Lyrical G alias Jeff Kintu is one of the pioneers of Hip Hop in Uganda. He was the biggest name in the early 2000s before the likes of Klear Kut, Baboon Forest, Keko and others joined the industry. He’s also a double Pearl of Africa Music award winner. However, the rapper in the recent years has kept a low profile. The Uganda Today caught up with him to find out what he is up to.
You were among the first people to rap in English in Uganda but less has been heard from you. where have you been?
Same old; making music, growing and continuing to make my contribution to the industry.Is that what you refer to as less has been from me? I have always put up an album every yr and I am still one of the names mentioned whenever authentic hip hop in Uganda is brought up. Fatherhood is the other thing that has taken up my time, But primarily music is the main thing.
What do you have to say about the of hip hop music trend in Uganda?
Look at where we have come from…When I first came out as a rapper in English, they said English rappers wouldn’t get far. Now we got artistes signed to different labels…what can I say apart from saying I was among the first ones to do it.
Why is it that new entrants are having the biggest share of the industry than the pioneers?
I think it has a lot to do with tastes and preferences. The newer rappers follow the YMCB trend and others in the same line which their peers are stuck on while the folks in my age group are into a different sound/style altogether. But the biggest reason is that the rap game in the country isn’t about the fundamentals anymore; lyricism, consciousness, positivity, awareness, etc. it is more about money and things that the younger generation are fascinated with.
So, should we expect a change of style from you, so as to suit the current revered style?
I will never compromise my style irrespective of the changes in the industry. I’ve always believed that realness was about staying true to what you believe in. Hip hop to me is much more than rapping It’s deeper than rap! I think you see that in my music. it was never about acquiring wealth but rather to preach good to the people.
There are so many feuds in the music industry but you haven’t been reported in any, what is your trick?
To many artistes, I’m looked at me as their elder brother and thus they respect me to a certain degree. I would d rather maintain peace than engage in a senseless feud with so and so. Besides, I am too grown for all that and I got a lot of other things to pursue.
Who are some of the biggest names you have worked with?
I worked with South Africa rapper Proverb on a song for a documentary, Squoggy Bear from California, Typical Fefe & Tyonne from Barbados, Outrageous Records in South Africa and other indie acts in UK, Tanzania and Canada.
That sounds quite a number of foreign artists, where do you produce your songs from?
I have worked with a lot of producers at various studios; Steve Jean, Dawoo, Aydee, Benon, Lamara,GK, Yego, Urban Aksent and Uncle Denno.
Actually my new album was entirely produced by myself and recorded it at Audio Central Productions in Ntinda.
Where do you see the Hip Hop industry in the next 5 years?
The next 5 years are going to be hectic in industry. A lot of acts are coming up and people are starting to pay attention to quality. I see a lot of acts struggling to state their case because of poor quality releases. It will only those that making quality music who will benefit.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years.
10years from now, I see myself still involved in the music industry, either as an artiste, producer or music label head…music is, and will always b part of my life.
What is your advice to aspiring rappers?
My advice to any1 aspiring to become a rapper is stay true to yourself and the game (hip Hop). Pray and work hard because nothing comes easy!
I think even participation in competitions of any kind are good as they expose talent. End Of Da Weak and Nokia Don’t Break The Beat have helped several rappers come to the forefront. Through such competitions, younger rappers have been able to travel the world to compete on the big stage.
Any last words……….
Yeah, like I said, I release an album every year and this year is no different. Be on the lookout for my 8th studio album ‘Feel Good Music’ coming out any time from now. Go pick a copy of my new album Feel Good Music in stores July 2014.
Support good Ugandan hip hop music…GMC is a movement.