up: Paul 'Kermit' Leveridge (rapper), DJ Dangerous Hinds, DJ )
Rap Assassins were formed in the mid-1980's in Hulme, Manchester
by rapper Paul 'Kermit' Leveridge and DJ Dangerous Hinds.
up in Manchester's Moss Side district, Kermit learnt to play the
violin at the age of 6 and studied classical music before taking
up break-dancing. He briefly DJ'd under the name 'DJ La Freak' whilst
also studying for a psychology degree at Manchester Polytechnic,
a course he later claims to have funded by selling heroin.
his friend DJ Dangerous Hinds, Kermit formed The Ruthless Rap Assassins.
Their first release, the "We Don't Care" 12"
single, was released with Kiss AMC, a Mancunian female rap act which
included Ann-Marie, Kermit's sister.
critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful "Killer"
album contained the classic 1980's scratch singles "And
It Wasn't A Dream" and "Justice". The
album mixed serious social comment (a trait familiar with many Manchester
band releases during the period) with electro and hip hop, fusing
1970's rock samples
the follow-up album, "Think...It Ain't Illegal Yet!"
also failed to gain commercial success, the Ruthless Rap Assassins
decided to split, fuelling Kermit's hard-drug intake.
Kermit was Shaun Ryder's dealer and the two became good friends
with Kermit joining The
Happy Mondays on tour in the early '90's. As a result of their
heavy drug intake, Kermit and Shaun were alienated from their friends
in Manchester and it wasn't long before they started writing songs
together, forming Black
Grape in 1993.