Mixtapes and M.O.S.S.
The proliferation of Mixtapes in the South African Hip Hop scene has created a fresh spin on the underground production form that is in many ways unique in the global arena.
The MIXTAPE game has firmly established itself in the roots of the SA underground. They stand as raw and consistently fresh indicators of the essence of the hustler spirit that embodies a culture that still struggles for solid infrastructure and industry support. Nowhere is this more evident than in the notoriously media “dry” east coast city of Durban. So what happens when cats are hungry and no-one is feeding them? They feed themselves. Introducing one of the 031s most consistent “cooks”, the prolific and gifted Black Master of Spontaneous Sentences:
- First up, who are we talking to? Introduce yourself to our readers if you please.
I am The Black Master of Spontaneous Sentences, Black Moss
- Where do you stand currently on the topic of Hip Hop in the world today?
To me hip hop is a lifestyle culture which promotes Peace, Love, Unity and Fun through the knowledge of self. So my stand as a person who uses Rap as a means to express my experience of life, through the culture, is that Hip hop has to reflect the actual experiences of everyday life within our society.
- You have instigated a personal mission to release a multitude of Mixtapes in a relatively short space of time. Explain this move to us? What has inspired it and what motivates it?
My aim was to have released 10 Mixtapes before the end of December 2009. I said this because of the amount of material I have completed, recorded and unrecorded. Sometimes I feel as though the work I do is so relevant for the people at that precise time that I don’t want to wait to release it and miss out on relaying messages that are specific to that moment. However, I am currently working on an album which has shifted my focus off that plan, for the meantime
- How were you introduced to Mixtape production?
Through listening to Mixtapes from artists such as Royce 59, Lil’ Wayne, DJ Green Lantern, Bishop Lamont, Joell Ortiz
- Detail the various elements involved in your complete production of a Mixtape?
Well a Mixtape can be a mix of rhymes on already used or popular instrumentals. This is to merely display your skill and match it with some of the best in the game. Another important part of Mixtape culture is uncensored expression. An emcee can get to remain absolutely blunt and free with his message without industry (radio and other media) censorship. Try and get a DJ involved in the production. A mixed set of songs completes the feel of a mix tape rather than sounding as if it were merely a compilation of tracks. A studio is beneficial. Mixtape culture accepts music recorded in bedroom studios provided that it’s of a reasonable quality. Artists can produce a number of Mixtapes in one year and the people understand that the artist may not have all the money required to book the best studios every time. Getting a very good studio is a vital part of producing an album. Street Team: it’s very important to have a street team for the distribution of the tape. Most Mixtapes are sold on the street so you need to a have a clear strategy on how you aim to reach as many people as possible.
- What is the hardest part of managing this type of production?
Hooking up a DJ. It’s very hard to access a DJ to mix your Mixtape at a level that can compete both locally and internationally
- What is the most rewarding part?
A good Mixtape will make people appreciate the talent the emcee is sharing. Your rewards come with the responsibility of being a leader
- Where does the Mixtape process begin? What is the first step that will initiate the completion of a new project?
Inspiration: a Mixtape needs to have a clear concept going back to the original inspiration. From there the emcee can write with a clear idea of his purpose.
- Are there any warnings you can deliver, anything the first-timer can look out for?
Artists should be careful not to think that Mixtapes are only about ‘dope lines’, being ruthless on tracks and grimy content. People appreciate creativity in Mixtapes, they want you to cross borders and build anticipation for an album. Be careful not to just compile 18 original tracks and call it a Mixtape. Be creative in adding elements such as the DJ or instrumentals to complete the idea of a Mixtape.
- Shout outs and credit and final words?
Love to The Life Check & 031 Fam, we shall be represented on a bigger stage. Big up to those promoting unity, peace, love through the music. It’s bigger than just rap.
BLACK M.O.S.S. on FACEBOOK at:
and BLACK M.O.S.S. featuring JET ‘Take me to the clouds’ music video produced by Ryan Reddy at: