By Felix Byaruhanga (@TheNinjaFelix)
Flex D’Paper is a name that stands out in UG Hip-Hop cause of his extra efforts in pushing whatever he attaches his brand to, be it clothing or music. As a way to get ahead in the rap circles Flex D’paper has done extra from directing his own videos to designing concepts for the Rapaholix clothing label on top of executing well calculated moves when it comes to his music. As we come to the close of the first half of 2017, Flex D’Paper is putting out a full body of work titled “Not For Sale”. A mixtape he has been working on and features big names in the industry which in a way reflects the level in which his brand has reached as a rapper and entrepreneur in Ugandan hip-hop. Furthermore as Flex breaks down the inspiration behind the project it shows his growth as an artists who uses his music as a tool to advocate for the issues and injustices that happen in the Ugandan society. I linked up with the New Skool Leader to break down the inspiration behind the “Not for Sale” project, how fashion has influenced his music and also his feature plans as the CEO of Rapaholix.
What’s the inspiration behind the name of the mixtape and cover?
The cover was a design by my little sis, she put bar codes that represents something to be bought or purchased and then added the tribal art to it.
While for the name has three angles to it, The first being it’s a free mixtape to my fans that have always been waiting on a project from me for now about 4 years. While the second point is that it’s a dedication to the different people suffering directly or indirectly from the human trafficking that we see daily but many chose to ignore. We always see this happening to fellow Ugandans taken to Arab countries where they are promised a lot but things end up at times as modern day slaves.
While the second dedication is to the victims of land grabbing and land wrangles many families in Uganda have been through this and it’s sad that it keeps going on. Killings and things like witchcraft etc are practiced all because of land in most cases the rightful owners never get the justice even because the richer or more connected person takes it from them. If you have noticed a lot of land, houses and properties have sign posts with the words Not For Sale.
How did the choice of the features & producers come about in the mixtape?
The people on this project are people I’ve known for a while now. The whole project was based on good Vibes. From the A-Pass intro thematic he did as he woke up some morning to Kemishan’s drop an artist I’ve worked with before, Navio, Martha Smallz, Aethan and His cousin Tribal all this wasn’t like planned out, it came naturally. Good Vibes only
How has the Rapaholix clothing has influenced your music especially on this particular “Not For Sale” project and vice versa?
This project actually has taught me a lot about myself as well. The songs may not have a direct message to the dedications I send the tape to, but with its sole purpose, that’s what is important, the end goal with any Rapaholix clothing purchased we will give out a free CD as well.
As one of the leaders in UG rap especially among the new crop of rappers what do you think needs to change among the new school rappers so that they fully realize their full potential?
I guess the best way for the rappers to achieve their full potential is to bring something new to the table. Most of these rappers are doing what’s already done or whatever is trending. I call them wave riders which isn’t bad but then they shouldn’t get mad when the other genres of music in Uganda keep gaining more with all sorts of experimenting. Only a few rappers are doing that like we did with my song The Statement, I went way out of the expectations from production to delivery one thing UG Hip Hop doesn’t have now.
What’s next for the Rapaholix CEO? Album?
Kampala Boy Album is next on the way after this mixtape, I have a new team I will be announcing soon as well my Rapaholix Clothing brand is expanding daily. We thank God for all the Wins and the lessons. Katonda is Involved
The mixtape will be released exclusively on The Tribe UG and to keep up with all news about the mixtape follow the hashtag #NotForSale of follow Flex on twitter via @flexdpaper.