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2014 Fire Starters: SubVerse Shining His Light For SA Hip Hop

February 28, 2014
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We sat down with SubVerse to talk about hip hop, where he started and where he’s going. The “Who Got Next” rapper had many thoughts to share about the industry and its growth. So without further ado…

CHEKA Digital: You’re originally from Rustenburg, how is that, if any, a factor in your rap career as people say SA hip hop is concentrated on three sections namely Cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria?

SubVerse: I feel if anything it’s a positive differentiation for me because it automatically sets me apart from the majority of acts when it comes to hip hop. It means I bring through a different brand of music and experiences that feeds my music and writing. And lets be honest – Mafikeng is an area that definitely needs to be added to that list so I’m here to make sure that shine is spread through the North West province as a whole.

On “Who Got Next” you name drop a couple of the well known rappers in the game, showing your respect to them, which artist would you like to collaborate with and why?

There’s a whole host of talented musicians within SA that I would like to work with and learn from. Collaborations are important to me from a learning aspect and to expand my appeal and reach. Seeing that you asked about one artist, I’m going to have to say Tiago and the guys from 340ml. I’m a big fan of their music and style and I think it would make for a great project outside of each of our respective genres.

Speaking of “Who Got Next”, its not on Tswellopele EP, what has been the difference between SubVerse then and now?

The main difference is I’m having fun with my music and writing now. When you’re putting together a debut and looking to put your foot in the door, there’s a level of anxiety that comes with that. The SubVerse that you’ll be hearing now is a rapper far more assured and confident in his own skills and talent. And if “Who Got Next” is a sign of things to come then folks would do best to brace themselves!

2014 promises to be a big year for SA hip hop, what is your contribution to the game? Mixtape? Album?

Definitely working on an album and looking to put out more music and visual material. CHEKA Digital will be the first to know soon as details for the album are finalised.

We were at your set of the video shoot of “Love Religion”, what is the concept of the video?

The song definitely has a feel and message to it, reminiscent of old-school hip hop, so the video concept lent itself towards exactly that. It’s a ‘day-in-the-life’ of SubVerse and draws you towards a culmination. Vicky, the vocalist on the track, plays a big role in the video and she did a great job…Look man – I don’t want to give away too much but I’m really excited about the video and you know where to see it soon as it drops right? [of course we got this]

What is your view on the music videos that are coming out of SA of late?

Man, the quality coming out of SA videos right now is amazing! Artists from genres across the board are definitely putting in more work and budget towards their videos from concepts, to styling and effects – it’s a beautiful and inspiring thing to see.

Quick 1,2

Redman or Method Man:  Oh definitely Method Man

MGK or Asher Roth: This doesn’t answer your question but Mac Miller!!!

Scarface or The Godfather: Scarface

Pitbull or Flo-Rida: …Yeah…listen…who came up with this question?

We always looking for new talent to showcase, what would be your advice for artists who are trying to be the next SubVerse?

Just work and be smart about putting yourself out there. There are enough avenues and tools for musicians to make themselves now and grow their own following without record labels. PGP (Pen Game Proper) Music formed by myself and 2 partners is something we hope will be a prime example of exactly that.

On CHEKA Digital we have a new feature called Artist To Look Out For, according to you, who is a fast rising act, excluding yourself, in SA hip hop? Can be a rapper or producer.

AL Da 3rd (producer) of Audiophiles is definitely a name you wanna remember!


Check out the visual treatment for the second single off SubVerse’ “Tswellopele The EP” project – Love Religion Ft. Vicky



Written and Compiled By: Siphiwe Zwane (@SDotJR_)


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