South London producer Paul White and Florida rapper/vocalist Eric Biddines are Golden Rules. Their debut album of soulful, psychedelic hip-hop, Golden Ticket, was released on Lex Records in 2015 to wide acclaim from everyone from NPR to The Source, who described it as “beyond funky”.
Golden Ticket showcases White’s remarkable production skills – using mostly live instrumentation he incorporates psych rock, dub, soul and disco into a hard-hitting hip- hop set. Meanwhile, Biddines switches effortlessly between rapping and singing in his distinctive 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). The alchemy is obvious: Eric’s molasses-thick harmonies and laid-back storytelling raps are an ideal match for Paul’s offbeat yet catchy tracks. Golden Ticket’s only guest appearance comes from Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), who was quick to get in the studio once he heard the duo’s demos.
Auntie Pearl’s House and Never Die (feat. Yasiin Bey) are both online now, and early support from the likes of The Source, Clash, RWD, Vibe and BBC radio DJs Huw Stephens, Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs have led to comparisons with Outkast, CeeLo and The Pharcyde.
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 as “a 21st Century DJ Shadow” (The Independent), he’s released several hip hop-related albums, an EP on Stones Throw with Homeboy Sandman, and widescreen experimental album on electronic label R&S, but this is White’s first full-length adventure 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. With no local music industry, Biddines started his own label and released albums independently – his 2013 album Planetcoffeebean 2 was a breakthrough, garnering support from sites such as Complex and 2DopeBoyz plus regular video rotation on MTV Jams.
Having discovered Planetcoffeebean 2 online, White emailed some beats on the off-chance Biddines would listen to them and a few days later was surprised to find several finished tracks in his inbox. Soon after Eric was on a plane to London…