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Slikour than slick

2007-06-27 15:15
On his first NAF invite, Slikour will be collaborating with Watershed’s Craig Hinds. It’s not the first time hip hop and rock has shared the stage – remember Aerosmith and Run D MC with the hit “Walk this way” in the 1980s? We hope this partnership will create the same magic. We caught up with Slikour before his trip to G-town to find out just how slick he really is.

On collaborations (past, present, future, wish list) ....
I’ve worked with everyone I want to work with in hip hop cause the concept of The Ventilation Mixtape is collaborating of young artists or entertainers working in the industry, and cause we own the intellectual rights of all Ventilation Products it's quite flexible to work with anyone without record company regulations unless the person we want to work with is signed to a company. I’m intrigued by a lot of people’s creativity and sometimes I just want to be in the studio when people are doing that one great song i.e., Kanye West’s "Impossible", Queen’s "We are the Champions", Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Brenda Fassie’s "Weekend Special" - these are only a few that are in my head at the moment but I sometimes wish I was engaged in their creative space when they did those songs.

On Grahamstown...
I’ve never been to Grahamstown I’ve always been told or asked about it and I wonder sometimes why I’ve never been invited but I guess this year I wondered hard enough to be invited. Thanks y’all.

On profanity and derogatory words in hip hop…
Hip Hop is almost 30 years and has been making millions and even billions off selling black street culture, imagination and opinion. Hollywood makes billion and even trillions for over 50 years of selling violence, comedy, horror and hate. At the end of the day it's all entertainment but hip hop empowers a predominately black generation and Hollywood empowers a predominately white generation. If the music or the movie has profanity or is derogatory there age restrictions and other regulations, so if we chose to expose young people to all these things they will get the wrong impression of what morals are in a real society, especially if their parents don’t teach them, or if we, as adults also get out our artists shells and guide them. So entertainment will always be entertainment and all the things viewed as bad will always be what’s good to make the money. So how will we blame hip hop music when the market responds positively to negativity? We need to get ourselves as our society purified by the time kids hear the music its too late cause they either have heard or seen certain things, or about to hear them with or without the music. That’s my opinion though.

On the Mzansi hip hop scene…
I think South African hip hop is run by idealists and not visionaries and innovators. That’s why it struggles to sell, that’s why when someone does something different you're immediately considered as not being real. All these people don’t listen to lyrics, they just have a narrow understanding of what hip hop is and 95% of the time it's what they perceive America is doing. It started good when a lot of people weren’t interested in it, cause they never believed in it, but since money was being made everybody is knocking somebody to advance. It’s so bad even your on-air personalities are in there competing for their piece of the pie and aren’t trying support the movement. Hip hop is still going to struggle cause if you think about all the house and the kwaito out there in all the major broadcasters there’s a DJ positively associated with that movement but in hip hop there’s nothing like that, the guys that are there are given regulations on what to play or not to play. That’s the reason we started the Ventilation Website so we can get into only our information out there but the movement as a whole. We also trying to launch a radio station on the site but that’s all depends on the legalities of that, but if we really want to make hip hop work we need to create our own platforms. When we first came in the game it was about selling your own music. The struggle is now evolving to creating our own platforms and I believe once I’ve achieved this I wont even be rapping no more, but I’ll still be able to be a part of what I love most. This year in August I’m dropping the Ventilation Mixtape Volume 2 and it will be our first record where if you buy it all the money you spent comes straight to us minus expenses and distribution. We put this money back into all this initiatives we doing like the sites, and the clothing, to plough for a bigger picture cause we are that passionate about this. Skwatta Kamp’s success was based on the same grind and that grind has evolved into ventilation for another cause.

On how you handle disagreements with people you work with...
There some people you disagree indefinitely with – which means you need to cut ties. And there are people you disagree with but you both share the same overall vision so you are both willing to compromise where necessary, those people you keep cause disagreements can only make you learn and grow, if they are destructive, you need to go.

On Skwatta Kamp...
Skwatta Kamp we have the same overall vision as artists and a group that’s why we are still together, the solos are done as separate entities cause we clash with the business or vision we have for each other as individuals. That’s why Flabba, Bozza, Nemza , Infa and myself we have different companies for our solo projects. Slikour is with Ventilation Productions and Buttabing Entertainment which is also co owned by Shuga Smakcx cause we see eye to eye in most aspects and we compromise where necessary.

On Flabba's SAMA win...
Flabba’s win is as good as a Skwatta Kamp’s win. I think again based on how diverse South Africa is Flabba win was justified at the South African Music Awards because those awards weren’t made for a niche market. They for the whole of South Africa, and although he was going against some of the greatest lyricists we have to offer they still are for the niche market and a commercial platform like the SAMAs sponsored by the second biggest mobile company and the biggest commercial broadcaster will definitely not support niche hip hop they don’t even support commercial hip hop like that. But because again South Africa is filled with idealist hip hop lovers they’ll question his win and not ask themselves why their favourite rappers from overseas aren’t winning music awards. That’s because Mos Def, Saigon, Ras Kass, Immortal Technique- who are great rappers- are niche market rappers. They won’t put them on the VMA’s or other music awards cause not everybody knows them or understands them and that’s exactly the same with the South African Music Awards we already have language barriers and Flabba was the best in reaching everybody - even through the language situation. In any case though I bought all those albums nominated and Tumi for me had the best album if we stop considering the politics and dynamics that confront us, but I still think Flabba’s the best rapper with regards to swagger and style his an indisposable rapper. No one can say his lines and sound good like he does, I like this Proverb album better than the first one, Zubs first album still does it for me more than this one, Tumi and the Volume not too sure about that album. I know all these guys personally and they know I appreciate their work so it’s not even like I’m hating or sucking up. I’m just giving my verdict on the nominees

On love…
I kinda wait till my emotions aren’t blurring my thinking and when my head straight I can start arguing with anyone I love cause if you love someone and you still want be with them your argument needs to be based on facts cause sometimes I tend to say the wrong things only, and the next thing girl got a complex

On living the "rock and roll" lifestyle…
I’m a very chilled out dude I think a lot so I’ll never do anything out of my character or out of the principles I’ve been raised under. I appreciate all that’s happening around me cause it really was a dream but I also understand how it can turn to a nightmare if you don’t handle it right. So I take it as it is I’m not the first in this boat and I won’t be the last I just need to stay afloat and sail gracefully. People see or hear me on TV and radio talking crazy cause I’m having fun but when you meet me, homie is so chilled out.

The stupidest thing you've done...
There was a guy – who happens to be a friend of mine now – who was having his birthday party and was a brand manager at a beverage company. He’d always book us for gigs and one day he was having his birthday party and my woman was also trying to hook up with me the same day. I wanted to go to the birthday party so I sent a message like “Hey baby this fool is celebrating his birthday so I got to go “keep it real” I really don’t want to be there but he pays the rent and you know how that goes." Only to find I’m replying to my boy and he got back to me like its all good you don’t have to keep it real. He had the same domestic problems though so he understood the motive.

The worst gig you've played...
In Bloemfontein we got to the gig and found out the promoter had been shot a day before, need I say more…

Your favourite song on your solo album and your favourite song on Skwatta Kamp album…
There’s too many but I think one song I like at the moment from Skwatta Kamp is “Just you” we don’t usually make love songs but that came out quite cool and own my album. I like everything but I guess how I tackled topics like Shine, BEE, sometimes surprises me when I listen to the lyrics cause I write and forget. From the new album look out for a song called Dreamer, I’m Gone, Corporate Ladder and Unstoppable by the way that being released in August 2007.

Spelling tests...

If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing?
“Playing PSP or surfing the net on My Space or on the Ventilation Website. I’m touring now so there’s not much to do in the hotel.”

If you weren't musicians, what would you be?
An IT specialists that hates his job

If you weren't human, what animal or object would you be?
I’d be a bird I’m always seeing the world from the ground up, wonder how would it feel seeing it from the sky down.

For more Mzansi Hip Hop artists:
Pitch Black Afro -CD review and interview
Tumi -CD Review and interview
Skwatta Kamp -CD review and interview
Teargas -Interview

- Nomfundo Mbaba+Tshabalala

We caught up with Slikour before his trip to G-town to find out just how slick he really is.
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