Now if you were given a chance to draft a list of the top 5 most consistent, relevant and dangerous SA hip hop artists right now and the name The Big Hash did not appear then we might have an issue because no one can arguably deny that Hash hasn’t been grabbing the games attention for a while now. From music to features, The Big Hash story is one only dreams are made of because when you witness a young man fully commit to his dreams and actually work towards bringing those dreams into reality then you can’t help but commend his efforts & execution. He has been f*#king the game with his Young mixtape but now we get to hear him take a breather by talking about a bunch of things that range from his mission, his upcoming debut album, collaborations, his partnership with adidas and so much more.
IN COLLABORATION WITH ADIDAS
STORY BY RUDZANI “ROO” NETSHIHENI
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDILE BUKA
STYLING BY ADIDAS
All right, cool thanks again for always giving me the time to speak to you. You know I’ve been watching your journey for a long time. Since the beginning and it feels good to see you in a space where you’re so blessed, bro. You keep on moving and you’re also at the forefront of hip hop.
Thank you, bro.
How do you feel right now? Let me start right there.
I’m going to be 100% real.
I don’t see myself in the right position yet, to be like, okay. Um, obviously it feels great to be doing things that you didn’t think that you’d be doing at a certain point in your life, even younger than you expected, you know? But it’s like, I’m not one to be like, okay, cool. This feeling right now that I’m feeling, I’m going to describe it, it’s going to stay in my head and I don’t want it to last forever because like at the end of the day, like dawg, everyone has an expiry date. So I always have to be on my toes. Like it’s always like me thinking about the negative more than the positive, but only for a good reason to push myself because I need to think, okay fine, because I have this fan base, will I build on it or will I lose them? Instead of being like, “Oh dude, I can’t believe I have this fan base”. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. It’s things that make you understand like not everything is forever and it keeps me on my toes. So I always feel like I have a target on my back and I’m always looking behind me like, okay, what’s going to happen next? Who’s going to be the next Hash? Who’s going to, you know, remove me from where I am if I’m sleeping or doing whatever it is that I’m not supposed to be doing as an artist.
And that reminds me, I don’t know if it was Cassper that said this but its a phrase that says “if you lose it, it was never yours”. You seem to be in that space where you’re understanding that with all the hype around you, you don’t want to be lost in that right now. You still have a long way to go.
I have a lot to do with it. I still have to build on it. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. You can’t just decide, okay, I’m going to take this leap without thinking of any of the consequences and just be my own man and make my own reckless decisions and get myself in some positions that I can’t get myself out of, and now I’ve dug a deep grave. You know what I’m saying? It can’t go down like that.
What’s inspiring you today? What are you reading? What are you listening to? Because when I’m listening to right now, I can tell that you are on a different level of mentality. Your mindset has evolved to a point where you seem to understand yourself more than you then how you understood yourself at the beginning.
I truly wish I could say that like, full-heartedly. I’m getting there. I’m getting to understand myself and getting to know myself, but I don’t feel like I’m there just yet. I still want to know more things about me that I’ve been suppressing that I don’t even know I’m suppressing. You know what I’m saying? Like whether it’s positive, whether it’s negative, whether it’s any way that’s going to influence my life. I’m suppressing it. I’ll never understand it, so I need to.
And I’m so glad that in terms of the music we’ve seen so many examples of young, hot artists that come through with like one record, two hot records, but then at some stage fade away. But you so strategic with your work love. We know that the ‘Nyani’ track is coming with Anatii & Boity. I’ve heard that you & AKA I’ve met. Musically where you at bro?
Um, I’m just trying to work with a lot of people in the game that I have a certain level of respect for. Like AKA who’s been in the game for like 10 years, you know what I’m saying? He’s been there longer and it’s more about getting my dream out there because I’m able to achieve that dream.
What is the dream by the way?
It’s reaching out to people that I’ve always wanted to work with, but I never could. And I’ve been doing that like this whole year and it’s amazing because I never thought I’d have a song with Tellaman. You know what I’m saying? I never thought that I’d walk away with an AKA and Anatii joint. I never expected any of that.
Have you already planned out you’re content musically? Are you going through with that linear, “I’m going to start by myself, then I’m going to start working with the greats within SA hip hop or SA music culture. Then I’m gonna reach pan African wise and then I’ll go to the world”, is that what you’re doing because that’s what I’m seeing?
For me, it’s about what I can do right now. You know what I’m saying? If I can reach out to these people and I have a channel to do it now and it’s not even going through someone else, it’s because these genuine people, they say, “yo bro we rock with your sh*t”. Some people are genuine, some people aren’t that’s fine. At the end of the day the fact that when I’m put in this situation where I have people that I can contact that have always been a part of the people that I’m inspired by. For instance, the song playing right now, Nasty (SMA). I finally got in contact with him as well, so everything is going great there. Um, but just to clear something, the ‘Circles’ Remix is not happening…
Oh, snap bro.
It’s something else. I don’t want to give away the name of the joint, but it’s something else for the album. And to be able to reach out to these people, I feel like it builds more of like a repertoire for yourself to be like okay yo that guy, he’s from South Africa, like on a more global status. “He’s worked with this guy”, for instance, Anatii is a person that’s worked with Beyonce and he has credits on the Lion King album. You know what I’m saying? A person will be like, “yo, but he’s worked with Anatii and Anatii has production on this. Okay, we should take this boy seriously”. Let me use random examples like Victoria Kimani, Davido, whoever it that follows South African artists, they’ll be like “oh yes, we know this boy. We’ve seen him before”. It’s all about making that happen, spreading it up. That’s starting at home where I can reach and building.
Let’s talk about the relationship between you and adidas. Obviously, you’ve seen how you guys have been moving & collaborating. How did that relationship form and what sort of value can you put that relationship?
So last year right? This was after I dropped my EP Life + Times of A Teenage Influence. So there was a song on there called ‘Anita and we decided to get the video shot for it. So we got the budget and everything. And then the guys brought adidas apparel to wear for the video. Mind you I at that time, as much as I’m flexing, didn’t have anything. I used to still take taxis bro. Y’all know what I’m saying? It was real… I had to speak my sh*t into existence for it to happen, you know, so I had to speak my sh*t into existence to show we can go from this point to the next one if you put that in your head. When we had the apparel, I wore it for that shoot. And when I wore for that shoot, I took pictures, I posted it, started tagging them (adidas) and then things sort of progressed. I kept rocking the same stuff, just switching up the color on effects and stuff because I was still broke so I didn’t have anything. And then I kept tagging them for most of the year and then Capsule! Xzavier Zulu, a very good homie of mine reached out and was like “okay cool we want to book The Big Hash and obviously Sportscene was in partnership with adidas“.
So they decided to use some of the artists, like some of the artists that are associated with the brand… Like on Instagram you can see this consistency… For instance, your Uncle Party Times, your De Koala’s all of those guys. So when they linked all those guys to that brand right there, they were all put into a campaign in collaboration with Sportscene for Capsule. So we did a young commercial at another Sportscene in Mall Of Africa when it was still new. We filmed that…
(Circles Suddenly plays in the background)
Crazy… That’s crazy. That’s really crazy [Laughs]. So okay, I was saying we filmed the content in the store, we got the stuff back and then there were like okay use the hashtags for this shoe etc. So I started hashtagging on everything else after that, even after the events, then they reached out and later on, started working with me a bit more. They started sending some stuff because they could see I was rocking it but at that point it was just like, I’m just getting stuff until one day they reached out to us and were like “yo this is the first of its kind, we want you to be the first artist in South Africa we have deal with, like an endorsement deal”. So I thought I got an athlete deal and I don’t play sports B, you know what I’m saying?
You running the game though [Laughs]
Yeah I mean, let’s not even get into that level. They offered the opportunity and obviously I couldn’t refuse it. It was an amazing opportunity and what it’s done for me so far is like… These type of things, where if you have a new shoe, like a Yeezy or something, they’ll be like “look, we’re having a launch who & who’s going to be there, they want you to link up with them so you can talk about this” which is sitting up another opportunity. So every time like we link up, there are always new opportunities and it makes me a more indisputable act because as young as I am, you know I’m 19 B, you know what I’m saying? I’m 19 and it doesn’t come around that often… There’s always a chosen one of a certain generation, like your coincidences though Nasty C, A-Reece same generation, but they come as one. You know what I’m saying? Then you have like every year there’s always a new guy but for me being that guy who is backed by adidas, who’s backed by a lot of other brands doing these shows like Capsule, it’s very big if not for the crowd, for the media impact. So adidas is always literally always putting me in positions where I can thrive off of it without even having to ask for it or having to claw for it. And it’s not I don’t like working hard.
Final question, you mentioned the album and you know I’m also interested in the music…
Because I talk a lot…
[Laughs] Could you give us a hint on what’s coming? I know you’ve been teasing… Let’s conclude this chat with some exclusive bro.
Real sh*t. I’m trying to be more musical with this project. Um, it’s my debut album called Keep The Same Energy, probably going to drop it next year. So, for now, I’m just going go out with a bang and drop ‘Nyani’.
Is that the first single off the album?
I’m not sure if it’s going be a single because the album, where it is right now, it doesn’t even have like a solid foundation. I’ve recorded plenty of ideas that I love and plenty of ideas that I hate, and writer’s block is a very serious thing as well. So I’m going through my phases. One day, I’m up in the next few days down, you know what I’m saying? And I’m just trying to make a project that tells my story how I want to tell my story and to who I want to tell it. I want, when people listen to it, they must relate but I don’t want it to be like my last project where there were certain subjects that people couldn’t relate to. It takes an older person and even a wiser person to really understand music is music. You take it as it is. Some people are not open-minded and that’s okay, you know? But what I’m trying to do is tell a story that everyone can relate to without having to compromise my own.