LOTOS is undoubtably one of Scottish hop-hop’s top talents. Her first album The Last Piece of The Puzzle is currently in the National Museum of Scotland, and she has toured with Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Estelle, Skeptar, Busta Rhymes, and Roots Manuva.
Her 2020 track ‘Home’ was one of our favourites of the year – it’s still on heavy rotation in the SNACK office. All in all, we’re delighted to present this special artist’s track-by-track of her new EP, CHECK MATE. Follow this Spotify link to listen along.
‘Wings’ was like making a piece of art in terms of how it just happened in the studio. Completely spontaneous and unrehearsed, it’s an example of what you can do when likeminded musicians come together. It was amazing to make this roots reggae meets underground drill, hip hop vibe with the legendary Jamaican artist Izreal. I loved making it, and reminded me of the days touring with Mungo’s Hi Fi, Damien Marley, Spragga Benz, and Nas – where you can just experiment and be free.
Next level production by Mazza at Money Sound Entertainment who’s also worked with DigDat, Gigs, and AJ Tracey – especially after working with Show N Prove on ‘HOME’. We do it for the fans and you cannot create something excellent without taking risks occasionally. Which is intense but if it means we make a brilliant song then it’s worth it. That’s what it’s about really: freedom of spirit, flow and freedom of mind. Peace.
The crew and I all love chess, it’s the intricacy and your ability to learn so much that’s so fascinating about the game. When approaching this EP, we just wanted to make something about this place and time in the Scottish hip hop scene, so we went for fresh current sounds.
For me personally I’ve always prided myself on my ability to fuse different styles, it’s amazing being told by fans it’s like alchemy. Also, as artists demonstrating our versatility and longevity.
We always want to make music that’s great but grounded in consciousness – that is thought provoking and makes you just feel a great vibe. That’s why Queens Gambit was an obvious choice for one of the tracks on the brand new EP (track produced by Prophet 64). It features MC Revelations: it was absolutely a pleasure, and natural too, to work with one of Scotland’s early pioneers in rap music. Where else would you find such talent, vocabulary, skill, with an epic slow flow that is extremely unique in the scene?
For me I love a lot of the grime, my drilly sounds, so it seemed natural to incorporate that element in the aftermath of 2020.
‘M8’ is yet another Mazza banger – it was too easy to jump on this beat and just spit straight bars. As always, although the music is current it’s still steeped in real issues that draw our attention to how we can make life better through understanding past and present social economic and political issues. That’s really our ethos, hence the name Last Of The Old School.
A great honour and, every piece of music, it’s about trying to do something that you not only enjoy but that adds something to you. Based on nights touring from Scotland to London with UK legends from Roots Manuva, Akala, Skeptar, Wiley, Skinnyman, Klashnekoff, Jehst, Black Twang, and so many other legends.
There was nothing more amazing to come out of lockdown with than a studio session with the legend that is Fumez The Engineer, one of the hottest producers in the UK. Known for chart topping hits and working with the best of the best in the UK scene on his show, Plugged In.
For us this was about creating something that’s inimitable, no imitation. Again taking a risk because usually on a beat like this you’re naturally wanting to go really hard. We decided to keep it authentic, spacious and stripped back to raw rap. Again, with the incredible talent that is MC Revelations aka Anonymous and Rude Boy. We recorded it in London and it’s just great to finally get back in the lab.
CHECK MATE is out now
Main photo credit: Lewis Milne