First of all, let’s clarify who and what we’re talking about here. It’s Wildchild. Not the dude remixed by Fatboy Slim a while back who went on about ‘power to the people’ and ill behaviour’. Or the drum n bass DJ, who happens to be female, so that one kinda sorts itself out. The album’s called Secondary Protocol. Nothing to do with Second Protocol, garage geezers who took great pride in making tweeters redundant a few years ago with ‘Basslick’. Nor the film ‘Protocol’, the 80’s flick starring Goldie. Goldie Hawn that is, not the Eastenders bit part.

Y’know.. .Wildchild.. . Lootpack and Likwit crews? Madlib’s mate?

Ah, see, as soon as the man of the Invazion is mentioned, things become clearer. Madlib, the producer who doesn’t know what a day’s rest is – someone with so many fingers in pies he needs hands on back-up. It would then be easy to label Wildchild as a sidekick chomping at the bit for his own five minutes across billboards. But very much his own man as well as aspiring Spielberg – note his putting together of ‘The Packumentary’ and assistance on the forthcoming video for ‘Code Red’ – he’s a classic, fast-n-furious, emcee in four dimensions. Sure he likes to party, clinking glasses with Tha Liks on ‘The Come Off’ and working the dancefloor to get the ‘Party Up’. But he stands for everything that puts him very near to complete rhymer territory, attacking the rules of the airwaves, acknowledging the old skool, addressing current affairs and playing role model to his seed.

Which also makes Wildchild a great team player. Not necessarily a supersub asked for a quick burst of guile, but someone who can step up to the plate, hold their own and keep things moving forward. He’s been happy to sit and wait for his moment to arise, his solo trip an opportunity for his extended family – the album’s noisemakers Madlib, his bro Oh No and Likwit Crew fam – to carry all the luggage in bridging the gap between the Lootpack’s ‘Soundpieces: Da Antidote’ and the anticipated follow-up.

‘Everything he does is always a blessing’ confirms Wildchild graciously of Madlib’s prodigious, ‘Secondary Protocol-halving work-rate that acts as a long term group beneficiary. ‘It’s to the point where Madlib’s work is overdue. We wish he had all the work he’s had right now, back then, whether it was me, him or DJ Romes getting the attention.. luckily we’re still a group, but the appreciation is automatic, the respect is always there, regardless of what project any of us are doing. You don’t have a lot of groups like that – normally animosity gets built up – but any project he puts out, I can never say it’s a waste because it’s always a stepping stone for him to experiment with different stuff. You have no choice but to be patient.’

Not that Wildchild’s been sitting around twiddling his thumbs, waiting for a gap in his partner’s schedule. ‘I had two albums worth of material, but only half of it made the Protocol album, plus I also have stuff that didn’t make my album that we’ll wait to release at a different time.’ Fatherhood further enhances his rapper’s repute, bearing the dad-says-be careful wisdom of ‘Kiana’. ‘When you grow up, there are certain idols or someone who really influences you and has an impact on you growing up. For my daughter. I wanna be one of those people. Doing the song about her, it’s a combination of both – being an influence on her, whether it be musically or taking a stand on life in general, but at the same time to people who haven’t had that father figure or influence in their life.’

Despite all the leanings towards an interim group CD, this is definitely the Child going for sell despite the presence of close personnel. ‘It’s definitely a solo album, more to the fact that there’s more material up to date with a lot of the stuff that I wanted to speak upon. It took me 7 months to record, and a lot of the stuff that I usually speak upon wouldn’t be stuff you’d find on a Lootpack album right now. When we came out we more or less were talking about the essence of hip-hop, period, in general. Now I try to breach on a lot of different concepts but still hitting you raw.’ Given the close-knit community upheld throughout ‘Secondary Protocol’, dipping outside the Lootpack pool was actually a very viable alternative before the album was set in concrete. ‘When I first started I obviously was gonna work with Madlib, because I don’t wanna catch people too off guard with a solo album by working with people I’m not accustomed to working with. With Oh No, I was hearing a lot of his music before I was attempting to do my solo album. His productions are so different, I didn’t want it to be something easily accepted because he’s just Madlib’s brother.

‘I worked with Rhettmatic from the Beat Junkies, but I had so much material that it ended up being submitted to the Supernatural album. DJ Khalil (Self-Scientific) submitted a track, and that may be a possible exclusive on the next single. There are other producers out there but it’s just too far fetched in terms of budget involved, schedules and everything like that. Possibly Neptunes, Jay Dee obviously with him doing the Madlib work, Rza.. .’. Ultimately, with Oh No and Madlib playing brotherly yin-yang, compiling the project with those closest to him produces a steaming LP (informal definition – ‘more or less the second stepping stone of the Lootpack era’) where there’s no doubting of who’s the main man.

In spite of his hell-raising nametag, Wildchild hardly wishes ill of anyone or anything. What does cause a momentary outbreak of displeasure is hip-hop’s current state of frivolousness. ‘I just think hip-hop in general is so gimmicked. Now it’s like you have to make sure you speak up on concepts to make sure everyone understands what you’re saying. It’s so watered down sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me.’

Hiring the Rhyme Inspector Percee P for ‘Knicknack 2002’ not only proves a master stroke in providing a monster posse cut with Medaphoar also in tow, it also serves notice of the old skool’s overlooked importance that proves further irksome. ‘The majority of artists now aren’t as hungry as back then. Back then you knew when to pay your dues – it was automatic. Now it’s a matter of if you know someone, if you’ve got the right A&R or lawyer in your corner, you can skip the whole process and benefit. I just think the hungriness of emcees relates to there being no skill factor at all. Some people wanna hear nothing but battle rhymes on a record but if there’s no essence at all, to me when it comes to rap music it’s garbage. I’m saying that as a fan, not because I’m doing it at the same time.’

Having got his debut long-player out of the wilderness and surely into end of year top 10’s, the temptation must now be to ‘do a Madlib’ and crank up his own output factor. ‘To tell you the truth it won’t be long,’ Wildchild admits when pressed on the likelihood of a quickfire follow- up. ‘But I think the next step will definitely be the Lootpack album. I’m pretty sure there’ll be another album to come – it’s hard to put a date on it right now, but I’ll always keep recording.’ Determined to share the wealth an collectively reap the fruit of their labours. the ‘Soundpieces’ sophomore clearly remains of the utmost importance. ‘We just wanna come so ridiculous, but we’re trying to be patient. Madlib is experimenting his butt Off right now, I can’t evenin explain it. There’s so many things that I still wanna speak upon that I haven’t got to yet. Romes is still killing it on the cuts, and when it happens it’s gonna inn be something that’s so unpredicted.’

So now you know Wildchild. Multi-faceted verse-smith, anti-scam family man and someone who piils clique clowning glory before personal renown. Not something that you hear about every day – watch ’em go wild in the aisles accordingly. .