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Not many up and coming artists can boast acclaim from the likes of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Tinie Tempah and DJ Semtex.

BiG HEATH can, though. The Cambridge-born rapper is fast becoming one of the hottest talents on the UK rap scene, and his latest single Plan is evidence that he is definitely going places in the industry.

He’s also a huge West Ham fan, so when I was offered the opportunity to talk with the man himself, there was only one answer.

With a new single just released and an exciting year ahead, BiG HEATH started our conversation with a little teaser on what’s on the horizon for his fans.

“I’ve got my second EP dropping in two months time. My next song is out in three weeks. It’s a busy time,” he said.

With all that to come, it’s clear BiG HEATH is an artist in demand. With the likes of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Tinie Tempah and DJ Semtex all raving about the rapper, BiG HEATH must be buzzing with what the future holds for him in the music industry.

“It’s always great getting approval like that from people that are as successful as they are,” he explained.

“They’ve obviously seen a lot of people before me, especially the DJs and things like that. Rag ’n’ Bone Man is someone I really love. He’s pop music, but he’s still got great songs.

“So hearing from someone like that, it’s always fantastic to get approval from him really.”

And BiG HEATH’s latest single, Plan, is sure the attract more positive comments from inside the industry. He went on to explain the story behind the track, with the music video actually being filmed in East Ham Working Mens Club.

“I wrote it in a hotel room after I went to the studio. It didn’t go very well there; I was working with someone and it didn’t really go as well as I’d hoped.

“So I got back to the hotel and I was a bit down. I went through loads of beats and finally came across one I loved.”

But while BiG HEATH continues doing what he loves and makes huge strides in the music industry, there’s another love of his that burns deep inside; West Ham United.

“Arthur Masuaku? I can’t stand him. He pains my eyes.”

But how does a lad from Cambridge become a fanatic West Ham?

“I didn’t have a choice. My grandfather, my dad’s dad, is a Hammer.”

“To be totally honest, I don’t know how he got into supporting them. I don’t actually know. I know he was at the 1966 World Cup final. He was there!

“My grandad had three sons, my dad and two uncles, and they’re all very big West Ham supporters. The first game I ever went to was on Boxing Day. It was mad.

“Trevor Sinclair scored the overhead kick at home. It was on Boxing Day. I always remembered that. That was the first game I went to – what a game.”

“I didn’t have a choice. My grandfather, my dad’s dad, is a Hammer.”

That Sinclair goal was unbelievable so it was certainly an impressive introduction to supporting the greatest team on Earth, but does he make of the club today, most notably Manuel Pellegrini and the job he’s done so far?

“We just lack a bit of grunt, I think,” he explains.

“I don’t think there’s too many players in the squad right now that really have that grunt. As much as it kills me to say, I think Mark Noble’s passed it a little bit.

“I think the best signing we’ve made was probably Lukasz Fabianksi. I think he’s been absolutely fantastic; class, in fact.

“I think striker wise, Arnie has been great but I think we do rely on him too much.

“We also lack Winston Reid. I always love seeing him in the squad. I think he just makes the team so strong at the back. I think we lack somebody who has that security.

“Aaron Cresswell has not been that great, to be honest. He came through that year in 2015 when he was so good. We all thought we had a player, but the last two years he’s just not been up there.

“It’s just been another difficult West Ham season.”

On the whole, it has been just that. Difficult. Manuel Pellegrini has no doubt improved the team, but there have been times when the same ol’ West Ham have returned, most notably at the turn of the year when they followed up a great home victory over Arsenal with three consecutive defeats to Bournemouth, Wimbledon and Wolves.

And that 4-2 loss to Wimbledon in the FA Cup will no doubt go as the biggest low of the season so far. BiG HEATH, much like the rest of us fans, is still reeling with what happened that night.

“It was so poor. I still don’t understand why we put out the team we did. Because we’re not playing for anything in the league. We’re not going down. Top eight is in the mix. So I don’t understand why we put out such a weak squad.”

“It’s just been another difficult West Ham season.”

After that result, some fans pointed the finger at Pellegrini and accused him of not taking the cup seriously and the UK rapper agreed that the manager must shoulder some of the blame for that result, even if the players themselves were absolutely terrible.

“When you put out a team like that, it says something to the players about what you’re thinking.

“We played them earlier this season, didn’t we? When you put out a weaker squad like that, it says something to the players.

“To be honest, but you just can’t be getting beat by teams like that. It was poor.”

And we don’t really need reminding what the club and Marko Arnautovic did directly after that humiliating defeat, but BiG HEATH doesn’t seem to bothered about the potential consequences of what happened in January.

“Oh god. Obviously we wanted him to stay. I think he’s fantastic. I thought it was a little bit weird. It’s weird to say as well, but I hope he stays beyond the summer.”

Moving on to more broader conversation and despite the club improving at home in recent months, there will always be fans who will continue to hate on our new home in Stratford.

West Ham are now four games unbeaten at home, though, which is only the second time they’ve managed a run like that since moving from the Boleyn Ground in 2016 and BiG HEATH explained that while Upton Park will always be home, he doesn’t think our new home is as bad as people make out.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about it.

“It’s an easy excuse when you play poorly to blame it on a stadium. It was never going to be the same as Upton Park. In my heart of hearts, I wish we’d never left. I wish we’d done what Spurs have done and extend on our own patch.

“It’s happened now, though. There’s no use in looking back and going ‘we shouldn’t have moved’. It’s done.”

“In terms of the stadium itself, I think it’s great. It wasn’t going to be Upton Park. When you change something like that, where there was so much history, it’s always going to take time to make history and make it feel like home. I think it’s a great stadium. It is quite far from the pitch, but it’s great.”

“You know what’s better? The food. It’s way better!”

I happen to be in agreement with BiG HEATH on this. London Stadium will never be Upton Park but it does have the potential to be a great home for us moving forward, and all we need is to make memories there before fans can really feel at home there. That’ll come.

With one eye on the future, where memories and history can and will be made at London Stadium, BiG HEATH cuts a positive figure and believes the future really is bright in Stratford.

“I do think the future is positive. I think bringing him [Pellegrini] in was obviously a sign of what we’re trying to do. I do think that if you don’t invest at the end of this year, that’s a statement.

“The team keeps ageing and you don’t have that many young people coming through apart from the likes of Declan Rice, who is actually crazy. He’s just so good. He just shows what young players can do. Maybe we should decide to just bring in a few more of them.

“There’s just a lot of dead wood, as well. Arthur Masuaku? I can’t stand him. He pains my eyes. Every time he plays, he is just shocking. We need a few more younger people that are better than him if we’re really going to progress.”

Arthur Masuaku

Finally, what about Europe? Is that a realistic target for Manuel Pellegrini and his players next season?

“1,000 per cent, mate! Stadium wise, that was a big part of why we went there. We are going to attract bigger football players and get into Europe. That has to be the target.”

Let’s hope so, because you just feel that if there isn’t genuine progress made by the end of next season, four years after moving to Stratford, the fans will have something to say about it!

BiG HEATH’s single ‘Plan’ is out now. He is  supporting Jay Rock on his UK tour next month.

Follow BiG HEATH on social media via the links below…