KG-Chi and Mista-E are Dantian Collective from London. They released their debut album Initium last year featuring UK and US artists Micall Parknsun, Joker Starr,... Dantian Collective Interview

Dantian Collective

KG-Chi and Mista-E are Dantian Collective from London. They released their debut album Initium last year featuring UK and US artists Micall Parknsun, Joker Starr, Planet Asia, and Loc Barz to name a few. In April the duo dropped a car ‘Drifting Anthem’ Drift4you. We caught up with Dantian to talk about life before the collective, their record label, and future endeavors. 

Tell us about how you discovered your love for Hip Hop?

KG: My love for Hip Hop spans decades back to the 80s when it all started. I was born in 1975 and was listening to Tim Westwood age 9. Back then Hip Hop was an embryo forming. My first Hip Hop vinyl was Planet Rock. I also used to have an ill technique of recording the instrumental end part of tracks by loop record on a Twin Deck using TDK tapes. I would then spit bars age 9 over the loops and record them. Man, I would love to find those lost tapes.

Mista-E: I was born into Hip Hop, my mum lived it, my dad was a sound-man. My uncles are sound-man and my stepdad used to DJ on the same pirate station as Tim Westwood and Trevor Nelson. I’m from a family of Dance Hall, Reggae, R&B, Garage, and Hip Hop artists. Two of my cousins are from a very famous UK Garage group and another one was in a group called Unorthodox. I was born to do this.

KG-Chi before Dantian Collective you were in other crews such as Wesconek and Chi Elements can you tell us about those crews?

KG: As with everything you find your wings. My 1st crew was called Wesconek and was formed between me, Deano Da Don (Jerporde back then), and Jay Will Be (formerly Ill Skillz). We got on to a talent show in the mid-90’s in Southall (London) where an unsigned group called Floetry won it before they found fame Stateside. Wesconek ended when our sound engineer Supa-Eye died (RIP Supa-Eye).

I took a 10-year sabbatical before Chi Elements with my Kung-Fu brother Bulg who produced our tracks. We still got joints that the world may hear in the future. Finally linked up with Sub One (producer and business partner of our indie label RapXchange). We built our Studio called UB4 over 2 years with my close friend GT.

UB4 is where Dantian Collective was formed after myself and Mista-E linked up to do a track. Dantian Collective had an active 2019. 2020 despite lockdown is still looking good.

Mista-E you have worked with DJ Flipcyide, DJ Wiz both Wu Worldwide DJ affiliates. Tell us how you both started out

Mista-E: Funny story that, I was linked up by chance. I had a distribution deal with PYN (Protect Ya Neck Records) and brought in a couple of men, from where I live. Originally one of my dudes was doing a show and wanted some Wu guys booked. From then I linked up with Eternal through Nikki Nitro and my dude nearly died so his show got cancelled. In the end, I ended up getting Eternal over to the UK and DJ Wiz sent over a couple of tracks.

I’m not credited on Wiz’s album but my voice is all over it so they can’t say its not me, I’m far too distinctive lol. I got linked up to Flipcyide when he put one of the Wiz tracks on one of the Wu Files mixtapes. I think I feature on about 5 or 6 of them. That’s not the only Wu things my voice, Dantian or Wudan has featured on.

We also are on one of DJ Symphony’s mixtapes hosted by GZA. You’d never believe I started as a Garage MC lol. But nah, myself as an artist I’ve been blessed with opportunities and even more so as part of Dantian Collective.

Dantian Collective logo

Tell us about your style and staying true to that real UK Hip Hop sound?

KG: Dantian Collective was formed on my Kung-Fu ethics. As a Sifu (Kung-Fu teacher for AWA) I live a disciplined life with strong ethics. This basis formed the name Dantian (“Chi energy source”) Collective (“Family”). My style has always been raw and pure in thought. I relate to rap as I do nature. When you hear KG spit you know that man is from London.

Mista-E: I’m “The Man With No Style”, like Ol Dirty there is no father to my style. I tend to flip it and hit it from different angles lol. Been doing this since I was in my school playground and listened to some big MCs that I later found out were my cousins lol. Spoiler alert, I am a member of one of the Worlds biggest family’s, if I say names, I’ll just be showing off lol.

How did you guys link up to form Dantian Collective?

KG: In 2017 myself and Mista-E first linked to film his video for single Tony Jaa (on Protect Ya Neck records). This was filmed at my AWA Kung-Fu Training Centre in Hanwell (London). We then linked at UB4 to do a track called Pure Grit that my cousin Ace produced. Not long after we formed the Dantian Collective in 2018 (with original members Zedi and producer AM).

Mista-E: Thank MXL for that, I went School with him so he made the bridge for the shoot. Funny thing it took us 2 years to link up. A few personal things got in the way both sides but from that, we created this. A dream we both had from yonder and it just fit nicely.

In 2019 you released your debut album Initium which featured Ruste Juxx tell us bout this release?

KG: Our debut album Initium was a team effort formed by Web Fae and Sub-One (One Plug Productions). Shout out to both of them for such a DOPE album. They orchestrated the production and management to link producers Kyo Itachi (France) and Architect (USA) to make the album.

MCs from Stateside include Planet Asia, RIM (Davillins), Loc Barz, and Ruste Juxx. We also got UK MCs Micall Parknsun, Joker Starr, and Anyway Tha God. The Ruste Juxx joint What You Want has got a video where he shot his part in New York and we shot ours in London (that’s US-2-UK collab at its finest). We also got videos with RIM for Verbal Assault and Break Bread (produced by Sub One) with our UK collabs.

DTN Initium album cover

What other music has Dantian released?

KG: After Initium we went back to our original EP What’s The Meaning Of Dopeness? and recently released it in May 2020. The video Dopeness has been out on YouTube for a minute.

The month before that we dropped our US-2-UK collab EP Wudan Swordsmen with Eternal Of Killa Beez. Shout out also to DJ Flipcyide who recorded Eternal’s vocals. It’s a joint project with RapXchange (UK) and Kastlevania Ent (USA). That release has got two videos Wudan Swordsmen and Hustle Hard out now on VEVO / YouTube.

Recently you released the video/track Drift 4 You tell us about that track and video?

The single and video for Drift 4 You was an idea I had with my friend Reynars Burkovs at a bar. He manages a Drift racing team called “Drift4You”. His son Kristians Burkovs is the ace Latvian driver behind the wheel. So we did a new “Drifting Anthem” theme song and wrote to the subject matter.

Next came a video and release. The track is getting some real airplay and traction on the Drift Circuit so we got a good feeling about this one. Motor-heads need to check out the www.Drift4You.com website and YouTube channel.

Shout out to singer feature Antonia Marquee (USA) for some real dope vocals. The Fast & The Furious need to holla. Vin Diesel drop us an email to dantiancollective@gmail.com so we can get this joint on the next movie soundtrack!

Tell us about your indie label RapXchange, who is signed to the label?

KG: RapXchange was formed in 2018 after we took a trip to Stockholm Sweden to perform and film a music video called Firewater (the title track to new DTN EP coming later this year). Sub One got the idea for the name as we were networking international and connecting some solid dots. The idea being we collaborate and build our network. Since then RapXchange has the following roster.

KG-Chi and Mista-E (Dantian Collective)
Anyway Tha God (Jones Brothers, Legionnaires)
WhoDat (Legionnaires)
ShoXstar (Legionnaires)
Mista Spyce aka Billie Splyff (Brotherhood)
Nellz

The team is strong and each artist is working on new solo material coming this year 2020. There’s also several in-house collabs are forming. We got a DOPE compilation mixtape with all artists on it called 2020 LOCKDOWN in-the-mix as we speak. Some real flavours are cooking up at UB4 with RXC (RapXchange). The RXC fam is buzzing and the roof is on fire.

Before lockdown you performed at the Jazz Cafe with the Beatnutz, tell us about that show?

KG: The Jazz Cafe is one of the ILLEST most ICONIC venues for Hip Hop in London, period. Back-stage with Psycho Les and Juju was mad dope. Me and Junkyard JuJu got on like a house on fire man! We’re in contact to this day.

DJ Drez from Hip Hop Back In The Day was behind the decks (he is our regular DJ for shows, I got mad-respect for this brother). The show was lit and the crowd you get at Jazz Cafe is always off-the-chain.

Just before Christmas December 2019 at Jazz Cafe, we opened up for Heltah Skeltah Sean P! Tribute (RIP!). We were backstage with Rockness Monsta and Bernadette. Got my Sean P! jacket from Bernadette and always wear it with honour. Thanks, Mrs. P! Much Appreciated.

Mista-E: Those shows made me feel we were getting there. COVID had other ideas lol. But that Beatnuts show was crazy, chilling with Heltah Skeltah was crazy too. They took to KG a lot better than me lol, but JuJu that brudda is mad funny. Just don’t leave any whiskey around him lol!

Dantian Collective crew photo

What’s a Dantian Collective show like?

KG: A DTN show is always lit. Thing is we just be ourselves. During and after a show the crowd always shows us, mad love.

Bucharest was amazing (shout-out Web Fae, Shay, and Gabi) and Stockholm too (peace Bjarne B, Joel, and Black Fist). Feedback is always love. Its incredible what we have achieved in just one year. 2019 was our break-through year on the circuit.

We performed in Stockholm, Bucharest, London, and all over the UK. We have opened up shows for the likes of Onyx, Heltah Skeltah, Das Efx, and La Coka Nostra. Even got Lil Dap and The Mighty Nutcracker of Group Home in our studio to do a collab. Me and Lil Dap was on the phone last week.

Now promoters and fans are getting to know what Dantian Collective is about. Have passport will travel that’s what DTN does. So all you Promoters out there holla and get DTN on that list. After the COVID Lockdown is over we will be at it again with a vengeance.

Mista-E: Our shows probably show what type of personalities we have. I’m mad extravert and KG more introvert. I’ll be that loud dude that probably scares half the audience lol and probably less approachable in most people’s eyes but I’m the opposite. KG is the lethal weapon lol.

What’s next for you guys?

KG: After 2019 we saw what we can do and achieve. Anything is possible when you truly put your heart and soul into it. For Dantian Collective we just keep building and the music keeps reaching out to the masses. We keep our style authentic and I think that’s what the real Boombap Hip-Hop heads love.

Hip-Hop for me is doing a 360 right now. The mumble-rap got their lane the Boombap got our lane. We keep it fresh, fly, and original with DTN. As for RapXchange, RXC is on a buzz right now and our industrious work ethic is about to make noise this 2020. I am excited to be working with the artists that we’ve got and they are all destined to shine.

Mista-E: Solo releases are long overdue. KG got two virtually finished albums and I’m finding material from 2014 lol. The mad thing is my pre-DTN material is probably more relevant today than most music.

Tell us your socials?

Instagram:

 @dtncollective @iamkgchi @iammistae

@wudanswordsmen @rapxchangeofficiallabel

Facebook:

Dantian Collective

Wudan Swordsmen

RapXchange

Twitter:

@DTNCollective @SwordsmenWudan

@XchangeRap

YouTube / VEVO:

Dantian Collective

Wudan Swordsmen

RapXchange

Email: dantiancollective@gmail.com

Website / Label:

www.dantiancollective.com  www.rapXchange.com

Release Links:
Initium:

https://album.link/mdjzhnq8ghqfp  
Wudan Swordsmen:

https://album.link/Cbmj4T5B0BXvr
What’s The Meaning Of Dopeness?:

https://album.link/gb/i/1515601031

Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

KG: Thanks to File Under Hip Hop for this interview and shining light on us. We are an independent group and label all self-made from our own hands, work, and money. It’s so important for fans and the Hip-Hop community to support indies. For the support we have got thus far we love and appreciate you guys for it.

This is what gives us the strength to keep building and delivering what we do. Peace, Guidance, and Love to all. One love and stay strong black man, woman, and child.

Interview by Jai Boo

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