KRONICK: I asked this of other artists that I've interviewed from your town. What is it about the
area that you're from that you feel has produced this music?
TRICKY: See I don't know. This is a bit of a myth cause it's said where you're born and grow up
dictates your music. Now where those guys come from is not where I come from. I grew up in a
white ghetto with only five Black families. These kids, and no disrespect at all: this is weird. Life's
weird- if you're a musician you have to be ghetto-sort of. And if you ain't or you say someone else
ain't ghetto it's a disrespect. But Norwest is a place that the rest of the band members could never
go. NEVER GO! Unless you're from Norwest you don't go there unless you know people there. So
I come from a bit of a different background and I paid attention to my music and I know where I
get that from. I get that from Norwest. I think it's more depicted where you're up, but Massive
Attacks' music is a lot more mellow than mine. So I think one thing Bristol's got is that it's isolated.
And it's like Crucial Conflict and kids come out of these isolated places- they've got no rules. And
it's like they hear music a different way from the city kids. And it's refreshing because we'll get like
New York and London in Bristol. So every now and again with a little self-contained environment,
they're gonna turn out something different. Guys like Crucial Conflict to me is like the original
Timbaland stuff that he's doin' now. And God bless Timbaland for what he's doin' is Wicked! I love
it. But I was hearing that Crucial Conflict shit like a year and a half before that and I thought, `This
is some focking New Shit!'. And it's because they're from an isolated little place. So they've got
nothing to dictate to them. There ain't been no peers really in Bristol. In New York there's so many
people who've come out- so many examples you can learn from. But in Bristol it's not like that. You
don't have much examples so you kind of have to go your own way.
KRONICK: With the four albums that you've put out, at times some of the people that follow the
music feel um... that it's hard to follow- especially this new album. Like yesterday I was talkin' to a
Brotha and he said, "Man Tricky, his music is sounding really frustrating right now like this is a
difficult period." Would you like to comment on the different expressions throughout each of the
TRICKY: This one is definitely the strongest project. And this is not an album that you're gonna put
in and get straight-away. So like, if I was talkng to this guy I would say that you have to give it time
and you have to listen to it in different settings. See, it might not be a difficult time for me but a
difficult time for him. Cause now I know people who listen to it and get it straight-away. Then I
read a view the other day that said, "The first time I put this on I couldn't listen to it, I had to take it
off. The second time I tried it and it was too brutal. The third time for some reason da-da-da, and
then he gave it a real good review." So any album, you ain't gonna get into it. And it might not be
my frame of mind, it might be his frame of mind. And it might take a different frame of mind of his
to get it. We all feel different things everyday. One day you maybe sat down and were in a
non-open frame of mind. Then the next day... like my favorite albums of all time, sometimes I just
can't listen to some albums cause I ain't ready for `em. From when I did Maxinquaye I realized it's a
love or hate thing. My fans are madd passionate and then some people just don't get it. And that's a
good place to be because people who don't get it don't disrespect it, they just don't get it. So it's a
good place to be. And I'm lucky because I'm not trapped in any... I mean I don't have to have long
hair to make Rock music, I don't have to be a tough guy to make Hip Hop. I can just be myself and
make any music I want. And I think it's a lucky, lucky place to be because there's not many people
who've got that.
KRONICK: A lot of people have a radio mentality and at the same time kids are checking for MTV
and BET and things of that nature. What's it like in Europe as far as your music on the acceptance
on radio ot television?
TRICKY: Oh, same thing. Same thing.
KRONICK: And then here in AmeriKKKa, when you're putting it together do things like radio and
MTV and BET concern you?
TRICKY: No, we can't. We can't even think about those things cause we know from the get-go I'm
not radio-friendly, I'm not visually-friendly, so we just rely on a fan-base and reviews. But MTV
puts me on there all the time like interviews but they never play any of my music. And in England
I'm like not Black enough for Black radio but I'm too Black for white radio. So it's like, all focked
up. But it's a challenge and it does attract people to me because I'm in such a weird niche. Like I've
worked with RZA and some of the top producers because I'm in a weird niche and it's attractive. It's
become a joke with us. What I make and consider a Pop song, the people around me listen to it and
joke that I just don't get that genre. So it's fun and like a game to me because I think people got bets
on me whether I'll ever make a Pop song or not. I'll do documentaries really in order to write songs.
So I have to write situations like documentaries, so I write situations like we've all seen, what we've
all felt just like a documentary.
KRONICK: Since the radio and video thing is not really jumpin' off, for the people that check for
the music often go to your live performances what goes into it for you visually, Spiritually,
physically, performance-wise with the band, yourself, Martina to convey that Tricknology to the
TRICKY: Tension, a lot of tension. Frustration. No, not tension because I think people confuse
frustration with tension as the same thing; when people are frustrated they get tense. Frustration. A
lot of it because we're not natural performers. We haven't got dance routines or anything. So what
comes out is a blob of energy and it don't matter how it comes out. And it's like speaking in tongues
almost like a voodoo ceremony. Madd energy; it's just like energy. Cause we're not natural
performers I feel like if I'm doing anything and it's more of a show, I really believe I have to feel it
for them to feel it. And I know that's not necessarily true because some of the worst gigs we've
done, people have come and said that was wicked- that was unbelievable. And I know it was a
terrible, terrible gig. So sometimes I wonder if that's true. I'll try and feel it because otherwise it's
boring to be onstage for an hour and a half going thru a routine every night. You've got to go
elsewhere. You've got to get above all and you've got to believe that you are focking... it gets really
emotional. I've cried onstage and it's a madd feeling to lose all your inhibitions. Cause there's people
down there and you're up here and I've got my eyes closed all through the show. So you could just
be what you want, where you want and just gather all that energy.
KRONICK: What about your voice? Just listening to you, it doesn't sound contrived. It sounds like
your voice is really like that.
TRICKY: Yea, this is my voice. Yea, yea, yea, this is how it is. My vocal is really dry in the live
set. We have echo every now and again. And on record it's all dry; everybody treats it dry. This is
just how it is, yea. The girls like it though, so it's madd. It's madd. I'd like a voice like Prince or
Marvin Gaye. But it'll have to do, this is all I've got and I'll make the most of it. I think with a lot of
passion you'll get over any circumstances you go through.
KRONICK: But what we really wanna know Tricky, is did MTV fly you and your boys over to
Europe and put you guys up for the Fashionably Loud Versace special? Did you meet all the model
Bitches and shit? And did y'all get laced in some Versace and all the other high-post fashion gear?
TRICKY: Nah, it was really quick. I did the show and then I left; I didn't even change. I went and
packed my bag, got in a car and left. You gotta be careful- I got caught up in London in a kind of
Pop Star/ Supermodels/ Drugs & Alcohol vibes, and I was among all these people. And I see this
one guy- he's a very famous person. He had major girls around him, major people around him- but
he looked totally on his own. And it scared the fuck out of me.
KRONICK: (Uncontrollable laughter follows)
TRICKY: And he looked on his own, man! He had everything! He had fockin' everything-
champagne, girls, etc. And I just watched because I'm more of the observer who'll get stoned, and I
watched him. And I just thought that I'd never seen someone so lonely and sad in my life. Then I
kind of realized that you can't get caught up too much in that Superstar shit, cause you'll end up
lonely and sad. Most people will say that's pretentous and that's bullshit. Like saying they don't
wanna be a Rock star and da-da-da-da-da. No, that's the scary thing cause I do. That's why I won't
because I see people who are sad. So those sort of things don't work for me.
KRONICK: One of the vibes I get when I listen to the music and when I check the live
performance is that Tricky will take the listener on a ride around the Universe. But Martina will
bring that ass back to Earth and keep you well grounded- even get you muddy.
TRICKY: Yea, see you can't keep goin' up. There has to be a come down. There can't just be
all-tension. See man and woman- that's yin and yang. And you can't have highs without lows man,
so that's exactly what my Blues are. That's exactly what's going on. And at times you guys might
feel my voice in certain things Martina does which I can't say. Like I can do Bad Dreams. It's like
even though you get to the end of the record, you know you've had a dream. But until then you
think it's a shoot `em up. I can't talk about that shit cause I'm a man and this is what young Black
men do. Shoot `em up- that's the lifestyle. Everything has to have a balance and she's it for me. It's
like a grounding thing, definitely. I've always had a problem listening to an album with only one
voice on it all the way through. So I like the diversity of one voice, another voice, two voices
together- then one person ain't there. And what's mad is you can still feel the person even when
they're not there. Like there's songs where Martina's doin' and I'm not there, but you could still feel
my energy, and vice-versa. It's always happenned naturally from the first time we did a song
together-we did it like that and never looked back. It's weird though and it's something that you can't
really understand because we don't make music as well. We're not totally responsible as total talents
and geniuses that we think we are. Music has got a life of it's own and it will talk to you and tell you
what it needs. It's a two way thing. You sit in the studio and just stop and sit back- relax and roll a
spliff and the fockin' tune will tell you wot it wants. It has a lifeform of it's own. So the artist isn't as
prolific but the music is prolific. Music is everything, music is energy. I'm not prolific. All I've got to
do is go to the studio and have passion in my heart so it can come out. That's why I don't have
things like writer's block, Star.
KRONICK: How did you get the name Tricky Kid?
TRICKY: I got the name trick from being unreliable. I was supposed to meet my friend at a
shopping center. But the night before, I ended up leaving Bristol and went up to Manchester. And I
stayed there for six weeks. So I come back and I got dropped off by this shopping center. And he
was there and it looked like he was waitin' for me for six weeks. And he just turned around and
said, "You Tricky bastard!" So that 's how I got the name. The kid part was added on when I
started rapping, but I dropped it later.
KRONICK: The last question would be related to the Hip Hop cover tunes that you've done. Most
Hip Hop related publications usually start there, so I'm gonna end there. Could you comment on it?
TRICKY: Yea, that's because it's the most that they can relate to. It's an obvious thing for them to
write about really because that shows that I come from Hip Hop as in I know about `em. Some of
the covers I'm doin' ain't the obvious covers except for Black Steel maybe.
KRONICK: My brother, they don't sound nothin' like the originals!
TRICKY: Yea, so I'm givin' respect for something which touched my Soul and got me here. The
passion I've got for these thingsmakes me feel that sometimes the name Rapper is a bit stereotyped
when some of these kids are Poets. And they need to be called Poets rather than Rappers. And
that's why I didn't want to be called a Rapper after awhile because it's got the visual look of gold
chains, guns, and whatever- because of the stereotype. There's no other musicians or artists who are
writin' lyrics better than these kids- in Rock, in Blues... The strongest lyrics in the world at the
moment is Hip Hop, and it's been for a long time. Urban Poetry- Ghetto Poetry is the strongest,
strongest lyrics. And that's why I get Martina to do certain things as well. I feel like other people
need to hear that. people from the Alternative press need to know that Chuck D is a focking genius.
Focking Rakim is a focking genius, Slick Rick is a genius- and you need to give them their focking