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Knucks X Puma SUEDE - The Match Made In UK Hip-Hop Heaven

“The masses usually find it difficult to appreciate music that is outside of the common consensus of what is poppin'. But the UK is not the only place. There are many places where that is not a problem, where they will appreciate the music. So I’m just trying to do what I can everywhere, to not kind of be stuck in a box.” Says Knucks

A rapper commonly hailed as an underrated treasure embedded within the crammed chest, that is the British music scene. This name was rightfully given to the rapper, the very moment he penned his 2016 single, Breakfast At Tiffany’s - the track that first exposed us to his unblemished artistry and polished brand of new gen hip-hop. A sound that has yet to be replicated (well, at least not loud enough for it to matter) and to be widely appreciated, due to the huge commercial appeal of UK rap and drill over the past few years. Fostering a culture of blissful ignorance towards anyone deemed as “alternative” as a result. Much like Knucks, Puma could be seen as the underdog of the athlesiure world. Both the brand and artist evidently share some major similarities; from the era that influences them to the tenacity with which they stick to their individual styles no matter what way the tide turns. Hence the re-launch of Puma’s Suede Classic trainer and them teaming up with Grime vet, Ghetts, to create a space for musically inclined youth to build on their talents, in their new recording studio.

We caught up with Knucks in the midst of Puma’s relaunch to hear his take on the best Suede Classic colour way, why he is underrated, his partnership with Puma, his recently released project London Class and more...

Photography by Rackz Media

Congratulations on the release of London Class! It was a phenomenal body of work. What has the response been like since it’s dropped?

It’s been amazing!

What didn’t you do on 'London Class' that you want to do on the next project?

So there’s a sound that I’m playing with and experimenting with, it's a mixture of Jazz and Drill as well as a Soul sample combined with Drill. And on London Class I didn’t really touch on that sound, so I’m hoping to solidify that on my next project.

You’ve put a lot of effort into the visual rollout for your project - did you feel like you had something to prove?

Not something to prove, I feel like I’ve always taken my visuals seriously. So I thought it was important to maintain that moving forward without a label.

This is the first time we’ve seen a brand open up its own recording studios. When you were in the early stages of your career, do you think these facilities would have been beneficial to you?

100% and it’s sick that they’re doing it now.

What studio do you have the best memories recording in?

One of my old engineer's studios in North London.

What do you think your sound says about your personality?

I’d say it says I’m unapologetically different. My sound doesn’t change, it can adapt to what is popular but it won’t be completely swayed. I feel like I’m kind of like that as well because no matter what was popular I’ve never folded, blended, or compromised.

We’ve been following you since Breakfast At Tiffany’s and 21 Candles days. Since then you have grown steadily in terms of recognition. However there are still a lot of debates about you being an underrated legend, what’s your take on this?

I feel like that is true to a certain extent, if I do say so myself, I’m underrated in a sense of that’s how the UK has always been. The masses usually find it difficult to appreciate music that is outside of the common consensus of what is poppin’. But then the UK is not the only place and there are places where that is not a problem and would appreciate the music. So I’m just trying to do what I can everywhere to not, kind of, be stuck in a box.

It’s amazing that brands are partnering with artists who are driving the culture forward, like yourself - why was it important for you to host a ‘Beats For Bars’ session?

Because I feel like I represent what they are trying to represent. I’m the type of artist who is trying to push boundaries and do something different. And, Puma has always been apart of artists who do just that, from Hip-Hop in the early '90’s till this day. I remember a lot of old school artists wearing Puma and it just being a part of the culture and I strive to be a pivotal part of the culture. So it just makes sense, what we are doing could make history.

When we heard that you would be working with Puma, it definitely made sense since you are known as a fashionista. So where would you say you get your inspiration from when styling?

I feel like my style is made up of things that I like, I take from here and there. So I feel like my influence is a mixture of old school and new school. A lot like my music to be fair.

So Puma is re-launching their classic suede shoe, what’s your favourite colour way to wear?

I still have the all red ones, I also like the all navy ones - even the Puma thing on the side.

Final question - what was the last song you listened to?

Baby Keem - Vicious.

For more information on Puma Suede Music, visit here

Listen to London Class by Knucks Below:

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