In the year 2000, Hoodlum might not have needed an introduction as one of the hottest hip hop producers in the country with the likes of Omen, Amu & Nyambz around that time, but it’s 2014 and there has been much silence from him, so a recap might be needed.
Ex-member of once powerful group HIDDEN FORCE that emerged out of Mzansi, he collaborated with fellow Thokoza natives Deep Level (Lebza and Goaza) Phenomenal Species (Bjourne and DJ Dolla) and the late Supremo aka Premo to create a union that took over the Hip Hop scene around 2000. Managed by Thabiso Khati (aka Hip Hop Scholar) at that time, their first and last contribution The Takeover made huge strides with singes “Thokoza Anthem”, “Goobi Zozo” and “Senzeni Na?”.
Hoodlum won a music video voucher worth R34,000 in 2003, Courtesy of Levi’s Jeans, Y-Fm, Matchboxology and African Dope Records. But way before then he’d dropped his first project in the 90’s (Not Guilty and Thokoza’s Finest 1st Edition) and followed it with another release in 2007 called Junk Food. Unbeknown to the commercial scene, in 2012 he dropped a beat tape and has put in work with the likes of PRO, Zubz Slikour, Bongo Riot, Mr Selwyn and Rival Ace.
When asked what was popping in the hood and why the hiatus, he says: “People can say I left, but I never left. I was just out of sight. I wasn’t active with the media; I was busy with social media. I have an album out titled HD which you, someone reading this and bloggers don’t know about, because I haven’t launched it yet. I did not have enough funds for a launch, just enough to put it out. The truth is Hoodlum is a struggling, independent artist. There is no money to go see other people to make other connects. I cannot take my last money and go to a radio station to ask a DJ to play my music when I could take that money and buy food for my kids.
His album HD is on iTunes and contains 21 tracks and features the likes of Reason, Seida Cook, Grindsmith, Kruna & Mr Problem. He says the album is a defining sound. “It’s like a dictionary of hip hop sounds. It’s just a mix of tracks recorded. There is no fundamental meaning to its inception. It’s not a comeback.”
Hoodlum shared his thoughts on the current hip hop, explicitly stating that not everyone can be a rapper. “We are doing well, but we can’t all be rappers. Everyone is running to the mic, trying to pick up the mic. There are not enough CEOs, designers, Record Execs and administrators in the game and that is a setback. Corporates want to control the creative, especially artists. They are burning the creativity for capital.”
Questioning his hiatus, Hoodlum told HYPE: “I’ve been hustling, picking money from the streets. By God’s grace I’m handy enough to keep up. I couldn’t work for the white guy for over 6 months because I would get home tired and couldn’t work on my music, hence the disappearance. I also feel that the industry is ignorant to talent. They want the bubblegum, tasty music. They do not want nutritious music. Right now I own a windscreen repair company and gamings hire out company. I’m working on promoting HD and my record label 4evashine Records’ website. I’ve also started on working on my next project Hoodriche$. My single off HD is ‘Popping Champagne’ which is out for free download [www.dropbox.com/s/hb1amumo26vqtm3/Hoodlum%20-%20Popping%20champagne.mp3?n=61241109] .I know God is gonna bless me this year.”
And talking about Hidden Force ever reuniting – we at HYPE are definitely ALL FOR THAT. Hey Osmic – BTTC would be the perfect platform! About the group, Hoodlum says: “Expect the unexpected/never say never/ Hidden Force will get back together/”. Was that a rhyme or a hint?