Clueless with hqa aka HAVERHUCK VHS

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If you’ve seen the video for Jin Hackman’s ‘The Very Late 2015 Malaysian Rap Up’ or Dae Kim’s MV for ‘Baby Blue/ Fireworks in the Middle of Summer’, they were directed by HAVERHUCK VHS whose style of videos has the nostalgic effect and tinge of a VHS tape. But some people may know him as rapper hqa who’s a member of local hip hop crews, namely The Rebel Scum and Rogue Squadron, though his first and only album Baguvix was released way back in the early ‘90s (well, if you’re partial to believing hijacked Wikipedia pages that is). JUICE went ahead and spoke to the dude about his rapping and music video directing gigs, pop culture, and the making of the anthemic ‘Rogue Boyz II Men #Anthem #ElizabethTan’.

How long did it take you to finish your debut album Baguvix? Is it an accumulation of songs you’ve made over a period of time since there are 23 songs?
One or two years maybe, most were made on the fly but some were taken from the vault. I just wanted to get it all out there.

Why the decision to make the album free?
I didn’t think people would pay for it, but some did, so thanks guise.

We just discovered that Baguvix was released in 1991. Do you have any plans to write new material? Or do you regard it as your one and only opus?
I have plans for a new one although I currently have zero material. Maybe I’ll have one when I celebrate a century of Baguvix in the year 2091.

Would you say that you are currently focusing on directing rather than rapping?
I guess so. I just go with the wave. Still, I hope I’ll have more time to rap soon.

There are a lot of references to pop culture (celebrities, TV shows, and artistes) in your music. Some references can be considered quite American like Doogie Howser and President Benjamin Franklin. How much does pop culture influence your songwriting?
A lot, I consume a massive amount of pop and sub culture, I like to watch and listen to a lot of things, but I don’t remember them enough to be a nerd, so it’s like, what-e-ver. Anyway, there are only so many words to go around when you’re writing rhymes and I don’t like to talk about myself in music, so thank you pop culture for helping me with vocabulary.

Do you have an obsession for Clueless? It’s hinted on your website, and we hear Cher’s “As If!” sampled on ‘DRXVM TRVP’ too.
Totes for real! I just re-watched it last week. It’s in my top 5 of all time, and helped shape me philosophically.

Were you a freak or geek back in high school?
Neither, I was a Cher Horowitz…

You’re a member of The Rebel Scum and Rogue Squadron. What are the positives of being a part of a hip hop crew?
You get to help and promote each other and do silly things together.

We understand you direct under the pseudonym HAVERHUCK VHS. Most of your videos have a distinct style as they are made to look like VHS videos. Do you feel nostalgic or have an affinity for the archaic medium?
I grew up during the VHS era, so I do love VHS, but at the same time, I love film too. To put it simply and ridiculously, when we were shooting videos with tapes, we tried our best to make it look like film, and now that we have equipments that make videos look like film, we try our best to make it look like tapes. We are idiots. We? I, the royal we.

Which video you’ve directed that’s your favourite?
The Midnight Grocers’ (Dae Kim & Jocelyn Stemilyn) ‘Junk Food’, especially because my hometown is involved. It’s gonna be out soon, or maybe it already is.

Aside from your clear fondness for classics such as The Big Lebowski and Clueless, do you like anything that’s out in recent years?
That would be a long list. But one movie that got me walking out of the cinema feeling like I didn’t spend enough money on it was a beautiful Tamil movie called I, directed by Shankar, released early last year. It includes almost every genre and theme imaginable, music videos, and even a montage of extravagant mock-TV advertisements – all in one movie. The only thing it was lacking was Nicolas Cage.

Can you tell us about how the video and song ‘Rogue Boyz II Men’ came to be? And why #ElizabethTan?
Members of The Bat Cave (TBC) and Krayziesoundz (KRZ) were present at the ‘Rapstar’ music video shoot I was doing for Zet Legacy (TBC) and we all chilled afterwards. Bane Laden (TBC) had a beat, and then I-Sky (HOAX and KRZ) and Daney (KRZ) played around with it.

I was just sitting on the sofa watching the football game when suddenly, everyone was furiously writing something on their phones, I was like, the fuck is going on, am I in the presence of a cult in the midst of an orchestrated typing frenzy? Soon enough, one of them explained that they were writing rhymes for the beat and asked me to join in, so I wrote too. We all promptly recorded the song together, and since I already had video gear, we shot a music video. I think we all went home at around 6am.

#ElizabethTan started from A-Kid (KRZ), he was just casually chanting it to the beat, and we were like omg that’s genius, so we made sure he recorded it, and then Nuka (KRZ) added background vocals for the part. It was perfection and I don’t even like Elizabeth Tan.

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