Sulphuric Talks “KEEP THE FAME” Mixtape [Interview + Free Digital Booklet]

Keep The Fame (cover)

By Byaruhnaga Felix (@TheNinjaFelix)

Finally we get to release this mixtape. It’s been a long journey since 2013 when we (The Tribe UG) approached Sulphuric about the release of this particular project. Back in 2013 it was known as “U.G .’NOMICS; When Pain &Success Rhyme” but along the way communication, determination, dedication and focus among parties was lost until of recent when I caught up with Sulphuric and we had a conversation about everything to do with UG hip-hop, change of the name of the mixtape, future projects and his personal career. Sulphuric is releasing the mixtape tomorrow (03.12.2015) under the title ‘Keep The Fame’. It consists of projects that you may or may not have listened to before but we are attaching a digital booklet (PDF Version) about the mixtape that you can download here (665KB).
The booklet should give you a quick preview about the mixtape also show you who contributed to the final product of this mixtape but for now  here are a few excerpts  of the conversation we had.

QN: Whats good boss? Its good to have you here At The Tribe. To start off why has the mixtape taken this long?

The honor is mine sir. Thanks for the good work you’re doing. I really appreciate. But that’s a good question. There’s a Drake quote that’s stuck with me over the years, where he goes: “never forget the moments you began to doubt/ transitioning, from fitting in, to standing out” I relate to that but from like a selfish thought process. Because, besides not having the  inspiration to create.
I went through a phase creatively where I was trying to fit in and trying even harder to stand out. Its like i got caught up in the hype quite honestly.

Initially when i made music i made it for myself, to inspire myself. If it inspired another person, that’s cool. But I didn’t care about their opinion whatsoever. It was for selfish reasons quite honestly. So yeah, like i said I got caught up in the hype and started to care about opinions. When that happens, as an artist you get writer’s block. You like start second guessing yourself. That’s the moments of doubt Drake’s talking about (laughs) But yeah, that and a 9 to 5 don’t make for a great combination.

QN: You have changed the name of the mixtape a number of times, why is that so & why did you Finally settle for ‘Keep The Fame’?
I’m a Gemini man. We’re known for having emotional mood swings and what not (laughs). So i keep changing the title according to how i feel at the time. But now it makes sense because I don’t have writer’s block; i’m not second guessing myself; i’m back in my zone. And by “my zone” i mean making music for MYSELF. I think that should pretty much explain this title (laughs)
QN: You’re in the process of shooting the ‘Dark Knights’ video and you’re releasing a complete project does that mean sulfuric is officially back into music? Should we expect more projects perhaps an album?!
You see the cameras man. So you already know (laughs). But yeah man, i’m working on a few things. Bigger things actually. I just needed to get this music out of the way before the real storm. “KEEP THE FAME” is free; consists mainly of old music with a few exceptions. I’m really just trying to get it out of the way. But as you can see a “Dark Nights” visual will follow. Shout to Nes. This man is a Kanye west of visuals. Managed to breath life into this vision that i had for the record. So Mtv, Channel O, U.G is coming (laughs).

Yeah but after this project I have a collaborative EP album we’re working on with Mr. StoneTown. What we’re doing is, we’re sampling music from the African continent’s greats: Fela Kuti, Yvone Chaka chaka, Lucky Dube. So we’re fusing an african sound with the 90’s Newyork boom bap sound to create a whole new sound. No one has done this before, so i know its going to knock down barriers. So far, I got Santana on one of the songs. I’m hoping to score more features of artists I’m already fans of. Female Mcees preferrably. After that i will drop my full LP that we’ve been working on for the last 2 years. That one is not free (laughs). So yeah bro, we’re stepping on afew toes this year.

QN: You released ‘Don’t Cry’ ft. so severe back in 2012 and it made it to song of the year (2014) on one of the radio stations in town. what does this mean to you? Are Ugandan stations just appreciating ug hip-hop?
Actually that’s a good question. To me a 2012 record making a 2014 ‘records of the year’ list just shows me either there isn’t enough good hip-hop being handed in or “Don’t Cry” is simply a classic. Lets call it what it is. And the fact that i didn’t make it for radio consumption at all in the first place makes it all the more timeless.

You can listen to that song or “Dark Nights” or “I’m not mad” or “Used to know” 10, 20, 30 years from now and still feel the freshness. Because my secret is simple: I don’t focus on the “Sulphuric” brand. I focus on the “legacy”: what will I be remembered for? When my time is up, what was my contribution? How many did i inspire? When in actuality the only person i’m trying to inspire is me. To me that thought process is the secret to making timeless songs, bro. I really believe that. And that’s what i feel sets me apart from any other artist not just in U.G but on the entire continent, period. Not to come off cocky but its kind of the truth (laughs)

QN: Let’s talk about the projects on the mixtape. You’re honest on most of your songs like on dark knights where you refer to your grand mum and growing up without a dad. Do you choose to be honest when you get into the booth?! How’s your process of creating a song (a song like dark knights)?!
Another good question. You see, there are different perspectives, dimensions or approaches an artist develops as they grow. And the things Atlas who i respect very much by the way but the things or image he & artists with that style portrays or talks about now. I did when I was 16 to 20 years old. I’m older now. You don’t need to know the material things I posses, when I know the material things I don’t. So to me it all boils down to the legacy. I plan to be a father someday. So I don;t want to be remembered as the guy who rapped about swag, cars, jewels, how many girls i slept with…even though i’v been blessed to have had all these things. I rather make music that’s heartfelt, real and with a meaning because that’s the type of music I want to hear anyway. Like to me, its not that serious. Rappers tend to take themselves too seriously.

I don’t have to create an image. I can just be myself because I don’t care about the next man’s opinion. Or what popular culture dictates i should act or dress like because I have nothing to be ashamed of. And I’m very observant. As any artist should be. So my writing process is like… sometimes i’m the observer, sometimes i’m the participant. So when I say, “I’m bumpin’ Pac looking forward to better days/ girls laughing cos i got on the same clothes i wore yesterday” its like, no one ever laughed at me for wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday (laughs). But it has happened to someone i know, and when they hear it and the way i say it, they will relate. And that song will stay on their playlist forever. Again, kind of like how Rick Ross makes lyrics that will push his brand. Jay-Z makes lyrics that will sustain his legacy. That’s the difference. But don’t get me wrong. As you can see on this project, I never imprison my creativity: I will give you that real; then give you style; then give you bars; I even switch and go Bobiwine local (laughs). So you cant categorize me. Therefore even 30 years from now you wont be bored of Sulphuric ’cause I have a lot of diversity to offer as an artist.

QN: While We are still on the subject of being honest in your songs allow me to quote you on ‘The Muganda’,  “everyman for they selves, this combat/ whatever you’re trying to be now, i was that”  Is there anyone you’re trying to refer to in particular in this song?!
(Laughs) Well, I don’t know if its okay for me to say this because I recorded that song in 2012 man. Its 2015. Happy new year by the way (laughs). But yeah man, just to put it on record, that was around the time i’d stopped doing it for myself. The hype had got to me (laughs). I didn’t have much going on. I started giving people what they wanted to listen to. Which wasn’t the case for me in the beginning. So basically, with those particular lyrics. I thought at the time, honestly, my then good friend Atlas was a little jealous of me. I think he’s naturally just a very competitive person. I’v been a sportsman all my life so i can see where he was coming from with that.

We just never talked about whatever happened. There was a lot going on but just on some personal shit. But i kept it moving. He did too. From me its always been love and respect though. Actually, Respectful enough that i did a video for that particular record and didn’t put it out. People don’t know that i have a sick visual for that song. I have it to this day man. I had Enygma, Krac and a whole bunch of big weaves come through to support the shoot. But like i said, i make music for me man. So no one has to see that video. Besides, i was trash talking everybody, not just one person. Everybody.

When you listen to “The Muganda” I was angry, competitive, caught up in the hype. Now, i’m just chilling tho (laughs). I’m peacefully in my zone. I don’t want to compete, or impress. I don’t even want you to be impressed by my music, bro. Man, you could tell me i’m the best rapper in U.G. You’re getting the same reaction from me as you telling me i’m the wackiest. I could careless, honestly. No one here is getting NBA player money from rap. So its not that serious. Its really not that serious. Shout out to Atlas, man. Shout out to the hip-hop family, man. They can keep the fame. 2015 is ours though (laughs).

QN: I believe as a rapper you have been following the hip-hop scene according to you are there any rappers who have raised the bar or who have earned your respect?!
I haven’t really been following the hip-hop scene that closely quite honestly. But i attended the End Of The Weak concert. The energy in there was insane. Shouts to whoever put that together. Another highlight for me was Mith’s Destination:AFRICA album which I enjoyed heads to tails. Lyrical G’s album showed why he’s still the O.G in U.G hip-hop. And that Super Cypher by the Sphynx too was a game breaker. But other than that there’s alot of hot artists on the scene that I respect enormously but unfortunately, this interview is about Sulphuric.

Download The Free Digital Booklet Here.

Keep The Fame TracKlist 

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Twitter: @TheNinjaFelix 
Facebook: Byaruhanga Felix Felifed 
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