By Mubanza Haggai (@mubanza)
A rapper that definitely qualifies for the who is the “leader of the New Skool” discussion in UG hip-hop, Benezeri is one of the most hardworking new school rappers giving his peers a run for the money; he has released two albums so far, ‘I’m Benezeri’ ’Champion’ and will be releasing ‘Made in UG’ on May 14th, he has a concert on the same day at Madhivani hall in Lugogo, his lyrical ability is unquestionable as he has won lyrical battles before proving he has knack for amazing spit. He has had series of song releases and video releases since 2016 kicked off, I picked his brain on a couple of topics about this project.
This is your third show that is solely based on Benezeri, some rappers haven’t done any yet they have been in the hip-hop game longer than you. What’s the secret?
The secret is in being brave enough to take the risk. If you put your mind to it, everything is possible but I must also give a lot of credit to my friends and supporters. They never disappoint me and always come in large numbers.
Let’s talk about your growth as an artist on this new album, what should fans expect on ‘Made in UG’ that wasn’t in the last two albums?
I’ve grown musically, and on this album you can expect a few hardcore rap songs, some reggae and dancehall fusions for the non-hip hop fans. I’d say this is my Graduation album, hits only and beautiful music. A lot of fusion but unlike Kanye who fused with rock, I’m fusing with dancehall, reggae and zouk.
We’ve seen you pushing the moniker ‘Clansmen’ around, what is that all about?
‘Clansmen’ is a group of rappers that met to do a few songs together. Regrettably, I’ve taken a break from the group to focus on my individual career.
You’ve released more songs and videos non-stop in quick succession than any of your peers have done recently, what has inspired that approach?
I came to the realisation that all the successful musicians in the world are always releasing songs and videos. It’s our responsibility. If you look at the discographies of Radio and Weasel, Wizkid, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Rihanna and others, they are very long. I believe as a musician it’s my responsibility to leave music behind. I’m not a perfectionist either. So I don’t spend years worrying about a song, I just get inspired and keep creating, and I find that I improve with every song and my market base grows wider.
I’ve talked to some of your peers and other people in hip-hop circles; they seem to think it doesn’t work for the case of longevity in the game?
Everybody has their approach and this is mine. I would advise them to pursue theirs and leave me to pursue mine. If they were working as much as they were talking maybe I’d pay attention but I’m not going to stop. If this approach is bad, time will tell. I also think that there are many routes to the top and so we might all probably end up at the same summit just that our stories will be different but as a doctor’s job is to treat patients, a teacher’s job is to teach, mine is to make music and I’ll make it as long as I can. Hopefully I’ll leave behind as much music as Elly Wamala, Bob Marley, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Lucky Dube and others .
At the beginning of the year, we had the Under 25 discussion that was sparked by the CODE vs Tucker HD beef. What’s your take on whole situation?
I believe they are both good, each has their own fan base and I think that their beef brought unparalleled attention to the hip hop genre this year.
What do you think the younger rappers like you and others have to do to dominate the mainstream and win over more fans to UG hip-hop?
Personally, fusion is the best way and if you listen to Abeyo, Togwamu Suubi, Ndiwabulijjo and Give me love, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Your ‘Made in UG’ concert is just around the corner, what experience should the fans expect to feel?
This concert is going to be memorable. They’ll feel the power of the music and they’ll be proud to tell people they were in attendance.
Where can someone get copies of all your previous albums plus the one that you’ll be dropping on May 14th?
My previous albums are all out of stock but will soon be uploaded to iTunes and so will ‘Made in UG’. It will also be sold at the concert and other selling points will be communicated after the show.
Three concerts/shows supported by three albums under your belt, none of your peers has done that, can we say there’s none better?
hehehe…. I don’t know, that is for the music enthusiasts to decide.