We’re back with another exclusive interview with the Premier Academy Semi Finalists. Last interview we spoke with I-Kid (Catch that here), now we touch base with his fellow Tox teammate turned opponent, Major Concerns. Before Premier Academy came along, to most Major Concerns was a nonentity, he’d never battled before and was very much a question mark in the beginning line-up for the qualifier. 3 battles later, as one of 4 battles remaining in the competition, his name is on the tip of the tongue for everyone talking about Premier Academy. Hoping to shed some light on the origins of this Mancunian mystery, UKBR got in touch to speak on a few things about his time in the Academy so far. Read on below and become better acquainted with Major Concerns. You can also catch his qualifying battle for Academy – And overall battling debut – against Bombshell on YouTube here.
First things first, congratulations on advancing to the Academy Semi Finals. Undoubtedly the dark horse of the whole tournament, you’ve seemingly come out of absolutely nowhere and taken the competition by storm, so I’ve gotta ask where have you come from?
Thank you man! Well my first battle was on the tryout day of the Academy against Bombshell. Never had a rap battle before that but I’ve been following battle rap since like 2011ish. Love watching it so thought I’d try it out for myself and here we are now.
So Premier Battles starts out this year, it attracts a lot of attention and then they announce that they’re running an Academy program. Did that just feel like the perfect opportunity to throw your hat in the ring when you first heard about that?
Yeah that was it mate, spot on. I knew about other leagues, Dub, Ronald’s etc but I just never caught like a tryout event they were doing. Then PB announced academy and I was thinking ‘well it’s gonna be a bunch of other tryouts, hopefully I’m not the worst one of the bunch’ then I found out I was like one of the only actual ‘tryouts’ on the day. I literally thought it was for brand new battlers. Then I saw Kofi, Ryza, Darpa etc on the flyer. Felt a bit more pressure then but didn’t let it knock me
Yeah that must’ve been mad when you realized that of the 24 battlers, some of the competition actually had quite a high level of experience under their belts. Were you confident at that point that you could do well and maybe make it far?
I was confident in my material, deffo. I know Tox from outside of BR so I got in touch with him when PB let me know I had a spot on the tryout card. Sent him a few bars and he was so shocked cos he didn’t know I could write raps. So he gave me a good confidence boost. Performance wise tho, not gonna lie, I was nervous as s**t
I’ve never done anything in front of a crowd before, like literally ever so that was pretty nerve wracking on the build up to the day. And then on the day we had such a good turn out, but I’m happy with my performance for a tryout
Making it far though, no way. I thought maybe I’d get to the last 16 then get knocked out. But yeah semis now, still crazy to me
You definitely started out strong, especially for a tryout and you were already turning some heads. It’s clear as time has gone on that you only seem to be getting better and better. Knowing Tox beforehand, and then becoming part of his team, has having that experienced manager been an advantage to your growth, has he been much involved in your progress?
Ah mate, Tox is THAT guy. Like he loves a troll on the forum and online but knowing this guy like away from all that s**t he is genuine as f**k. What I rate about him, is his brutal honesty. He won’t sugarcoat s**t or tell you a bar is fire unless he thinks so which is what you need. Too many battlers don’t have someone like that and rely on their mates for feedback. People are too kind, luckily, none of my mates outside of this scene rap so I don’t have to pretend I like their s**t if it’s trash. But yeah, deffo helped my growth. He wants you to be as good as possible because you’re rapping under his name. He knows that if you don’t go and put on a show then he’s partly to blame for not providing that support.
I rate that, his brutal honesty is a much needed factor in battle rap and it’s certainly why he can spearhead the bring back accountability movement. So, we’re still fairly fresh out of the Quarter Final matchups where you battled Blittz. How do you feel that match went?
The Blittz match was crazy. Like I watched a lot of his battles on the lead up to the battle and he wasn’t very good. But this was like years ago on KOTR and he’s improved massively since then. So I had some of my nicest s**t written for him but it was stressful as f**k, too. I had a lot of angles I wanted to use but didn’t want the rounds to be stupid long. As well as that, I wasn’t the underdog anymore which added additional pressure. Like, against Bendtner, majority expected me to lose so I didn’t feel too much pressure. Then I 3-0d him and all of a sudden I see talk about ‘Major gonna get to the final’ and ‘He’s gonna 3-0 Blittz’, in the actual battle though, it was so sick. Blittz’ first was dope, his second was really funny but he choked which was unfortunate. His 3rd was alright too, he really stepped it up for me. but yeah I performed well, my writing was good and caught a 3-0 against him, as people expected. Don’t think it could have gone much better.
And what did you think of the other 3 Quarter Finals?
The other battles were dope! Dean caught a 3-0 which between team Tox we said would happen. I kid caught the 3-0 too. Darpa frost was a dope battle. Frost just couldn’t get the room which was a shame, credit to Darpa though, he can perform so well.
Well, the final is just one step away, but now you’ve gotta turn against your own teammate I-Kid in order to get there. What’re your thoughts on him and how you think it’ll go?
I kid is sick. Like I’m not gonna start talking mad s**t now that we’ve got eachother. He can punch and perform but so can I. I don’t think he was as good as he could have been against Loxy, he did what he needed to do to win but it wasn’t a crazy performance. I’m confident I’m gonna give him his hardest challenge yet. However, it’s gonna be my first battle on stage! Only performed in pits so far so hopefully my s**t can work just as well on stage as it does in the pit.
That should be an unreal clash for sure. Should you make it all the way and win, one of the prizes is the 5th spot on a first division team of your choice. Have you a preference picked yet of who you’d like to join and why?
Sharks or Pride, for sure. I mean, I’d be thankful to get on any division 1 team after such little time so I’m not downplaying any of the teams. But both Briggs and Shotty are based in Manny. I know from linking up with Tox that having that ability to meet up with your manager is very very beneficial. I wouldn’t be able to go LDN every other week to run over my material etc so then being from Manchester is why I’d be drawn to their teams.
Good thinking. I see whispers of ‘Newcomer of the Year’ floating around the place in conversation with your name attached. How’s it feel to even be considered for a title like that only 3 battles deep? If not yourself, do you have anyone marked out for that accolade personally?
Ah man that’s crazy to me hahaha. The fact I’m even getting thrown in that kinda conversation is surreal. It’s not even the fact I’ve had 3 battles, which I know is so little. It’s more the fact that it’s been a few months, like 3 month ago I was at PB MD 003 watching the teams at Ruby Lounge. Now in 4 weeks I’ma be on that stage, it’s just mad bro. But if not me, probably my dude D Mac. Although he got knocked out of Academy, he’s on NIL and a GAB card too. He’s made a huge impact in such little time.
That’s about it from me, any shoutouts or further comments you’d like to add?
Safe mate! Few shameless plugs – follow me on Twitch! I stream games and s**t – MajorConcerns
Twitter – MajorConcerns
And Make sure you get your tickets for MD005 too! Me Vs Ikid. S**t’s about to be insane.
You heard the man, grab your tickets here now it’s gonna be a banger. You can also watch Major Concerns talking about the full card and predictions on his YouTube video here. Stay tuned for more interviews to follow!