Rimzee Is Making The Most Of His Moment

"If it was easy everyone would be doing it..."

Rimzee has been busy. In the few weeks before our call the Clapton rapper and entrepreneur has landed at #11 on the UK album charts with his third project, ‘Cold Feet’and hosted the accompanying mixtape launch party. There have been podcast appearances, a LinkUp TV 24 hours With Rimzee special, and a host of other media features. He’s graced the red carpets of the Black Panther 2 London premiere as well as the GRM Rated Awards. Oh, and he’s embarked on a 35-city pop-up tour to give fans a chance to meet him in the flesh.

It’s safe to say: Rimzee is making the most of his moment. But is he having to fight through fatigue as he flourishes? “A bit tired but you know what, nothing’s gonna be easy anyway,” Rimzee says when I ask where his energy levels are at. “I’m the type of guy where if I go to the gym and it don’t hurt, I don’t like it. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”

Frankly, it’s incredible that Rimzee should find himself at this point. On the mixtape cut ‘Cold Feet Freestyle’, Rimzee rues time lost during a long-term prison spell – “most of my twenties in the pen” he declares with his typical vim. The drastic change in his circumstances owe to his relentless drive, the willingness to learn and his habit of thorough execution. The sum of these attributes has made a huge success of ‘Cold Feet’, which he released independently“The thing that I’m most proud of [about the mixtape] is that I did it with my team. Everything was up to us to make it what it is, so moving forward we know that we don’t need anyone, we’re enough. Sometimes you feel like you need all these people – verified people, all these companies – to help you get to a certain level. But it’s just been me and my team and we done it.”

2020’s ‘Upper Clapton Dream 2’ marked his return to the rap game and proved that, despite his time away, he was as sharp as ever on the mic. ‘Cold Feet’ though, is a clear step up in every way. From beat selection to the clarity in his cadence, the East London heavy-hitter has upped his game and produced a project that will live long in road rap’s elite bracket. Rimzee explains that how the project’s title evolved to reflect the way that he intended to shake the industry table, telling Clash: “Initially I was calling it ‘Cold Feet’ cos I already knew the tape was gonna be a statement. So, I wanted to call it ‘Cold Feet’ to say to the game “I’m just getting warm”. And then I thought, nah I’m changing the meaning cos “cold feet” in the dictionary means scared, so I changed it to [reflect how] the industry’s scared of me.”

Rimzee Is Making The Most Of His Moment

A hustler’s favourite topic of conversation is, predictably, hustling. The ambitious don’t tire of speaking about the way they are hardwired to make the best of any situation, the steel needed to bulldoze through barriers, the silk they employ to build working relationships with the necessary people. “That’s always been me, still. If I want something I’m gonna go get it. That’s just me. It’s all down to character – you can’t pretend who you are,” Rimzee tells me stoutly. 

The key ingredient to Rimzee’s recent levelling up though, is all the tricks of the trade that aren’t usually shared with independent artists; “My last tape should have gone top 40 but where went wrong was we were calculating stuff wrong: I didn’t use merch bundles, loads of stuff [like that]. What stopped me from getting it was the information – I didn’t know some of the stuff that I know now. That’s what it’s all down to, information.” 

As we speak more, we touch on how his increased visibility and success in the music arena has helped him to excel in other areas – perfect example being that the video to ‘Cold Feet’ anthem ‘Entrepreneur’ was shot in the restaurant that Rimzee owns. Beyond that, he’s also building a property portfolio. And then there’s acting, a craft he admits that he’d like to continue after being cast in his first role in Amazon Studio’s Drama, Jungle; “Yeah definitely, definitely. Films and music go hand in hand. It’s all part of the entertainment business.”

Rimzee Is Making The Most Of His Moment

Recently, Rimzee had spoken of his definition of “broke”. His enlightened view: it’s less about what your bank statement reads, and more about being broken in spirit – when life’s pressures have you feeling defeated. With the ups and downs of his past in mind, I ask if he’s ever found himself in that mental slum. His response is simple: “Nah because then I’m losing. I can’t lose. Nah, never man.” 

His attitude speaks to a self-belief and an optimism that very few with Rimzee’s life experiences and background are blessed with. It’s not hard to see why those coming from society’s underclass might not see the proverbial glass as half-full when life has never given them so much as a pot to piss. So, it’s a pleasant surprise to hear the Clapton legend confirms to me: “Yeah very, I’m very optimistic.” 

He continues: “When you’re sat down on the broken ting, feeling like the world’s against you and all that – remember that your mind’s powerful so you got to be careful of what you put into your brain and what you feed it. I’m careful of what I watch on TV, what I spend my time doing, everything. It’s all part of it.”

Rimzee Is Making The Most Of His Moment

As we explore the inner workings of Rimzee’s hustler mentality, he uncovers a sage perspective that grounds his mindset and his train of thought drifts to a wider point within the realm. “When I was younger, people used to always say stuff like ‘you’re young, you have loads of time’. [But] you don’t, you need to start from young, make mistakes and then life gets easier. If you start late then it’s not the end, but it’s harder. You might have more responsibilities; a lot of stuff can change.” 

As someone that has lived a lived a few different lives within his 31 years, Rimzee has crafted his own change by learning from his mistakes and remaining himself. As he said – it’s all down to character.

‘Cold Feet’ is out now. Stay in touch with Rimzee on IG.

Words: Dwayne Wilks // @DwayneWilks_

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