[Cover Story] Zoocci Coke Dope: The Journey

This interview seems on the 18th concern of our Ezine. Purchase the digital copy right here.

Story by Roo

Visuals courtesy of [STAY LOW]

My very first vivid reminiscences of Zoocci Coke Dope, I might say, stem again about six to seven years (probably extra, although) throughout what many would name my “come-up” days. I vividly keep in mind listening to his identify being spoken in outstanding hip hop circles, particularly inside Cap City – particularly after that Blaklez’s “Freedom or Fame” joint – as this new, crazy-talented rising producer who had the answer to your struggling rap profession issues.

Man, again within the day, Zoocci was like this virtually legendary new drive that was single-handedly elevating the qualitative requirements of the hip-hop sounds we had been all feeding on at the moment and, though many had been reluctant to sing his praises at the moment (oh, how issues have modified), it was fairly evident that Zoocci had set himself on a course in the direction of significance and greatness.

“I mean, I used to see this type of sh*t that’s happening in my life right now when I used to just sit and imagine, you know… I used to make beats in a single bedroom, while I was working and while I was doing stuff, that were probably never going to be heard.”

Over his years as an artist, Zoocci Coke Dope has efficiently managed to separate himself from the remaining, respectfully… The man actually can’t be in comparison with anybody else within the sport, and that’s completely advantageous. In truth, that’s the way it was meant to be as a result of, whenever you spend so a few years militaristically grinding day by day till you attain a sure high, solely to understand that the highest you’ve reached is simply the begin to attain one other, and so forth… then, in fact, all of the rewards and praises you at present reap needed to occur no doubt. This must be future sh*t, proper? Because how else are you able to comprehend such dedication, execution and perception in self?

“I’ve kind of always understood that if you want something or if you’re on a certain journey, you can’t be the first to want to throw your toys or want to go home as soon as it gets hard, because the type of dreams that we have, you’d kind of be naive to think that a part of it is not going through pain.”

Look, there’s a lot extra I might say concerning the [PiFF AUDIO] founder however, you realize, editorial margins and all… But let me finish this intro by saying this: Zoocci Coke Dope is such an ideal instance of how typically sacrifice can grow to be an essence of self-love, notably in the case of chasing your goals. Just reflecting on the child he as soon as was and the person – and, most significantly, father – he’s at present is actually inspiring, and type of mesmerising. Now, due to how in depth this new cowl story interview is, we’ll be presenting it in two components. So, under is a component one, which I’ll simply allow you to probe for your self.

To kick it off, bro… Do you assume that you simply’re the hero or the villain in your story? I say this as a result of a hero is all the time introduced as this overconfident one who appears to have all the pieces go their manner. Yes, there are occasions when the hero experiences battle however, normally, that battle is launched as a manner of simply creating drama. Right? But the villain all the time has this sense of consciousness that’s actuality… A villain appears to be extra in tune with themselves.

That’s query, bro. I feel it’s the making of a villain… I feel that’s the place it’s going, to be sincere with you, as a result of you possibly can attempt to be a hero however, typically, issues steer you in the direction of being the villain. I feel, in my story, it’s grow to be holistically the story of how a villain was born greater than being a hero… In my makes an attempt to be a hero, I feel it’s contributing to the making of an precise villain.

How does that make you are feeling? Because, as a lot as we are able to have a deeper understanding of what the villain represents, mainstream-wise, the vast majority of folks could be like: “Oh, that’s a bad person.”

I don’t have an issue with it, actually, as a result of in my makes an attempt to be a hero, as I stated, it’s solely steered me in the direction of this path… So, I don’t have an issue with it as a result of I attempted however, on the finish of the day, there comes a time when it’s a must to do issues in another way, and I feel that’s what it’s in the end going to grow to be.

Yeah. I used to be serious about the previous… appropriate me if I’m unsuitable, however my notion of you has all the time been that, again within the day, you actually fought in your identification. It would have been straightforward so that you can simply grow to be that go-to producer who makes for different folks… You actually stood your floor as a result of there was a complete large image that you simply had been attempting to create. Talk to me about how a lot it took to make your identification.

Yeah. It’s all the time been a factor that I knew… It was going to take extra time than the textbook issues that occur in someone’s musical journey or trade journey. I all the time knew that my journey was going to take time due to the issues I wished to realize.


And I actually received into it, realizing that an identification might be a very powerful factor about it, and it’s been my focus, even earlier than… You keep in mind, whenever you simply spoke about again within the day in Pretoria and stuff?


Even again then, I used to be hanging out with the blokes who had the most important hits. I used to be hanging out with some guys who had excellent careers or excellent placements or excellent strikes that they’d made, however they had been all the time missing in proudly owning their work. They couldn’t personal their work and be identified for the work they did. So, I all the time made {that a} mission for myself that I wouldn’t be the man who had the most important songs, however no one is aware of who I’m. People are going to have to return to me for what I’ve to supply and never as a result of I’m one of many guys or I’m only a one who produces music. It was extra of a factor that’s largely about identification as a result of that’s what folks have to return to me for… That’s how I’m going to model myself and grow to be an precise model. That’s how I’m going to have an extended profession than a man who made hits and received forgotten. It’s simply all the time been actually about that for me, and it’s taken quite a lot of years; it’s taken quite a lot of ache; it’s taken quite a lot of losses; and it’s taken quite a lot of sacrifice on my half. And it’s actually paying off now and I’m certain it’ll sooner or later. It’s nonetheless one thing that I even preach to a number of the guys…

Man, I feel you used the phrase sacrifice like 3 times, or perhaps much less… I really wished to the touch slightly bit on that as a result of, you realize, when folks hear the phrase “I sacrificed a lot”, I really feel like they don’t actually perceive how deep it will get. Maybe they simply assume, like, you sacrificed your lunch cash so you could possibly purchase this f*cking mic, or no matter. And that’s simply surface-level sh*t. Right? Can you briefly speak concerning the depth of your sacrifices?

Yeah, I suppose certainly one of my largest sacrifices that I all the time take into consideration, which really had a huge effect on the way in which that my profession has turned out and the way in which all the pieces has occurred, goes so a few years with out seeing my household, bro… For me, that was one of many deepest issues I feel anybody might undergo – I went like six years with out seeing my very own mom and, when that occurred, there was a time I used to be really homeless. Right. I’ve spent an evening sleeping at a storage, bro… Like by a filling station. I slept on the market and I used to be simply hustling for a spot to sleep, as a result of I used to go to Hatfield Square (Pretoria) the place the golf equipment had been at, hoping to stumble upon any particular person I knew who had plans afterward, after that scenario, like perhaps at their home or no matter, so I might go there to simply crash. I used to be on the market, it was like 11pm and my mother really referred to as me like, “Yo, must I make a way for you to come back home?” And I wished it to say sure with all my coronary heart as a result of I used to be actually within the streets and I used to be actually searching for a spot to sleep as she requested me, however I knew if I went again house, she was most likely going to attempt to get me to get a job or some sh*t. So, I stated no.


And afterwards, that “no” went on to love a complete six years with out really seeing her. It’s loopy – after that entire interval of not seeing her – now I’ve spent various time along with her and, you realize, my household spent December at my home. Being in a position to see her in that setting – so proud and so… you realize… She’s very pleased with what I’ve really achieved.

I can think about…

And she was calling all her associates over to the home and, you realize, now she’s mad pleased with her granddaughter too. It’s like I sacrificed all these years, like six years with out really seeing her, for this response that she has proper now. It’s priceless for me as a result of, when that sh*t was happening, I wouldn’t have been in a position to think about that I used to be really going to get to see her as proud as she has been just lately.

Man, the place do you assume that willpower comes from? Like the truth that you had been in that predicament the place you had been homeless, wanted a spot to remain and your personal mom was an possibility so that you can go to and discover that consolation… But, deep down, you had been like, “Nah” – it takes a selected kind of particular person to simply accept that affliction willingly.

I’ve type of all the time understood that in order for you one thing or in the event you’re on a sure journey, you possibly can’t be the primary to wish to throw your toys or wish to go house as quickly because it will get exhausting as a result of, with the kind of goals that we have now, you’d type of be naive to assume that part of it’s not going by means of ache. Part of it’s with the ability to really feel ache and really feel uncomfortable. And the minute you begin feeling that you simply wish to run house, otherwise you wish to throw your toys and say, “This is too hard”, it’s worthwhile to all the time measure your goals and see how large they’re, and perceive the kind of sacrifices it’s worthwhile to make. So, at any time when I’m in a scenario that’s like tremendous exhausting, I all the time perceive that the one factor that I’ve to do concerning the scenario is get by means of it, as a result of it’s part of a journey in an even bigger image. The minute I can’t take any such ache, I won’t even be worthy of what’s to return on the finish of the tunnel as a result of, if I can’t take being homeless, why do I wish to be a high reduce trade particular person? Why do I wish to be one of the best producer to ever stay in South Africa, or wherever? The goals I’ve, must measure as much as a number of the sacrifices that I must make, and that’s one thing I’ve all the time understood.

Before we speak concerning the music… When you had been closing your eyes (again then) earlier than you fell asleep and primarily began dreaming, had been you seeing all of this that’s taking place now?

I used to see any such sh*t that’s taking place in my life proper now once I used to simply sit and picture, you realize… I used to make beats in a single bed room, whereas I used to be working and whereas I used to be doing stuff, that had been most likely by no means going to be heard. Or whereas I used to be attempting to get higher at making beats and no one even knew me, I used to think about being a giant participant within the trade. I used to think about how it will really feel to be in large studios. I used to think about how it will really feel to be with a few of my favorite artists and work with their minds. I used to think about how it will really feel to be awarded and rewarded for what I do; make some cash. I even used to go searching the place I used to be staying and picture if I stayed in any such home. So, I used to think about all these issues – whether or not I used to be working or sleeping…

You know, the idea of time is an fascinating case research for me as a result of, nowadays, I have a tendency to consider totally different timeframes. I do know it’s bizarre, however let me try to break it down… In different phrases, the present model of me has to typically mirror on the quantity of labor that my earlier model put in, if that is smart. Do you assume that your previous variations actually put within the quantity of labor that they might have put in, or do you assume that perhaps they might have accomplished slightly bit extra to form of like prep you for what you’re experiencing proper now?

I imply, the earlier model of myself is a dude I’d even like to fulfill and be like, “Yo, bro, you were right.” You know?


I’d actually return. If I might return to the highschool me even, I’d actually be like, “Yo, just carry on. You’re actually right.” Because all the pieces that I believed in and the intestine feeling that I adopted once I needed to make choices – I’ve observed that I used to be all the time proper. I used to be actually all the time proper. The solely issues that may’ve made me stray away are the distractions and never being absolutely ready to cope with a number of the stuff that comes with this sh*t. But so far as placing in a sure, let’s say, quantity of labor or a certain quantity of willpower or like motivation, I feel I used to be proper on the cash. I feel I used to be much more than lots of people, as a result of the particular person I used to be again then was like essentially the most motivated particular person I might ever come throughout.

You telling me that there aren’t previous variations of Zoocci that had been unsuitable? I do know that there’s a model of me, if I feel exhausting sufficient, that exists that was form of like in opposition to who I’m, and it was a battle to persuade that model that they had been f*cking unsuitable. Do you not have a model that was in opposition to all of this? The self-doubt model…

Nah. The doubts solely got here when the earlier variations of me had put in all of the work. But by way of the journey? That man was proper on the cash, 100%. The quantity of labor; the willpower… nothing might cease me, bro… I might’ve somewhat gotten on my knees to wish about stuff that I wished than ever doubt that it was going to occur. I by no means had chilly ft about what I used to be doing. I used to be decided, which is why, even with the homeless stuff, like I wasn’t homeless crying round, I used to be homeless simply understanding that it’s just a bit interval and I’m going to determine it out.

Let’s speak concerning the music. Anxiety + is clearly the most recent focus and I used to be lucky sufficient to have gotten a take heed to it manner earlier than its launch. I’ve this tendency of like attempting to return in time, so I needed to bump Anxiety once more. When I used to be listening to Anxiety + I used to be attempting to form of like put them collectively as one expertise. There was positively a distinctiveness, how do you are feeling about it whenever you take heed to Anxiety and evaluate it to Anxiety +?

I feel you’re on the suitable path with the way you even acquired all the pieces, bro. But the core concept behind the growth pack is to form of make folks perceive, “Okay, then what?” as a result of, with the unique Anxiety, the entire thing was a really victimising expertise, and most of it was like very misunderstood from my viewpoint. So, I used to be figuring it out as I went… And I realised that I don’t wish to go away folks in a state the place even I look again proper now and I used to be like, “Damn bro, you were going through it, and you are a victim to this thing.” And I don’t wish to go away it there. I wished to go away it at a degree the place it’s like there’s this aspect of it the place you possibly can really, you realize, preserve it pushing and you may really even battle again in opposition to a number of the issues that wish to victimise you and a number of the issues that trigger you to be in a sure frame of mind. You can really say, “f*ck you,” to them. You can really return to individuals who make you are feeling a sure manner and be like, “f*ck you,” as a result of I don’t wish to go away folks with a sufferer mindset; I need folks to really rise above the sh*t and grow to be higher from the experiences, as a substitute of simply sitting there saying I can’t do sure issues as a result of I’ve received this, or this occurred to me, and now I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Is Anxiety + like the top of a chapter for you? It seems like your subsequent launch might be going to be manner totally different, narratively.

Yeah, it’s positively a closing. It’s a closing to a complete… I’d even wish to name it a interval of my life. It’s positively a complete closing to that; it’s a complete closing to a chapter that I do wish to overlook as a result of, as a lot because the music comes out and folks obtain music by means of these items and decide music, these are literally actual experiences to me that I needed to undergo. These are precise issues and challenges in my life that I needed to face, so it’s additionally like not inserting a lot significance in working round in circles in your thoughts. The subsequent chapter is extra about a complete greater holistic view than zoning in on psychological points. We’re really going to zone in on a complete existence kind of strategy, the place we discuss existence generally, as a substitute of simply psychological well being.

Has the delivery of your stunning daughter modified you? In phrases of the way in which you conduct your self? I can think about it’s a phenomenal expertise to be a dad. Has it modified the way in which you assume; the way in which you progress and even your manufacturing, perhaps?

Yeah, positively bro. All my life, I’ve lived with one factor in thoughts, and that’s slaving away at my ardour; dying for the trigger. This is what my life has grow to be, and I’m most likely going to die in studio someday as a result of most of my life has been spent “cross-nighting” and I’ve been most likely awake for a really massive a part of my life as a result of I’ve been awake working. That’s all I’ve been doing, however now I’ve to consider my well being. I’ve received to consider splitting my time and obligations, and understanding that it’s not simply concerning the trigger anymore. It’s not simply concerning the artwork and the craft – I must stay for someone else. I must stay for my daughter. I had all the time deliberate to simply slave away until my days had been accomplished, bro. Now, I perceive the affect that may have on my well being. I perceive the affect that may have on individuals who love me and wish to spend time with me… But I used to be all the time okay with it as a result of that’s what I selected and it’s what I’m purely product of. That’s what I’m made for however like, now with my daughter, it’s type of like, hey man, I really must plan for 10 years from now. I can’t be taken by the artwork a lot that I overlook to really stay for my daughter, or I really overlook that I must be current in the long term.

Right. It seems like there’s an even bigger plan that you simply’re working in the direction of, moreover simply dropping music with [PiFF AUDIO] and your partnership with [STAY LOW]. Am I proper? Can you discuss that? It simply feels as when you have this grasp plan.

Of course, bro. There’s positively a complete grasp plan behind all the pieces that we do at present, and it’s beginning to take form, one undertaking at a time. To offer you a extra overarching description of the plan, it’s to grow to be the baseline commonplace of high quality in music in the case of the South African and even African market. We’re attempting to be the usual and the instance of high quality and precise like precision, and we’re taking time to ensure all the pieces is an efficient product, in order that we grow to be pioneers in high quality.

What led to this concrete plan? Because, so that you can say that you simply wish to be the bottom of high quality by way of music in SA, signifies that there must be some form of lack someplace, proper? Obviously to say the dearth is high quality could be fairly an apparent factor to say, however what different “lacks” have you ever seen, or perhaps skilled your self, which have embedded this mission in you?

Yeah. I imply, bro, we’ve come a great distance with the entire having an opinion on the usual of the product within the trade. And for me, it’s all the time been a factor the place it’s like: there’s a lot to enhance on, and folks don’t realize it but, as a result of individuals are solely going to simply accept what they get, and so they don’t realise that no matter’s coming later might come sooner, by way of development… I imply, I’ve been quoted happening Twitter, speaking about how folks don’t know the right way to put albums collectively. So, it’s all the time been a perception that there’s a lot we might do higher as a complete trade, by way of simply high quality. I was on the side-lines in Pretoria, earlier than my first large hit, questioning how the entire nation might react to a sure track when the manufacturing and content material of the track had been simply less than commonplace…

Look out for the remainder of the interview partially 2.

This interview seems on the 18th concern of our Ezine. Purchase the digital copy right here.


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