Krukid’s Interview with

J-Key Cho from had the nice opportunity to sit down with Krukid and get the Ugandan emcee to be open about his work and personal life.

As most interviews begin, Krukid briefly introduces himself, settling matters of his real name (Edwin), his deal with Rawkus 50, a collective of hiphop artists, and his initial motive to come to the States—to study graphic design, though he has “always been an emcee at heart.” He then explains that his entry into the music business began with his personal view that hiphop was not “really represented well” in his homeland. To help alleviate this issue, he and his friends formed a group called the Urban Thugz Crew, which was eventually modified to Urban Life. After the public success of his first song, he migrated to the States.

Upon being asked about his opinion on America, he refers to the country as a land of abundant opportunity, positive and negative energy, and a world that portrays many stereotypes against different kinds of people that have substantially shaped individual perceptions. When being inquired about his role models as an emcee, he replies, “collective of East Coast Hip-Hop emcees. And Tupac” and adds that “he never really [tries] to copy anybody; I just study him or her.” He adds that “that’s why I speak about home so much, because that’s who I am.” Speaking of identity, he also criticizes America as a country without individuality. “Though people are so free and independent here, many of them are robots.”

He fascinates at how the hiphop scene in Africa has evolved and advanced rapidly with the development of technology, pointing out the works of popular African hip hop artists such as K’naan and Mos Def. But at the same time, the Ugandan emcee mourns over the media’s unduly portrayal of hiphop being dead, for he strongly believes that hiphop is “still very much alive.” To believe hiphop was nonexistent, he explains, was to disregard all past and present forms of hiphop in the world, giving reference to Justus League and Def Jux, very prominent rap collectives and labels. He claims that hiphop is “alive and well; it went down and it’s re-growing.”

When asked if substance is an essential quality of his music, he explains that his primary goal is “to report more news than fiction, to step outside of the box” and to speak about people around him, because “what affects me usually affects everybody else around me.” He points out that although his music may seem to refer only to people outside of this country, it really is directed at everyone— “people in extreme poverty, people on the street, and people who don’t get medication,” which are all prime themes of his music. He also hopes that his music will “eat and feed [his] people.” With a sense that his music will go a long way, he yearns to simply give back to those that helped him get to where he is now.

Krukid also believes that while the Western World should do more for Africa, the African people should also help themselves. When asked if he thought the powers that had once exploited Africa were doing anything to aid the continent, he subtly acknowledges that Africa has always been rich in resources even before it was conquered by European powers. He also makes reference to brain drain and empathizes with those who have migrated, for he understands that it is difficult for people to choose to return to living under poorer conditions.

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