The Hype Magazine editor shares his story and Superbalist selects
At some point the teacher is a student, and that’s exactly how the custodian of South African hip hop publication, Hype, started out.
With a hustle driven by a passion for the culture, Rudzani 'Roo' Netshiheni would blog on his personal site while contributing to the publication he now heralds, for free. Eventually he was entrusted with top shelf commissions interviewing Mobb Deep (R.I.P Prodigy), covering The Big Sean concert and was even commissioned by hip hop heavyweights XXL.
When it was time for Fred Kayembe to move on, the obvious replacement was Roo, who feels it's his responsibility to continue to grow the brand and push the culture.
The Way of Us asked Roo to make his selects from Superbalist’s latest drops and then spoke to him about his life and style in hip hop.
What were the highlights of 2017 and what are you excited about this year?
Seeing the massive growth of our local hip hop scene, especially regarding business and impact. The more things progress like this, the more kids get inspired to chase their dreams. I think being African is a blessing right now because the world is super focused on us and when you see guys like Black Coffee or Wizkid making moves you can’t help but feel like royalty. The support structures have improved, Cassper’s historic FNB concert being a highlight and something that was breathtaking to witness. All these things push us to think what’s possible in 2018.
What are the perks of your job?
Being given the challenge and opportunity to take the brand to higher levels. And getting to do that with the coolest team of artists, brands and creatives.
How do you live your brand?
By keeping in mind that my brand exists for the “next”, which represents the up and coming artists bubbling under. Then maintaining relationships that the brand has formed over the years and of course keeping an ear on the streets in terms of music, art and fashion.
How do you dress for work and has it changed much over the years?
I’m pretty versatile with how I dress for work but I have to say that right now every outfit has to be super cozy. I think I’ve always been a bit fashion forward over the years. Seven years ago I was on that bead swag, which evolved to fake gold chains around my neck. Blame Yeezy, because Kanye West has always been a reference and I would try to imitate as close as I could. Over the years my interest in fashion has grown to include those around him, the biggest influence for me being Virgil Abloh and Jerry Lorenzo. So, studying those guys taught me that not putting too much effort and over-thinking outfits works. Just be cozy.
What's in your backpack?
I’ve got my laptop, a fresh copy of the latest Hype mag, earphones, mints, a comb for my beard, my little Vaseline, house keys, iPhone charger and sneaker wipes.
What are you currently listening to on repeat?
My phone only has Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid M.A.A.D City, To Pimp A Butterfly, DAMN. Collectors Edition), Riky Rick’s Stay Shining, A-Reece’s From Me To You & Only You, Big Sean x Metro Boomin’s Double or Nothing collab album and some beats I made.
Who is the best dressed rapper in the game right now?
Riky Rick without a doubt. He’s too cozy…
Which South African musician is most in need of a makeover?
Damn. This is a crazy one but I would have to think of a musician that makes dope music and only lacks the overall look. That would be Fifi Cooper, for me. I think once she figures out her cozy look she’ll go to the next level.
Tell us about the selects you made, and why you've made them?
I believe you can’t go wrong with a pair of Air Force 1s, the EQT’s are fire, I can see myself feeling like a black Bruce Wayne rocking the Nike Air Max Flair 50, a simple colour tee in a bigger size to create a cozy aesthetic, comfy sweats and it's clear that I'm an Originals fan now, definitely need a pair of denim pants and I’ll admit that I like mine skinny, we have to keep it street and a B-Ball vest does the trick, a pair of Vans are always a need, for real, a clean white tee for a clean look, I like attention grabbing pants and these G-Star RAW do that, a Levi’s denim jacket is a need and then socks are important but these Vans socks take it up a notch.