Miles and miles apart Pawcut from Germany, and Exodus from Botswana came together as an emcee and a celebrated producer to get things together for the sake of great hip hop.
Both sat down to chat a bit about their style, coming up and what’s to come.
Kendra: When and how did you and Exodus come together?
Pawcut: When I was working with Johnny Katharsis from Germany on Kosmonautenalleee back in 2014 he had a track called “Poor Man s Blues ” and he said I should hear someone particular on it. That someone was Exodus and since I heard the way he dropped that “Elefant balls, huge, lastest fashion” line and the unique percussive free way his flow is, I was a appreciator.
Kendra: One being in Botswana and the other in Germany, how did things come together when it was time to record Persona Non Grata?
Pawcut: Exodus resides in Germany currently, so most of the album tracks were recorded there in different studios. Some were recorded in Botswana in Chantty Natural’s studio , some artists like Nomadic, Billy Woods or Neo Kaliske recorded in theirs. It has been big patchwork over a period of maybe two years.
Kendra: If you had to compare your style to an emcee in the states, who would it be and why?
Pawcut: In terms of rapping style there are bits and pieces of all my influences in there but there is no specific artist/rapper I could compare myself to. That could be due to the fact that influence in art is mostly multifaceted and comparisons could just be from the subjective ear of whoever is listening to the music at that specific time.
With all that said, I am a great fan of Saafir, and Boxcar Sessions is my personal favorite, Heavy Mental from Killer Priest was magnificent too, Sunz of Man’s The Last Shall Be First was super crazy, and Doom`s Operations Doomsday, Aesop Rock’s Labor Days, Outkast’s Aquemini, Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides, and Dead Prez’s Let’s Get Free, are some of the albums I liked (and still do) very much.
I am not gonna compare myself to any of the above because I don’t want to overstate my skill set but I won’t deny the role they have played in showing and exposing me to the diversity of styles (in terms of writing and other equally important aspects) in hip hop.
Kendra: Coming up, were you more influenced by local artists or ones that were abroad?
Exodus: I was mostly influenced by music from abroad but local music also played some part. My mom (RIP) had a shebeen (people drinking there were the old and matured types) at the back of our house, and she was into South African music (Steve Kekana, Mpharanyana, Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri) and local acts like Kgwanyabe Band.
The likes of John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk were played though sporadically. Both my elder brothers were into reggae and they are the ones who got me onto the likes Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. I got into hip hop via friends and neighbours. My neighbour who was a couple of years older than me got me onto the likes of Helter Skeltah and Wu Tang Clan. Those days we didn’t even have electricity or even a television at home, so for me to listen to hip hop or even watch music videos.
After I was done with high school I became more independent in terms of purchasing my own music and buying my own stereo. Luckily that was during the time when independent hip hop was getting more recognition and stuff from Rawkus Records, Def-Jux and Rhymesayers became my staple food.
Kendra: Any plans set in stone so far for 2017?
Exodus: Not really but we are working (as far as I know) on something but wouldn’t like to put a time frame onto it.
Pawcut: We plan to take it easy, don’t rush things and build a solid sequel in due time.
Kendra: Lastly, who is an up and coming rapper you’ve been really interested in working with?
Exodus: A couple of years ago I did some stuff with my former crew but due to lack of resources and other issues beyond our control, we couldn’t have it released. I would like to include some of them on the next project
Pawcut: Anybody if the chemistry (non- musical is very important to me as well ) and quality is right and I feel the outcome is real unique and original. If I only had the time…