Greatest Shit: Breeding London Kulture

This is the series that looks at people doing some of the greatest shit in our scene. We want to give people the flowers while they are still here and tell them “hey, what you’re doing is great, keep on doing it”. These are people doing it their way, however unconventional that may be. Last week, we looked at the South London rap collective, House of Pharaohs. This week we’re taking a closer look at two individuals with the potential to sign House of Pharaohs to their record label, Breeding London Kulture (BLK), Antz and Abdi.

Antz and Abdi at a shoot for Complex UK

I first heard about the pair, more commonly known as Imjustbait and Abdi TV, ages ago, but it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time that I came across them.


Imjustbait

Imjustbait is a meme page that has been popular for almost all of my time on Instagram. It’s become a part of my timeline and the majority of memes sent to me daily, come from the page.

I remember about four years ago, one of my schoolmates ended up getting posted on Imjustbait and it was a big deal even then. It was the talk of the school and had and still has the potential to change lives.

That was probably at a similar time that singer, Deno Driz was posted on the page. He was singing in the playground in his school uniform and since then hasn’t looked back. He’s had chart success, featured in the third part of Rapman’s YouTube series, Shiro’s Story and even bought his mother a house. That’s obviously credit to his talent and hard work but I will never forget how his bredrin did a backflip in one of the videos that was on the page. Where has that video gone? I need to find it!

Abdi TV

Abdi TV was a name that I just kept on hearing. It was less on my radar because his following was predominantly on Twitter, which was for a slightly older demographic when I was coming up. However, word on road was that this was the guy for new music.

There are countless artists that he’s put people on to and many that I wouldn’t even know that he championed.

Despite this, I remember seeing Abra Cadabra’s Blackbox freestyle all over Twitter and that was definitely someone that he pushed. From that freestyle, he was able to link up with Krept & Konan for the Robbery Remix, which was one of the songs of the year.

More recently he pushed Octavian and Aitch and although they are both good artists and were getting noticed anyway, an Abdi TV cosign always helps.

Simply put, Abdi is a tastemaker. If he thinks your tune is sick, he’ll promote it and with hard work and more movements, you could soon be gone.  

Business

Since their early successes both of these young men have been able to monetise their pages through promoting artists. They have also had business ventures in order to create brands for themselves.

Antz with Vodka, the Baitlist playlist on Spotify and Imjustbait parties. Abdi on the other hand, with his own music platform, Remy Sounds, while he was studying computer science at Coventry university.

BLK

However, in 2018, they teamed up to start their label, BLK, after Abdi signed the song Fortnite by Boogz, from a freestyle that he saw on Instagram.

This was a success as it played off of the popularity of the game, Fortnite. But, the song that made me pay close attention, was  Lyca by Instagram Live star, Swarmz.

This was definitely a song that I wouldn’t have heard so early unless Abdi and Imjustbait plugged it. I saw them both promoting this unknown guy rapping in a studio. Therefore, by the time that the song actually came out, I knew that it was something to watch out for.

According to Abdi, he was a friend of both of theirs, and he simply approached Abdi on a night out, saying that he had a new song coming out. He sent it to Abdi, Abdi liked it and then it was mixed, mastered and signed. Simple as that.

This sums up the energy that put the two entrepreneurs put out. They will support something if they like it and since they are in tune with people’s taste and have such a large following, it will likely do well.

This happened with Lyca, peaking in the Official Charts at #55 and the song later got licensed to Virgin EMI for £85,000. All from something that they signed for free, out of love of the music. And, it’s safe to say that the song changed Swarmz’s life.  

The thing that I like about the label more recently, is how strategic they seem to be. Currently on their label, they have J Fado, SD Muni, Niko Bellic, Jorday, Rocco and 24wavey. These are artists in different lanes, of different races but all with something about them.

This suggests that maybe their roster isn’t as strategic as I anticipated. Everything that the pair have done up to now has been because they like it and because they think that it can do well.

Antz started Instagram to get the most followers in his maths class and Abdi just started posting content that he thought was funny. They just kept at it until they became who they are today. So, I love how organic and genuine everything seems to be and their persistence seems to be paying off.

What they’re doing could seem quite unorthodox but they definitely have a skill in knowing what young people like, which makes them so valuable. They’ve been able to capitalise on this and there’s been a progression from some of their initial deals to the more professional contracts that they’ve agreed since linking up with Sony Music Entertainment and DJ Semtex.

It’s crazy to think about the influence that they have from their phones. Influence that people behind desks dream of having. The ability to spot a trend and even create a trend.

So, I’m sure as things progress, both of these entrepueners with the label and without, will put you on to more great shit.

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Xaymaca Awoyungbo

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