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Monday, February 15, 2010

‘There is no time to waste on fear’

Hume Amy was born in Johannesburg but raised in the United States . She’s now based in Kampala running a hip-hop project called End of the Weak. She told Dennis D. Muhumuza that you will be stunned if you try to abuse her kindness. 
What does your name mean?
Amy means ‘beloved’ and Hume was a Scottish clan name.

Now, ‘Beloved’, tell us about this “End of the Weak” thing
End of the Weak, a movement of improvement through Hip Hop culture, was established to help true, positive rappers rise up in their community and put an end to the weak rappers through the MC Challenge. The MC Challenge is a freestyle competition which displays the true art of emceeing (MC or emcee meaning a rapper). It is the evolution of the street battle, whereas it becomes a battle of the artist against their own skills. The competition includes six MCs and five rounds, which includes a ‘grab bag’ round where a random object is pulled out of a bag. The MC must freestyle about it, a beat juggling round where the DJ changes the beat, tempo, style, etc. and the emcee must keep his flow (delivery) with the track. The last round is a cypher, which is when a strong competitor and a weaker competitor are put together to create a flow, or verse together.

What does it mean for a country like Uganda?
It provides Uganda a platform in which the Hip Hop industry can grow and become a more positive force in people’s lives. There will be a Challenge in April here in Kampala wherein the winner will go to compete in Berlin against Europeans, Americans and South Americans for the World Title. The exposure to the international Hip Hop community has proven to be an empowering and enlightening experience for all countries involved. Besides having the opportunity to perform on a global platform, the winners of the Challenges here in Uganda receive studio time, radio and television exposure, and a bit of Obama money.

Who’s the hottest Ugandan emcee, in your opinion?
I’m a bit biased because I know him personally, but CYNO MC, the current End of the Weak champion. I believe he has the greatest potential to leave a mark in Ugandan Hip Hop right now. He has passion, dedication and despite being a quiet person, he is a beast when he has a microphone in his hand. But commercially, I would say GNL Zamba. He is a true entertainer in all respects of being a Hip Hop celebrity.

What’s fascinating about this country?
Every day I find a new fascination about Kampala and Uganda , but what I appreciate most is the resilient spirit of the people here.

How would you describe yourself?
The names people have given me here are ‘The Untouchable” and “gangsta.” Ha. What that translates into is that I’m hardworking and honest, but if someone mistakes my kindness for weakness, then they may be surprised.

Do you dislike anything about your appearance?
No. I accept me for me.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
A Turkish rapper named Fuat, born in Berlin but now living in Istanbul. He is a brilliant, prolific rapper, and despite being frustrated with how his fellow Turks live, he stays in his country to spread positive messages through Hip Hop music.

When were you happiest?
Setting foot on South African soil after being away for many years.

What’s your greatest fear?
Fear incapacitates the mind. There is no time to waste on fear.

What traits do you deplore most in others?
Dishonesty and false sense of confidence.

What would you bring back to life if you could help it?
A sense of pride and accomplishment in the African nation, more than exists now.

When did you last cry and why?
Last year when I left New York. Some friends didn’t want to let me go or refused to believe that I was leaving.

To whom would you most likely say sorry and why?
My mother for lying to her for many years about who I really was.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Nile Special and chocolate.

What your favourite scent?

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Cleopatra, writer Ryszard Kapuscinski, Nelson Mandela, Socrates, and rapper Ludacris.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Believing in people that only cheated me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Waking up every day able to breathe and continue living my dream.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Nothing. My mistakes and disappointments made me who I am today..

What is the greatest love of your life?
Desire and passion.

--Sunday Monitor, February 14, 2010