It’s not often that hip hop artists from the UK’s humble West Country get to collaborate with global superstars like Snoop Dogg, but Kray-Z Legz is here to change that narrative – and a few others whilst he’s at it – with his new six-track EP, Play With Fire.
Hailing from Glastonbury, Kray-Z Legz released his first EP in 2013. ‘I started making music off my own back’, says Kray-z Legz (real name Mark Humphries). ‘I didn’t care if anyone listened, I just put it out there because it’s what I enjoyed.’
curating a stage at Boomtown, releasing a tune with Benny Banks and supporting Coolio are just a few highlights
Since his debut, the hip hop artist has been progressing with an impressive trajectory. Performing a set and curating a stage at Boomtown, releasing a tune with Benny Banks and supporting Coolio are just a few highlights that Kray-z Legz has enjoyed – but the journey hasn’t been without its challenges.
People shouldn’t be a novelty in the music industry just because they have a disability
Born with spina bifida, a defect that causes a fault in the development of the spine and spinal cord, the rapper is a permanent wheelchair user, and has undergone 31 operations throughout his life. ‘Sometimes when people see a wheelchair or a disability – especially promoters and booking agents – they instantly see a ‘novelty’ act. They’re like, “Oh, fair play, they’re having a crack”, kind of thing. It’s so weird ’cause I feel like, now, I’m just as capable as any other hip hop artist out there, and that’s what I’m trying to show. People shouldn’t be a novelty in the music industry just because they have a disability.’
Taking his activism to record, throughout Play With Fire‘s six tracks, the rapper lyrically tackles issues of discrimination, whilst joyfully maintaining his characteristically upbeat, fun-loving ethos.
Track one, Bang, certainly lives up to its name, featuring a mammoth collaboration with hip hop legend Snoop Dogg. ‘It really weirds me out – I grew up listening to Snoop and now I’ve done a track with him. On the track, I’ve tried to get that old school West Coast 90s hip hop sound. The UK has its own sound and scene now, but I miss the old American stuff – when hip hop was fun! So I’m trying to bring that back, and attach a bit of purpose and a message.
I’ve tried to get that old school West Coast 90s hip hop sound
‘People can really forget who they are as people when they become established artists –that’s why I’ve called this EP Play With Fire, because I’ve called those people out. Though I’m still just having a laugh with it all – it’s not horrible things, just nonsense silly things, like Eminem used to do. I want to shake people up a bit.’
Look out for our full-length full interview with Kray-Z Legz in the April issue of Nitelife magazine. In the meantime, you can listen to Play With Fire below, produced and released independently by Kray-Z Legz.