Manchester’s reputation for MCs is second to none. Whether it’s the Levelz crew fizzy hive mind sparring bars, DRS soulling up the dance, Fox or Trigga donning since the dawn of jungle time (to name a few), there’s no party, vibe or sonic situation the city couldn’t cover MC-wise. They’d even nice up a funeral.
Then there’s Virus Syndicate. They wouldn’t nice up a funeral. Unless you’re a loved one, they’d rock up to the wake and smash your vol au vents, drink the booze, tickle your missus and stroll away into the sunset leaving great big streaks of melted genre and 10 years of pure venom behind them. One of the most distinctive crews in the city, with a collaborative history ranging from Savant to SKisM, you get the impression they’d happily get scrappy with their London counterparts on any credible genre playing field.
If they’re not in self-prescribed quarantine writing fresh bars, that is. Having dented 2016 in the kisser way back in February with their fourth album Symptomatic, last month they slapped down a fresh single complete with a ridiculously hench June Miller remix. It goes a bit like this…
With June Miller’s halftime grit providing more space for Nika D and JSD’s sermons, we thought we’d find out 10 of their personal favourite lines and catch a glimpse at the band’s story as they explain them…
Skism ft. Virus Syndicate
“Nobody can do it like this” (Virus Syndicate)
Exactly what it says on the tin. They fucking can’t though, can they?!
Virus Syndicate – Gimme the mic
“The instrumental is my blank canvas, blood sport I’m a champion like Vam damme was” (JSD)
Music is how I tell my story and how I paint my picture. It is an art form, but at the same time in our game it’s always about competition. I’ve always challenged myself to be the best by competing against the best.
Virus Syndicate – Venom
“Forget about the music, money, fortune and fame cos I can double up my paper with a brick of cocaine” (Nika D)
We made this track at a time when we were just figuring out what direction to go in musically. After working in the music game since being a kid you sometimes start questioning whether it’s gonna really work it out or not. Luckily it has so far… But there are always other options. Especially in Manny haha!
Virus Syndicate – Rainy Season
“Cruising in brown Lada that’s what made me knuckle down harder cos I just wanna have a proud father.” (JSD)
When I was growing up my dad drove round in a brown Lada. For those who don’t remember, they were the shittest cars around! Obviously it was a bit embarrassing, but it became my inspiration to work hard and dedicate my life to what I love doing and succeed at it. Check the Merc on the drive now tho mate!
Virus Syndicate – D.E.A.D
“I kick the gates boot em in swinging like Babe Ruth I’m a Hurricane like Rubin the truth but I’ve no proof.” (Nika D)
Coming from Manchester we always felt like the London MCs and groups get spoken about first, even though we were doing a lot to rep UK music globally. In a nutshell I guess you could say we’ve always felt a underrated. We’re out here proving ourselves all day, but we don’t always get the recognition from the UK.
Virus Syndicate X Dope DOD – Battle Royal
“I hear all these other MCs coming out with the same old shit and I’m bored as fuck, The only house I’m spitting on is sitting on a street with the windows smashed and boarded up” JSD
Basically I ain’t gonna sell out and make trashy pop house music like all these other guys
Virus Syndicate – Rags
” I feel my ego is peaking the smoke and mirrors deceiving, I got some fame from this music now these bitches are leaching” Nika D
Here I’m referring to the amount of people who are quick to befriend with you when they see you doing well but these same people disappear fast when things aren’t going so well.
Virus Syndicate – Psychopath
“Raised in the city of guns, cotton and hella women, raining on the game while they’re straining to bring the weather with em” – JSD
A nod to the history of Manchester – cottonopolis, gunchester and RAIN!!! There are also double meanings in there “raining on the game” – we are the kings of this rap shit but obviously Manchester is ALWAYS raining.
Virus Syndicate X Son of kick X Foreign Beggars – EOW
“I’m a court case from jail, one nut away from a father, one track away from a million, life can change in an instant” Nika D
Exactly what it says in the bar – life can change in an instant for better or for worse. Watch your karma!
Virus Syndicate feat Document one – Cold World
“To get rich quick is never quite so easy nothing worth something ever comes as a freebie” Nika D
The harder you work the better the reward. Nothing of value ever comes to you unless you put that graft in an work for it.. Go hard!!