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Cashless Society


6 January 2002 No Comment

We speak to Draztik from Cashless Society

First off I want to say ’nuff respect for you guys doing it for yourselves and it’s about time more independent labels come out here in South Africa. Tell us, how long have ya’ll been involved in hip hop and what influenced you to start this label?

I grew up in the early 80’s break dancing and listening to Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, Ice-T & Roxanne Shante. I had a crew called Electro Statified Breakers (ESB). I grew into this era of hiphop that set the foundation for the rest of my life. In terms of Hiphop its been in me since around then end of 1983. I grew up in California most of my teenage life where I started Listening to peoples like Public Enemy, X Clan, Digital Underground, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Mc Shan, KRS 1 and many more through the late 80’s (Golden Age of Hiphop). By the beginning of 1990 I picked up my first computer an Amiga 2000 and my first 8 bit sampler. That was when I started learning the art of sampling. I credit most of all the tricks I learned today from the limitations I had on that computer. By 1994 I moved back To Africa, to form a crew. That is when I also hooked up with IQ and SLIM (members of Cashless Society) I soon learned how hard it is to get recognition through hiphop here. That soon led to the idea of an Independent label called Unreleased Records, which is us, I feel in this part of the world, our music was been secluded and held back by premier record companies The name and logo is a representation of underground music locked down and the bending of the bars is the vinyl wanting to break through and to be heard.

I see you are hooked up with Mizchief, 5th Floor and Dead Prez, tell us how did that come about?

Originally when I started the label along with X amount, Mizchif was a part of us. So we kind of retain close ties. It’s just that he had some priorities of his Own he had to handle. So it was a business decision to move to Eargasm for his album. As of today the label CEO’s are Draztik myself and X Amount, Isaac aka (IQ) who I used to be in a group with back 1994, does our Management, A&R and is also our DJ on the set.

Performance wize in JHB, how is holding down? Is there is a large enough audience out there for hip hop?

Dead Prez was a group I connected with when I heard they were coming to South Africa, I got in touch with Khari, DP’s manager, he then put me through to Saba Their road manager, I put them in touch with the idea of a promo show in Botswana, which they agreed to. Botswana is only a 3 hour drive or an hours flight from Joburg- most people don’t know this. We remained close to DP and the whole tour then Brought Cashless Society and Mizchif to open up for them. Dead Prez attack social issues, which I feel through Cashless Society, we also address. Hence our song “The world iz a ghetto”.

Have you or do you plan on touring Cape Town in the near future?

I feel Joburg is the HUB of hiphop in Africa although some might disagree but, its truly a nuclear bomb ready to blow. I retain some of my roots where I was born in Botswana, so I will always push Gabs City, but J-Section or Joburg is like something the US was in the early 80’s-untapped. From what I’ve been seeing is that The underground scene is starting to flourish at a very steady rate, the Dead Prez’s show was a clear example. With both Shows in Joburg and Botswana creating such high levels of energy that most heads had never seen or felt before. Unfortunately through unforeseen logistics we could not do the Cape Town show. Cape town is one place we hope to do more shows at. We are still trying to connect with people out there, so we would be more then willing to represent.

What artists are you looking at performing, signing?

At the moment the artists that are signed to us, Cashless Society, Organik Interfaze and Nativity will be the only artists we’ll be concentrating on till next year. We plan on licensing just singles at the moment since the overheads are quite high to push full-length albums.

Are you beats inhouse, like what equipment do you use to make beats?

We do all our beats at the crib. We use a 16 track Digital Tascam Mixer, a Pentium 500mhz computer, An Alesis Synthesizer module, Audix Mics, 2 Tascam effects racks, HP 6x cd writer. The software we program our beats on is Sound Foundry Acid 2.0; we also use Wavelab 3,Soundforge 4.5 for editing our samples Cakewalk 9 multi-track software for our vocals and Waves Software to master our tracks on to. I‘ve also got a Fostex Digital Track Recorder, which I hardly use though.

On the verbal level now, what are you trying to achieve lyrically?

Lyrically we come together from similar backgrounds, we have our own individual style, ranging from conscious lyrics and messages to battle type lyrics. We Are trying to bring mostly the message of Africa and Hiphop to the community and worldwide to raise awareness and attack the issues that we go through within our surroundings. Cashless Society goes deeper then that however that’s a whole other story.

What South African Hip Hop artists do you admire and dislike?

I have to big everyone in terms of artists and groups in Southern Africa, cause I feel its all a movement and they are adding to it making it “bigger then hiphop” The younger cats though are the ones who are going to take it to higher levels, big up to crews like Asylum Tribe, Squatter Camp in South Africa and Nativity From Botswana.

Explain to the readers who unreleased records are, for e.g. member names and their backgrounds.

Unreleased Records is an independent Label. Crews I mentioned are Cashless Society members (Draztik X-Amount, Slim, Snaz Black Intellect and IQ), Nativity Members are (Fifth Light, Lbiz, Carnage and Swathey) one other solo member included is a kid called Kaos. Production is handled by mostly myself Draztik, X Amount and IQ. X Amount grew up in the mega city of Toronto Canada where he built his foundations of hiphop among various underground influences. He came back to Africa in ’98 and has since been part of the formation of UR(unreleased records). IQ grew up in Queens Borough NY, and also retains his roots in Africa. Black Intellect born in Sierra Leone (West Africa) also grew up in Maryland and California found his roots in hiphop. Slim also born in New York spent half his life there and was born into the era, he is probably the most educated of the birth of hiphop (old school). At last but not least Snaz retains his roots from hiphop out in Germany and the Joburg scene. Although our backgrounds extend overseas we have never overlooked Africa and our lyrics depict it clearly.

What do you have planned for the future?

Our plan towards the future is to build a more powerful and conscious hiphop that will entertain as well educate beyond and above the negative rap we here today. Our involvement extends to both myself and Slim holding down a hiphop show every Wednesday night in Botswana, which currently has the highest ratings among on 3 commercial stations. Also the aspect of bringing down underground artists from overseas to perform here and expose the levels of professionalism we need to be at in the future.

Any Shoutouts?

I want shoutout to all our Fans and Peoples who stand by us, the dj’s and media who acknowledge us. Normski our exclusive Video Director, Timberland Sandton, Loxion Kulca’ our Fam and most all G.O.D.

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