The Real Ones: TRO ft Chuckie: In 1994, the legendary group The Real Ones (TRO) was established in the lively township of Newlands East. This extraordinary group included the awesome rappers Daniel “Chuckie” Jooste and Paul “The Short One(TSO)” Ogle, the beatboxer Fabian “Funky Fabian” Peters and the intro guy Emlyn Barlow.
The acclaimed group known as TRO launched into stardom with the release of their debut album African Hip Hop in 1996. This ground-breaking record sold 25 000 copies and TRO instantly became a household name. The group toured nationally and internationally. Fans from all walks of life could be heard singing the words “Hey Ouens, What Kind” and Bruin Ous Bruin Ous, We are the Main Ous. However, in the height of their career, tragedy struck. Funky Fabian passed away in a car accident and the group found it difficult to continue without him. TRO decided to go their separate ways. Chuckie joined the eloquent East Coast Flava briefly and TSO started an entertainment company called T.N.T with the ever-talented Trevor Williams. Fate then stepped in and TRO was reborn. The amazing group now consisted of just Chuckie and TSO. Fans flocked to shows and a new era had dawned.
I caught up with Chuckie to chat about his present situation and future endeavors. We discussed his present challenges, music, collaborations, Dusted and of course, what the future holds for TRO.
I quizzed Chuckie on the impact lockdown may have had on him and his music. He informed me that he was already prepared for this. Working in the financial industry and running a business, allowed him to place music in the background and concentrate on his family. He informed me that he did not rely on money from TRO performances but rather used the money to buy presents for his son Cal.
TRO as a group and Chuckie as a solo artist shared their life experiences through their music and allowed us as fans to live through those experiences in their lyrics. The culture of Newlands East, the passing of Fabian and the coloured lifestyle rang true in their words. Chuckie explains that these were real life stories. He reiterates that people could feel it, if they were not real. He made it clear that growing up in Newlands East provided him with genuine content to write these songs.
One of my fascinations in the music industry has always been the production of songs. Chuckie pointed out that in the earlier days he used to write his songs with a pen and paper. Dedicating his time to his family when he arrives home now, does not allow such luxuries anymore. I was astonished to find out that this incredible artist now writes songs in his head while driving in his car. Chuckie declares that content is very important. He develops the chorus for a song first and then the hook. Ultimately creating memorable lyrics such as Bruin Ous Bruin Ous, We are the Main Ous and recently Mars Bars.
Chuckie proudly mentions that TRO toured nationally and internationally during their time together. They even collaborated with a rock band called Side Show and performed at Splashy Fen. Personally, Chuckie collaborated with a number of very talented artists over the years. He states that Comedian Neil Green was surprised how he managed to stay relevant over all these years.
His first interaction was with the very soulful R ‘n B Singers Leaveil “Vally” and Verd Eaton. This resulted in the establishment of East Coast Flava and hits such as “We came to Party” and “On the Floor”. I must say, this group was phenomenal.
Chuckie collaborated with the lyrical master Jet Wentworth. He describes Jet as a genius in the rap world. They combined to create the song “Salute”. TSO completed the production bringing fire with his flow. It is no wonder “Salute” has 63 000 views on YouTube.
Stepping into Pietermaritzburg, Chuckie collaborated with Ryan “Riggz” Hoskins on the song “The Way We Choon”. This song stayed true to the bruinfunk movement and has already being viewed over a 100 000 times on YouTube.
Showing his diversity, Chuckie hooked up with B.I.P and dropped Pressure. This song really gets me in the party mood. Chuckie’s play on words in the song adds to the Durban Indian flavour and is quite brilliant.
His latest collaboration and the one I am really looking forward to, is the song Dusted.
Being a fan of Squad6ix, my excitement is bursting at the moment. The song Dusted is released. The product of Master Rapper Biggie Lovedale and Legend Chuckie. I eagerly questioned Chuckie on the origins of the long-awaited song.
Darryl Williams is the plug for Dusted, was Chuckie’s first words. O.G. from Squad6ix asked Darryl for his phone number. O.G. then asked Chuckie if he could send him some beats to listen too. After listening to the beats, one beat stood out for our awesome rapper. Chuckie new this was the one and enquired if Biggie would collaborate with him on the track. I then hear, “The rest is history”.
Chuckie says he knew that Biggie would come out firing. He had to up his game and change his strategy. Biggie is legendary hardcore and silky rap lyrics would just not do. Fans can expect Chuckie to go hard in this song, “Sydenham Heights Hard”.
The mood then changes, and Chuckie acknowledges those that supported TRO and himself over the years. He says that TRO has been around for 27 years and he is so grateful to everyone. They have been blessed with people booking them, radio play and a culture following. He also wants to Thank all those that support their music internationally and introduce new cultures to Bruinfunk. Chuckie would like to give a big shout out to Paul Ogle and especially all the TROjans out there and says he really appreciates them.
The End Of An Era
So what does the future hold for Chuckie and TRO?
Chuckie explains that his focus has changed. He will be concentrating on nurturing his son’s interest in music. We can look forward to a family collaboration with Dad structuring the music. I was overjoyed to hear that our beloved artist would also continue to work with other artists and produce new music.
Chuckie takes a breathe and says “TRO has one more song to release, it will be called Tracksuit. Then we will call it a day”.
“TRO will retire”.