After a Shugasmakx co-sign, he got to work on a collaboration with JR through the #StartSomething campaign. Born Bhungane Hadebe, the 20-year-old rapper has been making waves since dropping his mixtape Road to Conscious Trap in November last year. He lives up to his name on the project, delivering his signature fusion of trap beats and engaging lyrical content.
Apart from providing bars, Road to Conscious Trap reimagines classics and incorporates the work of South African greats, including the late Ray Phiri. “It’s a concept project and is how I like to make music, with samples” he says. His refreshing take on formulating songs shines through on Northern. “We switched it all the way up,” he says of the track that samples part of the South African national anthem. The result is an airy song which uses the looped vocals as the basis of the beat. The talent expressed on the mixtape is reflective of Raw Bar’s singular focus on his music.
He spends time on his craft, with a heavy focus on his live performances. “Performing with a live band is more organic,” he explains. “It’s the difference between how back in the day they recorded analog and there was a more authentic feel to it.” Rapping for Raw Bars was a calling, that he’s turned into his day job. “This is my 9 to 5. It’s the one thing that made sense to me and all I want to do.” With musical influences such as fellow East Rand rapper Priddy Ugly, he’s got all the tools for a long and healthy career in the game.
Having already shared the stage with the likes of Riky Rick and Big Star Johnson, his latest collaboration with JR is another feather in his cap. They linked up through the #StartSomething campaign, that pairs established artists with the best up-and-coming musical talent. After wrapping the video shoot for their collab, he describes working with the 4Four hitmaker as a dope process. “When he sees something he pushes for it.” Getting to interact with an icon like JR will definitely open doors in the industry, perhaps even leading to a record deal.
In response he seems prepared for any eventuality. “I know my worth and know what I want,” he says. “If signing helps me get what I want, and what I need… then so be it.” Whatever happens with regards to contracts, Raw Bars is a name worth keeping an eye on. His upcoming EP Patience is scheduled to drop in September. The title is a signal of him knowing that good things take time and Raw Bars is determined to put in the hard yards.
He sees this upcoming release as a great opportunity to widen his reach and help in his pursuit of becoming a household name. “When the masses are ready to embrace the sound, they will.” Raw Bars got next.