Interview: The Holstar and Poison Hertz (Zambia/Argentina)
On April 26, an emcee and producer from different parts of the world came together in unison releasing an EP that defines what hip hop is all about. Through the hip hop culture we all speak the Universal Language. The Holstar from Zambia and Poison Hertz from Argentina bumped heads on the social network scene and started building a friendship coupled with respect for each others skill. The end result: a project that brings together an emcee and a producer from different backgrounds to release a much needed project. Before we get to know more about these artists and this amazing project, it’s only right we take some time to look at where both of these talented individuals are from and salute their hustle thus far.
By: Naboth “RIZLA” Rimayi (for World Hip Hop Market)
The Holstar is no stranger to putting great work together. He is responsible for putting together Slam Dunk Records, home of a very successful rap crew Zone Fam. He was initially one of the founding members of Zone Fam but is now involved in management. Through Slam Dunk Records he has released three albums: Intellectual Property 1 and 2 plus H3 – Love Me or Hate. Holstar is from from Zambia, a country rich in minerals such as copper plus an ever growing tourism industry which will see them co-hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2013 General Assembly with Zimbabwe from the 24th to the 29th of August. With 73 languages spoken by the 14 million plus population, Zambia is definitely a place you want to visit in order to witness variety of language and culture.
Argentina – on the other hand – home to Poison Hertz, who has been active in the hip hop culture for the past 16 years, is a Spanish speaking country with a population of over 42 million. The economy of Argentina is Latin America’s third-largest, with a Very High Human Development Index and a relatively high GDP per capita. Poison Hertz is not just a beat-maker of note but is an active b-boy by the alias Mc’m Arseniko and also writes and freestyles from time to time.
We managed to get in touch with The Holstar and Poison Hertz to fill us in on the Universal Language EP and this is what they had to say.
World Hip Hop Market: For those who don’t know who Poison Hertz is, please give them a brief of where you’re from, what you do and what you have done?
Poison Hertz: I live in the city of General Roca, Argentina – Black Rio province. I have been active in hip hop culture since the age of 16.
I am now 29 years old, I started as a b-boy, and also dabbled in rap beats and production.
My alias is Poison Hertz, while as a b-boy I am Mc’m Arseniko. I am currently more active as a b-boy and beat maker, but I keep writing and love to freestyle.
WHHM: Briefly describe Hip Hop Culture in Argentina for the masses to get an idea of what’s going on in your country?
Poison Hertz: In Argentina hip hop is huge, right now the new hip hop community is assimilating basic cultural knowledge. There is a good level of graffiti artists and b-boys are displaying the true essence of dance, acrobatics and tricks rather than “dance” that is fundamental.
Rap is taking course, there are good number of emcees but still they lack influence, at least in my personal opinion more development is needed because of lack of structures, especially when it comes to the articulation of flow, there is a lot of monotony.
The DJ is not very popular in this country, but I feel like DJs have a lot of potential. The “beatmaker” is very strong here. A lot are doing events, the beats are high level around here, that’s for sure!
WHHM: How did you meet Poison Hertz?
The Holstar: We met on Myspace back in 2008 – I heard his remix of Jay-Z’s American Gangster called “American Poison” and I said I have to work with this guy!
WHHM: How did you decide to work together?
The Holstar: I inboxed him but realized he was a strictly Spanish speaker so Google translate came in handy! He heard my tracks and hit me up with a few beats to work on, the rest is history!
WHHM: What have been the challenges you have faced working together?
The Holstar: Of course language was the greatest challenge, sometimes translate is not 100% so you have to guess and usually its a good guess. Our other commitments – work and music made the process of this album a bit slow but we got there!
Poison Hertz: The biggest challenge for The Holstar and I was of course the distance and language, but we can overcome that barrier because of the internet!
WHHM: What does Universal Language mean to both of you?
The Holstar: To me Universal Language means, music has no barriers, music unites – despite diversity.
Poison Hertz: This work demonstrates that there are no obstacles that prevent making music, music is the universal language, no matter the distance or language. It is always achievable if there is will, love for hip hop and especially fellowship, friendship, responsibility and if you take it seriously.
WHHM: How would you define the sound and style of rap on Universal Language?
The Holstar: Raw, Hardcore Lyrics, Poetry…Sampled beats with heavy soul!
WHHM: What is your message you’re pushing on the EP?
The Holstar: Basically that real hip hop is still alive in it purest form, in the last places many wouldn’t expect, Africa and South America.
WHHM: Where can people get more info about your music and keep up to date with what you are working on?
WHHM: Thank you for this opportunity. Any last words?
The Holstar: Get the album on Bandcamp
The Holstar: Lookout for more collabos in the near future!