A number of things have seeped into Ugandan Hip hop, and they have either wrecked the genre or helped push it forward.
Top on the list is the stereotype that Hip hop is music for the morally bankrupt generation. This is because many artistes’ lyrics are known to glorify wrong doing. For this reason, it was hard for Ugandan music sponsors and promoters to support the genre in the beginning.
The fusion of pop and rock into Hip hop to make it cut across has also been an issue of concern, but only to avid Hip hop lovers who believe Hip hop is solid enough a genre to stand on its own.
But despite all this, every Ugandan rapper today would love to have radio airplay, sponsored concert gigs, album sales, street credit and most importantly a record deal.
A record deal presents a lot of benefits. Once you are signed to a good record label like GoodEnuff Urban or Swangz Avenue, you are sure that at least there is a ready team of professionals that will help push your career to greater heights, and help you get paid, but that isn’t all you should expect.
Early this year, 12 year old rap sensation, Zack Mukiza aka Young Zee got signed to producer Benon’s Swangz Avenue. Much as the deal was good, debate of whether the young rapper, can survive under the pressure of a demanding record label, was inevitable.
And just a few months into the deal, Young Zee doesn’t seem to agree with a few things already.
Apparently, Swangz Avenue (the label), does not let the ‘I have A dream’ rapper see a penny from the sales he makes for the label.
When we spoke with Young Zee, he said that he was told that, they (Swangz Avenue) will not involve him in matters of finance until he is old enough to understand them.
Much as artistes care about the technical support, and exposure a record label gets them, they care more about the money the deal is bringing in. And it would come as no surprise to find Young Zee frustrated over this part of the bargain with Swangz.
During the performance of his debut hit song, ‘I have a dream’ at the just concluded Buzz Teeniez Awards, Young Zee threw in a line addressing his haters telling them to let him be (let him do him in Hip hop speak).
Apparently, lots of people have been hating on the youngster since he got that deal with Swangz Avenue. And it is something, he so badly wanted to address.
At just 12 years of age, Young Zee is the youngest Ugandan rapper to be signed to a major record label. A lot of rappers would want, or rather think they deserve to be in his position.