Former collaborator declares The Mouse Outfit founder thinks "black artists are disposable"
Updated: Jun 9
Founded in 2008 by Paul Hooley (aka Chini) and James Defty, The Mouse Outfit has been a prominent collective in Manchester’s music scene that associates itself with supporting and giving platform to grassroots artists in and around the northern city. However, Mancunian hip-hop artist Berry Blacc is striving to bring to light that the prolific collective may not be as supportive to upcoming POC artists as it seems, claiming that co-founder Hooley thinks "black artists are disposable".
In a series of Instagram story posts, Blacc shares his dismay at the actions of co-founder Hooley, whom Blacc has collaborated with on several projects. Referring to Hooley as a “culture vulture who likes to silence the people he steals from”, Blacc goes on to share incidents in which he experienced what he felt was racial and creative injustice from Hooley.
Blacc claims that Hooley’s contributions to The Mouse Outfit’s recent album Jagged Tooth Crook were “simply financial”, after suggesting that Hooley himself is “underpaying” and “refusing to give credit” to other artists, stating: “He has no originality or creativity and that’s why he steals it from other people.”
Blacc goes on to assert that he was creativity stifled during his performances with The Mouse Outfit, declaring: “Do you remember how you made me sing IAMDDB tunes instead of the songs I ACTUALLY WROTE, because it was better for business to turn me into a cover artist instead of letting me express myself?”. Blacc also claims that he was told to change his lyrics for a performance with the band (despite the bars being popular with crowds and allegedly eventually Hooley himself) and was replaced with another rapper when he refused.
Blacc states that he will no longer “be silent about these people”, claiming: “THE INDUSTRY IS FULL OF THEM AND THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE US BLACK ARTISTS ARE TRYING TO PROTECT WHAT WE WORKED HARD FOR. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
Since coming forward, Blacc has been supported by prolific Manchester artists Pitch 92 (High Focus Records) and Sparkz (Levelz) who have since joined the discussion with their own experiences.
At the time of posting, The Mouse Outfit camp has not responded to our request for a statement.