Lloydie Ranks is rapper who was made in London. Unlike other rappers who may claim to be true Londoners, he has lived in the same borough – Islington – his entire life.
Currently resident in EC1, he writes about his home city: what has changed, what has stayed the same.
His new Ghetto London EP features a range of songs about the city and what it means to Lloydie.
As he puts it: “Every track tells its own story. Every track has its own meaning. I enjoy making music cos its something I love. It brings out my expressions and my feelings.”
“Politicians run it, politicians rule it; there’s no getting away from it,” says Lloydie. “The big bad city we live in. But it’s still my home, still where I live”.
His influences are as wide and varied as London itself. Dizzie Rascal, Wiley, Kano, and D Double E all make sense. But he was equally motivated by Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Elton John and Rod Stewart. And the first album he ever bought? Perhaps surprisingly, What’s The Story (Morning Glory) by Oasis!
Video games have been another influence from an early age: from receiving his first Nintendo GameBoy to the Street Fighter II samples on the new EP. Another game-influenced track, Streets Of Rage, is his girlfriend’s favourite!
And you will rarely see Lloydie dressed in anything other than one of his beloved Arsenal shirts. Whilst he can still do the John Barnes rap on ‘World In Motion’, he has been a Gunner ever since his dad took him to his first game in 1989. And if you listen closely you will hear the odd player mentioned in his lyrics: Ronaldo, Eto’o and Aaron Ramsey included…
But music remains his first love. Lloydie acknowledges how music has helped him through hard times: “If I didn’t have music to turn to, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now.”