"They say 'home is where your heart is' - I got my heart on the streets because I am an artist."
english / Mancunian (Manchester, UK)
Manchenster’s Envy appeared on the wet concrete they call the streets by showing she mastered the tongue twisting game in 2007. After her participation in the UK Female Takeover’s first take Game Over and a convincing part in the Ladyfest Cypher 2010 along with Lady Chann, Lykez and Leshurr she seemed installed and stable. Her album Set Yourself On Fire was released in 2010 announced by the homonymous title track and escorted by the laden visuals of the second extraction Normal.
After that I somehow lost tracks of her and didn’t understand what was going on. Was that all? No more spitting fire? Fortunately I was very wrong with being worried! Envy didn’t spend her twenties to disappear but established herself as a local radio DJ and youthworker – I respect that.
The more I was amazed when I realized that music-wise she moves within a crew now: Envy and her Manchester colleague One Da seem to be a perfect fit: both are serious spitters while at the same time both counteract tendencies of taking oneself too seriously. Irony and craziness drive through their visuals subverting the all-black-clothes-big-letters-no contents-sharp-contrast-no edge-slow-motion-consumarist-martial-vodka affectation which currently dominates the aesthetics within the young rap scene in the UK (and elsewhere).
However with the morbid humor they display against the restriction of fem*cees to be tough and cute they come across yet very Bri’ish. And the northern idiom both bring along does a contribution to that in its own right. In the end the name the duo gave to their project is a too perfect symbol of it all together that actually wouldn’t need so much explanation: Envy now is one of two Bats Inda Belfry. Hear them rap the last word of that title and you already travelled north.
Besides the fooling and playing around Envy’s lyrics proof to be much deeper than silly. She’s a young bug with a lot on her tongue and hungry enough to bite the bish…
Set Yourself On Fire (2010):
1. Set Yourself On Fire
4. On The Horizon
5. Tongue Twister
6. Sometimes I Thing Deep pt 1
7. Chips In My Dip
9. Friday Night
10. Let’s Play Pretend
11. Something About You
12. You & Me
13. Put Your Game Face On
14. Cocktails In Selfridges, Lunch In La Tasca
15. Sometimes I Think Deep pt 2
(with Batz Inda Belfry) Two Fly (EP, 2014):
1. White Van
3. Go Batz ft. Nika D
4. Space Jam
Tongue Twister (2007):
Friday Night (2008):
Set Yourself On Fire (2009):
Game Over – Female Takeover (2010): youtube.com/watch?v=ev458ENOqZY
(features Tor Cesay with Pariz 1) Going Home (2010):
(with her former crew Icon X) ICON-X Anthem (2013):
(with Bats Inda Belfry) Seaweed (2014):
(with Batz Inda Belfry, featuring Nika D) GoBatz (2014):
(features Lil Pac) Broken Heart / Srdce Zlomeny (2015):
freestyle, live & else:
Envy at the Ladyfest 2010 with Lady Chann, Lady Leshurr & Lykez:
(Batz Inda Belfry with Tyler Daley, Mennis & Kapital KO) Underground Kings Cypher 1 [Manchester] (2014):
“Along with this sense of the surreal come narratives told from the city’s female perspective: disarmingly forthright, cuttingly witty and full of narrow-eyed disbelief at one’s own and other’s foolishness.” ‘Hot Right Now – Batz Inda Belfry’ an introduction by Seamus Qiunn in the Manchester Evening News, 17 July 2014: