The modern era of music and the decline in the major label has opened up doors for the independents to make an impact. In Cape Town, the two most notable are Pioneer Records and Rude World Records. We sat down with one of the Mother City’s hustlers of note, Rude World Records Head of Hip Hop Division, Leneave Hansen.
- When did you start Rude World Records and what was the motivation?
Rude World Records was born early 2011, it was founded by Rudi Africa and Steven Vd. Merwe and I came on board shortly after. We recognized that there was a need for a recording label/artist management platform for Cape Town artists that genuinely cared about the artists and their music. Cape Town was not getting the recognition they deserved especially for Hip Hop. We had to deal with so many gatekeepers, turned down so many times by people already on the scene, Cape Town can be very “clicky” and there seemed to be no opportunities for collaboration or comradery on the scene and we wanted to break through that and facilitate these kinds of things for ourselves. We wanted to take the best of what Cape Town had and build a team around that.
- It seems everyone and their cousin has a record label. What sets Rude World apart from the masses?
LOL yeah it does seem that way but I think it’s a good thing and can only help the industry if you’re actually serious with what you’re doing. I think what sets us apart is that we’re serious about building a reputable business with good working relationships. We still have a long road ahead of us but looking back it’s been incredible. I think that our growth stems from how we deal with our artists, how we as a team deal with each other, we’re a family over here, and how we deal with everyone we come into contact with in the industry. We’ve put in a lot of work to make sure that what we’re busy building is something sustainable.
- What are the logistics of running a record label?
Where do I start. We pretty much do everything we need to for our artists from counseling and advising artists, pushing publishing deals, we manage our artists income and expenses, performances, licensing, sponsorships, recording, merchandising etc. We deal with venue owners, promoters, booking agents, brand partners etc. You have to make sure the image the artists decides on is portrayed in that way so when we do photoshoots, music videos and other content we make sure everything is on point. There’s a lot that goes into all this which is why it’s very important to have a strong team behind you to help you accomplish that, that’s what we offer at Rude World.
- Which artists are currently under the label?
Currently we have Kita Keetz, Tahir Khan (previously known as T-Dawg), BoolZ, Part Phunk, Jerain, Jimmy Nevis, Noa Milan, Ruby Burton, Mishka Kumi, Matthew O’Connell, The Rude Boys and DJ SamWorld.
- Black Vulcanite had a stand out album that got some pretty good reviews. What did that do for the label and for the crew in terms of pushing everyone forward?
It placed us as serious contenders in the industry, we’ve been doing exceptionally well with Jimmy Nevis as a pop artist so to see a hip hop group come through as strongly as we did with BV was really dope for us. It did a lot for the BV dudes too, we exposed them to a lot of things and people that they otherwise would not have experienced or been a part of. It helped solidify any doubts that we’re a label to keep an eye on.
- Black Vulcanite was recently booked for a festival in the Netherlands which is a major accomplishment for artists this side. How did that come about and what was the experience like?
Well we’ve been pushing BV really hard, making sure the word gets out there and people know about them so tons of press releases and speaking to people until someone eventually bites. The Appelsap festival in Amsterdam responded to what we were doing and they really liked the group so like a week before the festival we had to run around getting flights and visas etc sorted and we were out. The experience was incredible, a huge learning curve especially for myself that had to deal with logistics and admin and more. We ended up staying a week connecting with other artists and doing gigs around Amsterdam such as Winston Kindom, De Duivel etc man I loved being there and plan on being back in 2015.
- How involved are you in the creative process for your artists? Are you pretty hands off or are you P Diddy-ing the game?
I’m pretty much involved in every part of the process, I’m always in studio, sourcing producers, features, artistic direction etc. So yeah, I’m hands on from beginning to end but in no way do I dictate to any of the artists what they can and cannot do. Artists have free reign to do exactly what they feel inspired to do, I can only offer my advice and support.
- Is Cape Town’s Hip Hop scene vibrant enough to sustain an industry?
Well it’s difficult to say, the innovation, artists, platforms etc are all here for us to be able to make a success of what we’re doing and sustain the industry but unfortunately support from fans, promoters, media etc is not what it should be so we suffer under things like that but once we break through the kind of thinking people have in Cape Town with regards to supporting their own cities artists then we can most definitely sustain an industry down here.
- What are your plans moving forward and what can we expect from Rude World in 2015?
We got some exciting stuff happening in 2015. We keep growing and building our business and every year we have one or other milestone. In 2014 we opened up our own offices in Long Street and we’re currently building a brand new recording studio and a videography/photography studio in our space which will be complete the first week of January, something we’re really excited about which will enable us to do everything in house and also much faster and not on “Slaapstad” time.
We have new videos from all our artists dropping in the New Year, namely Jimmy Nevis, Kita Keetz, Part Phunk and BoolZ. Keetz is dropping a new EP early in the year which is still untitled. BoolZ has been enjoying great reviews for his “Bring Tha Hate” tape that we dropped like 3 months ago and his debut video for “Aphe Kapa” has also been getting a lot of attention after we dropped it 2 weeks ago. We decided to drop a brand new single from BoolZ called “Ekasi” for his upcoming EP “Psykadelik Spidans” which will drop early February just in time for his tour to Poland. So yeah we have a lot planned for 2015, did quite a bit of restructuring in the organization, ironing out some of the kinks etc so next year should be good for us.
Part Phunk – Faded (New Single): https://soundcloud.com/rude-world/part-phunk-faded-feat-ameen
BoolZ – Aphe Kapa Official Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDc93x39j1Q&list=UUrMzL2BVbRXc93ndYU6WuOg
BoolZ – Ekasi (New Single): https://soundcloud.com/rude-world/boolz-ekasi