808x Enlists A-Reece and The Big Hash in his New Single ‘Built To Win Born To Lose’

A-Reece and The Big Hash drop stellar verses over production by 808x in the South African producer's newly released single 'Built To Win Born To Lose.'

If his Twitter bio is anything to go by, A-Reece is currently holed up in the lab working on an album, which is understood to be called Paradise 2, a sequel to his 2016 debut Paradise.

A-Reece, who has a tendency of going M.I.A on his fans and the game, last released new music in January. His annual The Reece Effect concert was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. So, when he appeared on Pretoria-based producer 808x's Instagram Live last week, fans were elated. During the live, the two artists previewed a collaborative single titled "Built To Win Born To Lose." What they didn't share, however, was the The Big Hash would also make an appearance on the song.

Released last week Friday, "Built To Win Born To Lose" is a high-profile collaboration between two of the country's most sought after contemporary rappers, accompanied by production by another key figure in the SA hip-hop's new wave, 808x. The song is built on 808x's trademark bass-heavy trap-leaning production.

Apart from reflecting on his rags-to-riches story, A-Reece sounds like has a lot to get off his chest (album mode yo!). The first half of his verse is fraught with lines that sound like subliminal shots:

"I ain't surprised we made the news/ I wouldn't be surprised if they told me that I'm the reason they eating of Pay-Per-Views/ Pardon me if I'm rude/ I wouldn't be surprised if she told me, 'I only know of his music because of you'/ He bit the hand that fed him, he used to a silver spoon"

The Big Hash delivers an equally compelling verse with his signature razor-sharp flow and enunciation. He explores the surreal feeling one gets from success. A subject that's far from new, but one can't ignore the moments of greatness the verse (and song) comes with. For instance, peep the brilliant imagery in the lines:

"I seen plenty women, running wide to catch feelings/ Only hang with stars around me, you'd think my head spinning
For like 24/7, 365/ The next leap year I'm around, I cop a coupe with frog eyes/ Will I ever go to heaven? I'll find out when I die"

The Big Hash has had a busy year. After the release of his Life +Times II EP, he exchanged a round diss tracks with fellow Pretoria hip-hop artist J Molley.

If you've been listening to the innanetwav. (The Big Hash, Solve The Problem, Southside Mohamed, popsnotthefather etc.), then you must be familiar with 808x's production as he's the in-house producer for the collective that's been a staple for the last two years.

Stream "Built To Win Born To Lose" on Apple Music and Spotify.

808x - Built To Win, Born To Lose (feat. A-Reece & The Big Hash) www.youtube.com

Read more of our coverage of A-Reece and The Big Hash.


Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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