Emanating from a ‘prehistoric’ existence near the end of the last millennium, Andy Votel and his slightly older college mates were once best recognised in Mancunian clubs and bars as teenage vinyl nerds and bum-fluffed battle rappers under the collective name Violators Of The English Language (which in acronymic form explains Andy’s own exotic pen-name).
As steadfast supporters of the 1980s / 90s Brit-core rap scene coming out of London, the multicultural Violators’ Mancunian accents were perhaps a bridge-too-far to secure dream job contracts for humble labels like Kold Sweat and Music Of Life. An unlikely constructive meeting with Gang Starr’s DJ Premier (while Andy helped out at a radio station), plus playing warm up DJ sets for countless US rap heroes might have temporarily added inspirational fuel to the fire, but after an active period combining graffiti, rapping, scratching, obsessive record digging and beat making into their daily operations, adulthood eventually began to rear its unwelcome head.
A decade later, Andy Votel and his digging skills would begin to provide direct sample material for the likes of Madlib, Mos Def, Jay Z, Nas, Dr Dre, Ghostface Killa and Action Bronson, amongst others, and the Violators’ black book of breakbeats and catalogue numbers soon began to feed a same-but-different rap beast.
For a project that has taken thirty years, it would be totally inadequate to call the formation of Hypocritical Beatdown Records a lockdown-project. There’s a deep history and psychology in these records by Violators Of The English Language and their spin-off groups Magnets (Rap Group) and ProVerbs, that combines stage-fright, loss, pride, creative-schizophrenia, racial inequality, surrealism, personal politics, brotherhood, artistic-constipation, better judgment, love, anti-love, soul searching and much more.