Up close with rapper Content on his solo rise to stardom

550811_10200458330245283_1496284713_nStaying true to Hip Hop is what this artist is all about, Content, known as a member of the “WRAP” duo which was featured on HYPE’s 50th issue for their “Smoking Area” mixtape (held as the 4th best mixtape out of SA), has decided on tackling down a solo career. Having just released his first single ‘Matter and Time’  and having just came back from finishing his album at the Redbull studios in Cape Town, HYPE had a brief interview with Content.

Before we dish out the deeper questions, could you give us a quick intro on who Content is today as a solo artist when compared to who Content was as a part of the WRAP duo?

There’s not much to say about him because I’m still trying to figure out who he is as an artist. It’s different being a part of a group as opposed to working alone. It’s not so much harder but being more definitive. Content is Content, I won’t bore you with the “he’s creative, out spoken” but Content really isn’t. Content is an artist trying to find his sound himself, his path, because at the end of the day that’s where the music comes from…from the experiences that life dishes out.

Why decide to take the solo career journey now? As the WRAP “Smoking Area” mixtape was mentioned amongst HYPE’s 50 Greatest mixtapes in our 50th issue, at what point did you realise that you wanted to go solo? Was this a concious decision or were there other unknown reasons you could shed some light on for us?

I wanted to go solo for some time now, took me about 2 years to come to the decision because I had fears & doubts. And one of my biggest fears was (I know this may sound crazy) running out of things to talk about, what if I become one of those mediocre artists? Until I actually started rapping then it all came together. It didn’t make sense on the spot but its beginning to.

 Take us down memory lane, when & how did you get into the Hip Hop game?

 Firstly I’d like to thank my cousin who got me into Hip Hop, I remember being around the age of about 8 , waking up in the morning and hearing Eminem’s Infinate, Busta Rhymes Anarchy & Dr. Dre Chronic, those where my first takes of Hip Hop. My cousin listened to a whole lot of Pac but I wasn’t really feeling Pac like I felt BIG, then I progressed with my taste and started listening to artists that made more sense to me like your Lupe, Pharrell, Kanye, Jay, and eventually Content was born. I could only submerge myself in Hip Hop, I became new school all because of the sonics that where used in the production. I really love musicality.

1898034_10203468230530909_2074643830_nOn your ‘Matter & Time’ single we hear the lyrics, “Now I’m proud of these dudes but this game is a mess”. With references of name mentions such as AKA & Cassper Nyovest coming before that, in a way your lyrics paint a picture of a weakness or selfishness within our Hip Hop industry. What are your honest opinions on our current Hip Hop state? Do we really understand what Hip Hop is?

I hear people saying Hip Hop is growing this & that, but to me it’s all the same. People are turning up way out of nowhere, I even say on the song that “nigga’s dropping hits like it ain’t a thing, but what’s the story to their lives, no one knows a thing”. I guess it is growing in a sense where our artists can eat but as an art it’s not going anywhere. The songs sound the same, the videos aren’t different. What I’m basically trying to say is that IT’S NOT CHANGING LIVES. It might be changing the lives of the fans but from artist to artist we know that we can do what most artists are doing. I want to make a product that cannot be recreated, I want my peers to ask themselves “how is Content doing this?” It’s all about pushing boundaries. Basically we get what Hip Hop is but what do we know what to do next with it? 

Are local rappers doing enough to build-up our Hip Hip culture?

To an extent yes, I like that fact that we have a Hip Hop culture from spitting in our mother tongues to dressing a certain way but other than that we all know where Hip Hop comes from and where our scene is derived from.10001563_10203529377019533_1239091929_n

You’ve just come back from finishing your album in Cape Town at the Red Bull studios & worked with the likes of Uno-July of Ill Skillz. Could you give us more info on the album and your experiences on working on it…

The Red Bull studio was fun as hell. It was all hard work, my brother Loui Lvndn invited me on the trip and we made magic. So far I have Loui Lvndn & Uno July on my EP and I don’t think I’ll be featuring anyone else. As far as production, I’ve been outsourcing producers but I always have my right hand man Jay Snazz. I work with another producer from my hood named Speezy and fortunately I got a beat from Uno himself. I’m trying to find my sound, tryna to push myself as something new, not as the same WRAP Content but a solo Content, I’m rapping about my life it’s all I have to offer you know. I don’t wanna say too much because that would be influencing your decision, I want people to have their own conclusion and judgement about my project.

How would you describe your current sound or style of making music?

I won’t lie because I don’t know it either. I’m still finding myself in my music, all I know is I love rapping, I want to tell stories. People have been asking so much about WRAP, about me, about this & that and I want to put all of that out. I’m in the midst of progressing from a rapper to an artist.

Every artist has a certain vision of what they ultimately want to achieve with their music. What does Content want to achieve with his music?

Divinity…making the dopest music that I can. I don’t have the best way to put it, but I know I want to make something people haven’t seen or heard before but its easier said. I told my manager that I took off the third song off my EP and he tripped and asked me why. I told him it wasn’t me. I want to be true to myself and my art, I don’t want to be compared to anybody.

1069260_10201658471486762_1709920267_nOur top 5 local Hip Hop artists right now?

I only look up to 1 artist because I listened from when he started, even got into a little haggle with him because I felt disappointed by what he was making a few years and that’s Ricky but other than that I don’t have a top 5. Other artists I do look forward to though I’d say MalumKoolkat and Loui Lvndn(yes he raps too). Other than that we’re all crabs in a bucket in a sense.

One word that best describes Content?

[Laughs] Honestly I can’t think of one word that can encompass everything that I am. I know I suck for going deep, but that’s the truth hey. “No one word should have all that power!”




Written By: Rudzani “@Roo_AT” Netshiheni

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