For our very first online interview, we catched up with Ricklo Lyricalalchemist aka “die Hotnotgod” at the CTV Studios in Observatory, now we knew that this was going to be a very exciting afternoon, but before we could get it on the way, to Marlon’s horror, Ricklo decided that we must first do a 13 minute TV interview with him, and in true Marlon fashion for when things don’t go to what was planned, he panicked, “But this was not part of the plan, we are not prepared or dressed for TV!” So after our 13 minute ordeal, I finally managed to fire of my first question to Ricklo...
So Rick.., what is behind the allias Lyricalalchemist?
A Lyricalalchemist, his job is to take something "kak"! Like Base products, words and lyrics, (he expresses) and then turn it into something more precious (Kwaai) like gold.
How long are you in hip-hop and where did it all start?
In 1995, I was into alternative rock music those times with the whiteys, then a girl in my class told the brasse on the school bus that I listened to Devil music, (referring to rock) so one afternoon on the bus the brasse approached me and said "Yay os hoor djy luister devil music" but I denied it, en toe se hulle, "nou wat luister Jy?" And the only name I could come up with and knew about was, Snoop Doggy DoG! (Laughing)...,but having to prove to them that I do, I was asked to rap one of Snoop’s songs, and when I couldn’t, I got beat up, so after I got my "pak!" I went home and stole a snoop cassette from one of my friend, from there on I realised that there’s a lot of elements in hip hop and that you can use to tell your stories, so I began to rap, back then I only rapped in English and got to know the different style and cultures of Hip Hop, in 1997 I started writing a bit of Afrikaans Hip Hop, I started to explored more on what material there was to listen to and got ideas from there, in 2009 got into the electronic buzz like dubstep, and in 2010 after a couple of shows at the Purple Turtle I realised that people just looked at me with little response or support for my music, that’s when I decided, I need to get into the underground scene.
What is a typical day for Ricklo?
"Typical DAG" wake up at 1pm play some FIFA, listen to music, watch movies, lots of movies I get ideas and inspiration from it, and maybe write a song or two about it."god weet hoe my dag gaan"
Your favourite sights in and around Cape Town?
I love Cape Town, and everywhere I go in Cape Town inspires me!, especially the walled graffiti in Woodstock, Saltriver and Obs, I love the rawness of the city I'm inspired by what I see and gives me fresh ideas...
Your new album is out, "Die SickTape" why the name “SickTape”?
I called it the SiekTape because everyone/artist releases mixtapes, and you know the infamous punch line "ek is sick"... for me, I think you sick once you get everyone to listen to your "Kak" so I decided to call it a SickTape.
What is your favourite track on the album?
I don't really have one, but take a listen to Common Cause "saamet almal" i would say that's a favourite!
In Cape Town Hip-Hop, what are the challenges, support or lack therefore?
"Die ouens heti geld nie", and most people who support does not have money either, which push artists to buy each other’s material in support, so that makes it difficult for other people to hear to our music if they are not into Hip Hop, which makes it hard for us to make money from it and to grow the local industry, that's the biggest challenges, to get our music to spread and to be heard, added to that when artists record their music in studio it sounds real good, but when you hear them live, there is no difference between them, they all sound the same, as artists we put ourselves in a box, (So what you suggest we do? )"klim uit die n@#! Box uit" and explore what is out there, try different thing and approaches,
You also host a show on Cape Town TV, what is it called and what's the content of the show?
Okay, there is a number of things, I present a show called "Open studio" where I try to expose the general public to what real hip-hop is, which covers all the elements within Hip Hop ,and also how the community can benefit from it, then I have a new show called "Ek Se" it's a youth centred show and I cover the “Rymklet” and the Hip Hop segments of it, then there are some upcoming projects like documentaries, focusing on gangsterism and drugs around our Cape Town communities.
Western Cape Hip-Hop, there is a sense that it is growing, do you feel the same way and how has it opened doors for you?
For me it is and Hip Hop is something that can open other doors, like careers, “ek mean, ek is alwee op tv bra!,wa het djy dai kak gesien?” so I would say yah, I mean it teaches me to write, I can begin writing books, I can ghost write for other people, I can do voiceovers for TV adverts, I can do voiceover for radio adverts, I can be a radio presenter, I can work on TV set designing, so we end up becoming much more than Hip Hop and we learn to apply our creativity anywhere and everywhere.
With all the challenges, what motivates you to keep doing what you do?
To wake up every day, leave my house and see how “KaK” our people are living, and how Zille can take us for a P@#! every day, that's what motivates me to never give up, we don't need their help to make a living from what we love, and today I'm happy and I'm doing what I love and I dont get money from it, also if I can open one persons mind to put down his gun or say no to drugs, and rather get him to do something in Hip Hop, then I know my job is done.
What are your political views on South-Africa especially in the Western Cape?
Politics se P! $#...! No one cares for us, they only care about their children and themselves and until someone really shows he cares for me, I won't vote, cause everything they do is just a mindf@#k...Period!
In the local Hip-hop community, is there any workshops or session aimed at developing young talent?
Yes there are a few, today or tomorrow there is one in Franschhoek with the “Afrikaap Span”, we are also planning a few to give the kids something to do that they can keep themselves busy with, like regular workshops to learn things such as mc’ing, dj’ing, Bboy and graffiti, which we plan to do in the Somerset West area and hopefully get some of our Cape Town based artists to join in and help us mentor the kids.
What other projects can we look forward to seeing or hearing from Ricklo?
Uhmm...”Damien Resurrected" and just to give you an idea on it… the opening intro is... "ek en my brasse sit byri huis, en dan vra ek vir hulle –het julle al gehoor van dai bra wat `n boembastiek uit n Bybel blaai gerook het?, then one would answer ("ha a!" )then I say, (“kom eke wys jo”), Dan crush ons die button, gooi die dagga in die Bybel blaai en stiek dit aan die brand, dan kom Damien en maak almal vrek,en possess vir my, dan rap ek soos haai N&#! Basically". Then there is some other EP’s and unconfirmed collaborations with other artists, and oh ja! Then there is Rick-Roobin -"die Rasta eke”, also coming through.
List your top five international artists?
Isaac Mutant ?(international, Isaac is local?) well I don't differentiate between local and international we all do the same thing, so he is International level, also Vinnie Paz, Khanyi Mavi from Gugs(Gugulethu) and Apathy, don't know who's number five…
I see you geared in Yuck today, what is your thought on the brand?
"It makes people stop and stare at me, sometimes it feels like they want to rob me" but its kwai, it is almost like what FUBU use to be, something for us by us…
If people want to get their hands on your SickTape, how can they do that?
Okay, currently you can get it on Rymklets republiek,and I’m going to leave it there permanently, so they will be the only site where you will be able to find the Sicktape,(www.rymklets.co.za)
Rick, so if people want to get hold of you, how can they get in contact with you?
Uhmm, “Gevrietkoepboek” they can search for Ricklo lyricalalchemist, one word R-I-C-K-L-O,
With our first interview behind us and getting to know Ricklo a bit more, it is clear as to why I was tasked to interview Rick first, he is clearly a man that does not care what people make of him, and doesn’t allow other people’s opinion on him to affect what and who he is…Ricklo Lyricalalchemist, aka die Hotnotgod, Damien, Rick-Roobin, or whoever else you choose to be and at whichever time you choose to be it…, you clearly Define_Yourself…
Interview by: #Dangerflies