Interview with B. Dolan – Speech Development Tour


Dolittle brings us the Speech Development Tour featuring B Dolan, warrenpeace and Scroobius Pip. Headlined by the UK & Ireland return of B Dolan (with live band for the first time on this side of the world), bolstered by warrenpeace taking to the open road for the first time and topped off with Scroobius Pip, hosting, talking, guesting, DJing, introducing and lord knows what else, you’ve just GOT to come and check it out! Workman’s Club – Thursday, 20 November. (Doors 8pm / €14)

We had the chance to intervew B Dolan ahead of the Speech Development tour in the Workman’s Club on Thursday 20th Nov. You can see the results below.

The first time I saw you play was an all ages show, where you unleashed a torrent of foul language and abuse against a variety of political ideas. Is it good to get kids when they’re young?

Hahaa. Really? I think I know the show you’re talking about, and I remember doing my best to try and reign it in, but yeah I probably failed and was sort of OK with failing. Kids hear adults curse. My father used to let me curse when my mother wasn’t around, and my parents never censored what I was listening to or reading, even when that meant Ice Cube tapes at 12 years old or ‘Pet Semetary’ in second grade. They’re gonna hear it anyway, they might as well hear it in an intelligent context.

Do you consider yourself an activist?

I do, though it’s a loaded term that means different things to different people. To me it just means that I believe I can have a positive effect on the world around me, and strive to do more than just talk about politics. I try to contribute actual work to the movement for social justice and equality.

Do you think music a good place to get inside people’s heads and change their view on the world?

It worked for me. My favorite rappers taught me more than my teachers ever did, and raised me in a few ways.

What do you think about the poor voting stats for young people and the general apathy towards politics?

I think it’s a cop out, especially if you’re in a position of privilege. It’s very hip to be apathetic. The minute you talk like you care what you’re saying, you start to lose cool points. In music especially. However, cool is something you can afford. When it’s time for your job or your livelihood to be on the chopping block, I bet you have an opinion.

Is it surprising that so many rappers say exactly the same things? Would think there would be more radical voices in music?

The music industry has a homogenizing effect, because it prefers artists that can be easily disposed and switched out for a newer model. There will always be a boy band, like there will always be a teenage girl who just grew breasts being sexualized. The music industry is pretty unimaginative like that. They are also hemorrhaging money because people aren’t as dumb as they think we are, and that dated way of doing things appeals less and less.

I think it’s an exciting time in music, to be honest. As people divest from that old shittiness and less and less albums go platinum, we deal with less and less vapid pop stars and find ourselves exposed to more varied independents.

What modern rappers do you listen to?

I like Kendrick. Kanye’s music inspires me though his public persona is silly bullshit. Atmosphere are making some of the best music of their career these days as well. Of course I spend a lot of time listening to my labelmates and peers like Sage Francis, Scroobius Pip, and Buck 65. Um… who else. Chance the Rapper’s “Acid Rap” mixtape was my shit a little while ago. Is James Blake a rapper?

What would you be working in, if it wasn’t music?

I’d be in trouble, to be honest. I was a terrible employee. Wasn’t even a good drug dealer for the few weeks I gave that a try. I’d be stealing as much stock as I could from the backroom somewhere, I guess. I did not jive well with the 9-5 world, and tested that theory with about a thousand shitty jobs before this. Why you think I rap so good? There is no fall back plan.


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