BURR 21: Illaman


Welcome to BURR. Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar.

In this series, Brighton hip-hop DJ, Matt ‘Brickcellphone’ Leppier, is chatting to some of the underground rap talents on his radar. It’s as simple as that.

Follow him @brickcellphone and listen to him spin some of these artists on Offie Mag Radio.


First off Illaman, introduce ya self, for the people that may not know. Who are you, where you from, what do you do?

Alright, I’m Dave from Queens Park/Kilburn in West London. I MC/Rap to Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Grime & Dubstep, and front a Punk/Grime band called Pengshui.

Tell us about the new tape. How long did it take to make? Where was it recorded?

The new tape was made over a few years. I had written bits of it, not been happy with it and felt like I wasn’t ready to put out that kind of music.

I was in banger mode for a long time, just bangers. A lot of 140 stuff, but then played people a few bits and everyone reacted the same, was well into it. The turning point was when DRS sent me the vocal back for “Times of Change” without prompting. Someone of that standard, who I respect so much just voicing a tune made me realise it was good enough and I shouldn’t give a shit. Get it out.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Hip Hop in the UK, how different is it now from when you first started rapping?

I think it’s great, there feels like a lot more experimenting with flows and tempos and you can do it independently now. You can be heard or seen a lot easier which is great as we have so many sick artists and producers here.

I wish there was a bit more love for it on national radio, obviously, but there seems to be a bit more support happening now which makes me happy. How has it changed, for me, personally? People are more accepting of a double-time flow, haha.

What do you like about Potent Funk as a label?

Firstly it’s family. Secondly, they are up for putting out stuff that bangs, no matter the vibe and thirdly, I’ve seen how hard the guys have been working to push things to the next level and I can only admire that graft.

What are your top three most purchased Off Licence products?

Raw Rizla, many bottles of Peroni and Hennessey… and Hula Hoops.

Illaman interview

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