Sheffield’s Deep Green Talks “XXL”, His Rap Journey & More!

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

11 Apr 2020

Hailing from Sheffield in Yorkshire, Deep Green has been putting the work in for a hot minute. If you look back as far as 2012, that was when the rapper released his first official track “Hometown”. Since then, Deep Green has been building up his catalogue of music with UK Rap cult classics including his breakthrough project “50 Shades Of Green” and “6 Years Deep”. Last year, The Guardian named him alongside various other rappers as one of the UK’s ‘non-capital assets’, with a cold “Mad About Bars” behind him as well as a “Fire In The Booth” and “Behind Barz” which collectively rack up well over 1 million views – Deep Green is back with vengeance!

Known for his authentic street tales and gritty lyrics, Deep Green recently returned with something slightly different from his signature sound in the form of “XXL” – a Trap-Hop smash filled with his deep baritone vocals and a bouncing delivery.

How did you first start getting into rapping? Was it something you were always into?

It has always been there from an early age, with my dad being into music hard and playing certain certain songs and albums around the house – I always knew I wanted to be in the culture.

What was the first album you ever bought?

No cap, my first album I bought was “Willenium” by Will Smith – I rated him from Fresh Prince I’d seen a couple of his films so it was only right I checked for his album. His music wasn’t as hard as his acting but I still effed with it at the time!

Let’s talk about “XXL” your latest single, tell us a bit more how this single came about? What was the main inspiration behind it?

I knew I had to jump on a drill beat at some stage, I did do one two years ago for Kenny Allstar and Mixtape Madness for “Mad About Bars” and got a lot of love on that, its going on to 800k views! This time I had to make a full song but obviously I wouldn’t be talking about the same content, so I put my own spin on it. My manager sourced the beat and it was fire so the rest was history. Shout out to Young Kico on the production as well!

You’ve always been very raw and honest lyrically, how important is it for you to stay true to who you are? It’s more common now that artists rap about certain things because that’s what sells…

It’s very important staying true to who you are because if you start shying away from who you are its not you is it? I can agree with you about me being raw from the start, even to a point where people were looking at it like it was a bit too raw and that’s why I kind of stopped rapping for a while. But as the years have gone on things have got rawer and rawer to where its like we are in my playing field now, this is where I wanted to be when people were looking down on me.

The Guardian last year named you as a ‘non capital asset’, do you believe it’s harder to gain the right recognition if you aren’t based in London still? More artists are shining through now but did you struggle with this when you first started out?

Yes I most definitely have struggled getting out of my area in Yorkshire because the light has never shined up these ways for UK Rap. I believe if Deep Green was to come out today in 2020 or 2019 it would be a complete different story because they’re not just looking towards London. So if I was to come out from now, giving you my pain from the jump it would be a complete different story. But yeah, I struggled with it man. Especially seeing certain artists fly past man over night, it make you question yourself. A lot have come and gone since then and I’m still here still gaining passengers on a daily basis so I’m grateful at the same time.

I’ve seen a lot of people commenting under your video’s saying you are ‘underrated’, would you agree with this statement or do you find it frustrating?

With the underrated thing, at first it never used to get to me but at this point it is a bit jarring still! Man have been rating me, as soon as you hear it your gonna rate it. It’s just I don’t get certain acknowledgement, maybe from sources that people look to for co-signs or what not but man BEEN rating the kid!

You have various successful bodies of work behind you, what elements do you think make up a solid and successful project?

I just feel that being yourself and feeding the fans with new music is what sells, switching it up now and again whilst staying relevant to what’s going on. At the same time if you’re a fan of me I expect you to eat up the content, same with me to a musician I’m a fan of you get me. As long as the heart and soul is still going into the music and the artist isn’t just making music to keep the ball rolling or its forced – as long as you can still feel it within them then it will sell.

If you were to meet someone who wasn’t aware of your music as an opportunity to gain a new fan, which song or project would you play to them and why?

Well if was going to play a younger person my music I would probably play them “XXL” and tell them to go check the vast catalogue after that. However, if I was showing an older head my music, like, a more mature person I would say songs like “Picture Me Rollin” or “Night Rider” and tell them to check the catalogue. As for the gyaldem I’d say check out “Thug Addiction”, I got couple more for the girls coming as well as I’m always getting told I don’t do girl tunes but I just do them when I’m ready and in that zone!

What are your overall thoughts on the UK scene as it currently stands. Do you like the way it’s heading?

Right now the scene is strong its good to see a lot of opportunities and a lot of young people getting money finally. I like where its heading, there could just be more of a balance focused on actual lyrics but that’s where I come in anyway so yeah I’m helping with the balance.

Is there anyone you are looking to collaborate with? Or have any collaborations in the pipeline we can look out for?

Yeah there’s a few man out here I’m trying to feature with still, I’m not really looking to speak on it right now I’d rather keep that as a surprise. I’ll have you waiting on it and it never pops up and you might be disappointed because to your surprise rappers are bougie out here these days *laughs*.

What more can we expect to see from you this year?

Just more work and more progression, trying to make the next step bigger than the last – get Deep Green out there even more in 2020! I know its harder out here now with Covid-19 but we have to make the best out of a bad situation and still rise. But yeah, just more progression and more passengers on board for my journey! One thing I can say, I have a project almost ready so you’ll deffo get one or two this year as last year I took some time out and didn’t drop.

Keep up to date with all things Deep Green via his Instagram here.