Word up Hip Hop, it’s your boy Kriss Anti-B bringing you a new interview feature on HIP-HOP 411 TV: CULTURE MONDAY. These articles aim to highlight, showcase and give in-depth information about the diverse personalities and players in the hip hop game from both the independent &major label sides of the culture. With one o one interviews with Emcees, djs, graffiti writers, breakdancers, record executives, marketing gurus, event organizers and more. Our first interview features emcee, Hip-Hop creative and Hip- Hop activist CHRON BURGUNDY going in-depth about his new collaboration project with producer KOKAINA. His hip-hop journey thoughts on the current state of Hip-Hop locally and internationally.
KRISS ANTI-B: Wassup Chron Burgundy it’s dope to have you on HIP HOP 411:CULTURE MONDAYS, let’s jump right into it. You have a new project coming out in collaboration with producer KOKAINA. How did you kats link up and what inspired you to create a full body of work together?
CHRON BURGUNDY: Peace! Always a blessing to be on the frontlines of Hip-Hop and what better place to be than HIP HOP 411?! Fam, the story goes like this, it’s a very simple story and a lotta cats have actually asked me this question about Koka and how I found/met him. Koka actually reached out to me a while back… Like maybe 4/5 years back, to feature on one of his joints called Faces. I liked mans steez and gradually would hear his beats over time as he posted them up online or whatever. So I hollered @ him like “let’s do a project” and dude was real easy. Koka is a made chilled cat… So he was like aight cool, let me send you some beats and we can see where it takes us.
KAB: Dope,dope. Now, you’ve released numerous musical projects in the past 10years some solo work,collabos and crew projects. One of the most intriguing things for a lot of your audience and supporters are your choice of album covers & album titles. What was the inspiration behind your latest album cover art& how it does connect with the album title “LEGEND OF THE LOST LEGEND”?
CB: The cover for the new project is a burnt tape. Conceptually that’s what the project was about, a lost tape. Ironically this project almost never made it out the vault but I won’t give too many details on that hahaha. So, the cover is symbolic of a tape that the listener finds and somehow they salvage it and it becomes their personal little classic. Much like how most of us fined dope underground albums, I guess. Hence the back cover is also taken from those old cassette booklets we would jot down on and make all dope with our little doodles to make up for the fact that it was a bootleg TDK hahaha. I personally hope that one day my music will be found by a young kid digging through classic Hip-Hop and stumbles on a rare gem such as myself. That’s essentially how I am, always digging up these highly slept on gems from the mid to late 90’s… So I guess it’s all self inspired shit at the end of the day.
KAB: Who are some of your favorite artists right now locally and internationally that you draw inspiration from when creating music?
-CB: Man, Honestly I listen to a ton of Hip-Hop both locally and abroad. So I could sit here and probably write down a whole essay worth of names of rappers I fuck with haha. I’m just inspired by Hip-Hop and cats who stay hungry… Locally cats like The Assembly, Slyme, Revivo, N’Veigh and also my own dudes Zero and Uni-VERSE. I like a lotta bar heavy emcees, so if a cat is barred up I probably listen to him. This might be a surprise but I also listen to a lotta young cats too like Kid Tini, A-Reece and even Nasty C. These cats can actually spit bars. A lotta dudes only hear their singles and the commercial side of them, but if U dig deeper into their catalogs they got game. Internationally the list is stupid long… Like I love the whole High Focus movement out in the UK. Also there’s a bubbling under sound currently in the US, where dudes are creating a new wave of authenticity. The more I listen to them, the more I realize these cats all listen to each other too cause they also working together. I mean I got put onto cats like Al Divino through Hus Kingpin, but at the same time I got put onto Daniel Son through Al Divino. Then Daniel Son put me onto Eto and so it goes… I mean Crimeapple, Pounds, the whole Da Cloth movement… It’s this wave that’s slowly coming up, but when you look at it they all building together and feeding off each other as one big collective. The support structure is just different, it’s strong. But my list of emcees I listen to runs deep. Although, one emcee I listen to religiously is Big L… He’s my number 1 top 5 dead or alive.
KAB: A lot of your newer fans and supporters might not know that you are not just an emcee, you’ve had mad mainstream radio airplay, you wrote articles for HYPE MAGAZINE and hosted events. Your presence, clout and contribution go beyond making music. Take us through in summary, breaking down your Hip Hop journey from inception until present.
CB: Haha yeah my journey has been a long rollercoaster ride. I was always a Hip-Hop head so I somehow managed to land a spot writing for Hype Magazine for like 2 years. I guess my knowledge about Hip-Hop allowed me to get into that position. It was just before and during the Art of War battles, which I also somehow ended up hosting. This was a good part of the journey though; I met so many cats through those battles… Cats I have seen come up heavily in the game. During that time I was also in studio recording with my crew Sounds Intense and when it was time for our project to drop, I had to put a lotta focus on the music and I kinda left all the other stuff behind. I couldn’t share my energy across all these platforms at the same time. Sounds Intense landed up getting a ton of gigs around JHB and our songs hit National radio on both Y-FM and 5FM. Even down in Cape Town. From there it just built up… I dropped the single with Only One of Sand people and Ea$y Money of ST da Squad and that was also all over Y-FM for a minute. So yeah, that’s the gist of the early stages…
KAB: You have done a lot for hip hop&that’s one of the reasons you have sustained a core loyal audience.Why do you think the majority of independent artists the world over cannot sustain careers over a long period of time? We have seen some amazing artists release one classic album &disappear forever ,what keeps you inspired to wanna keep creating and releasing music?
CB: That is a really dope question. Personally it’s just the culture of Hip-Hop that keeps me inspired. I’m not even gonna lie though, I have my ups and downs with inspiration. Ultimately I think I’m just a creative. My minds always in overdrive. So I guess that might be what separates my drive to the next man. It’s not really about chasing clout or fame, I’m an artist and an artist will always create or at least wanna create, regardless of how well they selling. I mean some world famous painters only became famous after they died. But, while they were alive they were out there creating. It’s just something you have. I know a lot of cats like that… A lot of cats will be maintaining for a long time from now just cause they have that mind state. Expressing ourselves through art is the only thing we know. Also, there is a large group of “artists” who are just in it for the hype. Dudes are not passionate about music, they just think it’s cool to have the title of a “rapper” and this is what separates rappers from emcees. So as the late Craig Mack once said, a lot of rappers won’t be around next year.
KAB: What can people expect from the new album LEGEND OF THE LOST LEGEND sonically content wise? How is it any different from your previous releases besides the fact that you worked with KOKAINA on production on all the songs on the project?
CB: It’s funny but I actually didn’t think the project would end up sounding as dope as it does right now. The writing process went so fast for me, which initially I thought it might have been rushed. However, listening to it now, it actually isn’t as light as I first thought. One song that will stand out is a concept song I wrote about a day in my life. I feel it has a cool vibe and the storyline is easy to follow. I even have this fresh idea for a video, but it’s going to take some planning around that. The other thing is that I worked with different rappers. My usual fans and fams will notice I worked with some unknown cats like M and Surge 92. Bobby Lock might be a new name to some, but Bobby is kind of known on the scene through his battles. I used this project as an experiment to really expand and work with different people. The project is only 6 joints, but it was a fun process while creating it. I think that will be clear when people hear it. They gonna hear me doing some vibey hooks hahaha. I’m not trying give away too much here; people just need to listen to it. Sonically, Uni-VERSE mixed this project perfectly. He took my blueprint and gave it life. He knows my vision and sound so it’s always dope working with him. Oh, also people are gonna hear a CRAZY dope verse from Nic Blaze… Dude blessed me with some heat!
KAB: You are part of South African hip-hop super crew TITUS TRACK. The crew has been performing on stages together for a while now, but you haven’t released any body of work, as a collective in a while, are the any plans to release a group project anytime soon?
CB: The crew is actually Sounds Intense, but our label is Titus Track Entertainment. I know it gets confusing because we always rep TTE but collectively, in studio, when we form like Voltron, it’s Sounds Intense. We are definitely going to bring out new music… We have some stuff in the vault. We just currently back to focusing on some solo efforts again, but I think after we drop these we will get an EP out. Crew work is always a little different because you work with different personalities and everyone has their own lives they need to handle. But, at the same time we all still work with each other. Uni-VERSE has a new single I’m on which is going to be super waved out haha. The team is like a brotherhood, we going to be there with each other no matter who is doing what, when and where. As long as we working, that’s all that really matters.
KAB: Haha my bad on the crew name ’nuff respect to Uni-VERSE, ZERO and NIC-BLAZE.I mentioned earlier how deep your roots in Hip Hop culture go. You are one of the freshest, dipped out Kats and sneaker collectors in South African hip hop. How important is fashion in the Hip Hop culture? Tell us about some of your favorite hip-hop brands &sneakers in your collection.
CB: Another dope question. Man, fashion and sneakers are their own culture. Real talk, Japan will show cats flames when it comes to street fashion. The fashion culture is so insane right now that it’s become so expensive to really maintain and keep up with. I’m also not even talking brands like Versace or whatever. I’m talking OG STREET fashions that fly shit. Retro clothing is the wave and anyone who is up on game will know that the old school swag is back. Personally I’m at a stage where I find comfort more appealing so the Retro wave is suitable for me cause it’s a lotta comfy gear to be sporting. Sneakers though, that game has changed a lot, man. The Hype beasts have killed the culture of sneakers. OG sneaker heads have given up on the game simply because it lost it’s appeal. Now it’s all about re-selling at ridiculous prices as opposed to collecting. So currently I’m not even following the sneaker waves anymore… 9 outta 10 times you can find me wearing Vans, although I have a stack of other kicks just taking up space in my bedroom. Also I’m at a stage in my life where practicality is more important than hype. So comfortable kicks are my get up and go to sneakers.
KAB: You have a ton of music videos online &no music video ever projects like it was done randomly with no plot and storyline. Do you conceptualize your own music videos and what is your favorite music video out of your collection?
CB: I generally have an idea for what I want visually. So yeah, most of my videos have some sort of POA beforehand. However some of my videos I have given to the directors to conceptualize. My new video is literally a movie concept and although it’s Uni-VERSE and myself on the song, you probably see us the least haha. The director took control of the concept, I just gave a brief idea of what it could be and he just took it and ran with it. S/O to Hybrid Fusion, the quality of work from them is outstanding. Visually they know how to do some dope shit. Man that video was super fun and we got soooo baked that day, it was crazy. I also loved doing the Untouchable video because seeing everyone playing his or her part and being helpful was really dope. It goes for my new video, the people who came out to show support and assist where we needed them. Man, those people are my hero’s hahaha.
KAB: What’s next for Chron Burgundy? Are we getting more music after this EP and which local and international artists/producers would you like to work with in the present future?
CB:I got 2 projects definitely lined up “Constructive Brainstorming EP” which is technically an album I started years ago but never finished. We just reworking it and dropping it as an EP. After that I’m doing the “Gold Cobra, Platinum Fangs” album. Somewhere between all this the Sounds Intense project will be dropping haha. I’m also tryna get back to studying again, outside of the music. As I said I have an overactive brain and I’m just setting some goals I wanna achieve, you know? I don’t really have a list of specific people I wanna work with. Sometimes people don’t always vibe and forcing music work can also be wack. I like music and collaborate work to come naturally… But, I will say that I’d definitely jump on an Alchemist beat if it ever presented itself to me hahaha. Same goes for Evidence, I feel that dudes production skills have gotten so much iller over the years. Locally I think I need to at least work with Hipe and Nyambz, just one time for the culture. I definitely need to do some work with Revivo cats too; I know we could do some fly shit. We likeminded cats when it comes to the type of Hip-Hop we listen to so I don’t doubt we would make something fresh. I’d also wanna do something with Cape Town emcee, Cream. Creams pen game is crazy dope and he rhymes perfectly. Technically the word play on a song with Cream and myself would be like a barrage of words hahaha.
KAB: Thank you for your time homie, you one of the realest and I don’t say those words lightly…keep banging!
CB: Much respect fam! Thanks for reaching out and showing support, as always. Looking forward to the growth of HIP HOP 411 and also the new music you dropping! Keep pushing the grind; the game needs this now more than ever! Salute!!
Don’t forget to check out www.chronburgundy.com for the latest news and update on Chron Burgundy