Down in the murky depths of south London lies the home of an infamous rap crew called 67. Frontman LD's "Live Corn" track triggered the effortless rise of the young, Chicago drill-loving clique in 2014 with an authenticity some rappers could only dream of having. The collective, made up of rappers ASAP, LD, Dimzy, Monkey, SJ, and Liquez—alongside a close-knit, family-like creative team—all individually hold their own weight, with each artist owning a distinctive ghostly flow. Last year's street anthem, "Take It There" captured their unfiltered collision of Chiraq Drill, UK street slang and London road politics in a way that we hadn't seen in... well, since forever.
67's In Skengs We Trust mixtape, and their absence but named involvement in the Chip vs Yungen saga, only created more questions to be asked: who and what the hell is 67? Then, like clockwork, their "Let's Lurk" track and video featuring road rap lord Giggs dropped with a sing-along chorus, ride or die, brother-loving lyrics and smooth yet unapologetic verses. With a project in Let's Lurk set to drop later this year, Complex took a trip down to Brixton Hill to meet ASAP, Dimzy, and LD to discuss comparisons between them and Section Boyz, their favourite grime emcees, lyrical clashes and a whole lot more.
So, what exactly is 67 and who's involved?
ASAP: It's a family, it's a brand—it's a team!
LD: Yeah, we took it from being a family thing to being a brand; people who grew up together, made music together, and now we're just turning it into a brand. Basically, 67 is a load of people. We've got the rappers; LD, ASAP, Monkey, Dimzy, Liquez and SJ—they're the official rappers. Then you've got other people who deal with the clothing, people that deal with media things, producers, management—but it's all family. Everyone's from the same area, and everyone does something. We're just trying to make everybody work.
There's a lot of talk surrounding 67, crossing the boundaries of street life and music. Setting the story straight, what do you stand for as a collective?
LD: The police label us a gang, but we label ourselves a family and a brand. We went from being people who weren't doing much with themselves, to being people who make music, make clothing, and everything media related.
How would you describe your sound?
LD: Original! We were the first with this sound in this country. People compare us to Section Boyz a lot, but I think they've got more of a grime sound when we're more... I wouldn't even say hip-hop; we're UK drillaz! Straight drill music.
Which drill artists are you into?
LD: Personally, I listen to a lot of Future, Lil Reese, and Kodak Black. No one else.
ASAP: A couple tracks on Lil Reese's new mixtape; I don't even know what it's called, but there's some mad bangers on there.
What would you say is 67's signature track?
LD: "Skengman". I think that's the main track that's got all 5 of us on—it's just missing Monkey. There's six of us originally.
Dimzy: I'd say there's a couple songs.
LD: Yeah, it's too much because, right now, it's "Take It There"... No, actually, right now it's "Let's Lurk" and before that it was "Take It There". Before that, it was "Skengman" and before that "Live Corn". It doesn't stop. We're always creating.
ASAP: Every song, there's something new.
LD: Always something new.
Have you got a wishlist of artists you'd like to work with? Apart from recently collaborating with Giggs on "Let's Lurk", you don't seem to work with others much.
Dimzy: I like keeping things natural. When it's the right time to collaborate or to work with someone, we definitely will. But we don't like to force situations.
What are your individual favourite lyrics that you've got at the moment?
LD: To be honest, I don't even have a favourite of my own. I listen to these man lot more. I love listening to Monkey, Melly and Dimzy though—they're my favourites.
ASAP: Literally, when I'm listening to a song, I don't care about me on the song. I'm just listening to everyone else.
When you're in the studio, does it get competitive?
LD: Everyone's in their own zone in the studio, just having fun.
Dimzy: If that happens, that's when things would go wrong... It's literally just everyone in a zone of their own.
What do you get out of music? Why did you choose music as your outlet?
LD: It's the easiest route for me. I could've done other things, I'm good at loads of things, but music was just the easiest.
Dimzy: I wouldn't say music is the easiest. It was a hobby, innit, and we're making it a business now.
How do you guys feel about grime?
LD: I like it. I listen to it.
Who do you listen to?
LD: I'm a big D Double E fan—and Stormzy. I've always listened to Stormzy. He can do rap and everything! I used to love when Krept and Konan did grime as well; I actually prefer them on grime. And Wiley, obviously. I like old school grime.
67 was referenced in the recent Chip vs Yungen beef—how did you guys feel about being mentioned?
LD: That was funny to me. Waking up and smoking my joint, I was proper following the war [laughs]. I was waiting all night for little Chip's reply and that. I don't even know them guys, so it was just funny.
Who do you think came the hardest?
LD: Personally, I think Chip won because there was no reply after that.
LD, you wear a mask in a lot of your recent videos. How do you feel about the MF Doom comparison that's being thrown around?
LD: It's a good thing, I guess... He was before man, though. The old-school don! I started seeing it in the YouTube comments; obviously I had to research it, and I see that he's some guy covering his face. Yeah he's got millions of views, but the difference with him is that he copied a little cartoon character. He copied, I didn't. This is original.
Is there a reason behind the wearing of the mask?
LD: [Laughs] You know what? It's too much to explain. It's all a bit mad! Just know that it was an original idea.
Are there any plans to make your own masks for people to buy?
LD: Yeah, that's the plan. We're trying to give it a little signature and that, and we'll be selling it soon.
You guys have had some issues with putting on events in the past. What's the situation with all of that?
Demzy: Right now, the police are just trying to stop everyone's shows. I don't know the main reason, but...
Is it to do with Form 696?
ASAP: What's that?
It's like a form that every time you do a concert or gig, they put your government names down and they can find out if you've ever been in trouble with the law and can basically lock it off completely.
LD: If that's what's going on, I wouldn't even know. That's mad though.
That's how they've been targeting Giggs especially. Most of his gigs get completely shut down.
LD: We're not having it though, man. We're not having it!
What's the counter-reaction to that, like, in terms of them trying to lock you down?
Dimzy: We're just gonna keep on doing what we're doing. And they're not gonna stop us! What they're doing is straight-up negative.
What would you say have been the key moments leading up to this point?
LD: I don't even know how to explain it. It's just the timings of certain things happening. Like, I was in jail at one point; I've missed certain things, but I feel like I've missed them for a reason. Then I've come out, and someone else has gone in. I can't explain it but those things happen for a reason, because we're all here and succeeding today.