Tune your radio to 5FM DJ Fresh’s Fresh Drive (not a shameless plug) on Fridays and you hear the news in a different format, it’s actually in a verse! News delivered over a beat by freestyle extraordinaire Nick Explicit. Week in week out you get fresh content via a verse on the drive time show, celeb news and current affairs all intertwined into a sixteen bar verse.
With such creativity and ingenuity, Nick promises the album and the EP currently out will be less comical as the Weekly Rap Up but we shall see the MC that is renowned as the freestyle champ (48 wins out of 50) come to fruition on the mic having paid his dues for eons.
On the other hand we have up and coming producer Silas Beats, with some of his work available for sale online and he is the man behind the smash hit “Night Lights” doing damage on radios near you.
Ladies and Gents I present to you Nick Explicit and Silas…
1. Nick finally we got you for the interview! “My story page 1” came out 5 years ago, what was the biggest challenges you faced through the years to now where we seeing Broadcasting Live EP in our radar?
Nick: Firstly Good day to you S Dot and your blog followers. I think if you doing music in South Africa every single step of the way can be a challenge, we take it back nearly four years and honestly a lot has changed from backstabbing friends to actually working with people who want to have a successful music career, You learn a lot along the way in terms of business the in’s the out’s and all this was done by simply asking questions.
2. Speaking of Broadcasting Live EP, “Night Lights” has peaked and climbed on hip-hop charts all round, the beat was supplied by Silas. What are your feelings about the song’s success and your answer to the rumored subs to a few rappers? Silas, you relatively new to the scene (excuse me if I’m mistaken), tell us of your inspiration, your first reaction when Nick laced his verse on your beat? Inspiration?
Nick: When I first wrote to Night Lights I kinda knew I had a dope instrumental on my hands and that I needed to bring my A game so as to deliver the justice it needed, If you think “Night Lights” was dope wait till you hear the second single with Nolan on the hook titled Envy
Silas:It all has to do with the type of energy I have on that particular day I guess. A bouncy mood equals bouncy beat and when I’m down I go overboard with the melody and song structure stuff. When I heard the first few lines to Night Lights it instantly had me bobbing my head. I hadn’t known Nick that long and I sure as hell didn’t want to look like an over-excited toddler.
4. People think all you do is write rhymes all day or make bangers on Reason, Fruity Loops or a keyboard. Fellas please tell us what you do during the day and how does that tie up or maybe interfere with your musical artistry?
Silas: I’m a Physiotherapist by profession. The only time I’ve felt it’s interfered with music is when I’ve had an idea for a melody that I wasn’t able to record on my phone right there and then. Humming melodies under your breath while treating a client is fairly awkward. What’s really cool about work though is that I get to be real logical during the day and real creative after hours when I’m composing music
Nick: By Morning and Mid day I am a property Administrator/Graphic designer so by 2 pm daily I’m done and tend to focus on music from then onwards. I think as much as people have this perception that music is so much fun, you got to understand that there is the business side to it as well, and trust me when it comes to music contracts they average about 20 page contract that you make sure you understand, otherwise I’m the type that prefers to write late into the night you know by then your phone is less likely to ring unless its SDot telling you Night Lights is being played on Hip-Hop Power Nights LOL.
5. Nick you associated with 5FM as the weekly rap up dude. With the EP and album out soon, as the listener what will be different from The Weekly Rap Up guy and the raps on Broadcasting Live EP? And Silas, what role(s) are you taking in the whole construction on Nick’s EP and album?
Silas: As far as we’ve discussed I’ve been given an executive producer’s role. I’ll be involved in almost everything from beats to mixing to marketing.
Nick: When you have worked and crafted something for four years to two million listeners yeah I believe it will be pretty hard to convince people to accept something different but that’s a chance we are willing to take. The Ep was never meant to come out till September 2012 as we had started working on a mixtape first, but when Silas and I sat down and discussed Night Lights as the first single it didn’t make send to let it go on a mixtape as we expected the song to do well, it was then that we decided to twist the model and focus on the Ep, but in terms of Music, if you compare this to my first offering the biggest difference is definitely growth, I guess at the end of the day I will never be your “Gucci Slipper” “Rubber Band” “Fancy Car” rapper, I do what I know and I will keep it that way, p.s S.A Rappers must stop lying and radio dj’s must stop supporting that bullshit and then start sulking at the state of hip-hop in S.A you made it this way!
6. “Make you bling like the Neptune’s sound” has become synonymous with the production trio’s work as much as its their signature, so Silas as a beat maker we have seen a couple of your beats for sale on the net, what’s your advice to upcoming producers on originality and individuality? Nick on beats, please take us thru the process of selecting a beat, conceptualization and writing to it.
Silas: As an upcoming producer myself I rate the best thing we can do to remain original is to know where the line between following a trend and making it your own is. If you can’t find this line, turn off your radio and your TV for about a month.
Nick: LOL the last time I explained my theory of selection to someone, they thought I was high, but anyway here it goes. Personally when it comes to beats the song has to speak to me, if she does then we decide on emotion, happy, sad, what is it that I am trying to say? The idea isn’t the problem it’s the expression and emotion that you put in that will differentiate a good song from a great one.
7. Reversal of roles for a sec, Nick what beat do you feel has been your favorite aside the beats you rapped on and Silas which verse for you, you consider complimented a producer’s beat.
Silas: Toy soldiers by Eminem. The structure of his verse is brilliant here. His syllables sit perfectly in time with the most prominent part of the beat, the military snare.
Nick: Obie Trice – Don’t come down (Produced by Emile Haynie) it was off Cheer, Obie’s first album, the sample sits so well to this day there is something about that song that makes me think.
8. Gangstarr consisted of the legendary Guru (RIP) and DJ Premier. Is South Africa about to see such a union between Nick and Silas?
Nick: Possibly? Really Silas Possibly?
9. Local rappers are branching out to endorsements and associated with numerous brands. The catch 22 is the labels morals are echoed in the artist associated with it. We have even seen artists record songs about their brand association alas PRO – Eagle on the rocks (Fish Eagle). Which label would either of you NOT be associated with and reasons for such stance.
Silas: When you say, “label” I assume you mean some sort of brand. At this moment I wouldn’t be able to say but I obviously wouldn’t be overly thrilled if I was approached by say a hair product or plush toy brand.
Nick: Wow, I’m actually not sure, I guess it will all depend on the plan put forward, I guess at the end of the day as long as it doesn’t compromise my image I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
10. Quick one twos’.
Chelsea or Arsenal
Silas: Chelsea till death
IPhone or Samsung Galaxy
PlayStation or Xbox
FIFA or PES
Silas: FIFA til death
Debonairs or Romans
Nick: Value for Money So Romans, the day I stopped eating Debonairs was the day they put Mayo on a chicken pizza, you should try hot mayo sometime
10. Artists are known to be supporters of the art they in. Which albums are you looking forward to this year? And lastly, hip hop is growing in SA, what is the wishes you would like to share to the real heads, supporters, Twitter followers, radio stations and bandwagonists alike?
Nick: Most def it has to be Reason, I know Trompie working on something too so would love to hear that as well as J-Lawless
My thoughts are on my EP and it was a selfish piece of work, there is not a single song for anyone except myself and Silas, so we made this by only thinking about ourselves, LOL I’m kidding, I guess we still got a long way to go, but I’m sure we will get there soon enough.
Silas: Nick’s and Reason’s albums, LOL. J-lawless and PdotO have projects too. Look out for them. I’d say hip hop has become so saturated its important now more than ever to take your music seriously and as a listener, in the types of support you show and as a creator in the way you present yourself. Listeners, give your artists constructive feedback, and artists, stop spamming my timeline.