INTERVIEW:O.P.U talks Project R.I.C (Reading Is Cool),Arua Girl & More

Enygma in his verse for who killed hip hop says some artist ‘don’t study they can barely write a poem…’ and that was a general concern.  When you read you are able to write O.P.U who is among those Unique rappers in the country not an OG but with that mind advocating for reading culture in schools.  Its possible to distinguish him from most rappers due to the quality  music he makes and how he paces it and so with his views for society (using his influence to improve society). Education being an important aspect for the country The Koboko boy hopes to contribute to it through reading with his Project R.I.C (Reading Is Cool). I linked up with him and he had plenty to say and gave details of the next project musically- Arua girl and more.  

The Interview:

Q> We are glad to connect with you Mr Koboko! In a few words tell us who exactly O.P.U is? Especially for those who don’t know much about You.                                                                    

 A>Thanks for getting in touch its a pleasure..in short O.P.U is from my surname “Opu” to keep it original i just twisted it into a stage name..O is for Original P is for Precise U is for Unique.Am a marketing Professional with an insane love for Hip hop music. Been in the game on the low since 2012 when i put out my first single “Warrior” and a bunch of other singles.Am a proud son of Koboko Town.

 

Q>So what have you been up to?                                                                                                                                 A> Well my last major release was a documentary DVD called “My Journey” it was a collection of behind the scenes of the O.P.U brand,i put it out in Nov 2014,that got me in to “Maisha-SuperStars” a music competition that was on “Maisha Magic” early 2015,this was after Maurice Kirya watched the DVD he decided to involve me in the project alongside acts like A.Y,Jose Chameleon,Nameless,King Kaka,Maurice Kirya…I was on team Maurice Kiirya with Richie Kaweesa and Body of Bryan..after we were done with the show in Nairobi..i signed a partnership with Nigerian-owned Label Thunder Bolt Productions with whom i put out “Drink Party”..Guess that’s what i have been up to on the low in addition to the other hustles.

 

Q>The last  release we heard from you was ‘Drink Party’ video; i must say You got the right team for it- anything after it?
 A>Next after “Drink Party” am due to put out my next single “Arua-Girl” on 9th July 2016…so thats what next..its produced by Hit-Maker Ethan and Andy Music..then after that a bunch of other projects i have been sitting on just waiting for the right time to drop.
Q>A  couple of weeks ago you were on Urban TV talking of Project R.I.C which, you have been hashtagging #ProjectR.I.C to someone who may not be aware what exactly can u tell them?
Q>Project R.I.C(Reading Is Cool) is a baby of passion..i love to Read if i have free time am reading..so i decided to attach the O.P.U brand to a cause that am passionate about which in this case is “Reading”.So i started a reading club in my former primary school which is East Kololo Primary School, the reading club falls under Project R.I.C. It involves reading with the students on a weekly basis and having them write their stories and read Ugandan stories,we also work on their Spellings and Public Speech skills among other things.
We currently have K.C.C.A approval and hope to roll out and cover the rest of Uganda in the long run.With the attention that music brings to the O.P.U brand i hope to use it to raise  awareness on the reading culture in Uganda and have a practical  system to help the younger generation.
I have partnered with Ewa-Africa and R.O.W Records to make this project operational.
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Q>Is there a special connection with the school you choose to operate from?
A>Well first i lived in Kololo for my first 10 years of life and love the environment , Its my former school i was there for 7 years and i was there head boy twice..so i have to give back to them because that school and environment made me.
Q>Do you hope to expand it beyond just a school, to lets say country wide?
A>Yes the goal is to push it country wide and regional but its a bigger task than we expected but as partners  increase in number we shall be able to go further.
Q>Personally how do you think reading culture has influenced your career as a rapper?A>Reading has helped my career so much,it has helped me understand the business side of things better and help manage the partnership building aspect of the business.I have had to read a-lot to understand how best to play the game.Its amazing how many book on music business are available a or even pod-casts that can help inform an artist’s decision making process.
Reading helps cultivate creativity and imagination which are key for a business minded creative. I just finished reading “Empire State Of Mind” on the life and times of Jay Z i highly recommend this book for the Hip Hop Community in Uganda.
O.P.U with pupils at Kololo photo by @joshua_abaho
                                       O.P.U with pupils at Kololo photo by @joshua_abaho
Q>Speaking of reading which also enables us to write, as a rapper/writer, do you value lyricism over anything else in hip hop music or you have other aspects you put first?                 A>For me the content in one’s lyrics is all that really matters if i cant feel something genuine and heart felt in the flows am most likely going to press forward.Music is a powerful weapon and as such we artists should  treat it as such cause the words we place on our songs have an emotional impact on the listeners. So to me the relevance of a rappers content to every day life of the listener is what counts.
Q>What are your few remarks on rappers contributing to social change?
A>“Music is a weapon” – Fela Kuti…..so lets use it wisely..It took me a while to understand how much influence we as rappers have over our followings. It hit me especially after “Drink Party” i needed to use that influence for some good.Plus we human beings are created to help one another so lets use our God given gift for some practical good in our settings.
With that said I would encourage every rapper to pick up a cause they are passionate about   and help re brand Ugandan Hip Hop as a positively contributing force in Uganda.
Q>Any updates on Half Street Half Corporate? And  your final remarks as well?
A>When its ready and am ready to put it out..you will be the first to Know.
Q>Thanks for your time boss and all the best!
A>Like wise and thanks for the great job of supporting Ugandan Hip Hop with such platforms. We owe You.

We wish You all the best and keep up with this mind!

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