Interview: A Chat With...Black Napoleon

Monday, December 19, 2016

It’s an interesting time to be a hip hop fan in Perth. For the first time in a long time we actually have a ‘scene’, or at least the formation of a scene, Boogie Nights Media, and Home Baked are the two front runners for the moment. One of the major players in the Home Baked crew is Black Napoleon. Black Napoleon has only recently started rapping but that only makes his latest tracks like No Morals all that more impressive. You, with a short discography, see him finding himself and evolving into one of the best in the Perth scene at the moment. His slight UK accent and influence can be heard on his tracks, always featuring a dark, grimey, brooding beat with savage flows. Even on tracks he's featured on you feel his presence. You can even feel his sense of presence the moment you meet him. Naturally and effortlessly he extrudes a powerful air of confidence, not in the cocky I’m better than you way mind you, but in a charismatic way. 

So, with this in mind, I sat down with Black Napoleon on a traditional hot summer day in the city and had a chat about his past, where he is headed, and other things. 

So what you been up to lately?
What I been up to. Well, yesterday we were shooting a video for like Evanda’s video clip, I just been chillin enjoying these holidays. I just came back from a holiday in Zambia, so right now I’m just at home, chilling, working.

Where did it all start for you? When did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
I can’t put it down to a specific point in time. I’ve always liked music and been writing music from the time I was young, you know. I feel like when I seriously wanted to start recording music was when I met Evanda and Luchii. I met Evanda and Luchii and a party like ages ago, it was like the beginning of 2015. Evanda told me he rapped and he was like ‘‘come down to the studio’’, I wasn’t much of a rapper so I went there, recorded Dungeons and Dragons there, that’s like when I started. 

So you met the Home Baked crew there?
I first met Evanda and Luchii, but I already knew about them before through other people. People used to tell me about their music, I’d see their music on Sound Cloud. I met all the other members like eventually at the studio, so when I recorded Dungeons and Dragons, the first track I recorded, I met them all at the studio.

Why Black Napoleon?
I don’t know, to be honest (laughs). It just sounded cool and then I researched it was like this Haitian Revolutionary you know, so I was like this shit goes well, it goes pretty well. So I stuck with it. 

So what does 6k mean? (A popular adlib for the Home Baked crew)
Perth! 6000 the postcode. 

Ahhh yeaaah

You didn’t get it?!

Nah I never got it


6k fuck… the postcodes
Yeah. Evanda came up with it. Everyone’s been following it now. Everyone’s saying it now, it’s fucking mad. I remember eventually everyone caught onto it, and still catching onto it now. 

It never crossed your mind? (laughs)

No (laughs) never crossed my mind… I did not think about that for a second… that’s fucked

So what do you think of the Perth scene at the moment?
The Perth scene… it’s pretty healthy, I like the Perth scene right now. You got a few good rappers out here and of cause you got the shit ones as well you know but like you see a balance of good ones and bad ones. There is a lot of people doing their thing, lots of people doing their thing you know, lots of people are coming out and everyone’s just doing their own thing right now. I still feel like even know the scenes like pretty healthy I still feel like Perth needs its own identity in music. Needs its own distinctive sound. 

If people keep on going I think someone from Perth will blow up soon or something like that.

Do you think there is any distinctive sound or anything like that or anything that has caught on in Perth that is unique to it?
Unique… I’m not sure, I think we are in that process of trying to find ourselves to be honest man. It’s about experimenting with your sound and seeing what sounds good and what separates you from the rest. All of us listen to hip hop that is from the USA  so some people try to sound like they are from Atlanta and stuff when they really not. Even though they are good rappers you just need to be more original with yourself... stay true to yourself. Know where you come from at the end of the day. And makes music that reflects your environment.

Being in of the most isolated cities in the world do you feel at a disadvantage when compared to the Eastern states. 
Yeah, I think so a little bit. I feel like this place should have more support for its local artists. I feel like people don’t really care much unless your big, people don’t care much unless you’re famous, people don’t really get your music unless you’re famous. That’s the thing that really takes us away from the Eastern states, everyone fucks with their shit. People don’t have much faith in each other in Perth. Nah that’s the thing, as far as talent goes I think Perth is definitely up there, Perth definitely has some of the best rappers in the country. We just need that foundation that support from other people. 

Shoutout to any Perth rappers?
I’m gonna give a shout out to Og Gree, Evanda he just dropped his tape recently, Luchii, King Lear, Psycoshowdy all of the Home Baked crew, I’m gon give a shout out to those guys. Also Boogie Nights Media, so Tommy and Angel and stuff, they go hard, they’re good. There’s a few guys doing their things, Erik Shane he’s a good singer, he’s coming up, he’s gonna take off soon. So keep an eye out for those guys. 

What’s the plan for next year?
I’m working on a couple projects, three projects right now, tape with my boy Erik, a Home Baked tape, hopefully, I get my own tape out as well. I hope to release it soon, it’s been a long time coming but I’ll make a tape soon. Just recording as much as I can right now, definitely stuff dropping next year. Next year’s gonna be a good year, just need to put in work and keep doing our shit. 

Any parting words?

Written by Rhys Prka

Listen to his stuff via Soundcloud here