A Black Monday in Ugandan Hiphop : Exclusive interview with Benny Black

By Cleo Murungi (@cleo_thesphynx)

Benny Black AKA Blixxack is one of East Africa’s most gifted Emcees. Over the past few years he has displayed lyrical superiority in his works from a very young age. He is what many would call the kind of future we need in hiphop. Born Burundian, Blixxack found an identity, and belonging in Uganda and the Ugandan Hip-hop Scene, rapping along side So Severe, Suspekt92 and Verbal Skills as one quarter of a formidable rap group, GUUDFELLAS. He was mentored by Enygma and also inspired the rise of other rappers like Sphynx. Benny Black went on to give us a solo project (mixtape) titled Black’s W.I.T’s accompanied by a few video for singles off the tape and the Lost Tapes project. Yesterday Benny Black came back on to the scene with a track titled “Black Monday” (Download Black Monday – Benny Blackwhich shook up UG’s internet. For once it was refreshing to see Uganda’s social media focus on Ugandan Hip-Hop and not NRM’s drones alongside NTV. Today we catch up with Benny to discuss the inspiration behind Black Monday and his next project.

After you left for Rwanda, we got Black’s WITS which by the way was a GAME CHANGER, and shortly after that, we stopped hearing anything from you, in regards to music and your presence on Social Media. What happened, where and why are you “hiding”?

I was working on an album in Rwanda. I’d say it was almost ready but then I had to put that on hold & leave. And I’m currently in the US pursuing my studies. That is my primary focus right now, which is why I tend to stay away from social media that has been a distraction in the past.

What is the situation with Guudfellas? You guys were taking over the industry, What’s going on?

Guudfellas are my brothers. Anyone that knows me knows that for a fact. I’d say we could have done a lot but there are so many factors that always got in the way and hindered us from finishing what we started. You know, work, family, and other life priorities. We still talk on a regular basis and hopefully we can make something happen.

Any Plans to move back to Uganda and do music?

Uganda is like home to me, so I definitely see myself returning. I might not necessarily be rapping when I come back, but I’ll always be involved in music in one way or another.

The internet is a powerful thing.We are all just minding our business when you decided to drop that bomb of a track, I say “BOMB”cause it broke, in fact, shattered the internet! What inspired you to record #BlackMonday?
Black Monday.

Wow! First of all, I feel like things just escalated 0-100 real quick. I think everyone knows what inspired it. Code made certain comments on tv that did not seat well with me(and many of my peers) but it seemed nobody was gonna say a thing, so I figured I’d go ahead and speak up.

Word on the “Stweets” is Code offended Tucker, why did you feel the need to jump in?

He offended every good rapper under 25. He was quoted to have said every rapper under 25 is just a young mc and none of them is at his level. I’m pretty sure he knew what he was doing and knew what would likely follow. I honestly was surprised cause I know dude personally and I feel like he just switched to a new persona for the cameras.

If Code decides to drop a rebuttle, should we expect you to respond to that as well?

I have said all I have to say on my part. I will not respond to anything by Code or anyone for that matter. I have other things that I need to focus on.

In this track you talk about the “stay schemin’ remix” you did with CODE. Has it been your opinion of Code since then?

Not at all. I have always thought he was a good rapper. Infact, we got to hang out a couple of times, discussed at least three collabos that never materialized into anything. But we also know that there are songs where a rapper will get killed “killed”(and we’ll joke about it even before the song comes out.Most rappers know these things) That’s all I was pointing at.

Llyboc released a diss track last year attacking most rappers including the Gudfellas (you & so severe) why didn’t we get a response from you addressed to Llyboc but got a reply for comments Made by Code?

Llyboc has been known to do that. He will just take shots at anyone and everyone. If there were to be responses, then half the industry would be writing for Llyboc. There are also many other factors but that’s all I’ll get into.

Should we be expecting any new projects from you this year?

Yeah, I have been working with KoznEffekt the past few months going back and forth with ideas. And we just decided on the name of the previously “Untitled” EP. It’s gonna be called “Don’t Try This At Home.” If all goes well, it should be out on Feb 25th.

It seems like you have been keeping an eye on the UgHiphop scene, what do you think of the current state and which artists do you see as the next big thing?

I always try to keep up with the music back home. If I don’t look it up, I know someone will send a link. I think this could be a very interesting year. My peers Tucker HD, Mal X, Suspekt 92, Lagum, Play 01, Malika, and Benezeri got good things coming up this year.(And that is just off the top, I know there’s friends I may have missed) Then there is always the elite that keep grindin,…KUT,Enygma, Ru,LG, etc. You know I’d go on for days talkin about some of these people. It does seem like the hunger I last saw in 2011/2012 is returning. And that is for everyone.

What do you want to see happening in Ugandan Hip-hop 2016?

I’d like to see the hunger stay alive really. I think the year’s started off strong and we need to keep it that way

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  1. DOWNLOAD: Banda (Panda Parody) – Blixxack – UG HIP-HOP & URBAN CULTURE

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