An Interview with Buta, the King of Albanian Trap

Buta is the freshest new face in Albanian rap. He’s the reigning revolutionary of trap music, currently the most fashionable subgenre of rap in the Albanosphere, both in flow and content. People who like rap but don’t understand Albanian can easily appreciate his smooth flow. And those who understand the freshness of his lyrics have even more reasons to like him. What makes Buta stand out lyrically in the Albanian rap scene is not only that he addresses subjects like cunnilingus but in the very natural style that he expresses himself.


On May 14 of this year, he published his mix tape “Pranverë/ Verë” (Spring/ Summer) containing 15 songs – six dedicated to the spring, and six to the summer. According to the rapper, this mix tape is “inspired by fashion house look books” and the only thing he can say about his latest publication is that “it is lit.”

Photo courtesy of Buta
Photo courtesy of Buta

In this short Q & A Buta addresses his influences, talks about why “money, pussy and weed” is so omnipresent in his music, and explains what lifestyle rap is.

Do you have any rap idols?

I couldn’t say that I consider a rapper or in general a human being an ‘idol’. Rappers that influenced me the most and inspired me to start rapping are Lil’ Wayne, Cam’ron, Curren$y, 50 Cent, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, T.I. and all the rappers of the 2000s because I grew up listening to them, since I am a child of the 90s, born in 1995 to be more exact.

 

Who and what influenced you regarding your trap style?

In my trap style, I would say that it has been more producers than rappers that influenced me. If the beat is fly, 50 percent of the song is already done. People like Zaytoven, Lex Luger, Southside, TM 88 and the guys of 808 Mafia are pioneers in this sound, and without them there would be no trap.

 

In your songs, you express yourself in a very natural way. This is something I have heard quite rarely in Albanian rap. Is this linked with the way you write your songs?

Indeed, this is the reason why it sounds natural. The way I write my lyrics is called lifestyle rap and is based entirely on what I have been through, and what I am going through, and how and what I want to live like in the future. All my lyrics are for me the result of my life and situations I have gone through. To put it differently: there is no other possibility than to sound natural because this is lifestyle rap.

Photo courtesy of Buta
Photo courtesy of Buta

 

“Weed, pussy, money,” Asap Rocky raps in the song of the same name. Basically, these are the main topics you address in your songs. Why is that?

[Laughs]. This has nothing to do with Asap Rocky. In fact, Lil Wayne has a song from 2007 called “Pussy Money Weed”, but this still is not the reason. These are simply three things I like a lot. Maybe this is why I mention them often.

 

Is Buta really that obsessed with money?

Yes. All my current struggles and those of the people around me can be solved with money. I don’t say, and I never have said that non-material things are not of importance to me, but I have had these qualities or things all my life, and will keep them all my life. I always received a lot of love and respect. I never struggled with non-recognition. Things are different with money. I never had enough of money, and will never get fed up with money. I will always want more of it.

What would you to say to someone who says “Buta is a misogynist rapper”?

This is the third interview in a row where I have been asked this question. I understand where this critique is coming from but I am not misogynistic. In my songs, I also address crime, drugs and even murder. Still, nobody asks me in interviews whether I am a murderer or a drug addict because it makes no sense.

 

Why are you so enthusiastic about cunnilingus?

[Laughs] because it is the most important meal of the day.

 

Your hit “Hashish Thaçi” has a political message, because nobody can listen to it and not think of Hashim Thaçi, the current president of Kosova. Why?

I wouldn’t say that there is a political message in this song, just because there is a word play. Hashish Thaçi was my nickname, like z. Ndjenja. Plus, I was Hashish Thaçi before that song.

 

Who is responsible for your Beats?

I work with more than one producer. If someone sends me a beat, and I like it, I use it. Mostly, I worked with Cla$$ic. He exclusively produces “z. Ndjenja EP and Dr. Zhivago EP”, except for one song.

Adem Ferizaj

Adem was born in Kosovo, raised in Germany, and is studying international relations at Sciences Po. He has written for the newspaper Franz Kafka wrote for in his time. He also writes for Kosovo 2.0.