Mace the Great Interview

As HYPE Magazine we make sure we introduce you to the best artists and rappers from all walks of life and in this interview, illythehost catches up with one of the best rappers from Wales, Cardiff. So, since he is coming to South Africa courtesy of the Africa Rising Music Conference, we had to set up an interview just to hear what’s his plan and everything he has been working on. 2022 was a pivotal year for Mace the Great with multiple performances in the US including, SXSW, collaborations with Size and gaining recognition at the MOBO Awards as part of the Unsung Class 22. Having continued to secure tastemaker support from the likes of Clash, DMY, Mixtape Madness, The Pit, Wordplay, BBC Introducing, Reprezent and more. He is well and truly putting Cardiff rap on the map and 2024 promises to elevate him to greater heights.


To our readers who are not familiar with the Cardiff hip-hop movement, who is Mace the Great?

So, Mace the Great is a musician, a rapper, an artist from UK, from Wales, Cardiff City in Wales.  I’ve been doing this for probably over 10 years now and to explain my music, it’s very British, but it’s also very Welsh. So, you’ll hear a lot of grime, a lot of raps, garage drill, baseline and even drum and bass. Sometimes it’s just a combination of all of the British genres that kind of flourished in Britain. You’ll hear a lot of those in my music.


If you ask someone from South Africa about Wales, they will tell you about the great rugby team. So, who inspired you to do hip-hop?

I’ve got loads of inspirations. So, from the likes of 2 Pac, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar to Stormzy, Skepta, Wrech 32, JHus and Dave. So, a lot of musicians have inspired me along the way.

You have received funding from the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, PRS Foundation. How did it all come about and how did you feel when you got the call?

It was great! When PRS confirmed they were going to give me the funding, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulder and it was like I’m going to South Africa now. So yeah, man, I was over the moon bro.


What’s the funding all about, if I may ask.

There’s lots of different funding innit, but they give me the momentum fund, which helped me out with my music. But also, to ensure that I can make it to the South Africa show, they provided me with something called the International Showcase Fund and that is when you’re a local artist in Wales and you get booked overseas. Then it’s PRS that take it on themselves to help you out with funding to ensure that you can get out there and perform.


Talking about the UK, who are some of the UK rappers or musicians you would love to work with going forward.

Some of the UK artists I’d love to work with going forward would be Chip, Scatter, Avelino… there’s so many honestly. I would also name Dave and Little Sims. I watched Little Sims before last year and, she was amazing. I love Little Sims, bro. So, yeah, Little Sims would definitely be in that as well. There aren’t too many people in the UK that I wouldn’t work with because I just feel like everyone’s so talented.

In recent years, we have seen the drill sound growing and spreading all over the world. Are there different types of drill music or subgenres, or is what we hear what most UK rappers also do?

Yeah, drill is still here and still thriving, but I feel like grime is making more of a comeback now. So yeah, I’d say that drill is at the forefront of UK music right now alongside your grime and UK rap.

Let’s talk about SplottWorld – how did the album come about, and what has been the feedback?

I wanted to create a project that just shows how versatile I can be as an artist.  So, I wanted to create a project that wasn’t just grime, rap or drill. I wanted to do all those things. That’s what I tried to do with SplottWorld and I feel like I achieved that with SplottWorld. It was a 12 track EP with lots of different genres. I think it was received well. I got nominated for a Welsh Music Prize for it. I think it was out of like 100 submissions that mine got nominated down to the last 12 in the country for the best project released that year and in terms of like streaming and stuff, I think overall the project itself did about 200,000 streams. The launch party was a success and the Merch roll out was another success which got sold out… even CDs went great as well.

You only feature three artists (Nathside, Manga Saint Hilare and Leila McKenzie) – are they the only artists you felt connect with you, or do you just prefer working with a few artists when it comes to full-length projects?

I think they were the artists that were best suited for those songs. So yeah, the song with Manga, it’s like I visioned Manga on that song. The song with Nate, we actually made that song together and the song with Layla McKenzie, I had that and I just needed a female voice on it and Layla kind of just ticked the box. So, I sent it to her, she wrote it and she smashed it and it was perfect.

What are you currently working on?

I’m hoping to film a music video for one of the new songs when I get there in South Africa, it’s for the new single.


What are your thoughts on the current state of the rap/hip-hop industry?

I think it’s always good when this stuff happens in hip-hop because it’s just like another hit of energy. Do you know what I’m saying? So, it gives everyone that kind of boost that they needed. It’s always good for the scene, having this healthy competition. The scene always thrives when two of the best kind of go head-to-head whether it’s boxing or football. You know, when Real Madrid versus Barcelona or Tyson Fury versus Usyk. It’s big for boxing. When you got Kendrick Lamar and Drake, it’s big for hip-hop, bringing more eyes to the music.


Is it your first time in South Africa and who are some of the artists you would love to work with here in South Africa?

I’ve been listening to Tyler nonstop. I’ve just been tapping in… I’ve been looking at local producers as well. So, yeah, when I’m out there I’m going to try and get a studio. I want to work with local artists and producers. I’m hoping to get in studio out there anyway, so I’m just writing down ideas.


Before I wrap it up, at least I would love to hear your top five rappers of all time.

So, my top five rappers of all time would be 2 Pac, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Skepta and the last one from me will be Snoop Dogg. “What are your top five?”


Not in any particular order but in my top five I have Nas, Mos Def, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar and Skyzoo.

Thank you for taking some of your time to work with us Hype magazine.

Yeah Thanks. We link up, we link up In SA man 100%.

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