Back to Index
defying any definitions
August 19, 2009
This is an
Inzwa feature. Find out more
Inside / Out with Outspoken
View audio file details
did you start this hip-hop thing?
I started in
the name Outspoken?
Now I am going
to tell you my full name. Its Outspoken alpha intellect the
humble neophyte true indeed I am proof of mc aka I the kept brother
inner silence love thy neigbour. Now that's the different
parts of me. I am Outspoken yes, but the counter balance is the
inner silence. I call myself the alpha intellect because like in
this interview I am giving you the first thought that's coming
out of my mind. But then for me to have that first thought I have
to be the humble neophyte that takes time to listen. They are all
counter balances of who I am. I am a very quiet and reserved person.
Sometimes you find me quiet and you are like, hah what him? I'm
still trying to discover who I am.
the biggest single moment you have ever had as an artist?
after a performance when someone comes up to you, describing your
poem or an interpretation of your poem. And saying that you taught
them something and then through their interpretation they teach
you something as well. When you know you have managed to touch a
head. That's a wow moment for me.
do you have tattoos on your arm?
If you also
look at my hand I have an alleged wedding band on my wedding finger.
I wouldn't say it's not being iconoclastic. I don't
think I should live by the definitions some else has created already.
Because if you trace back existence you are going to go back to
someone defining what existence should like. I won't say its
because I am an artist or because I am hip-hop. I just like tattoos.
agree that you do hip-hop?
I have been
defined as hip-hop. Unfortunately these are definitions that I fall
under. I will say yes because it has been a major influence in my
life. Growing up I was surrounded by it. I grew up listening to
hip-hop. My brothers, my sister and my uncles they were all into
hip-hop. But they have moved on; some are Pastors, some are mothers
and some are doing their computer stuff.
have you used an American originated art form to identify with who
The way I look
at hip-hop is like it was born in Africa and grew up in America
through the whole slavery thing. It's like having some cousins
and so you are basically communicating with your cousins. I'm
just using hip-hop as a vehicle for communicating my message. I
think as much as it might be seen as a borrowed or an adopted culture,
it identifies well with me coz it's about the message I am
trying to bring out. So I think there's good and bad in it.
the type of music you make have a genre?
want to put myself in a box because right now as we speak the band
will be coming up with new concepts and I'll be thinking of
new word concepts and what not. So I wouldn't want to say
what we do is confined to this or that. It's a combination
of feeling, sounds and words. For me I would say, yah its hip-hop,
and it falls under the hip-hop culture but then it branches off
into feelings and stuff.
see hip-hop as the new urban grooves?
No, no I don't.
You know my one problem with urban grooves is I think its mass produced
art for mass consumption at a very fast rate. The people that I
see in urban grooves, some of them I know personally, they chose
to sacrifice artistry for sales, getting money, recognition, fame
and all of that. That's all through the message they convey.
If you convey a message of oh I love, oh I miss you, a lot of people
miss a lot of people so it's popular. But I am trying to discover
myself and am speaking for people that want to discover themselves.
has Comrade Fatso influenced your music?
I think we learn
a lot from each other. His style is militant and mine I consider
to be soul searching. But then the two find a counter balance. As
much as you need to be active in being the change around you, you
also have to analyse what change you want, who you are and why you
should deserve that change. I think we learn a lot from each other,
we interact on a daily basis; he is the person I share the refrigerator
with. So its like understanding the struggle on different levels:
the spiritual, the physical . . . you know.
are you going to ensure your band sticks together?
I look at the
band less as a business or an arrangement but more of a family.
These are people I know. And I work with the energies of people
who have the same mind traits, that want to achieve the same things,
that are fans of music, that are fans of words, that appreciate
feelings. For me my band is like my heart beat.
is your music about?
self-discovery and social issues. Social issues are governed by
politics. So people tend to say that my music is bordering on political
but its not. If you look at it it's an analysis of a woman
or man and how it is to be on the down side of life; or down trodden.
Seeing how one can better themselves without looking for trouble
out there. How can I be the difference, to be the change in my life?
your take on how people view themselves?
self esteem issues. On top of that you have peer pressure and also
propaganda pressure. Billboards, television, talk shows. It's
in your face even though you don't know it's happening
to you. Whenever you hear the sound of a Coke being poured you think
thirst and you want to buy a coke. That's part of the whole
image. For the longest time I bought Sprite because I liked the
whole basketball image. I believe that if people realize that it's
not everyone who loves that image that's shown on TV, then
people would cool with their own image. Remember its something that
is subjective for me; if I was to describe a perfect being you would
disagree. That description is not the same as the one that you would
are your comments on the political transition in Zimbabwe?
see it as transition. I see it as a moment of confusion because
really now you don't know what's going on. Why are things
happening the way they are happening? It's a time to question
and reflect on our situation; where we are coming from and where
we are headed. Just because you are coming from a negative space
doesn't mean you are transitioning into a positive one. And
I'm not saying it might be a transition into a negative place.
So, like okay, what does it mean to get on our feet?
Is it having
foreign investors coming in and taking our natural resources like
the privatisation of water? Is it going to be to the detriment of
the people just so that the country is spruced up? Like the state
South Africa is in now; it's a beautiful country, its got
infrastructure but what percentage is owned by people? And what
is the situation of the everyday person? So we say we are for the
revolution but whom does it benefit? Is it going to benefit the
few coz now people are driving Mercedes Benz and other cars while
the people are still not that full, the people are still hungry.
They are like, comrade, we were comrades together, where are art
thou? The hunger still lingers!
feel that these questions you're asking are on the lips of
many other Zimbabweans?
The thing is
we have different people in this country. You have those people
that just want bread on the shelves and they are fine. You have
the ones that want to be makers of their bread. For me I want to
see positive change. If you get a cut and you apply a bandage that
doesn't mean there is no wound. We don't want cover-ups.
We want proper change. We realized that we didn't own our
power so to speak. A lot of things got shut down in our faces. If
we are going to reconstruct, are we reconstructing by selling off
things so that investment comes in? Or are we going to say now we
really want to strengthen the people. Let the people be in control,
give the people a chance.
you sure you are not a politician!
What I consider
the game of politics to be is like this: you have players and bargaining
chips. It's unfortunate that the bargaining chips are the
people. So whenever your focus of concern is the people, you are
playing against the other players who are the politicians. For them
to win their game they need the people. But they mess it up when
they think power is in taking away the peoples rights. The politicians
are forsaking the people for power and that's the problem.
Visit the Kubatana.net
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.