Q-Dot and Hakeemok talk about their first collaboration and first EP, Child's Play.
1. Why 'Child's Play'?
Q-Dot: Child's Play is actually a double entendre: Firstly, Rap is fun and is a hobby of ours, and we bring the perspective of young adults/teenagers into our music like it's a game. Secondly, saying that something is 'child's play' means that it is easy - which is what we feel when we make Singapore Hip-Hop music relatable for both the mainstream and in the indie scenes.
Hakeemok: Child's Play is a personal stepping ground to prove that not only the old cats (a street slang for older generation) in Singapore Hip Hop can produce good music for the listeners over the years but we, the new generation of Singapore Hip Hop, can also rap of the same standard or even better. Much love and respect for the old cats, for doing their thing for the past decade or so.
2.Why did you guys collaborate on this project?
Q-Dot: We collaborated because we came into the Hip-Hop scene at the same time, and we found out we could work well together. Ironically, he's the playful one and I'm the one who's always serious, but when it comes to Hip Hop music somehow it always works out well.
Hakeemok: We wanted to show that our different kind of rap flows, delivery and styles - from myself and Q-Dot - can compliment in a song and still sound great.
3. What's so unique about this EP?
Q-Dot: This EP brings the perspective and stories from 2 growing young boys from Singapore. These 2 individuals are representative of the "Void Deck Culture" in Singapore, which more and more locals are learning to take pride in. Furthermore, this EP has both the mainstream and indie appeals, catering to any Hip-Hop fan's needs, whether it's catchy hooks or the raw lyricism.
Hakeemok: Contrasting style of raps yet still sounding dope (slang for very good) as Q-Dot is more on the serious vibe of rap whereas I'm more to the laid back and playful kind. All in all, it's an art of 2 young teenagers living that void deck culture.
4. Which tracks do you guys like the most and why?
Q-Dot: 'Get Down' and 'Hustlah' are my favourites from this EP. 'Get Down' featured myself bringing a less aggressive/'angry' style, which is a feel-good track. It's a refreshing change as I continue to explore my own niche as an artist. 'Hustlah' is the other favourite as I feel that the lyrics of the track are relatable to many other talented individuals who simply lack the capital to reach their full potential. As he talks about trying to find the money to fund his talents, the track is also easy to rap along to - an ear worm. Hence, his message of working hard and non-stop HUSTLING will definitely have a positive impact, encouraging other youths to set goals and work towards them.
Hakeemok: 'Child’s Play' and 'Jabber'. Child’s Play is just catchy - normal teenagers like myself love this type of song and vibe. For 'Jabber', it shows the playful Hakeemok and the serious Q-Dot.
5. What can we expect from Child's Play?
Q-Dot: Expect to hear the strictly Singaporean style, from our slang to our accent. Also, expect to hear about what being a young adult in Singapore is like throughout the album, the good or bad.
Hakeemok: Hmm... I would say look out for the new generation of Singapore Hip Hop rap, which I call it the 'YP's or 'Young Punks' doing shit. All I can say is that Child's Play is something different from what we normally rap about, straight from where we came from: "The Void Deck".
Q-Dot & Hakeemok's first time performing Child's Play:
All Photos by KHRL.
Videos recorded by Stoned Chill Vision (Sharbil).