This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Russel Hobbs, the drummer in Gorrilaz dreamed up by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. In celebration of Gorillaz new album The Now Now being released today, Russel has created It’s Nice That a very rare mix to listen to over the weekend.
According to Russel’s Wikipedia page (yes each Gorillaz member has a Wikipedia page,) just like his bandmates, Russel is not based on a real person, but conceptualised by Damon and Jamie. Acting as “the personification of the hip-hop aspect of Gorillaz music,” Russel represents the numerous rappers the band have collaborated with over the years.
Russel, born in Brooklyn in 1975, is the percussionist in the band. As described on the Gorillaz fan page, Russel’s musical talents developed in a pretty unconventional way. Attending the Xavier School for Young Achievers the musician was “expelled after attacking several students while possessed by a demon”. He then fell into a coma, before being exorcised and then attending Brooklyn High School, a school known for its students’ talents in hip-hop. One evening, many of Russel’s friends were killed in a drive-by shooting, after which their spirits attached to Russel, making him an extremely talented at music.
Well, over to the man himself…
It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs, what do they remind you of or make you feel?
Russel Hobbs: It’s Friday, the weekend’s here what else?
INT: When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
RH: In a Fiat Punto, full volume with at least seven of your mates in the back, on the way to DEVIATION
INT: What song or album did you listen to as a teenager?
RH: My Perfect Cousin by The Undertones. Listen to the song and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I had mostly Prince, Altered Images, Bowwowwow and BadBrains posters on my walls. Oh and Mr T.
INT: Can you tell us about your new album?
RH: All I ever wanted was everything, now.
INT: If a film about Gorillaz was to be made, what song would be on the trailer?
RH: Glitter Freeze by Gorillaz. We’re all a little bit lost at sea, aren’t we? And Mark E Smith was a sonic lighthouse for the world.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.