Born and raised in Manchester, BugzyMalone’s youth was hindered by poverty, domestic violence, gang involvement, criminality and a stint in prison. Yet by managing to transcend his troubled past and difficult upbringing, Bugzy is the embodiment of achievement in the face of adversity. To date, he has released three Top 10 EPs, his tracks have been streamed 200million times, and his YouTube channel has exceeded 100million views.
Now Bugzy is set to release his debut album ‘B. Inspired’ on August 17th. It’s a brutally honest collection in which Bugzy strips back his outer bravado to reveal the man behind the surface.
Unafraid to rap about issues which are be too painful to speak about in person, Bugzy’s tales pulsate with raw emotion. These are immediately relatable narratives: heart-breaking flashbacks to a traumatic childhood viewed from the perspective of an adult, and stories of everyday folk desperately battling against the tide – some swim to a brighter future, while others are submerged by overwhelming odds.
Above all, however, it’s a message of inspiration. If Bugzy can emerge from his background to become one of the nation’s most vital artists, he can also inspire the next generation to fulfil their potential.
“In those moments of feeling beaten up and like life wasn’t even worth it, I’d come out of that situation and think, ‘I’m gonna be somebody when I grow up’,” he says.“I’m now in a place where I can speak to a lot of people and my whole ethos is switching on the belief switch in people’s heads. If people take inspiration from that then it’s priceless.”
The first track to be taken from the album is ’Warning’. Going straight for the jugular, the combination of Bugzy’s razor-sharp flow and fiery production from Zdotmakes it stand alongside his most intense tracks to date. A vocal sample from Double 99’s UK garage anthem ‘Ripgroove’ infuses this contemporary banger with the immediacy of a throwback favourite.
Grime is naturally the core sound in the ‘B. Inspired’ album, but Bugzy mixes up the sonic palette to maximise its emotional power. Willing to drop tempo, lighten the tone or build deeper atmospherics where required, ‘B. Inspired’ sound of BugzyMalone making his definitive artistic statement.
‘B. Inspired’ will be released on Bugzy’s own B. Somebody Records, demonstrating that independence and entrepreneurialism are integral traits for achieving success on your own terms. Typically hands-on, Bugzy has handled every facet of his rise to stardom: directing his own videos; designing his own artwork; negotiating his own deals; and overseeing every aspect of the music.
Alongside focusing on his music, Bugzy is also launching the B. Foundation, a project launched in conjunction with Manchester College to allow underprivileged young people to complete their qualifications in Maths and English.
Bugzy Malone made his name with ‘Walk With Me’, ‘Facing Time’ and ‘King of the North’, but now he’s on a mission to champion young people who’ve been dealt a bad hand in life.