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Tricky

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Knowle West, Bristol, England

Adrian Thaws (born 27 January 1968), better known as Tricky, is a rapper and musician from Knowle West, Bristol, England who is important in the scene (despite loathing the tag) and remains influential on the scene more generally.

He is noted for an asthmatic whispering lyrical style that is half-rapped, half-sung. As a producer and a musician he is known for having an aversion to perfection preferring to build up a dark, rich and layered sound. Culturally, Tricky bridges white and black Britain particularly in his fusion of and , high art and pop culture. He drew his influences from (Public Enemy) to (he covered a Siouxsie and the Banshees’s song Tattoo).

Throughout his work, Tricky blurs the normally clear sexual definitions found within hip hop. Despite the heavy influence he drew from American hip hop in his debut album, Maxinquaye, he fights against typical sexual representations by, for example, dressing as a woman on the side sleeve of his album cover. Within many of his tracks he blends elements of varying types of music, and use his lyrics to create a much more ambiguous and blurry reality of sexuality.

Maxinquaye remains his most commercially and critically successful album to date. About it, Tricky originally said in an interview with Raygun in October 1996 that he wanted to make an ‘out-an-out punk record’ and that “I thought it was going be heavier. I thought it was just going to be an out-an-out punk record. But you end up straying. What I wanted to do was a total fast album. Some of the tracks are fast and hard, but they didn’t come out like that.

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