Amu's first official appearance on the South-African Hip-Hop scene was on a track called 'Skillz' which was featured on the 1996 compilation 'The Muthaload: A Hip-Hop collective'. Featuring seven other Gauteng-based MC's, the track has been the source of some controversy. Besides not being paid for his contribution, Amu highlights what appear to be the beginnings of the notorious player hater syndrome - a noteworthy concern considering the fledgling status of Hip-Hop's infrastructure in this country. "Down here a lot of MC's that hate me are from the Muthaload. The only cats that are doing something for themselves since that album dropped are Spex and myself. Cats talk behind my back cause I'm doing stuff with Ashaan, with E'smile, and they don't see that I'm trying to open doors for them."
According to Amu, the rapport amongst MC's in Johannesburg is generally one of mutual respect - yet he gets more love from people who don't listen to Hiphop. "If you think about it, they are actually a larger market so I'm just hoping that when my album finally comes out they'll dig it. And judging from the live shows that I've done, they probably will". With the sales figures of recent local Hip-Hop releases (Spex, Mizchif) still pending, live performance currently seem to be the most assured and profitable means for MC's to earn their bread and butter. To this end Amu asserts that his ultimate objective will only materialize in the long-term. Acknowledging that commercial gain may not be immediate, he remains optimistic in his ambition to take on the significant task of being an example to future generations of South African Hip-Hop artists. "Sort of like a Rakim - he has a much stronger foundation than Mase who may have a certain fan base but not truly loyal supporters. What we're trying to do is to get faithful supporters so that when we drop stuff they'll go out and buy it for themselves 'cos they know it will be a quality release. We don't want to cater for cats who just buy stuff cause it's the new shit out and it's the in thing to have an Amu CD or whatever."
So how does he plan to appeal to more than just the fickle? Probably the best way he knows how - through his music. Despite the picture portrayed in South Africa's Hip-Hop scene, Ammunition has no regrets in getting involved. His unrelenting positivity, combined with his compelling street appeal will hopefully be reflected in his debut album to be released some time this year. While not very specific with regards to his future project, the Nativz recording artist stresses that it will reveal the real Amu: "I wanna drop an EP of about eight tracks where you can get the whole vibe." Watch this space for the review!