South London producer Paul White and Florida vocalist Eric Biddines are Golden Rules. Their debut album of soulful, psychedelic hip-hop, Golden Ticket, will be released on Lex Records in August 2015.
Paul White counts Madlib and Diplo among his fans and is best known for his production for the likes of Danny Brown and Charli XCX. Described by the Independent as “a 21st Century DJ Shadow”, he has released several hip hop-related albums, an EP on Stones Throw with Homeboy Sandman, and widescreen experimental album on cult electronic label R&S. This is his first full-length collaboration with a single artist.
Eric Biddines has an unusual background for a rapper. Brought up in a Jehovah’s Witness household on a Florida farm, he spent his childhood listening to Al Green and Motown before falling heavily for Southern rap in his teens. With no local music industry, he built his own label and released several albums independently. His 2013 album Planetcoffeebean 2 was the breakthrough, garnering support from top rap blogs such as Complex and 2DopeBoyz and regular video rotation on MTV Jams.
After discovering Planetcoffeebean 2 online Paul White sent some beats over email on the off- chance that Eric would listen to them. A few days later he was surprised to find several finished tracks in his inbox. The chemistry was obvious: Eric’s molasses-thick harmonies and laid-back storytelling rap verses were a perfect match for Paul’s offbeat and addictively catchy tracks. Before long Eric was on a plane to London to plan an album and form their group.
Golden Ticket showcases Paul White’s remarkable production skills. Using mostly live instrumentation he incorporates psych rock, dub, soul and disco into an unmistakably hard-hitting hip-hop set.
Eric Biddines switches effortlessly between rapping and singing in his unmissable Southern drawl, offering autobiographical tales of a rural upbringing (‘Auntie Pearl’s House’), moving introspection (‘Never Die’, ‘Life’s Power’) and relationships (‘It’s Over’) among much else.
The only guest appearance comes from Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), who was quick to get in a London studio with Paul White once he heard the demos.
Early support from the likes of The Source, Clash Magazine and BBC radio DJs Huw Stephens, Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs has led to comparisons with Outkast and Cee-Lo, which sounds like a compliment to Golden Rules.