PREMIERE: Madd Again! “Breadline (Tings Are So Hard)” ft. DJ Q
Even when tings are so hard, you can rise up above the struggle and drama
When I was broke in college, I feared the day of entering the real world without a penny to my name. Fortunately I didn’t have to find out what I was morally capable of subjecting myself to after graduating to survive. But for Manchester group Madd Again!, they’ve seen rock bottom when it comes to their pockets. But instead of sulking in their situation, they turned their misery into an energized track to pick themselves, and you, up when you need it. The song switches back and forth between reggae and a mix of garage with dancehall. The cycles remind me of the highs and lows my bank account sees on a regular basis.
We also spoke to the group about the antithesis between the catchy beat and the lyrics’ personal content, as well as their views on money.
Mass Appeal: It’s interesting that you chose an energetic and upbeat song to use for a song about your economic struggle. Can you explain your reasoning for doing that?
Zed Bias: My take on it is that while the lyrics directly comment on the daily struggle of everyday life, they also show a “grind harder to make it work” attitude.. And I think with the music, the overall attitude is like, “Yeah I’m bruk right now, but I’m still gonna vibe out to this!!”
Trigga: Zed produced the track for “Breadline.” I would say it was more of a natural progression. We never set out to create a particular sound. We work with vibes and what comes naturally. I love the vibe of the song, although we are singing “Breadline” and about our struggle we still have music and that’s what makes us happy.
Specialist Moss: It’s just a vibe ting man like Zed comes with the beat and we just vibe to it and come with ideas.
Killa Benz: “Breadline” came about in a session vibing. Producer Zed feeds us the riddim, we try to keep all riddims bubbly and jiggy. Feeling the pressure of today’s hustle and bustle but still trying to be positive about the outcome wanting the listener to hear the struggle we deal with daily and basically trying not to worry about it and be too down.
How important is money to you? At what point does it become a vice over a blessing?
Zed Bias: I suppose, in a way, if money was so greatly important to me, I would have strived to have made more of it. I’ve tried to let the music lead me into situations, not money.
Trigga: Money is important because without money we can not survive. I know what it’s like to have no money. I was raised in Moss Side where 54% of the population are jobless and I have actually been flat broke before.
Specialist Moss: Money’s not important to me coz I don’t worship it, but we all need it so me want it.
Killa Benz: Money never really been a issue or subject. Can’t worship it but at the same time we need it. Always been broke hence the title of the track.
What have been your personal stories or experience with breadlines?
Zed Bias: I’ve gone through bad stuff in my life just like most of us have. Been skint. Had money. Lost money. Made more, spent it. It’s a cycle we all have to go through.
Trigga: I broke up from a relationship that I was in for 8 years and lost everything: my girl, my house, and my money. I was at rock-bottom and had to bounce back. There were times I was happy when I had not a penny, just family and friends. That’s what makes you happy, not money.
Specialist Moss: My experience was when I was 17 years old living on my own.
Killa Benz: Many stories I could tell about being hungry from our parents’ hustle which can then in effect transcend into yours. How long do you have? Lol. My verse kinda gives a small vision into growing up sharing and having to manage on very little: “every ting done mi rent it out.”
What was your 9-5 before you were artists?
Zed Bias: In the past I’ve been on the dole, worked on building sites, factories, was a doorman at pubs and clubs. Been in music for last 22 years and haven’t looked back since. For me, no job could ever compare.
Trigga: Mopping the landings in prison.
Specialist Moss: Never had one. I had a paper round as a youth.
Killa Benz: Engineer.
You can pre-order the single on Apple Music (8/5).