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"They were driving down from Manchester. I couldn't believe it when they arrived. They had come all the way before they realised that Kermit wasn't with them. In fact, they only noticed when they counted themselves out of the van. " - PENNIE SMITH, Black Grape Photographer

Line up: Paul 'Kermit' Leveridge (rapper), DJ Dangerous Hinds, DJ )

Ruthless Rap Assassins were formed in the mid-1980's in Hulme, Manchester by rapper Paul 'Kermit' Leveridge and DJ Dangerous Hinds.

Brought 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.

With 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.

The 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

When 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.

Allegedly, 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.

RUTHLESS RAP ASSASSINS AT


1990

VARIOUS: Manchester - So Much To Answer For (Peel Sessions)
(Includes
'Three The Hard Way' by the Ruthless Rap Assassins, and 'The Raw Side' with Kiss AMC)
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