Hi guys. Do you know “Indonesian Grime King”, NinjaTea, and his remarkable projects in hip hop and Grime scenes? NinjaTea, who defined himself as an “Oriental Asian British” because he lives in U.K. his whole life but has an Indonesia heritage, was interviewed by Hiphopindo.net so you could know him better. Let’s take a look at NinjaTea’s story from talking about Grime scene, to his strength that make him different from any other rappers!
1. NinjaTea defined as “Oriental Asian British”, so how far is the influence of Indonesian nationalism to your own self? Are there some kind of Indonesian cultures that you do or use that make you different from the others, especially in the Grime / Hip hop scene?
Yes that’s right! I, and general British society identify myself as ‘Oriental Asian British’.
I don’t care about nationalism. I am not nationalistic or patriotic at all to any country. I don’t care about “Indonesia Raya” anthem OR “God save queen” (British national anthem). In fact I’m quite proud to say I do not know the Indonesian or God save the queen anthem by heart. What I do feel inside me is to be part of a modern Indonesian society that’s forward & global thinking; especially in the young Hip-Hop community.
I consider myself an international Indonesian representative, representing Indonesians to people around the world who otherwise don’t know much / anything about Indonesia. I definitely feel being Indonesian is a huge part of my identity. Whenever I meet people I tell them I’m British FIRST, but with Indonesian heritage.
Culture wise, of course there’s lots of Indonesian culture I bring to the Grime / Hip-Hop scene!
I have Indonesian BARS that I spit! Check my “Ayo Kamu Kenalkan Me” bars be RELOADED on a live Radio set
Mengenai budaya, tentu saja ada banyak budaya Indonesia yang saya bawa ke dalam scene Grime/Hip-Hop!
Also, the fact that Grime / Hip-Hop fans around the world follow me on social media, know me as The
“ #IndonesianGrimeKing “ and just see me do ‘ Indonesian things’ e.g. eat Satay, see me promote Vice Indo & other Indonesian artists is my contribution towards bringing Indonesian culture to the Grime / Hip-Hop scene!
2. Can you explain the basic differences about Grime and Hip hop culturally, in addition to the beat / tempo of the song, so that some people in Indonesia could understand better?
Absolutely! It’s quite easy to explain the difference between Grime & Hip-Hop.
First of all, let me state that Grime is NOT a form of Hip-Hop. It is NOT a sub-genre of Hip-Hop (e.g. Dirty South, Trap, BoomBap, East Coast, West Coast). Grime is its own respectable genre. Grime is heavily influenced by not just Hip-Hop but Jamaican Dancehall / Ragga and UK Garage Music. In Jamaican Dancehall / Ragga when somebody spits a sick bar and the crowd gets hyped, the DJ WHEELS UP the track and you say it again. Example watch me LIVE get a WHEEL UP at my friend JOSHUi’s first headline show – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXO6ncM8CRQ
Grime formed around 2003 in the council estate ghettos of Bow E3, East London (pretty similar to New York Project Housing), by pioneers such as Dizzee Rascal (Check album ‘Boy In Da Corner) & Wiley (The ‘Godfather’ of Grime). Grime emerged from the UK Garage (a type of electronic / dance music) scene which was popular in the late 90’s & 2000’s.
In this Freestyle I did for Gogi TV (skip to 2.34) I literally explain what Grime is:
Musik ini apa? Ayo kita belajar
Grime itu mulai di tahun 2003
Grime itu mulai di Bow E3
London Timur daerah
UK Bronx; projek NY mirip lah
HipHop influence dan Dancehall musik Orang Jamaica”
Grime came from the sound of the UK streets. The sound of the UK ghetto and council housing struggle from guns, knives, poverty to everyday struggle.
I explain in this interview PAKE BAHASA INDO on Hip-Hore hosted by Yacko & John Parapat (skip to 5mins) Grime itu apa?
You can also read this article about Grime NOT being a sub-genre of Hip-Hop:
3. Do you think there are some advantages when you work in Grime scene compared to Hip hop in U.K. especially?
In the UK you can kind of divide the ‘RAPPING’ scenes in FOUR main categories:
1) Grime (which is probably the biggest Genre)
Example Grime – Skepta ft. JME
2) UK Drill / Trap / Gangster Rap (which is now CLOSELY / almost as big as Grime). This is heavily influenced by American Drill / Trap but with UK Grime influence
(Sub-low / Grimey / Bassy beats)
Example UK Drill – 67 ft. Giggs
Example UK Trap – Section Boyz
3) UK Hip-Hop… This is essentially American BOOM BAP style 90’s / 2000’s beats. UK Hip-Hop is MUCH less popular than Grime + UK Drill / Trap / Gangster rap
High Focus Records is the one of the biggest UK Hip-Hop labels.
Example UK Hip-Hop Fliptrix from High Focus Records:
4) Drum & Bass MCING… Drum & Bass MCing or Dnb MCing was much more popular in early 2000’s. It is sadly now getting less and less popular, and I’d say (in my opinion) it’s even less popular than UK Hip-Hop. Almost all UK DnB MC’s also do Grime / Hip-Hop too.
Example Drum & Bass MCing tune
… So to finally answer your question directly, the advantage of working in UK Grime vs UK Hip-Hop is that there’s more opportunities. You’re likely to get fans quicker. A lot of UK fans listen to UK Grime but never listen to UK Hip-Hop, but listen to lots of American Hip-Hop.
Wiley, the GOD FATHER of Grime talks about “Wiley talks Grime over-shadowing UK Hip Hop”
4. Is there any rapper in Indonesia that you want to collaborate with? If there’s any, why do you choose them?
First of all, can I say I’m VERY picky with collaborating with rappers.
There’s a reason that out of my current 16 song discography – I’ve only ever invited 3 other rappers to collab on my tracks: JOSHUi & Nat James (my friends from Manchester) & HVCEP (rapper from Tangerang).
I’ve only ever featured on three other rapper’s tracks: JOSHUi’s & Bobby Dukz’ (my friends from Manchester) & ACLS’ (rapper from Tangerang who’s also HVCEP’s friend).
I work on friendship, mutual respect, consistent attention & support first; THEN I might make a track with somebody if it feels natural. I don’t care how big someone is, that’s why to date, I’ve never collabed with any big rapper. In fact I’m SMALL, but I’m BIGGER than all the rappers who I’ve collabed with!
I’m pretty tired of Indonesian people telling me I ‘need’ to collab with Rich Brian, Joe Million, Ras Muhammad, Saykoji etc… I don’t know these people personally. As far as I’m concerned these people don’t even know who I am… They don’t follow me back on social media, and that’s cool because I respect them and I’m just their FAN! So although I’m a FAN of MANY Indonesian rappers, below are very SPECIFICALLY Indonesian rappers I REALLY WANT to work with!
Oldschool Hip-Hop: Tuan Tigabelas, Sonjah Real, Lipooz & everyone Mukarakat Crew
I want to collab with Tuan13, Sonjah Real, Lipooz & everyone from Mukarakat Crew: Lipooz / St Yowzha / Axer / D Flow / Donny / Sun D – on some Oldschool BoomBap Hip-Hop shit. Because those guys are just oldschool BOOM BAP to the core. I don’t know personally know many people who do old school Hip-Hop style like that anymore. Sometimes I’m in the mood to do oldschool BoomBap Hip-Hop but it’d have to be the RIGHT song.
Indonesian Grime Collabs
I want to do a Grime song with Noise from Onar. I actually wanted to remix the Grime song ‘substansi’ by Noise but he didn’t allow me to do that sadly
I’d like to get Laze on that Grime song as well (from Onar too).
Maybe like “NinjaTea X Noise ft. Laze – ‘Enter Name Of Song’ (Prod. Enter name of Grime producer)”
American Sounding Collabs – A Nayaka & Willy Winarko
A Nayaka & Willy Winarko – Both rasied in the USA… are NICE as hell.
I’d like to BE the FEATURE on one of THEIR super American sounding / trappy songs.
I.e. A Nayaka ft. NinjaTea / Willy Winarko ft. NinjaTea
5. Until this moment, is there any Indonesian rapper who inspires you? If the answer is yes, please tell us the reason. If there’s nobody, please also explain why 🙂
There are LOTS of Indonesian rappers who inspire me!
I can’t name them all but I’ll name these ones in particular…
Depending on when this article gets published… I’ve got a song called “Shot Them Down” featuring Tuan Tigabelas, (Produced. George Lucid) which is a Grime Remix of Tuan Tigabelas x Sickness MP “Hash Of Haydr” Hip-Hop song.
Releasing sometime in March 2018
Tuan13 is my favourite Indonesian rapper of all time (so far haha). I first found out about him via 16.bar Hip-Hop channel (where I did my “Ayo Kamu Kenalkan Me” Grime session). I’ve listened to his entire internet discography over and over countless times; and he’s always amongst the FIRST Indonesian rappers I show to people when introducing new people to Indonesian Hip-Hop. Tuan13 inspires me because he stands for social change; educating people about cannabis, social injustice and freeing your mind. That shit’s so powerful it’s beyond music. Tuan13 reminds me a little of a conscious UK rapper called “Akala”. Tuan13 rolls with that global energy that’s aligned with mine: forward thinking. On top of all that he’s a great dad and family man.
I like how he listens to Caribbean music too. He’s very educated and deeply understands Hip-Hop culture.
Finally, Tuan13 spotted me early in May 2017, before I had even 3,000 views on Youtube <3
We’ve spoke on the phone for over an hour.
Also shout outs Rebel Education Project – Tuan13’s band. They’re sick too.
Laze & Noise – Onar
I love Laze & Noise from Onar. The whole Onar movement is sick. Every single thing they release on their Youtube channel is quality. I’ve not really spoke to Laze & Noise much except exchange some short DMs on instagram, so I haven’t connected with them emotionally properly… But I like how they both know what I’m up to on social media; I know they’re watching me. I’ll say it again, I hope I can work with Laze & Noise.
More than just her music, I respect Yacko’s veteran CONTRIBUTIONS to the Indonesian Hip-Hop scene all these years. I respect the fact that she balances between a fulltime Universtiy lecturer, and outside of that puts so much love in promoting and growing the Indonesian Hip-Hop culture. She interviewed me on her radio show in September 2017 on HipHop Hore. She spotted me early like Tuan13.
Bali-based Indonesian Hip-Hop veteran Lipooz (originally from Flores) – Rapper & PRODUCER, who runs Indonesian Hip-Hop channel 16.bar & is part of rap group ‘Mukarakat’ is THE person to give me my CAREER boost in the Indonesian Hip-Hop scene. Lipooz inspires me not just as a musician, but the fact that he’s the first Indonesian to create a PLATFORM like 16.bar to put Indonesian rappers on. Without my 16 bar Grime Session I would’ve found it much harder to break into the Indonesian Hip-Hop scene / get attention and recognition from producers like Sihk & Mardial , or for rappers like Yacko & Ben Utomo etc to even know who I am.
6. In the lyrics of 1 juta 1 verse with Mardial, you say “I do not know Rich Chigga but i’m that Indonesian Grime Kid”. So, based on your own perspective, what do you think about Rich Brian?
First of all let’s quote the lyric in its full context.
“Put on my gravestone I’m the Indonesian Grime King
Hashtag #WhosThatChigga I don’t know Rich Chigga
But I’m that Indonesian Grime Kid
G-R-I-M-E rep that til I D-I-E and I still do Hip-Hop”
I think Rich Brian is cool. I’ve worked with SIHK who produced Rich Brian’s “Who That Be”; we got a song together called “Energy Like Ninja” – Music video coming soon (Directed by Danny Usman)!
Rich Brian’s new album is nice, my favourite song on it is ‘Flight’.
At FIRST I disliked HOW (bagaimana / cara) Rich Brian came up (jadi terkenal). I dislike when any rapper in the world, uploads one video and becomes famous because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I grew up in this culture; around sound systems, in and around the streets and the ghetto where people spit bars on the street, go studio, try to promote songs, selling CDS on the street, doing crappy open mics, myspace, self-funding videos, promoting, going on radio; repeating this process again and again and again until you make it work.
That’s how you’re ‘supposed’ to make it.
But I do RESPECT Rich Brian for, following his quick internet fame, built a respectable long-term career where he can do headline shows globally. To sum up I think Rich Brian got lucky. I don’t think he’s any kind of sick lyricist but the kid’s nice and I’m happy for him!
Additional note: Contrary to popular belief, I did not ‘steal’ the word ‘Chigga’ from Rich Brian. ‘Chigga’ is a word that’s used to Oriental Asians who’re in ‘Black culture’. My black friends literally used to call me Chigga from growing up. Admittedly I started using it more when I first heard Rich Brian (back when he was ‘Rich Chigga) and made #WhosThatChigga my thing. But I didn’t steal the word from him because I’ve been called ‘Chigga’ for over 10 years by people.
7. Can you tell us about Hip hop and Grime scenes in U.K.?
The UK Hip-Hop & Grime scene is healthy, busy, competitive and cut throat.
In the USA you can be whack (literally terrible) and blow up.
In Indonesia you can be even more whack and still blow up (not naming any whack famous Indonesian rappers).
In the UK it’s almost impossible to be whack and be famous. Almost every single famous UK rapper is a SICK MC, a SICK Artist, have sick lyrics, flows, melodies and a unique style. None of this mumble rap, fake gangster nonsense. E.g. Ghetts, Bugzy Malone, Jaykae, Stormzy, Skepta, Wiley, Devlin – all sick MCs, all have sick lyrics, flows, melodies, unique styles and are all famous.
When I mean busy, competitive and cut throat, I REALLY mean it. Every single week there’s a new rapper who’s hot (and they’re almost always sick), and everyone’s fighting for top spot – none of this whack ‘Youtube rapper’ culture that’s in Indonesia, America and the rest of the world where vloggers make one rap video, get 1 million views then quite rapping! Imagine a country so small but with so many rappers that are world class. I truly think that in proportion to our size, (relative ke besar nya) the UK has the most talented and sick rap scene in the entire world.
The UK scene is also getting the global recognition it finally deserves too! Artists like Giggs & Dave are doing songs with Drake, & Skepta can sell out shows in Canada, USA & Australia etc!
8. Is there any further project in hip hop that you already or wants to do, both for the Indonesian and other countries? Because it seems like lately you already make a lot of videos on Youtube.
I’m always releasing singles whenever I feel like it. I might hear a beat, write to it, record it in studio, get it mixed and mastered, film the music vid and drop the music vid all in a one week! So ALWAYS be expecting new music from NinjaTea consistently, forever and always.
Bare in mind I only dropped my first music video and single in Feb 2017… Fast forward to February 2018: I’ve got 16 songs (8 of which are turned into music vids), and I’m featured on 3 people’s songs (2 / 3 of which are turned into music vids)!
BLVCK Clouds Dojo EP – Dropping / March 2018
Depending on when this article gets published, I will either: soon be releasing / soon have released an EP called ‘BLVCK Clouds Dojo’ – sometime in March 2018. Producer wise – A lot of songs are produced by George Lucid – who’s an upcoming Manchester based producer + rapper; George Lucid is also part of a collective called 2090.
I’ve also got rapping features from George Lucid & Leandro – Who’re also part of 2092 collective & I’ve got a rap feature from my friend called Bobby Dukz (we have a Music video out “Bobby Dukz ft. NinjaTea – ‘Slow Down’)
I’ve also got a song on BLVCK Clouds Dojo produced by an Indonesian producer called ‘Bramantio’ – He messaged me on Sound cloud one day and we became friends.
NinjaTea ft. TuanTigabela$ – Shot Them Down (Prod. George Lucid)
[ Tuan Tigabela$ x Sickness MP – Hash Of Haydr – GRIME REMIX ]
Beat produced again by George Lucid, I’ve got a Grime song with TuanTigabela$ called “Shot Them Down” which is a Grime Remix of his “Tuan13 x Sickness MP – Hash Of Haydr” song.
*** At the time of me writing this response, I’m unsure if my song with Tuan Tigabelas will be part of BLVCK Clouds Dojo EP or not ***
Collaborations with Canadian Artists From GTA (Greater Toronto Area)
I went to Toronto Canada in September & October 2017 to further my Grime career (they have a HUGE emerging Grime fan base over there). I did three shows and collaborated with some artists.
Here’s a clip of an INSANE NinjaTea Toronto performance I did at Nuit Blance Toronto street festival
?? Canada day 4/12… * * ONE HOUR Back2Back Grime set in Downtown Toronto with… * * ? MC @riddimz_btb (from Manchester too!) X ? DJ @sirrealnesss ~ One of the ONLY DJs in Toronto truly pushing GRIME ? * * #NuitBlanche #NuitBlanche17 #NinjaInThe6 #The6iX #TDOT #TorontoGrime #WhosThatChigga #WhoaDatChigga #NinjasBouncingAgain
None of my Canadian collaborations are out yet (during the time of me writing this interview).
But I can tell you sometime in 2018, I’ll definitely be releasing songs with Mago The Guy & Millitant Millex – who’re from Brampton (just outside of Toronto) & are part of a crew called “Karma Klub”.
I’m also collaborating with a rapper from Toronto called Prince Rose.
Indonesian Mixtape / EP / Album
MUCH LATER on in my career, when I’m much bigger I’d like to do an Indonesian Mixtape / EP / Album, Where every song is produced by an Indonesian producer & features an Indonesian rapper / singer I love e.g:
NinjaTea ft. Danilla Riyadi (Prod. Lipooz)
NinjaTea ft. Noise & Laze (Prod. Envy)
NinjaTea ft. Willy Winarko & A Nayako (Prod. NSG)
NinjaTea ft. Matter Mos (Prod. Bramantio)
NinjaTea ft. Yacko (Prod. Sihk)
Lol that’s an EP right there ^
9. Can you tell us about the influence of education system in U.K. to the way that Ninjatea works from the beginning until now?
First of all let me educate you on how the UK school system is because it’s a different structure to Indonesia:
1) Primary school (SD) 4 years to 11 years old
2) Highschool – Which is SMP + SMA combined… 11 years old until 16 years old
3) COLLEGE – This is NOT University. This is after highschool & before university. Most people go at 16 straight after highschool, but some people go when they’re 20+. College is free, and you study 3 (minimum) to 5 (maximum) subjects of your choice. Any subjects. E.g. you could do Art, Chemistry, Spanish & music. College is 2 years long.
In 1 Juta 1 verse I say
“Sejak umur satu-sembilan (19) berusaha usaha nggak cari kerja dan nggak pernah kuliah Enambelas lulus sekolah, lapanbelas diploma, kerja fulltime satu tahun tidak cocok, Sembilanbelas keluar kantor”
I’m 22 (DOB 15 / 06 / 1995) and I didn’t go to University – This is very very normal in the UK.
In the UK around 50% of people don’t go to University.
I studied music from 14 – 16 in High school… But I would say that formal education, (school) has very LITTLE to do with NinjaTea. The ONLY thing I would say, is that in my 2nd year of college I met a singer called Stevie Stewart also known as ‘AJ’ – who’s one of my best friends.
AJ is the REASON I started rapping. I actually wrote a song called “Show A Lickle Love To AJ (Prod. Chuki Beats)” which tells the story of how we me and AJ met, and me starting to rap at 17 years old because of him! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwePNJcHMdQ
10. What are your expectations of your career prospects in Hip hop or Grime, both in Indonesia and international?
I have some very clear goals in my vision….
Indonesian Grime King
One of my goals is to be THE person who brings Grime to Indonesia, that’s why I’m the Indonesian Grime King.
Much like Wiley is the Godfather of UK Grime Music (he basically was the first person to do Grime in 2002 / 2003), I’ll be the Godfather, the king of Indonesian Grime. In the future I’d like to see Indonesian Grime Artists who do Grime first and foremost, and Hip-Hop second (for the record I STILL & will always doo SOME Hip-Hop haha).
I want to see Grime culture in the future in Indonesia – Entire shows where people just do Grime, no Hip-Hop, 140BPM beats, and people get reloads when the crowd gets hyped… Obviously I still want to see shows with Grime AND Hip-Hop TOO! There’s Grime culture and Grime Artists everywhere now; France, Germany, Canada & Japan!
Japanese Grime Artist ‘Pakin’
Korean Grime Artist ‘Damndef’
Oriental Asian British Urban Cultural Representative
First of all let me make it very clear (because a lot of Indonesians don’t know); The UK isn’t a country that’s all white (bukan‘negara bule’). You have SO much multi-culturehere. In fact, growing up, the school I went to, white people only made up for less than 25% of the population.
Unlike America – which has lots of Oriental Asian Urban cultural representatives, unfortunately at the moment in the UK urban community (Grime / Hip-Hop / Streetwear Fashion / Skateboarding / RnB), there are very few well known Oriental Asian British cultural representatives. I want to inspire for example, (*hypothetically, hypothetical person*) British-Born Chinese Sally Wong, to find the courage to tell her parents she isn’t going to be a doctor and go to med school, but she’s in fact NOT going to University but going to pursue being a fashion designer! I want to inspire British-Born Vietnamese Vincent Chung (*hypothetically, hypothetical person*) to save up for a camera and start filming rap videos.
100% Creative Control, Independent Grind + A Hard-core global fan base
I hate being told what to do. That’s why I left education at 18 & never had a job since I was 19. I don’t want to do homework or do exams or follow rules. You can give me advice and I might think about it, but I will always want to be the CEO of NinjaTea. I don’t ever want to be in a position where a label or manager control something in the career of NinjaTea that I disagree with.
I want to be a completely independent artist who owns 100% to all the rights to all of my creative work, with 100% creative control. I want to release music how and when I went, I want my videos to look like how I pictured them in my mind, I want to collaborate with independent clothing lines / fashion people that will make me clothes to how I want them.
It’s evident that although I’m small, people around the world really feel my movement because they see I’m NinjaTea, I’m nobody else, I’m not trying to be anybody else, I’m not a culture vulture and I don’t try to jump on hype. In time, I know my hard-core fan base will grow big ENOUGH so I can headline tour the world and do headline shows (at least selling 300 tickets or so in Toronto, New York, Jakarta) and people will pay to see me perform. I don’t know if I’ll ever “blow”… Because I don’t make commercial music, or talk about turning up, getting lit at the club, or girls, or getting money. And I promise you I will NEVER sell my soul and do that shit!
11. What makes NinjaTea different from the others that become your strength in Hip hop / Grime scene?
Sonically, I’m completely unique. The way that I spit, the way I ride the beat, my flows, my melodies, my style and pattern. I can honestly say whether you like me or not, like I said in 1 Juta 1 verse “I truly believe I’m one of the most unique MC’s on the E-A-R-T-H (earth) hungry to E-A-T” (eat = makan di rap). There is no song in the entire world like 1 Juta 1 Verse, that’s a classic. Also I believe very few people in the world could do that beat justice like I did.
Please remember, and I’ll keep saying it… No disrespect, but compared to almost everyone in Indonesian Hip-Hop including most artists, I didn’t find rap on the internet then start rapping (NOT that there is anything wrong with that). I literally grew up IN the culture; around African / Caribbean areas where people spit bars and cypher on the street all the time with a portable speaker, around areas where people are now big MCs or big producers. I went to school / grew up around people who are now successful artists, and watched them come up from 0 to 100 after years of work. I’ve put my 10,000 + hours in perfecting my craft and I can say that I’m the best in the world at what I do.
Even in UK Grime, if you listen to #NinjaRiddim (Music Video on my channel) no Grime MC in the UK or world rides the beat like I ride it. I believe my Grime song (MV on my channel) “Ayo Kamu Kenalkan Me” in the future will be recognised as a culturally significant song & it’ll exceed a million views one day.
Outside of my actual music abilities, the way I move, the way I’ve come up authentically and actually built NinjaTea as a brand, as a rap entity, as a BUSINESS… Whether you like my music or not you have to RESPECT my unique grind! It’s literally on a world class level. I challenge anybody in the world to test against my career. From releasing my first music video and single “Ninja’s 21st” on 5th February 2017 until now I’ve:
– Dropped 16 songs / 8 of which have been turned into music videos
– Featured on 3 people’s songs / 2 of which have been turned into music videos
– Dropped a Grime EP (Mac Ninja)
– Featured in dozens of cyphers and rap sessions published on Facebook & mainly Youtube
– Been booked & performed on countless shows not just in UK festivals, but GLOBALLY in Toronto Canada, Rotterdam Holland and of course Jakarta Indonesia
– Opened for Tinchy Stryder (big UK Rapper)
– Had my songs spun on BBC Radio (big UK Radio) several times
– Gained respect & recognition from the people at the very top of UK Grime (- Grime MC’s Wiley & Devlin both follow me on social media & I’m working and have already WORKED with legendary UK Grime producer Prince Rapid – #NinjaRiddim) + Indonesian Hip-Hop (I don’t need to name names, half of the biggest Indonesian rappers / producers know who I am haha)
With all of this in mind ^ above, bare in mind I’ve self-funded everything. I have no label. Furthermore I’m not even a fulltime musician. I make very little money at the moment in music – I make most of my money in other self-employed ventures: corporate event organising / modelling / social media marketing – I have a few hustles!
12. Is there anything you want to tell the readers of Hiphopindo.net?
Any Indonesian rappers reading this… If you spit in English too, please do it right! I’m not going to name names, but so many Indonesian rappers are spitting whack English lyrics. They’re literally whack because they’re GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT. It’s literally like me saying
“Gue Rapper dan gue suka MINUM satay”. My advice to Indonesian rappers who want to spit in English is please get your lyrics reviewed – Feel free to contact ME @NinjaTea0161 on all social media for English lyric review enquiries 😀
For the record it’s 100% unacceptable for any of you guys to ever say the N word (N*****) I see so many Indonesian rappers say it. Please never ever say it. This is coming from somebody who grew up around African & Caribbean people and culture and even though my black friends say it all the time, I never do.
Please stop telling me to collab with YoungLex that will never ever ever happen. Feel free to SUGGES, but please stop TELLING me to collab with anybody… As I said earlier in this interview, I work on friendship, mutual respect, consistent attention & support first; THEN I might make a track with somebody if it feels natural!
Please learn about Grime. The genre’s been around for 15 years now. Unfortunately there’s almost no information on what Grime is in Indonesian, but you can use Google translate.
Check me out and support me early if you feel my vibe, share me on your social media and tag me. If you really really like my music BUY it – I know buying music is almost non-existent in Indonesian culture sadly. At the moment, I reply to 99% of people – literally, look at my Youtube comment section – 250 comments + 250 replys! In less than three years I’m for sure going to be a global viral artist and I sadly won’t be able to reply to everyone anymore. Trust me, I do keep tabs and make note of people who’ve supported me from early. I’ve started scheduling time so fans can call me 1on1 via LINE, but I don’t know how long I can do this for so if you want to speak to me – speak to me NOW!
Watch out for my best friends in the Manchester Grime / Hip-Hop scene:
JOSHUi, Nat James, Bobby Dukz, Ibuka, George Lucid & all of his 2090 collective. They’re all coming up with me and one day if you come to my concerts hopefully you’ll meet them too. If you follow me on social media you’ll definitely see me regularly posting about / documenting with them. If you listen to me. Please try listening to them too.
Thank you for taking the time to check out NinjaTea before I go global. <3