20 Jun, 2014

Fratpackular Fashion

An interview with hip hop artists Fratpack

Johannesburg cool kids Fratpack have been on the periphery of South African hip-hop for more than a minute. They've collaborated with artists such as Okmalumkoolkat and Mashabhuqe KaMamba, and they continue to unleash relentless beats to ward off the monotony that is mainstream rap. We linked up with the duo - rapper Mr. Calibre and producer/rapper ME - for a brief rundown about who they are. Check it!

Who is Fratpack and when did the crew start out?

Fratpack is a rap clique consisting of real-life brothers Mr. Calibre (rapper) and ME (Producer/rapper), hence the word "frat". The crew was coined in 2008 officially when the brothers and Hytone (who was a part of the crew at the time) decided to drop a mixtape called the 'Far Out Mixtape'.

What do you have to contribute to hip hop?

What we have to contribute to hip hop is life as we know it. Our goal is to show people that it's okay to be them and that they need not follow what the masses are doing; its okay to just be and do you.

Tell us a bit about your past releases…

Our past releases include the 'Far Out' Mixtape released in 2008. This is where everything started – we were rapping over unconventional beats that rappers would not really consider as "hip hop". We chopped up and sampled beats from artists like M.I.A., The Gorillaz, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, etc. This mixtape even got a spin on YFM's hip hop show hosted by Lee, DJ Kenzhero and Ace of Spades. Our second mixtape '#notinthemixtape' dropped in 2010 was like a follow-up to the 'Far Out Mixtape'. It was more mature and personal though. It continued the chopping and sampling of artist like Little Dragon, Paloma Faith, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Sneaker Pimps, etc. This mixtape did well and even got the attention of Zubz who had us open for him at his showcase at the Bassline! One of the songs on this mixtape, 'Blue Chip Cool Kid', also got a spin on 5FM's Pop Power Nights segment.

What of any future projects lined up?

We are currently working on our EP titled '#famlove'. We can't give too much information on it as yet, all you need to know is that its gonna be SUPER active…

Which emcees do you consider worthy of your time on the African continent?

There are so many talented emcees that are definitely worthy of our time! From Zubz , Kaydo, Spoek Mathambo, Tumi, Golden Shovel to MI from Nigeria, Ice Prince from Nigeria, Mode 9 from Nigeria, Naeto C from Nigeria, Blitz The Ambassador from Ghana, Khuli Chana, the list is endless to be honest…

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