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Michael Botur

interviews

Lui Gumaka, Haz’ Huavi and Tom Scott from

Home Brew


STRAIGHT OUTTA? TOM: I was born in Brixton. Left there when I was three ‘cause it was a shit-hole. Moved to Avondale, lived there ‘til I was 21. Now I live with my girl in Mt Albert. I have no culture, skill base or world view. LUI: I’m from Waterview and I’m Niuean. I have ambitions to succeed but will probably fail first. I lack any actual skill and experience. Haha. THE BENEFITS OF RAP: HAZ: There are none. LUI: Being sponsored is nice. Everybody likes free stuff. Well, I do. TOM: You can talk a bunch of shit and people are interested. DRAWBACKS? LUI: Not knowing how to interact with fans properly. I’m still learning how to do that. TOM: You’re broke. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE AUDIENCE – DO YOU LOOK UP TO THEM OR DOWN AT THEM? TOM: I think arrogance loses you fans as a lyricist. Personally, when I can’t relate to an artist or I think he’s an asshole I don’t wanna listen to their shit. Even if they can rap 8763 words a minute and have really symmetrical eyebrows. LUI: Just treat them like I treat anyone else: nice. We just do our thing and the crowd usually like that. You could say we’re on the same level.


WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU’RE PERFORMING? LUI: At first I was nervous. Nothing a few beers won’t fix. Trying to have a mean show and trying not to make mistakes on stage. Energy. HAZ: I feel like I’m mind-fuckin’ chicks in the front when I stare in their eyes hahaha, most of the time I’m too pissed to even realise what’s going on in my head. WHAT MAKES A RAPPER? LUI: Just being yourself, I guess. No one likes an actor or a liar. And people will let you know pretty quickly if they don’t like what they hear. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE TO BE SUCCESSFUL? TOM: That seems like a paradox to me. My definition of success would be that you don’t sacrifice anything. ‘What do you have to sacrifice to be successful?’ - nothing. LUI: Time with my girlfriend. Not that I’m successful or anything. HAZ: Your left ballbag and a lot of spare time on your hands. HOW LONG DOES THE FAME BUZZ LAST, COMPARED TO OTHER DRUGS? TOM: The dude at Number 1 Shoe Warehouse recognised me the other day. That’s the biggest it’s got for me. LUI: Fame and success? What’s that? It’s not so much the fame that gives me a buzz, I just like how people genuinely like the music we’re making and how they relate to it so much.


HAZ: Drugs have a way better buzz. We just get male groupies TOM: I guess it’s like E. Everybody wants to hug you and tell you how much they love you, then you come down and do ads for heat pumps. LUI: It’s a buzz of its own. It lasts longer and it’s not as expensive! HAZ: Not long, mine’s almost over, lol. THERE IS A STEREOTYPE OF PEOPLE WHO PLAY THE RAP GAME AS IGNORANT, MATERIALISTIC, INARTICULATE, MISOGYNIST AND VIOLENT. REALITY? TOM: I’ve never met a lyricist who was anything like that. I mean there’s obviously something different about someone who wants to spend their whole day trying to craft their thoughts into rhyme, that’s a pretty fucked up thing to do when you think about it. You have to be intelligent or at least artistic to even want to do that. So nah I don’t think that stereotype is accurate. It’s just a formula that doesn’t work anymore. HOW IMPORTANT IS A HOOD? HAZ: South is just a big soft teddy bear with a few too many wannabe gangsters. There’s real gangsters out here but they’re all good. Just don’t go looking for trouble, coz that shit lurks nearby in every hood. I’ll rep for the South!! hahaha. TOM: I’m from Avondale. I could give a fuck about it. It’s just a place.


CAN A REAL MC EVER SWITCH OFF, OR DO YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES IN CASE THE PUBLIC DEMANDS FREESTYLES? LUI: It’s always easy to say no. I freestyle with friends to have fun and when I feel like it. TOM: I’m a graceful hoop jumper. RAP: RISQUE AND ROUGH? LUI: That depends on the people you’re around at the time and the situations you put yourself in. Every night’s different. HAZ: Rapping sucks, G, we make songs now hahaha. DO ANY DRUGS ENHANCE OR HURT YOUR CRAFT? TOM: Sometimes I think whatever it is I’m smoking/snorting/eating is enhancing my craft. Then I wake up the next day and realise I was just really high and it actually sucks ass. I think the main thing drugs and alcohol do are give you the confidence and belief in your ability to express yourself… but as long as you can keep that without having to be high, then fuck drugs, fuck alcohol. People think we promote being an addict, but fuck that. I’d rather be straight. It just so happens I’m addicted to some things, but that’s ‘cause I’m socially awkward and uncomfortable. I don’t need anything to spark my interest in music. Donny Hathaway Live on acid though... shit. HAZ: Yeah drugs made my dick bigger, ecstasy just makes me smile a lot more but the booze is the main ingredient to set any party right.


LUI: Drinking takes the edge off being nervous. Hangovers are the only drawback. CAN YOU MAKE A LIVING OFF OF RAP IN AUCKLAND? LUI: I guess so, it would be hard to do over here though. TOM: I can’t. Thank you WINZ. EVERY ARTISTIC MEDIUM HAS PEOPLE WHO HELP IT AND PEOPLE WHO BRING IT DOWN. SO WHO ARE THE FRIENDS AND ENEMIES OF HIP HOP? TOM: I think they’re co-dependent. Souljah boy makes Blu. George Bush makes Obama. The commercial bullshit challenges the underground, a rubber band kind of effect. Watts riots, the French Revolution, yadayada… So nah I don’t think there are friends or enemies. MONEY AND HOME BREW: WHAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP? IF YOU WON LOTTO, OR MADE MILLIONS THROUGH YOUR MUSIC, COULD YOU STILL BE INSPIRED? HAZ: I will always be inspired to make music. I quit my job for this shit.  If I had all that money, I’d help my family and def make sure my friends  are good and happy in this miserable world… but fuck money, even though I need some most days.

TOM: Of course. I think struggle creates better art. But not necessarily financial struggle. Kanye is putting out some challenging shit at the moment. The Beatles were rich as fuck when they made the White Album and that’s some of their most innovative work. I think if you’re an artist you’ll always have an inner struggle to create. I’d love to be rich. I like pools and palm trees. LUI: Money’s only my friend on Thursdays. Ha ha. I’d like to think so… I wouldn’t know until it happened, I guess. WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOU WEREN’T RAPPING? LUI: Working and drinking. Ha ha. TOM: Packing rice. *TOM: Check the two new projects I’m working on that will be out this summer. Max Marx and Friedrich Calloway (an EP based on what I learnt in my philosophy classes, done with producer Chris Macro from Dubious Brothers) and Karl and Lenny (a collaborative EP with lyricist Lui Tuiasau from Nothing 2 Nobody, featuring production from everyone we know in Auckland.) http://www.homebrewcrew.co.nz/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/ homebrewcrew



the homebrew crew interview