The Big Hash Releases Young: An Era-Defining Project Built To Flip South African Hip Hop On Its Head

March 28, 2019 was the date set for The Big Hash’s listening session for his debut mixtape titled Young. Scores of young congregated at the SABC, all donning branded clothing through which they express themselves to the world — a world that largely has the older generations, particularly Gen X and Baby Boomers, misunderstands these new generation of young people.

This gathering was organized as a listening session, but something bigger was happening which truly details the power of young people when they band together. Think about it for a second! The South African Broadcast Commission, as a state organ, is largely ran by an older generation that has people who were integral in the fight of overthrowing the apartheid regime which systematically suffocated black people from actualizing themselves on their own land — now what has unfortunately happened with this generation of leaders is that have sustained exclusionary structures from back then to protect their own interests therefore limiting young people from accessing platforms that can change their lives. Now with this generation; things have no choice but to change, rules bent their will and exclusionary structures demolished. You will listen to the kids — whether you like it or not. They will force their way into structures like the SABC. They will move as a unit, driven by purpose and a burning desire to change the world for good, to document the times they live in; through music, fashion, photography and other creative mediums.

The Young LP by the charismatic teenager rap phenom, The Big Hash, perfectly soundtracks this generation — touching on his frustrations as a young artist, friendships, his rise to prominence, the death of his peers in music and his relations with women. With the assistance of the local hip hop culture custodian, Siyabonga Ngwekazi aka Scoop Makhathini, he unpacked each song from start to finish. “The process of making young was inspired by what was happening around me and in my life. A lot of niggas were dying, I mean, it was around the time where niggas like X and Mac died. And these people were young and had so much potential. Taking those things into consideration, this project came about. You can be young but you can’t die young. There’s still so much to do and say” he said when breaking down how the project came to happen. As he was relaying the stories of some of the key moments from the process of recording this project, 808x was on the boards cuing each track on the album.

image of the big hash
Image credit: Innanetwav

When speaking on the sixth song on the project, he paused and got comfortable in his seat on the stage. “This song was supposed to be on Riky’s album. I don’t know if that album is still going to be released or not. But I recorded this album at Riky’s house. I wrote it when Mlindo and Riky were making You And I and I took the song home and recorded it shortly after” he says. For an artist his age, Hash has truly beat the odds and settled into his destiny, and this is seen in the rooms he has been in, the industry co-signs and the support he has garnered in two and a half years.

YOUNG LP by The Big Hash
On Young, the young artist also touches on his relationship with his parents — speaking quite openly on how his mom raised him alone, with an absent dad that never kept to his promises and how all of this has shaped the man that he is and is becoming as he becomes a young adult. On Nothing Comes Free, he says “I ain’t never need no handouts/ yeah my dad got a bad habit of letting me down/ he never gave me shit from his bank account/ so I’m making double of what he make and it’s a big amount” — a scheme that gives us insight into his rocky relationship with his father. Hash’s pen shines throughout the project and he flexes his storytelling skills, his gift of playing with words and songwriting.

Nothing is forced on Young, every song carries a different vibe and a mood which gives us, the listeners, more perspective in the makings of The Big Hash: the man and the artist. He does not shy away from speaking about his biggest sacrifice which is dropping out of school and what he has managed to achieve as a result of that big move. Lines like “I was supposed to be doing my first year/ now I am ahead of my peers in light years” and “I’m in class but fuck it I’ll just leave/ fuck high school I am ready for the big league indicate this confidence and belief in himself that he, indeed, will make a success of out himself.

When asked where he thinks he will be in 10 years, he said: “I honestly don’t care much about who I will be or where I will be in 10 years time. But I do know what I want to do be doing in 10 years time and that’s music. I will always do music because music has always been there for me”. The answer to that question shows us that The Big Hash is focused on his long game and we should expect more music in future.

image of the big hash
Image credit: Innanetwav

Young speaks to his generation, kids born in the late 90s and early 2000s, and millennials. However, he has a heaven sent gift of making music which can easily appeal to music lovers of all generations especially the more melody-driven tracks where he sings. With this mixtape, Hash defines an era, re-imagines South African hip hop and offers a soundtrack to this generation. A lot of his peers relate to him and that’s where his greatest powers lie. Now couple that with great talent and a great team behind him — an era is defined, new benchmarks are set and old practices are improved. That’s powerful. The Big Hash has a long career ahead of him and with the support that he has from his peers, he can achieve anything.

The Young LP by The Big Hash is currently available on exclusively on Apple Music and will be available on other streaming platforms on the 5th of April.

The Young LP by The Big Hash is currently available on exclusively on Apple Music and will be available on other streaming platforms on the 5th of April.

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Nkululeko Nkosi Creative entrepreneur, self-starter and writer are some of the words you can use to describe me. Inspired by the grit, rawness and passion you often find in underground and alternative culture. Based in the greatest city in Africa, Johannesburg.

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