[DISCLAIMER]- This interview is not verbatim as Hurley mumbled quite a lot.
Lil Hurley, formerly known as Lil Boi, Mc Langer or just Simon Jones, is Cork’s hottest new rapper. In a bid to stay relevant and hip wiv da kidz, The University Express sent me to see what this Soundcloud sensation is all about.
The twenty-year-old cuts an imposing figure when he greets, covered in tattoos, wearing a grill and standing at five foot five. He reminds me of a leprechaun, one that has been scribbled on by a particularly manic toddler. On closer inspection his Silver grill appears to be made from tinfoil. When we sit down to talk in his room, I start with the tattoos.
Can you tell me a little about your tattoos, Hurley?
“Yeah so tattoos are big in the rap game right now. It’s all about self-expression and never being able to get a job again, you know? I have 42 all in all…Well like 40 of those are fake, you know the ones that come free with the chewing gum? I just don’t want to commit to a big tattoo yet, just in case I don’t like it.”
Which tattoos are real?
“Just my face ones. Nothing big like”
Hurley proudly shows off the Hurl tattooed across his forehead, and No Rugrats under his right eye.
What do they mean?
“I just fucking hate the Rugrats cartoon.”
Who are some of your rap heroes? Who inspired you to make music?
“All the greats you know…Anyone with Lil in their name really.”
Ok…What about the music spoke to you?
“The mumbling. Thought it was a great idea, coz you can like, pretend you’re saying deep shit but you’re actually just snoring. It’s great. Another thing was the dark themes in the music. The drug problems, the crime, the tough upbringing. I connected with them on that level. Also, if they died young, that’s like bonus points. So fucking cool.
Are these influences incorporated into your own work?
“Yeah, for sure. Like my lyrics really reflect on just how dangerous growing up around here was. So many gangs and shit. So much bloodshed…”
Hurley seems lost in his own thoughts for a moment, alone in his bedroom in a lovely, spacious, 4 bedroom semi detached in Blackrock.
You touched on the drug culture in rap these days. What is your opinion? Is it just posturing or is it a legitimate problem?
“I think it’s a massive problem, man. It’s terrible. Awful. I can’t get any of the cool stuff in Ireland! No Xans. Not even any Lean, I have to drink Calpol instead! It tastes class, doesn’t really do the job though.”
Do you have a history of addiction yourself?
“Yeah… It was around the time I was recording my first album. They were dark days. I was popping about two packs of Strepsils a day. Lemon and Honey ones, man. They’re surprisingly strong. By the end of it I was snorting Lemsip, I knew I had to stop when my producer found me using a Fisherman’s Friend as a suppository.”
How do you respond to claims that your music is glamorizing drug culture?
“That’s lies. Slander and lies.”
Lil’ Hurley’s new album, Drugs are cool, is out now, available at no good retailers. Hurley will also be performing outside Cyprus Avenue tonight, as he is barred from entering for life.