“A lot of the mainstream rap glamorised crime and drugs, but all the artists I truly respected pointed out the truth of society in their music and that really resonated with me and inspired me, so I knew I wanted to do the same.”
Hi Guys, I’m CompreHend I’m 21 and I’m a Rapper from Leicester. I was born in Leicester but partly raised in the Netherlands and I moved to the U.K again when I was around 5. I started rapping around 3-4 years ago but at the time it was nothing serious. I started rapping through “Free-styling” with my friends (making up rhymes on the spot) and after a couple of years I had only written 1 or 2 tracks and they mainly consisted of funny lyrics. At that point in my life I had no real intention of doing anything with music although I did play the guitar a year or so before rapping, but I never really thought that was the path for me.
I remember I became more open minded after reading conspiracy theories and watching various videos when I was younger, which lead me into more and more research on corruption, Money, Mass control, war etc. Eventually I started listening to music that highlighted this and started thinking somewhat like an anarchist.
In 2012/2013 I had dropped out of a college course I was doing and decided University was not the path for me so I started working. I remember after a few months of working full time I was thinking “this can’t be it in life, working and spending until I die?!” which basically led me into a downward spiral of depression.
A few months into 2014 my Mum basically forced me to go travelling as she could see I wasn’t happy with life, I had been explaining to her a couple of weeks earlier that I was talking to a childhood friend from Australia again, so we decided Australia was the place to go. With the help of my Granddad who had been saving money up for me since I was kid, and the rest of the family, away I went travelling on my own to Australia to find freedom.
After travelling for 4/5 months and returning home due to me running out of money and not having properly searched for a reliable job, I was back to square 1. I had no trade that enabled me to find solid, well paid work but I had written more music whilst I was out there as travelling really brought out my creative side.
I was back home and back to full time work; however I felt more contempt with life still carrying the motivation from travelling and decided I would continue travelling after saving for a year or 2. Around the middle to end of 2015 I was starting to putting more effort into my music as I felt really motivated from travelling still and loved every second of rapping with my friends. At the end of 2015 I decided it was time to do music properly as it was one of the only things that was making me truly happy. My favourite genre had always been Hip-Hop, finding my inspirations through the likes of Lowkey, Akala, Immortal Technique etc. which my friends has shown me whilst “Free-styling”. A lot of the mainstream rap at the time glamorised crime and drugs but all the artists I truly respected pointed out the truth of society in their music and that really resonated with me and inspired me, so I knew I wanted to do the same.
My music is all about bringing real world issues to people’s attentions and spreading positivity and love. I have my first E.P coming out at the end of August called “Stockholm Syndrome” which highlights a lot of truths about our world and a lot of truths about me and it will be available for free download.
I would say the message of my story is that music has taken me from feeling depressed and isolated to excited and happy and having the ability to use my music to spread positivity and thought provoking information is incredible, it’s just a matter of time before I can travel the world spreading my thoughts and feelings to others and helping spread some love along the way!
We all go through hard things in life but it’s the action you take in response to those hard times that proves your character, so hang in there and stay strong and don’t forget to use every opportunity you can to help others.
– Hendrik Oldewarris
Follow @comprehend101 on Twitter to keep up with his music!