Hip Hop is incredibly accessible. If you have any performing, rhyming or poetic talent – you can tell your life story, through rapping, a beat and accessible means. This makes it globally significant – people can put their own spin on it, and express their individuality, or a collective message. Rappers, as poets, have always been a good reflection of the heart of a community. They take ideas out of the community and spread them to the rest of the world. Sometimes its stuff that’s positive, often times its stuff that’s negative. At best, it’s engaged in social, political and economic comment. At worst its pimping drugs, guns and booty. At different times, Hip Hop has played varying roles in society, but one I’ve rarely heard is the promotion of animal welfare.
Still Hustie & WILDZ XL have just dropped their single, entitled “Vicious Circle of the Wildz”, which deals with spreading awareness about poaching, and promoting well-being, harmony and happiness between humans and wildlife. It’s a completely different, and welcome take on hip-hop, from the London based project, which certainly refreshes the genre.
Making hip-hop music about animal welfare is not the kind of music that you will hear playing on MTV, BET, VH1, on the radio, or in the clubs, just yet. But if Still Hustie & WILDZ XL insist on giving their endeavors continued momentum, it soon will be. I think it needs to be out there. I believe that this is another important message that the world needs to hear.
The world has undergone decades of changes – economic, social, scientific, political and even cultural. These metamorphoses have brought many benefits, but for a significant proportion of our world’s population, it has created a much sadder narrative where people have been left without identities, voiceless, excluded from an economy they find it increasingly more difficult to join.
Hip-hop has always been a cultural manifestation of challenging those exclusions. Like any art-form it jars at our senses and sensibilities, providing us a mirror in which to observe ourselves, and contemplate our doings – both good and bad.
Now Still Hustie & WILDZ XL take that conscious template a step further, into the realm of animal rights – a place almost no other hip-hop artist in memory has bothered to go before. The beat, provided by WILDZ XL, meshes well with the rhymes delivered by Still Hustie. The beat is distinctive, dark and beautifully realized, lending itself to a melodious, orchestral production.
It’s the perfect canvas for the rapper’s pitch perfect posturing and belligerent bravado. The combination purposely suggesting a throwback to an era when lyricism was central to artistic identities. Still Hustie & WILDZ XL show that they can put together an excellent body of work, while sounding vibrant and fiercely competitive.
On their way to becoming an important entity in their own right, and within a lane they have created for themselves, here’s hoping they continue to record tracks like this, because it feels like Still Hustie & WILDZ XL are on the path to achieving their full potential.
Of course it also remains to be seen if the industry is patient, trusting, and supportive enough of artistic visionaries, having already sold its soul to the lowest common denominator. However, with or without the commercial platform, I’m sure these two men will still find the creative embers in themselves, and be able to share more smoldering tracks with their audiences.
WILDZ XL is an expanding brand. Based in London they are not only concentrated on producing great music, but also making great wildlife based streetwear. Check them out at the links below.