When one thinks of the word Inferno, the least likely association would be the word “cool”. Inferno Williams however, embodies that paradox with his laid back chilled flow and demeanour, even in the heat of a grueling rap battle as seen by his displays on Scrambles 4 Money.
The young rapper from Troyville (east side of Joburg) who just released his debut project the Pretty So Slim mixtape, is a colourful character who is made conspicuous by his large puffy afro. Just like the title of his latest project, he makes rap seem so pretty – with the way he rides a beat.
Inferno Williams, a member of the rap group Revivolution, is also an animator and cartoonist who embodies his artisitic creativity in totality of his being. Lavatory Records had a chat with him about delving into battle rap, how he joined Revivolution and of course the Pretty So Slim project among other things.
Lavatory Records: Please break down to us who Inferno is and the meaning behind the name?
Inferno Williams: I’ve always been Inferno since Ghandi cyphers and Snazz battles. I was always the youngest kid in the heaviest cyphers. Williams is my family name. Nothing to it
LR: You are one of the Revivolution members that never attended Greenside High School. How did you end up being part of the crew?
IW: Tommy ills and I have been homies since we was 13 or something. Tommy, Vez (Revivolution Producer) and I were f***ing s**t up all through high school. By 2009, I’d met all the homies. The rest is history.
LR: You’ve been on Scrambles 4 Money, how was that experience, and will we ever see you battle again?
IW: If you can perform on a battle stage, you can perform on any stage. Being part of the battle scene was intense. It was dope while I was in it and I still have tons of bars from matches that never happened but I don’t see myself going back… unless the gwap (money) becomes amazing.
LR: As someone who has a battling background, which two emcees would you like to see battle it out on stage?
IW: Jake Baker vs Cerebro. We’re all waiting on it. That feels like the last great match of this generation of South African battle rappers.
LR: Tell us about your latest project Pretty So Slim and the concept behind the project?
IW: First coined the phrase “Pretty So Slim” on the Revivo track “N****s Know Me”. The phrase itself describes a romantic and luxurious perspective of one’s surroundings. My girl, my piff… so pretty, so slim. The Pretty So Slim mixtape is about that feeling. It’s about that nostalgia you get when you think about an old lover. It’s about the first raindrop on your skin before a summer storm. It’s about the menacing thickness of the night air in the city.” Pretty So Slim” a description of all those feelings and more in the form of a musical artwork. It’s an artwork inspired by everything.
LR: Outside of your crew which artists would you like to work with?
IW: Um… Dr Dre. Yeah I’m down to work with anyone who has a dope work ethic, a good sound and a strong vision for their music and brand across any genre.
LR: Give us your top 5 emcees, dead or alive.
IW: Apart from Nas being my favourite artist in Hip Hop history, this list changes all the time.
2) Big Pun
3) El P
4) Roc Marciano
5) MF Doom
LR: We know you’re an animator and cartoonist. What do you feel needs to be done to get more animation based productions going in the South African Film/TV industry?
IW: We will see more animation on our screens. The real problem is that n****s don’t own s***t and the n****s who do own s**t don’t know s**t! This is why our stories aren’t being told in visual media.
LR: Do you have any events/ projects to look out for in the near future?
IW: I have a new set with Illy Amin and a live band. We’ll be running the city with that show very, very soon. We got a buffet of music videos on the way to ya’ll. The Revivo Mixtape finna drop very soon and f*** the whole game up. Tommy ills and Tony Dangler droppin’ their respective tapes this year. Revivo be the clique.
LR: Any special mentions you want to shout out?
IW: Shouts to the whole Revivo, Grimetown, Bounce Theory, Edk universe. Shouts to The Day After and Deal Wit It. Shouts to Riz Ventura for his gorgeous work on Pretty So Slim. Shouts to the East. Shouts to the Gawds and my fam. Shouts 2 the fans and the heads that make up the culture. Shouts to ayebody who inspired me. Special shoutout to Black Dynamite and the beautiful ladies on the Jetlag interlude. It’s all love. #prettysoslim
Shouts to Triskit! Shout to ayebody who keeps showing love.
We’d also like to shouts Inferno Williams for taking time out to speak to us. If you want to keep up with his moves, follow him on Facebook, Twitter: @infernowilliams and Instagram: @infernowilliams and SoundCloud. You can also follow Revivolution on Facebook and Twitter: @Revivolution365.
Also don’t forget to get the Pretty So Slim mixtape, available for free download and streaming.