Exclusive interview with Nachtkruper (Belgium)

Julius Caesar had said that of all the Gaul tribes, the ones hailing from Belgium were the bravest. To date, the statement resonates within the country’s rap community, which has very skilled French and Flemish spitters. After collaborating with Lord Lhus, Nachtkruper turned a few heads here in North America where there is absolutely no understanding of the Dutch language. We had a few questions for the night crawler, a conscious head and boom bap revivalist who’s been at the forefront of Belgium’s emerging hard core rap scene.

D: What does Nachtkruper mean?

N: Nachtkruper is a word in West-Flemish (a sub language of Dutch), which means “Nightcrawler” or “Nightdweller”. I was mostly active and awake at night, producing and writing rhymes or hanging with friends. It didn’t take long before I got that name appointed to me by friends. I liked it and I decided to use it as my definitive emcee-alias. I’ve been calling myself Nachtkruper since I was 19, when I felt I was ready to start making the Hip-Hop I always had in mind. Later that year I started a crew named NachtProducties (NightProductions), which has currently 4 members, myself included.

D: How did you get involved with Hip-Hop culture?

N: I had many different musical turns in my life. I’ve been listening to all different kinds of music, and I still am, but I knew Hip-Hop was my true love when I was fifteen. My love for Hip-Hop started with 90’s boombap, and is to me still the essence of the music I try to create today, although my style has been evolving to hard core Hip-Hop. I started to write rhymes on beats off the internet or beats that other producers from my area gave me. I made a few experimental tracks back then, but I was mostly just developing myself and my style.

D: Which were your biggest local influences?

N: I was introduced to our local Hip-Hop scene by a friend named Luchini. He showed me there were many dope emcees in my area, who I started to listen to. Our Hip-Hop scene wasn’t as big back then as it is now. The emcees were fewer but more pure. Back in the days I remember De Nihilisten, Morsdood, Dopeshit, Luna Man (Krazee Alley) & Nuff Said being my biggest local influences.

D: Which were your biggest international influences?

N: I have always been a great fan of NINE, the rugged nineties Bronx emcee. Non Phixion, Gang Starr, M.O.P & Quasimoto are only a few more of the many names that inspired me to start making Hip-Hop. I have also always been a great fan of (underground) dubstep, so I guess I am also trying to put the feelings that I get from that music into my Hip-Hop.

D: How is the Hip-Hop scene in Belgium?

N: I think the scene in Belgium is getting bigger each day. The last 5 years, I’ve seen things changing more rapidly. Hip-Hop in Belgium has been dope and underground for many years before I came in, but as I see things, we are starting to get more and more international attention over the last few years (mainly from France and the Netherlands). Our local scene is relatively small, but has many varieties of styles and sub-genres. We are showing love and support to each other, in my eyes the only way to have a real and booming scene.

D: What has been the response of the public with your album Volle Moane?

N: We have released “Volle Moane” (Full Moon) as the first official EP from NachtProducties (NightProductions), which is the Hip-Hop collective I founded in 2009. It has an intro & eight tracks, fully in West-Flemish, except for the collabo with Lhus, of course. We’ve only pressed a limited amount of these EPs, and they were all gone in a short matter of time. I’ve done mostly everything myself, from the artwork, to the beats and the recordings. But I’ve had a lot of help from local producers & emcees. Our DJ, FLD, did the cuts and scratches. Most comments we got out of this project were positive and constructive. But everyone has got to deal with hate in their career, therefore we didn’t let useless or negative comments set our motivation back.

D: Where can the audience listen and buy it?

N: “Volle Moane” is not fully online, which means we’ve only put 4 tracks up so far. We did this so the people who purchased the physical copy weren’t disadvantaged to the internet listeners. But we put up a snippet of the EP, which contains short samples of each track.


People can send an e-mail to volle_moane@hotmail.com if they wish to get info about getting a copy.

D: For non-Dutch speakers (which is 99.9% of our readers), what is the message you’re sending with it?

N: My EP shows lyrics about how I feel about our Hip-Hop scene, how my fascination for the night and the moon grew, but also how I would live my last day alive, how people have gotten too attached to material stuff instead of connecting with the earth, etc… There is also criticism on the modern enslaving of the people, and my visions about the real leaders of this world. I’ve tried to put pain, anger, reality and love in one collection. We’re sending a true message through hard beats and conscious raps.

D: Which artists featured on it?

N: All artists featured on “Volle Moane” are Flemish, except for the producer Laupie Uno (NL) & the emcee Lord Lhus (US). I worked with emcees Ozi One, Morsdood (Flemish Kingz), Gemeejne Bleejkn (De Feesters) and De Langn (Rechtvaardige Rechters). The beats are produced by myself (Nachtkruper / NACHTbeats), Nomad (NachtProducties producer), Elokwenz (Lenterebellen) and Laupie Uno (NL). My bro DJ FLD (To The Beat Show) did the cuts and scratches.

D: How did you make the connection with Lord Lhus and EHW?

N: About a year ago, there was an underground Hip-Hop party at Bruges where I did a few tracks. Before I had to rhyme, I was checking out the other emcees performing, until I heard an emcee rapping in English. I went closer to the stage, and I saw it was Lord Lhus. I knew his music from way back, starting to know him by Bloodline, his former crew. After he was done rapping, I went and talk to him, asking how the f*ck he ended up in a place like Bruges. He told me he came in with an other Flemish crew, De Feesters, and after talking a while, we decided to make a track together. The connection with EHW followed soon when we were invited to Rotterdam by PSL Persoonlijk, who is an EHW-member and works close with Lhus. We checked out his show in Rotterdam and spent a weekend at Eastgarden Music. Did some dope things there!

D: Which projects are you currently working on now?

N: Currently, I am working on a new album, called “SchaduwZijde” (Darkside / Shadowside, no exact translation..) which is to be expected around the end of the first quarter of 2014. This will be a project with national and international artists, and fully independently produced, which means no label or whatsoever. Only the FK fam! Also, we are working on a track with Unknown Mizery (Babylon Warchild) from which we will shoot a video clip after our show together in Belgium, coming up on October 12th. Besides that, I am working with several local artists, collabing, giving and receiving beats, and supporting my own crew NachtProducties.

We also have Flemish Kingz clothing, which is all about unity, no divide and conquer. We started in 2007 with big interest in Hip-Hop / dancehall / hard core / skate / bmx / tattoo / boxing / graffiti… just to name a few. This year we celebrate our 5 year anniversary and no way the story ends here, still going strong and the support is growing each day.

D: With which local artist(s) would you like to collaborate?

N: I’d like to make a track with only a few local artists, but if I would have to mention a name, it would be Riemeloare (De Nihilisten). Too bad he quit rap long time ago. He was one of my biggest inspirations back in the days, and he also made the best Flemish rap album made to this day, in my opinion (Nihilisten – Etwoaschen Tussenin).

D: With which international artist(s) would like to collaborate?

N: I haven’t really given thought to that yet. Collabing with an international name is cool and all, but i’d rather support my local scene first. I rather sit with an emcee to write a hard track, than buy a verse online…

D: How do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

N: We never know what could happen in the future, but all I can say is that I’m hoping to still be happy with my girlfriend, that my family and friends are still ok, that I’m still healthy… And I am hoping I’ll still be a member of our beautiful Hip-Hop scene, inspiring others to make real Hip-Hop (say no to swag!) and still doing my own thing, while keeping on evoluting to a better person and emcee.

D: Any shout outs ?

N: Shout out to my family for always being there for me, supporting me in everything I do. Shout out to NachtProducties, to my brothers Derover, dj FLD & Morsdood, shout out to the complete Flemish Kingz family (keeping it real, big up y’all!), Garreth Deleersnijder for providing me with raw videos, Rechtvaardige Rechters, Empty Handed Warriors, Radio Zuid & all the people supporting me, and supporting real Hip-Hop. We see you!

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