WATCH | Riky Rick on being labelled a ‘fake’ in America for sounding like Nas
Rapper Riky Rick has reflected on one of the most hurtful comments he's ever received after he tried to tap into the American scene.
He spoke candidly about how he was an American hip-hop enthusiast and how he mainly wanted to emulate the Nas and Tupac "twang" in his music, until one life-changing incident in LA.
"There was an incident, a life-changing incident. I was invited to LA by one of my homies," Riky said in one of his Lab Live YouTube episodes.
He said one of the first things he did when he got to LA was to play his eight years' worth of work to people there in a casual studio session. However, the response was not what he anticipated.
"They said to me: 'Yo! I thought you are from South Africa. Why does it sound like you are trying to sound like Nas?'
"I was heartbroken because this is the music I have been working on my whole life, and they were saying I was trying to sound like I'm from LA or New York.
"That was the most disappointing, heartbreaking feedback I had ever received. Basically they told me in the nicest way possible that I'm fake," he said.
That's how his hit song Amantombazane came to life after he went back and listened to kwaito veterans like the late Brown Dash and Trompies.
Watch the full interview before.
Amantombazane went on to become one of SA hip-hop's biggest hits, and the songs that followed that single also gave off that authentic Mzansi vibe.
Since then Riky Rick has never been shy to share his interest in pushing authentic Mzansi sounds, even though he's admitted it takes a while for the sound to build on international spaces.
The well-travelled rapper previously spoke to UK's Pause magazine, and said that due to most SA artists relying heavily on nostalgia and creating songs for "neighbourhood and culture", it would be hard to dominate the global scene.
"In South Africa, we don’t make songs for the world you know. We literally make songs for our neighbourhood and our culture, which is good for South African people as a tradition but it’s bad because a lot of people outside never get to understand. So it takes a while for it to build," he said.
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