

and half of them will be rubbish and half will be good.

Adam (34:45.62)

Yeah.

Adam (34:50.803)

So this leads just that mention of Dre then segues nicely into one of my other questions. Cause I remember, I guess it was 2016, I think. So everyone had been waiting for Detox for, I don't know, about 15 years or whatever it was. And then Compton came out and then for about 24 hours, I just saw and read and heard the words, Instant Classic.

a phenomenal amount of times and then after that 24 hours had gone, I don't think I've ever heard anyone apart from myself mention the Dr Dre album Compton again.

Andrew Emery (35:31.958)

That is very accurate. That is very, very accurate. That is what happened. I stayed up late to review it for The Guardian and I got sent my copy at stupid o'clock in the morning. Had to listen to it twice back to back and hit like a first, like a 4 a.m. deadline or something like that. So it could be in the next day's guide. And I was probably one of the people going, return to form, instant classic.

And I don't think I've played the album more than once since. And it's probably really good. It probably is a classic. It just has a weird, it had a really weird half-life of 24 hours, as you totally correctly say. Everyone was buzzing. And then, I think, I don't know what moved out of the hip hop news cycle. Maybe it was because Kendrick was on there and Kendrick then occupied the next few years or whatever. And there's some Pac, before he made his one good record.

Adam (36:22.663)

Yeah, and there's Anderson Paak on there as well.

Andrew Emery (36:31.371)

And yeah, I don't know, it's almost like he introduced this new generation of artists and then stepped away. And as an artifact, the actual album hasn't stayed in consciousness or rotation. You're completely correct. And do you know what? I've not even thought about it for so long until you mentioned it. And I was like, oh God, I love that album when I heard it. Why have I not played it since? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Adam (36:39.203)

Mmm.

Adam (36:54.531)

I wonder if it was something around where streaming had become or how people were maybe using streaming platforms at the time that meant that it didn't stay in an algorithm or it got to that point where people had realised maybe you'd hit like critical mass on Spotify or something like that and people could all of a sudden just play everything at any time. Maybe the playlist algorithms were absolutely killing it or something like that. I guess they could be all sorts.

Andrew Emery (37:22.754)

I mean, there is, you know, without being like old man, Shakespeare's cloud, there is definitely a big difference in how people experience music now. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It just is absolutely different because I used to be able to afford one album, a fortnight on my pocket money. So I go into Nottingham and it would take me ages to choose. You know, do I pick this with the funky cover? Do I pick this because it's got a rapper I've heard of it on? Go home. And that's my listening for that week.

There was no hip hop radio shows, there was no internet. So you play that record again and again until you know all the lyrics, where the crackles are, everything. And then now on a Friday, I'll go on to what's new on Spotify and there'll be like nine albums have dropped. And I've got a couple of days to listen to those nine albums and often we're on the move or in an office and pulling out my earbuds whenever somebody wants to talk to me because I'm halfway through a new like currency album or whatever.

It's a very different way to experience music and I think some albums do fall foul of it. They kind of slip through the cracks of just getting lost in the noise. And there is also, hip hop is so much more global now and so big that when I was growing up you were looking for the next New York or West Coast rapper. Now there's rappers from everywhere. Bedrooms, on labels, established legends still doing it like MC8 or E40.

still releasing several albums a year. There's so much more to pick and choose from. It is sometimes harder to kind of really marinate an album.

Adam (38:57.083)

Yeah, you just keep serving it up for me today. This is really, really handy. You're giving me all the points to go into my next bits. Yeah, killing it. So then, rewind him back a little bit, because I do tend to jump around. That's an unintentional hip hop reference.

Andrew Emery (39:05.006)

I'm the Segway King.

Adam (39:19.955)

With that thing about the variation in the regions, in your book you quite nicely explain how there was, say, yourself that was focusing on, say, late 90s, early noughties, a lot of the independent stuff coming from the US. And there was a real respect for how hip hop connection was approaching that. And then you talk about, say, Rob Percy, Super X, Dave, I think it is.

really championing the Southern sort of stuff and I guess maybe more with the sort of hyphy and things like that, I guess. Like certain, like more club sonics. How did you guys tend to feel about the shiny suit stuff?

Andrew Emery (40:07.918)

I think it was very mixed. I think, you know, I made a bit of a small part of my career out of having a pop at that stuff in print, you know, and what people are kind of sometimes have to remember is being a journalist isn't always about your personal convictions. Sometimes it is as literal as having opinions for money, you know, and somebody said, you know, a few years ago, I did a piece for the Observer where,

Adam (40:30.83)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (40:36.002)

They had another writer and they used to have a back and forth thing where you argue a point. And they invited me to defend Chris Brown. Now for me, I hate Chris Brown's music and hate him as a person. So for me, that sounds like a challenge I can take on because I've got to almost convince myself as well as the other person and the reader that Chris Brown's a great guy. And I think sometimes in terms of writing about the shiny suit era of rap, I was sometimes

Adam (40:54.935)

Right.

Andrew Emery (41:03.594)

and trying to be a bit of a rallying point for a certain kind of rap fan. In doing so, I probably painted myself into a bit of a corner because my tastes were always way more Catholic than that. I liked a lot of music that Puff Daddy put out. I liked Big E. I listened to all coasts. But people like Rob Percy, Dave Sadeghi, Film Liner, a lot of the other writers at HHC and beyond were, I think, much better.

balancing act than I was and I was very much like I'm over here, I'm on this side. Even though at home I'm listening to Devin the Dude. In print I'm writing about company flow or whatever. I think they were ahead of their time as tastemakers, as DJs, as journalists in championing the South and history has proven them right. That is some of the best music and I think a lot of that comes from they were out in the clubs.

Adam (41:40.224)

Right.

Andrew Emery (42:01.73)

They were where the people were. More specifically, they were going to clubs where women actually went to and realized you weren't gonna get them dancing off of Reflection Eternal B-side. You weren't gonna get them dancing to Frank and Dank. You were gonna get them on the floor with Little John, with Outkast, and then from there, the kind of club banger's era took over, which I think was a great era in hip hop. They were right about that. And I think Rob...

Adam (42:07.202)

Yeah.

Adam (42:28.351)

Mm.

Andrew Emery (42:29.626)

once used the phrase lady drugs as a kind of reference to a certain kind of hip hop that gets people on the dance floor. He probably disavows that phrase now Rob, sorry mate for listening. But I always thought it was really accurate. It was like, do you know what, if you go into a club, do you want to be where men and women are on the dance floor or do you want to be in a club where it's men doing the 93 dance to Gangsta Fall Clip once again? Because I'm fed up with that life and I think they were fed up with that life and they've...

Adam (42:53.438)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (42:59.15)

wanted to embrace the kind of multicultural, multi-gender hip-hop scene that there was in London at that point. They were very in touch with reality, I believe, rather than the kind of hip-hop journalistic circles that I'd probably captured myself in a little bit, imprisoned myself within, of white record collector nerds who believe they know best, which is why I kind of spent a bit of time being, I think.

Adam (43:05.642)

Hmm.

Adam (43:28.087)

Yeah, I think like I never had any of the copies of Fat Lace. It's something I was aware of. It's more me get what I got into at the time I got into. I was quite later than a lot of people would have been getting into hip hop and finding my sources for it and stuff like that. But it was it was really nice to hear about that part of the journey as well. And and the real labor of love that went into it and how you were leveraging.

hip-hop connection assignments and being able to go like I can Satisfy the needs of these guys to a good standard and I can carve out some stories for myself The things about you guys kind of stay in many of you in a room You know, you've got that great story about our a the rugged man who you mentioned already and Was it quite nice to have that? Quite because you compare it to like a hip-hop version of kind of private eye

or private eye influence or style. Was it nice to have, yeah, yeah. So private eye and a bit of this. Was it nice to have that outlet so that you didn't have to be as serious and have that balance?

Andrew Emery (44:28.898)

Yeah, a bit of private eye, a bit of this kind of combined.

Andrew Emery (44:41.598)

It was wonderful. I mean, fat lace is the thing I'm proudest of in my life. You know, and again, there's five issues. The first one is dreadful black and white, really thin content designed by me, a man with no design sense. But there's also some little bits in it that I think, oh, these are really good. As it grows, it gets better and better. And I think, you know, as the team grew, like Yoda came on board with issue three. The late Pete Cashmore came on board, did some really funny articles.

and everyone kind of found their feet, Phil Mleyonar came on board. It was a really good place to be silly and a bit iconoclastic and to push the boundaries of what we could do. And it was, yeah, Andy Cowan at Hip Hop Connection, he was very supportive because he could have just said, absolutely not, you're not using my time when you're interviewing rappers on my dime to get this extra bit of material. And really often it was just five questions where we'd ask a rapper about what's on the VHS shelves at home or...

what food they eat in the bath or stuff like that you'd never use in print really. And we'd spin a series out of that, you know, or whatever. But also it was a good chance to take pot shots of what we thought were the more kind of po-faced aspects of hip-hop culture in general. Because you know, like, let's say a rapper goes and shoots somebody and it's caught on camera and they've done it and they've killed somebody.

there will still be a load of people on a record the next day shouting, free whoever, you know. And it's like, well, they've shot somebody dead, surely they should go to prison for that. And for Fat Lays, it was like, well, what comic hey can we make out of this? Kind of disconnect. So we did like slick mix prison letters and stuff like that. And it's just like every aspect of hip hop that we love, there's also something a bit absurd about. And how do we take that and poke fun at people? But also look at different things that we did like...

Adam (46:14.971)

Mm.

Andrew Emery (46:39.766)

I think at the time I'd written an article for Nuts magazine about rappers and their rides. And it was like, Funkmasterflex, Exhibit, all these people. And it was really glitzy, glamour cars. So I said to Dan, why don't we do UK rappers and their rides? And it'd be like, Blades Racer or whatever like that. Whoever takes the bike to work. Just something more down to earth and more...

Adam (47:03.565)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (47:07.542)

I don't know, yeah, I thought that's what we wanted to be, is like funny, down to earth, and poke fun at hip hop, but also still continue to break new artists in there, and do something that no one else was doing at all in hip hop print, which was seriously in-depth interviews with past artists. And that did come to pass in Hip Hop Connection eventually, they did a thing called The Original towards the end, which was fantastic, and I did lots of stuff for that. But at the time, you know, we wanted to talk about Spoonie G, and have him on the same cover as Farrah Monge,

Adam (47:16.694)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (47:37.41)

there were two artists we loved and why are we going to just get caught up in what's new? And if you're working for a mainstream magazine, like at the time I was writing for HHC, Face, Mixmag, you're writing about what's new every month and in that dash you're forgetting what the foundations are or what stuff you've just discovered that you love recently. I'm still discovering 80s rap now that I've never heard before. And it was a chance to also celebrate that as well and really dig deep into that stuff.

Adam (48:01.78)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (48:07.134)

And yeah, it was the best stuff I ever did. I had so much fun. New York trip after New York trip off our own dime, incredible encounters with people in the studio with rappers, up late night at parties with Guru and Primo and Scaramanga all in the same room, weird stuff like that. It was brilliant. We had such a great time, but we made no money off it whatsoever. Not a penny, but that's not what we did it for.

Adam (48:35.371)

That's most passion projects are like that, aren't they? And I think you've got to remember what your passion is and it's doing things for the right reasons as well. There's a lot of things where if you try and do them for money, you may as well just not bother doing them. Because you're probably not going to make the money and you're just going to end up kind of pissed off.

Andrew Emery (48:51.38)

Yeah, that's it.

Andrew Emery (48:57.27)

I look back on like Paul Raymond in the same way. It probably held back my writing career back in some ways, but I met such an amazing bunch of people there and had so many great stories to tell of that time that it's enriched my life in the way that Fat Lace did. I've got anecdotes galore about those years. I don't think I'm quite ready to write the book about those years, because it's quite a high hurdle to overcome is making jokes about the industry.

Adam (49:08.865)

Yeah.

Adam (49:26.479)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (49:26.654)

I think some people would find that quite difficult and challenging. And I've spent decades thinking about that book and it's not quite straightened out in my head yet.

Adam (49:36.503)

Do you think it'd be quite difficult with that because you've got to think about books from a legal point of view, right, as well?

Andrew Emery (49:44.654)

I think I'd be fine with most of that stuff. As long as, you know, because some of the stories are quite shocking. Some are quite funny and heartwarming, you know, and I generally worked with a nice bunch of people. And, you know, like I say, Barry was part of the Fatlaze crew. My friend Nat, who worked there, has gone on to be a major comedy writer. Danny is a novelist. I've got other guys who are chief subs at like big publishing houses. There were loads of women who worked there. People from all walks of life. And...

It was quite a democratic place and quite funny place to work. There was lots of lariness and events. But I think in terms of, ultimately you are in an industry that a lot of people despise and with good reason. And you've got to kind of overcome that boundary of, ultimately you're telling jokes about a society and a product that exploited women sexually, which you kind of have to look in the face and go, yes, yeah, that's true, we did. And, you know, it's maybe...

Adam (50:16.589)

Mm.

Adam (50:36.205)

Mm.

Andrew Emery (50:43.762)

Not a good idea to try and profit off that by writing a book about it.

Adam (50:47.483)

Yeah, yeah, but I mean...

Adam (50:52.879)

I started working in publishing after the heyday of it, but from just a few of the stories that I've heard, I'm sure there was a lot of behaviour across publishing that wouldn't have aged well. You could probably take any of the big publishing houses from that era that may not necessarily be in that industry and you're going to probably get some horrendous stories.

Andrew Emery (51:18.986)

I've read much worse stories about Loaded and some of the other lads mags and stuff that went on at Paul Raymond. Mostly because I think the people who worked at Paul Raymond were genuinely, and not exclusively, but in terms of my generation of people who came through, we all wanted to be decent and we all wanted to respect the models, treat them nicely, make sure they got paid. I would refuse to work with any photographer who had a bad reputation in terms of paying the girls or sexual exploitation.

And I can say the same for many of my friends. We'd be like, no, we're not having that. And so, you know, we weren't in the most ethical industry, but I think we tried to behave ethically within it. You still have some stories, you know, but most of my stories don't involve breasts. They involve like, you know, things that happened in Soho, because that's where we were. And, you know, Soho from 98 to 2013 was an amazing place to work, you know.

Adam (51:52.34)

Yeah.

Adam (52:10.175)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (52:17.318)

still is. I know it's been a bit sanitized and baudelarized now but it's still a wicked buzzing place.

Adam (52:24.495)

Yeah, I'll not include this in the edit, but do you know Matt Reynolds? Yeah, so Matt, because I used to work with Matt at Redwood. But because like I'd hear about the glory days at Redwood and stuff, but Matt would tell me this story about that he's a good storyteller as well. But that he was on a shoot once for one of the lads mags. And this photographer was just being just really bollocking this woman.

Andrew Emery (52:29.686)

Yeah.

Adam (52:50.091)

being really like aggressive with her and stuff and he found out afterwards that it was her brother. Yeah.

Andrew Emery (52:57.488)

Wow. Yeah, I knew-

Adam (52:59.758)

Just, so many levels of weird there.

Andrew Emery (53:02.386)

I knew Matt right at the end of Paul Raymond, we got bought by this guy, Justin Sanders, who was an asset stripper really, and a real dickhead. And he also owned Women's Health, which Matt worked on at the time. So we shared offices for maybe two years, but he also worked, he works with just Anthony Teasdale, who on Umbrella, and I've known Anthony since, Anthony was a columnist for me when I was working in porn.

Adam (53:16.172)

Mmm.

Adam (53:24.735)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Adam (53:30.229)

Right.

Andrew Emery (53:31.386)

used to write a regular column for club. So we've obviously kept in touch ever since then. Small world though. Was he? Oh I should go back and listen to it. Yeah I saw Tony last year because his dad lives in Otley where I used to live. So I used to run into his old man from time to time there.

Adam (53:37.471)

He was guest number three on the podcast. Yeah, small world.

Adam (53:51.419)

Ah, nice. Right, let me just think how to get us back on course then. What have I got in my notes? So I think we've covered most of it really. Right, let me see, so we're talking about porn in the book. So then I guess if you're not gonna be doing the book about the porn industry, then I've just got to wait for the one about the digital marketing industry then and keyword stuffing and all those sorts of exciting adventures.

Andrew Emery (53:55.586)

Hahaha

Andrew Emery (54:18.734)

Yeah, yeah, the truth about keyword stuffing. I mean, if I go, if I go on my hard drive, I've got so many half started book ideas and things like that. So obviously I put out the book of hip hop cover art in the early 2000s with a proper publisher. And I thought, oh, this is going to open the door to like a career in books didn't pan out. The book sold really well, but it didn't pan out. I couldn't, you know, again, you're dealing with

Adam (54:22.75)

I'm sorry.

Adam (54:35.541)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (54:47.998)

A lot of people who don't know hip hop culture and don't understand the market for it, say you're running up against a lot of white middle class people whose tastes are much more archers than listening to hip hop. I found it really hard in that world to navigate. So I've self-published Wiggers because again, I was sending it to people and they were like

Adam (55:05.312)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (55:16.982)

we really love the writing but it's too niche. You'd be like really? It's not really that niche? And it sold 4,000 copies as an independent book. I'm so proud of that. Over like five years, I saw the TV rights. I'm so proud of how that book did. So I never thought, oh, I'm going to write a book about self-publishing. So that's yet another project that I've started and never finished.

Adam (55:25.783)

Wow.

Adam (55:40.859)

Yeah, that was a really interesting thing in your book actually, because it was without giving away too many spoilers, but it was Tom Davis and Rupert Magendie, wasn't it, who agreed to the rights. Because there was one point where I was thinking, I mean, have you seen Laddhood? Yeah, so I was thinking something on kind of a parallel with that. Maybe I was thinking more from the leads point of view as well, but...

Andrew Emery (55:59.318)

Yeah, yeah. Love that one.

Adam (56:08.195)

I think something like that sort of journey could be a really compelling TV show.

Andrew Emery (56:12.65)

Yeah, the scripts that we did, I really liked them. You know, we did five or six versions and they got Andy Milligan involved who created and wrote Man Like Mobine. He's also the man who writes every funny word that comes out of Ant and Dex's mouth. He's their go-to writer for all their TV shows. He was also a Fat Lace fan and he was like, I can't wait to work on this. He did a really great job. Dave were gonna do it.

Adam (56:24.97)

Mmm.

Andrew Emery (56:40.646)

And it was very much going to be set in the 80s at first. And it is kind of like about a young boy discovering hip hop in a kind of white working class family in a town where nobody knew what that was. And we talked about having Snoop Dogg doing the voiceover, like narrating it, or Method Man or some other kind of strong voice. And I was so excited that was maybe going to happen. And the fact that he didn't, I was kind of prepared for because, like I said, my friend Nat Works in TV

Adam (57:06.804)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (57:09.118)

I've seen so many brilliant scripts of his over the years that have never got made it to screen and then stuff he has got to screen that he's had to compromise or work on for years and really labour to get that stone up the hill. I was prepared for failure on this and when it didn't come to pass when the pandemic hit and then Dave were pausing production, I was like, that's fine. You know what? It's been fun. I got a couple of grand out of it. I got to read the scripts. I really enjoyed that and fed back on them. I got to meet Tom Davis for lunch.

Yeah, and he's given me a quote for the new book, bless him. And yeah, I mean, Wiggas for me was just a great thing to do. I learned about self-publishing. I learned that there is a market for that kind of story. I got to go on Ramesh's podcast, got to go on your podcast. I got to go on Skegg's podcast, talk to people around the world about the book. I mean, what more do you want from life? It's a nice thing to do. 39 years into my hip hop journey, to be able to like come on this and like chew the fat about hip hop.

Adam (58:01.899)

Yeah.

Andrew Emery (58:09.236)

It's a great thing to do, you know.

Adam (58:11.571)

Yeah, and as I said to you the other day, I really enjoy your writing. And something else I was gonna mention earlier when we were talking about fat lace is I think there's a lot of power and joy when you've got a vehicle in which you can give people their flowers that you think need, like deserve it. Especially if you think this person needs more credit.

Andrew Emery (58:32.92)

Yes.

Adam (58:38.271)

So it's really nice to be able to do that and be able to publicly say, you know, I really enjoy your writing. And in the style of fat lace then, I'd like to ask you a bit of a column type question. So for me, this is something I've not thought about for a while and there's probably 200 podcasts that do this in like a long form. But for me, I used to like to think about who my ideal dinner guests would be.

Andrew Emery (58:44.494)

Thank you, ma'am. Appreciate that.

Adam (59:05.631)

and I think this was sparked by you mentioning how good an interviewee RZA is. I think this brought it back into my mind but my dinner guests are ideally thinking that there's a table for four because I don't want too many people there and the cooking is going to be rubbish anyway. It's more about the conversation. Yeah well four people keeps the cost down for that. So RZA, Alice Cooper,

Andrew Emery (59:22.573)

Get a catering mate, get a catering.

Andrew Emery (59:27.95)

I'm out.

Adam (59:31.971)

I can't remember who my old one used to be, but I'd say it'd be Larry David for me now. I think just with those three there, I'd just sit there chewing on some chips or whatever I've bought them. And you could, I think just between them, you'd just get some fantastic stories and Larry popping up with some weird opinions and stuff. Given the amount and the type of people that you've met, the stories that you share through your book, I was just wondering.

who your ideal dinner guest would be in that situation and why.

Andrew Emery (01:00:03.81)

So I was going to message you before and say, is it all hip hop people? Because my first invite would be one, it would be my hero Chuck D from Public Enemy. A man who's been my hero since I first heard his voice and that's never wavered. And I think at a dinner table he could hold his own on pretty much any topic in any company. I think politics, culture.

Adam (01:00:28.6)

Hmm.

Andrew Emery (01:00:33.734)

who's going to get voted out next on Traitors. I think he'd be across it all. I think he'd be a wonderful guest. And of course, you just get to hear that amazing, rich baritone voice of his. I just sit back and listen to him read out the Yellow Pages, if the Yellow Pages were still a thing that existed. Second would be Charles Dickens. I'm not sure how he and the other Chuck would hit it off, but Charles Dickens is my writing hero. And...

Adam (01:00:44.472)

Hmm.

Andrew Emery (01:01:03.342)

I think they'd have a few keen chats about social justice. And Chuck might have to update Charles Dickens a little bit on how things have gone, especially for like black people since those times in Victorian times. But I love that one. And then I'd have to go something more contemporary. And the third guest is the hard one. The third guest is the hard one. I was gonna cheat and have a chef so they could do the cooking, but I can do, I'm not a bad cook.

Adam (01:01:33.459)

If the chef's got good chat though, that's not cheating.

Andrew Emery (01:01:33.602)

So.

Yeah, true. But you know, I did years of Deaf Chef for Hip-Hop Connection, so I can cook a little bit. So I'll do a nice curry for everyone. And who would my third one be? Controversially, it would be 70s Woody Allen. Before all the baggage of his messy lifestyle. Woody Allen's films of that period are such an incredible bit of culture for me. Annie Hall, Manhattan, Crimes and Misdemeanors.

And again, I think there would be some real maybe needle between him and Chuck D about their different views on life. And the thing with Woody Allen is obviously he's been cancelled here and wide. I'm on the fence about that stuff. I don't really know enough detail in it. I do know that when most deaf called him a kiddie fiddler.

years ago. I think most of the Fat Lace crew cited Woody Allen on that one because it was like there's no evidence of that, you're out of order. So yeah, so that would be it. What was on Holy Mix? Chuck D, 70s Woody Allen when he's like you know very schmielish and yeah kind of collegey and Charles Dickens who I'd make wear like Black Wranglers and a wrapped tee for the night.

Adam (01:02:42.871)

right?

Andrew Emery (01:03:04.386)

just to fit in.

Adam (01:03:05.671)

Nice, nice, amazing. Right, thanks very much for that, mate. I've really enjoyed catching up and going over that, and I hope it encourages some people to get your book. So you've got Wiggers with Attitude, still available.

Andrew Emery (01:03:10.542)

Thank you.

Andrew Emery (01:03:20.174)

Still available on Amazon, yep, you can still get it there. Write Lines is available now from Velocity Press. Goes in all good bookshops and record stores from March the 8th. And yeah, there's gonna be some launch events coming up as well for that. Hopefully one in London, one in Manchester, one in Leeds. So I'll drop you those details once I've got them.

Adam (01:03:41.591)

Great stuff, yeah, we'll bang it all in the show notes. Right, thanks very much for your time. See you mate, take care.

Andrew Emery (01:03:45.742)

Cheers mate, thanks for your appreciation.

Adam (01:03:50.455)

messed up.