Having known that I was going to interview Shane Eagle for a couple weeks, I found myself uncharacteristically nervous about the whole thing, why? I really don’t know, perhaps it came from my stereotypical judgement of him being a cocky, shallow know-it-all that many perceived him to be and that I wouldn’t know how to deal with such a person. Is he gonna think I’m whack and my team is unprofessional, because we’re all a bunch of young guys trying to do something meaningful? Is he gonna walk out on the interview because I may not show the poise and skill of someone like Scoop, who happens to be his colleague or is he be another uninspiring TV show newcomer, who thinks they’re different and can have the entire industry at their feet one day? These are the type of questions I found myself pondering, however he was nothing of that sort, to the contrary he was very much the polar opposite to all of that.
Having gone to fetch water after being greeted by his manager and still waiting on Shane, I went to buy some water to understandably calm myself down, once I got back I saw a somewhat imposing light-skinned figure with a pink cap and two-very understated- 9ct gold necklaces and my calculated guess was proven to be right in the interview when he said “I got rid of my jewels man, now all my shit is just real, I don’t be rocking no fake shit no more”.
Anyway Shane seemed to be very well put together and calm and in a way that energy rubbed off me, as he was able to settle my nerves by simply being himself, which happens to be very calming and humble. Before I carry on with this story, lemme create a bit of a context for those who might know nor understand. Shane Eagle is rapper from the east rand who entered a competition called “The Hustle” on VUZU, where the judges (AKA, Khuli Chana and Tumi “STOGIE T” Molekane) set out on finding the next great South African Rapper star, which was eventually won by BigStar Johnson who I interviewed in the sixth issue.
Shane Eagle exited the competition, resulting in him coming 4th. However since then the rapper dropped a singled called “Way Up” featuring BigStar Johnson, in which he admits that he has a “Bittersweet relationship” with, the song received mixed reviews and was later accompanied by my personal favourite “Cutting Corners” which unquestionably led me to believed in Shane Eagle as not only a rapper but an artist that can tap into people’s emotions. Features on DJ Speedster’s “I want it all” alongside Nasty C and DJ Switch’s cult hit “NowOrNever” Shane Eagle has allowed himself to be a recognisable figure in the circle of emcee’s in South Africa. All that success seems to have paid off as he’s also landed himself a job presenting on VUZU, which surely helps with a few bills.
Now back to real stuff, with his manager and long-time girlfriend alongside him discussing financial and personal plans it was quite evident that Shane has evolved into a man with serious responsibilities and commitments, which is shown in the manner in which he even talks as opposed to many people his age, including myself. Yes, myself included, because for many of those who don’t know Shane Eagle and I are actually the same age, but you’re gonna have to Google his age ‘cause out of respect for him I’m not going to put the homie on blast like that (he doesn’t like talking about his age). He oozes maturity and confidence in a humbling way much like his favourite rapper J. Cole- I think self-assurance is a better term. In our discussion we get to speak about the general stuff in the music industry however, we then get to a special point where we literally start connecting and forget about the fact that we’re actually on record, which is actually quite a special moment for someone in my profession because in my opinion, you’re able to do the most effective work once you can actively connect with whom you’re talking to.
At this moment Shane starts speaking about how he wants to be known for who he truly is and not the gimmicks and nonsense that things like social media and clubs offer you when you’re in his position, which then rolls over to how he wants to grow as a person, which will help him grow as a rapper as well. With all this being said, Shane says some truly profound statements about being a human being in the world of rap which is filled with, as we know, many tempting things, however Shane admits that he hates the club and his reasoning at this point is unsurprisingly enlightening as points at that it is because people are “pretentious and fake”. Shane also digs deeper as he points out that its not all it seems to be, thus somewhat confirming the hand to mouth lifestyle myth stating “you can broke as hell but as long as you came in with a bottle or got the section, its all good” but unfortunately its part of the job. It takes a serious size of cohunes for someone to criticise the very thing that puts food on his table and probably the most important thing in the world of South African celebrities, the idea of perception, that tells you something special about Shane Eagle’s character, which is that he doesn’t govern by what he is supposed to look like nor what he is expected to be, he governs by what he feels and the people he cares for, which eclipses many of the great artists of our time such as Kanye West, AKA and just to stretch it a bit, Tupac.
Shane Eagle truly is an independent spirit, not because he is out there chanting “fuck the labels” like some would do but because he is able to truly stand for himself and back it up, having initially being swooped by producer and artist extraordinaire, JR, Shane Eagle split with JR’s label Feel Good after only 8 months in an attempt to grow his own ambitions which can be seen to be difficult for most because you’d essentially be throwing away all the potential benefits and relationships that you could gain through someone like JR away, like I said before this man has some serious cohunes. Speaking on his maturity and independent spirit, Shane Eagle sights “problems” as the main key as to he has to be responsible and mature stating “while my homies were worrying about doing the dishes and having their homework ready, I had to drive my dad to rehab… problems in your life force you to grow up”. Speaking on his album Shane Eagle still oozes in confidence that is so understated, it leaves me to truly question what he has up his sleeves. In the world of music, there’s a general sentiment that is shared which is that one cannot truly judge an artist until they have released a body of work that will sonically distinguish them from others. In Shane Eagle’s case, that is without a doubt the same case however things have slightly changed since VUZU’s “The Hustle” as the general consensus would be to see him as someone who wants the throne and he definitely shows more than enough ability to do so.
Shane Eagle’s self-assurance is epitomised by one statement in relation to his upcoming project stating “whether its 10 people or 10 million that hear that shit, I’ll be satisfied”, which are 14 words that’ll explain him better than this entire article ever can. In a world where sales and figures determines success and failure as an artist, Shane Eagle tends to drift from the only bragging rights one artist can have over another thus proving his independent and mature spirit. Obviously he wouldn’t want just 10 people to listen to his project so make sure you keep a lookout for a release date on all his social media pages.
Courtesy of Vision Magazine – Check them out!