“Mogli the Iceburg is an eclectic producer and artist, part of the indie tribe collective, and I just try to be myself and make authentic music.”
“When I was like ten or eleven years old I was this lanky, dark brown kid with long, shaggy, black hair and I was really skinny, and I looked like Mogli from The Jungle Book.” It was first pointed out to him at a summer camp and made everyone laugh. “People just started calling me that, like forever.” When he started making music in high school, he decided to make Mogli his stage name. “I also had the nickname iceberg which is like my last name, Horenburg.”
“Rap names that were like ‘something the something’ was really cool so I was like ‘Hey, I’ll just do that. It’s just kind of stuck.” One thing he values about being Mogli the Iceburg is that his name is easy to find on Google. “It turns out Mogli by itself, even the way I spell it, is a super common name in Pakistan.”
This month Mogli the Iceburg released a new EP, Sad People Make Dope Music. “Every time I make a project, I go through this post-album depression after it comes out.” Whenever his projects drop, he is pleased that he worked hard on it, but feels a burden that he needs to keep going to put out more music. “Now it’s like inferiority complex or writer’s block. That can be a very depressing time for an artist.”
“I’ve always dealt with depression throughout parts of my life, but that’s also where my biggest inspiration comes from.”
The post album depression can make him feel like “None of my ideas are as good as the last one. I need to make it better.”
Having previously produced his own music, Mogli the Iceburg decided to let others produce this EP and focus on his rapping. “I was able to focus on the writing and the vocals, my recordings and cadences and all that stuff. Before I would be spending so much time thinking about how a snare sounded and whether or not that snare hit in the right EQ curve…”
The EP begins with “Nothing Nice to Say.” “When Scott 808 sent me that beat, it was the first thing I heard with it. Man, I just want to start flexing.” As he was writing, Mogli the Iceburg “started writing pridefully, then midway through the verse I’ll get kinda convicted and like ‘Dang, I’ve gotta check myself.’” He has to remind himself to not say hateful, mean things towards others, even when it is very tempting. “Frequently I feel very jaded towards certain people and passions and things about the world.”
“It’s really about tempering your speech. I don’t have anything nice to say to you, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut right now.”
The song “Matt 7:23” is inspired by a rebuke of Jesus to his audience.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:21-23 NIV.
“I always look back at that verse and am like ‘Who am I? Am I closer to the people that Jesus would say I never knew you?”
In the song, Mogli the Iceburg shares his inner frustrations with his pride and doubt. Though it can be challenging, he knows he has to keep “asking that God would just change my heart and bring me closer.”
“Real Thing” was inspired by a relationship with a girl that did not end well. “I was just really frustrated but I channeled that frustration into ‘Well, you know what? I’m not in a relationship anymore so I’m just gonna focus all this energy into the music.”
“If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be very nihilistic about things. If I didn’t believe in God, I would be the type of person that would be like ‘I really have a hard time seeing why somebody should just have rights as a human or why somebody has self-evident worth.’”
Because he is a Christian, Mogli the Iceburg says “I wanna see people for their own value in the way that God sees them. God sees people as having infinite worth, enough for Him to suffer for.” This is the inspiration behing the song “Some Of Yall.”
“All That I Can” is one of Mogli the Iceburg’s favorite conceptual songs that he has made. “There are a lot of themes, especially in Christian hip-hop, that get over-done and one of those is probably ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Ninety percent of the people who use that verse are misquoting it.”
He thinks it’s absurd how people use this verse as inspiration for career-based or athletic achievement.
“Paul, he’s imprisoned, he’s being starved and beaten and stuff and he’s like ‘I can endure all things with the strength that Christ is blessing me with.’”
Mogli the Iceburg does want to use the song to motivate his creative listeners. “We do all that we can, but at some point, you’ve gotta recognize that I’ve done everything that I can, it’s out of my control, and I’ve just gotta trust God with it.” He says that as long as he is doing what God has called him to do, he is doing the right thing, even if the “success” doesn’t come to fruition.
“Reinventing Your Exit” was inspired by Underoath, a Christian post-hardcore band. “It was cool because they really created a new genre that was like a whole wave of music.” They have been a big inspiration to Mogli the Iceburg, and he wanted to expand his sound and make a screamo, trap, hip-hop song. “That’s me just being creative and figuring out how to make a new type of music.”
Mogli the Iceburg is part of a collection of artists called indie tribe. The other members are WHATUPRG, nobigdly., and Jarry Manna. WHATUPRG recently announced that he was getting signed to Reach Records and nobidgdyl to Capitol Christian Records. “Things are just bananas. For some people there might be some confusion… indie tribe is a collection of artists with a common idea and a common goal… to be indie tribe, that means to be independent in your thoughts, to be independent to what other people think of you…”
“Throughout the process of this year, you’re gonna see a much more defined, unique format that’s gonna come from me that I don’t think exists anywhere else.”