(Babaluku met Ivan Misaga Ivan at the National Theatre and shared light moments and truths of Hip hop and his B-Global Hip Hop projects.)
Hi Babaluku, I’m Ivan, I always wanted to meet you.
Nice to meet you Ivan.
I wanted to meet you to get to know you more in person. All we hear are the old hits, like your collabo with the Jua Cali and AY. How come you are not releasing any new music?
I have been doing some music, it plays on some radio stations, but not all radio stations play them because there are some issues. I refuse to pay radio stations to play my music. If they like my song, they should play it, if they don’t, it’s okay. In Canada where I live, that is how it’s done, so when I come home I expect to be treated the same way. People that go viral here pay radio presenters to play them.
Are you doing well in Canada?
Ah, more as a performer, not selling music. I’m beyond an artiste, I’m an advocate, a community representative. I use music as a platform to introduce opportunities for young people, like right now I have an event coming up for a soccer academy I sponsor called We Got Skills. I’m also doing several hip hop events.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is the childhood lifestyle I grew up in. Being a son of a preacher, I grew up around music instruments, so music is not something I adopted as I grew older but it’s something I grew up with. As far as hip hop is concerned, I used to like dance before rapping. I was about 12 when I left Uganda, and I was already introduced to the hip hop culture because back then we had the likes of Vanilla Ice and Mc Hammer. So when I went to America, I had the opportunity to be introduced to real hip hop. I’ve been doing it for a long time. It all started in that church upbringing.
Could you be the founder of Lugaflow?
I don’t even hesitate when people say I’m the founder of Lugaflow for the fact that I believe each man’s work speaks for itself. I don’t even have to sit here and talk about being the founder of Lugaflow. If there is another founder, they just need to show us. Whoever says I’m not the founder should come out and let his work speak for itself. And that person should also ask themselves if they have done anything for people beyond themselves, because hip hop is more than just music.
I’m proud to be a part of the Bataka Squad, a group of boys who wanted to just be a part of hip hop, because we could have also switched and went into the kidandali era. We could have done so many other things but we saw hip hop as the only way out, and decided that whether they like it or not, this is how we are going to do it. We lived through the challenges of radio stations not playing us. If you followed music in our era, you wouldn’t even know there was hip hop. Back then, no radio or TV station played anything like Lugaflow, so on the question of whether I’m the founder, I’m proud to say I’m part of the legendary Bataka Squad. And I don’t only claim it, but I have worked hard to get Lugaflow on a global platform.