Rapper Hunit Stackz has done something that even this somewhat “jaded” music writer has never thought of before. He has taken his love of hip-hop music and mixed it together with state of the art anime to produce the Saiyan Music Regime, something that he is the CEO of with producer and co-founder Ace Boogie. After being in the industry for a decade, with some pretty great accolades, Hunit Stackz has just released his most artistic effort yet called “The Black Saiyan Saga”, which he promotes as the first ever DBZ rap album.
This is a fantastic combination of how one can really adapt themselves in the music and art world, and Hunit Stackz has done that very well with his latest effort. The Black Saiyan Saga follows him on a personal journey to tackle the issues within the hip-hop community, which blends very well on the flipside with the music he has produced for this project. The unique vision he has is something reminiscent of what Gorillaz did back in the 2000’s, and something that is truly needed in music today as a fresh take on a somewhat stale industry.
I sat down with Hunit Stackz recently to discuss all of his, including his tougher than most upbringings, how he became inspired by DBZ and Anime, hopes for the future, and more.
How did you come up with the name Hunit Stackz?
Well my nick name was “Stackz”, which i eventually adopted as my stage name as well. My rap name prior was “X-OL” which was an ode to The LOX, DMX, and Drag-On. For some reason, the name became popular as time went on and I needed a way to separate myself from every other wannabe rapper using the same name, so I added on the “Hunit” to distinguish myself. Now the ‘Hunit’ has gotten even more popular than the “Stackz” so I’m just screwed at this point lol.
You come from a very dangerous environment at an early age. Did that influence a lot of your lyricism, and how were you able to get through it?
Absolutely, I have a very real and authentic story to share. I dealt with a lot of pain and confusion 90% of my life, and it fueled my pen in a mighty way. While going through it, it was the dream that kept me going, feeling like once I made it, it would all have been worth it. Then when I found out this industry is nothing like I thought it was, it was the drugs that got me through it. Then once that didn’t work anymore, and I really sat down and analyzed my journey to date, I realized it was GOD getting me through it the whole time.
Maryland has a decent group of known rappers, most notably Logic as of recent. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up that helped you shape who you are as an artist and why?
Well in Baltimore we have our own scene, and guys who we place on that pedestal that others from the outside may think we place Logic on. Logic is not from where I’m from. Baltimore is not a part of the whole “DMV” movement, that’s a big misconception in the music industry. The DMV is DC, Maryland Counties, and Virginia. Baltimore City is its own entity, we don’t claim the DMV. The only dudes who are actually from here that we place on that level are dudes like King Los, Backland, Bossman, and guys from their era. As for inspiration, Jadakiss inspired me to rhyme, but it was DMX who I relate too most. DMX spoke to my soul, he spoke for the have nots, the misfits, the abandoned ones.
It is very rare to find someone who dives deep into music but also into comics, especially with Manga! Tell me more about the Black Saiyan Saga and how it got started, and why you are blending the music and comics with your latest effort?
Dragonball was my escape from my reality as a kid. My house was shot up, raided, all kinds of shit, and I witnessed it all. I started watching it at 6 years old and been a hardcore stan since. You’re right, it is strange to meet someone like me because I’m knee deep in that street life, and knee deep into the anime world as well. Kids where I come from are not into that s***, they think it’s nerdy and weird. I have a deep love for anime and Japanese culture in general and I always wanted to find a way to combine my two loves without going too far in either direction.
I have been doing little subtle gestures to pay homage to it this whole time though if you look at all my old mixtape covers, all those symbols are homage to anime. This is just the first time i’ve actually went as far as creating music out of anime theme songs. Once hip-hop went downhill with this whole mumble rap era, I finally got to point where I told myself “I don’t care if radio plays any of these songs, I’m not going to make any club records, I’m going to do what makes ME happy” so I did.
I reached out to my buddy Ace and told him my idea and he said he wanted to do it. He produced the whole album. I wrote and engineered everything then my buddy Tom went behind me and put his magic on the mix & master, then I decided to take it a step further with the comic. I have always written stories since I was a kid, so this wasn’t hard to do. I took DBZ style characters and turned them into some hood n****, the story line inspired by conversations I hear from people every day complaining about how much certain rappers suck, so I made them the villains, and the lyrical rappers are the good guys.
Episode one is called Mumble Rap. Am I sensing shade here towards anyone?
No and I want people to know that I host no malice toward mumble rappers. I don’t lose sleep over it, but I am using my talents to voice the opinions of the people. It’s all in fun, it’s not as deep seeded as it may appear. I’m not like sitting around throwing darts at a Lil Uzi poster on my wall lol. I do agree that mumble rap is garbage, but we all must admit we like a song or two. Overall, it’s a disgrace to the greats. I decided to step up as the anti-mumble rap spokesman in hip-hop.
Do you have a favorite song off Black Saiyan Saga, and why?
My favorites change every day, originally it was ‘Wit Da S***” because man that’s a have-not’s theme in music right there, that’s the mind frame of a savage Baltimore N**** on wax. Now “Charm City” is my favorite of the moment. I feel as though I gave an accurate depiction of Baltimore city to the world, whereas other’s who have been asked about the city on major platforms gave an uninformed one.
What is your overall take on the hip-hop industry today?
For a while I was like most people saying, “What is this garbage? How is this popping? It’s not even English?” Now I’m like “Whatever, I will just do me, and let fate decide it”. Eventually people will get tired of the same ole same ole, because every single rapper sounds exactly the same now.
Goal wise, what are your biggest dreams that you would like for your career?
My dream is to be a legend for my creativity, beating the odds, and being true to the artform. I want to walk in a barbershop at like 50 years old and hear people arguing “Jay-Z was nice, but he wasn’t f**** wit Hunit Stackz”. As for my goals, right now I just want to gain enough steam to where I can actually live off my music. I feel I deserve unprecedented superstardom, but I also have a family to think about.
For more information on Hunit Stackz, please check out his official website.