The heat wave that the City of Gold’s been experiencing for the past couple of days can only mean one thing: Rush Season is approaching, and if you’re not messing with Erick Rush yet, then getting messing.
When you think back to what you were doing at seven years old, writing raps probably isn’t anywhere amidst your list consisting of watching Cartoon Network and trying to hide your Gameboy from your siblings. After a summer of, initially unwillingly, watching BET all day and eventually getting a glimpse of Kriss Kross’ ‘Jump’ music video, Erick Rush’s life had been shaped in his mind, before even needing it to be. “By the time I got back to school, I was in the second grade and I knew with all my heart I was going to be a rapper. Kriss Kross inspired me to take this rap game seriously at a young age and that year, at seven years old, I wrote my first rap. I haven’t stopped since.”
You may know him as the mastermind behind OE & Clear Eyes, the under-rated contestant on The Hustle, or as the rapper that you’ve heard people talk about but have never actually paid as much attention to as you should have. Whichever way, he’s been around – silently creating, what looks like what may be a long-lasting career in the rap game. “I’ve spent my entire life moving around the world; gaining unique experiences: from Tanzania to the US to Canada and now in Durban. I’ve picked up things from everywhere I have lived and it has made my sound very unique and rich in culture. I’m as dope as any rapper you can think of, but my flavor is unlike any other. My content and context transcends the ordinary because of my extraordinary background.” To put it as bluntly as he put it: Erick Rush is a wanderer. With such unique and diverse experiences of the world, it’s definitely easy to hear a genuine sense of wisdom in the raps, that doesn’t always come through in your average rapper’s music. He continues: “Rather than seeing things from one side of the world or from the perspective of one country or ideology, I’ve had the chance to live in multiple places with often conflicting ideologies. Culture Shock would be the best way to describe my life. I’ve gone through a constant state of culture shock that has expanded my beliefs and ideas beyond the pre conditioned ones we are raised in. Each place brings its own problems and adversities, and I’ve had to rise above them in order to find myself and where I fit in, not just in my school, or town, or country, but in the world and universe. I’ve been able to find myself past this outer layer we portray to the world. I can speak to multiple cultures and nationalities in my music because I’ve experienced the most important thing in life: the fact the no matter how different we are, we are all the identical in the eyes of the universe.”
If you haven’t really been keeping up with the Durban rap seen for longer than a year, then the reality is that Erick most probably only came to you during his The Hustle participation. The show gave some young MC’s the exposure they possibly needed to jump start their careers, but of all of the rappers to enter, in all honesty only a few will be remembered. This isn’t because they weren’t dope – many people, myself included, were surprised by the level of skill the contestants possessed. We’re at the point in the South African rap game where, if you’re not making the right radio track or messing with the right people, then it’s quite difficult to make any sort of real impact. It doesn’t look like that might be the case with Mr. Rush though – although he digs what’s popping and gains inspiration form the uniqueness of the music on a whole, he shows an immense refusal to yield to industry pressure. “The Hustle will forever be a part of my story. The things I learned from being a part of that were priceless. And being around such great MC’s only made me better. I won’t let any superficial pressures from twitter or the industry knock me out of balance. The industry doesn’t usually respect you until you have a “hit single” and sometimes you can feel pressured to make that one song that blows up but I’m not worried about all that. I have a plan for how I will roll out my next project and I think this project will show the evolution from the Hustle to an established Artist. I know who I am and exactly where I fit it, even if they don’t.”
One of the most distinguishing things about Erick Rush is his flow. On one song you could be listening to a track with a flow reminiscent of what you’d hear being bumped in the sunny West Coast in the 90’s with your top down, and on the next track, it wouldn’t be weird for you to be thrown off by a complete switch up to a relentless MC going at a pace that doesn’t suggest any stopping. “That rich flow comes from my rich background”, he says. “At the end of the day, I want to be known as a rapper who always had something to offer you. I want our exchange to be 50/50. The listeners and fans bring the best out of me. They give me insights that make me not only a better rapper but a better person. I just want to do the same for you. When people hear my music I want them to leave feeling like they learned something. Whether it’s something about me, or something about the way the world is run, or something miscellaneous. Regardless, I want you to leave with something. My music is what I use to express myself and in my lyrics is where I am most vulnerable. It is a very intimate thing. I want the listener to know how sincere I am with the things I am saying. I don’t just write things because they rhyme. Every line is premeditated so you can get a true understanding of who I am and my perspective and what going on. In 10 years, I just want to be known as a really great person, whose greatest joys laid in his ability to make your life more enjoyable.” Erick Rush is what is needed!
It’s so easy for artists to plant seeds of excitement in their audience for big projects or tasks and either not bring their plans to life or not pull through as expected. But Erick Rush shows no signs of slowing down or letting his fire slowly burn out – he’s grinding and adding on to the already built foundation that will be the base of his huge success. “I’m definitely working on a couple projects. The first one I’m finishing up now is my debut album titled “The Heist”. I’m still finalizing the features on it, but it will be my masterpiece. I have a very particular concept for this project that I think will resonate with not only artists but people of all walks of life. Sometimes the powers that be don’t respect us enough to give us what’s earned. Instead they steal from us and try to convince us that it’s standard. That’s why the gap between the rich and poor is rapidly growing. Even the biggest artists in the world don’t really have a say when it comes to the grand scheme of these industries. This album is me running into the offices of these billionaires who are out of touch with what’s happening on the front lines. They will never give it to you until you revolt, and I’m going in guns blazing. Taking what they’ve kept from us all along and putting the power, resources, and money back into the Artists or Peoples hands. “
Peep the music video for ‘Where The Angels Go’ which is the first single off of The Heist. I predict a potent project.