Black Light: hard hip hop with a message
Black Light with (left to right) Hayzee, Leeroy and Akwasi.
In a Dutch hiphopwereld in which it is mainly about money, parties, and tasty women, Black Light is a welcome exception. The Locals combine since their debut ten years ago, hard beats with quirky lyrics which real life is treated. Last week it appeared Lightning, the first Black Light album in almost five years.
Parties and stuff
“It’s high time for the real thing, real hip hop with content,” says MC Leeroy, the youngest and spraakzaamste of the three. “As I today, my playlist on Spotify turn on I think: how many of these songs have actually have a message? It is not bad, music hóeft no message, but if that becomes dominant, you can touch the essence of hiphop is lost. It just goes about to parties and stuff. Nobody dares going deep, to reflect, or to deliver a message that people think: you’re right, man, here I can force out of it. I think it is important that there is still a movement, however small, that does have a message.”
Read more after this ad
The essence of hip hop is, according to him, “a way to your experiences, mindstate and opinions on music, you tell the story.” He teaches: “In the American ghettos was hiphop an alternative to violence. Of course, you had the dj-parties and there was a lot partyshit, there were people sitting on meerappen, but the hip-hop developed, and went to deliver a message. Think of Public Enemy, N. W. A. and Tupac.”
“Hip hop needs me, the power of the word to represent”, Akwasi and his definition of the genre they practice. “Hip-hop is also the epitome of brotherhood. Hip-hop is a worldwide, universal collective in which it is not discriminated against. In hip hop you can be who you want to be. If you’re down, you’re down. Anyone can join us.”
He is Leeroy even in regards to the superficiality of much hipop now. “‘Fake it till you make it’ is more important than ever. You must show that you can your website because everyone wants that, everyone wants such a lifestyle. It just sounds cool. Much sturdier than ‘I need rice with egg to eat today, because my mother not to, the food bank has been’.”
“Everyone should do its thing, hear”, into perspective Leeroy. “And without the popular rap is the in-depth rap is not interesting and vice versa. It also has with the average age of a lot of rappers in the Dutch scene. If you are young, it is difficult to reflect and to your own place in the society to look. It is a different world. Many of those boys who are popular have indeed opened the doors. With every new track, they come on 1, they stand on major festivals and sell the large halls. Great.”
Leeroy, Akwasi and Hayzee have for the last four years where there is no Black Light album was released, not used to cut grass to grow. Centipede Akwasi works as a presenter, theatre director and actor, and kicked it to national prominence as DWDD-table host; Hayzee is a producer, dj and solo artist, and Leeroy was a qualified engineer. “I began to study engineering because I was always wondering how it is that Dutch rap never sounds so good as American. Over the past five years, I am fully engaged to that fat American sound. How? By a better engineer, better equipment, and to work in a better studio. Not that I have great Americans copied have by the way. The sound that I have created has my signature.”
“We are very proud of this album,” says Akwasi. “Hopefully Lightning for a lightning strike. Superficiality is now maybe mainstream, we are not to conform. We hope to have a lasting impression, because lightning doesn’t do it so often.”
Lightning Black Light is now available in stores. Tour dates: 16 march: The Spot in Middelburg, 13 april: Simplon in Groningen, 14 april: BIRD in Rotterdam, april 19: Melkweg in Amsterdam, april 20: Burgerweeshuis in Deventer, 21 april: Doornroosje in Nijmegen, 26 april: Kavka Antwerp, april 28: 013 in Tilburg.