With a new mixtape: ‘Once Upon A Time In London’ that has just dropped, London based Haze speaks to Lady Jay UK about being an artist relevant to the people, Eurogang, and reality rap.
Lady Jay UK: For those that don’t know. Who is Haze?
Haze: I’m what the rap game has been missing. The resurrection to those that say hiphop is dead, the truth to the lies and the essence to those that know.
Lady Jay UK: When did you start writing rhymes Haze, and why?
Haze: I started writing poetry when I was about 14-15 to clear my head of things I was going through, it was my way of releasing my thoughts. It was therapeutic. I moved to LA when I was 16 and started to write rhymes; but it was Mega and Mayhem from SAS who inspired me to take it seriously when I came back to London in 2000 and they ironically returned from New York.
Lady Jay UK: Your mixtape ‘Once Upon A Time In London’ has just dropped. What can we expect?
Haze: You can expect reality rap, how I see things. You get a chance to look at the world and London through my eyes. The roads, the signs, the fast lane with a lot of soul and truth behind it.
Lady Jay UK: How does it measure up to current competition?
Haze: I don’t look at what no one else does. I just do me and I don’t have no time to be like ‘he’s hot, he’s not’. If you are hot I know who you are and you know who I am. Let’s eat. There are a lot of us out here trying to do this ting, I respect everyone’s grind though.
Jay UK: In ‘What’s Your Life Like’ you briefly mention “South London mentality”, what does that equate to?
Haze: It is like dog eat dog mentality. What it is, breders like fast money, there is a hustler who doesn’t mind working and putting thought into what he’s doing and learning how to control money. This is the street businessman basically. Then you have niggas that don’t wanna hustle they want it the easier way, they want what you got. They feel like they should have it, so they be robbing bredas. Them niggas and that mentality there is how niggas are South of the river.
Lady Jay UK: You’ve said that you want to be an artist relevant to the people. What d’you mean?
Haze: I think all artists are relevant to the people, but I think they lose their place amongst the people, I just want to stay relevant and touch people with my music always as far as relevancy is concerned. Like in boxing, you had Ali, he was the peoples champ, everyone wanted him to win and then you had Frazier, everyone knew he was one of the best but, because he didn’t interact with the community as much as Ali, they were never on his side.
Lady Jay UK: What do you think has been the best track you’ve made to date, and why?
Haze: I would have to say my track ‘Lost Souls’ because most people that hear it and I get the chance to meet them, tell me instantly. And you can see it in their eyes, and hear their voice that the track touched them in some way. Basically I am talking to the youngers coming up, who are at the crossroads I already been at.
Lady Jay UK: You’re closely affiliated with SAS. Tell me about that. What’s Eurogang?
Haze: I have known Mega and Mayhem since we were about 14 and they are just like brothers to me. Eurogang, which stands for English Unified Revolutionary Organization, is SAS, me, Biggz and Vilin. It’s a legacy, you’ll see for yourself.
Lady Jay UK: The track ‘Heroes’ had rotation on MTV Base, and Channel U. How did you feel about that, and what was it about?
Haze: The track Heroes is a track I came up with as soon as I heard the beat. I wrote it in about two hours. My girl’s my witness. It’s basically a letter to the unsung heroes that paved the way in modern day society coming from a young black man’s perspective. It was done for black history month which unfortunately I missed in the UK; but I am now aiming for BHM in the US. It is on Channel U from the end of January, I’m just looking forward to the feedback.
Lady Jay UK: What are you’re influences in life?
Haze: My influences are my surroundings, my environment, people getting money and those that lead.
Lady Jay UK: Who does your beats?
Haze: Rephan, he has bangers for days. He is a Eurogang producer, 76; he has that soulful shit, he is another Eurogang producer. Fresh Air, he is an American youth, very talented who also produced Heroes, Lordy he is a South London dude and he has some crack. Also Versa, another local producer who I work with and then there is Frequency and Sem who I have worked with in the past. Without these guys the music wouldn’t be what it is, so big up to them.
Lady Jay UK: How do you plan to expand in ‘08?
Haze: I just want to get my music and my name out there. I am bettering myself in every aspect to make sure I become a household name, have longevity and be remembered in the Hip-Hop book of legacy.
Lady Jay UK: Nice one Haze.