Interview

Zwangere Guy

Brussels badass rapper Zwangere Guy already earned his spot in the Belgian hiphop scene as Omar G with Stikstof. In April he released his debut mixtape Zwangerschapsverlof Vol. 3 –and there is still plenty of material in the pipeline. We invited ourselves to Guy’s cosy apartment to talk about the scene, staying real and staying disciplined.

Interview by Denis Wouters
Photos by Tina Herbots, shot in Brussels

 

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So first tell me, what kind of baby is it you’re carrying?
Actually it’s not a baby. Zwanger just sounds really nice in my ears, to me it never meant pregnant. It’s just a name. We weren’t using the word swag. We used to say die shit is zwanger. Everything that is nice was zwanger. This  is where I took my name from. So there is no baby.

Do you find it tough to sing in Dutch in a bilingual city?
I actually think it’s quite nice, but at the same I realise it’s not the most common language that is spoken in the city. I like to use English, French, Spanish and Polish words in my lyrics. You have to show off your knowledge of other languages. When I’m freestyling and there are only French MCs around me I’ll try to use words that they can understand. Also if I would rap in English I would be a copy of a copy. For me shit sounds real in Dutch. I don’t want to make a copy; there is only one Zwangere Guy. But I would like to imagine that 10 years from now there would be this scene of new rappers that would call themselves ‘Zwanger’ – like all those rappers that put a ‘Lil’’, a ‘Big’, or a ‘Yung’ in front of their name. Zwangere Gucci, Zwangere Guy Guy… who knows!

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What’s the difference between working with Stikstof and making your own stuff?
Stikstof has only one beatmaker: Paulo. I had this feeling that I needed to do other shit. The difference between the two is Stikstof has a sound and Zwangere Guy is looking for a sound. I like to make loads of music with other people, without needing a whole group to make the decisions. I’m working on an EP together with Kassett. I know he’s crazy and he can put that into his sound. That’s what I like about him. We can chat for hours and dream, and all of a sudden I wake up and he has a new beat at 6AM. Bang!

How do you find the discipline to finish tracks and get things done?
I dealt with a lot of unstructured shit when I was young. When I was 15 years old I started to work in constructions. If you have to put ten bricks on top of each other and every layer you miss out 1mm, you’ve got 1cm of difference after ten layers. I like tight, good shit. A joint has to be rolled perfectly. A chicken avocado sandwich has to be crunchy, and the chicken has to be juicy. My music has to be just like that. This mixtape is only a beginning. I’d like to have a record out in 2019.

I like tight, good shit. A joint has to be rolled perfectly. A chicken avocado sandwich has to be crunchy, and the chicken has to be juicy. My music has to be just like that

 

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You seem to plan ahead quite a bit!
Yeah man, I like timelines. I need to make sure that when we release a record with Stikstof I don’t release my own mixtape at the same time. You got to prepare stuff 3-4 months ahead. Shit has to be right: Zwangere Guy, Stikstof, my lady. It all has to fit.

Any advice for the readers, to work on their discipline?
You should do shit the way you’d like someone else to do them for you. Don’t sell any crap that you wouldn’t buy yourself. And stay real. Then there’s not much you can do wrong.

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Zwangere Guy plays Boomtown, Ghent on 18 July. The show is free for Subbacultcha members. Join here