Monthly Archives: February 2015

  • Seth Sentry Live @ Hi-Fi with Coin Banks & Citizen Kay

    Seth Sentry live @ Hi-Fi Brisbane on February 20th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dave Kan Photography Seth Sentry live @ Hi-Fi Brisbane on February 20th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dave Kan.

    With a show that hosts a broadened hip hop audience, Seth Sentry bridges the underground scene to the fickle hipsters coupled up into one crowd craving to break from reality, just for one night with one of Australia’s best storytellers.

    Seth Sentry Live @ Hi-Fi, Brisbane with Coin Banks & Citizen Kay
    Feb 20th 2015 | Images courtesy of Dave Kan

    Support act Coin Banks staggers but gathers his start. Without a DJ, the Perth MC drops bars acappella, prowling the stage like a headline act and going from Heads to Tails for the captivated crowd streaming in. Citizen Kay follows on before your girlfriend’s crush Seth Sentry takes the mic with his running mate DJ Sizzle behind him, decked out in a pinched handlebar moustache and glitzy blazer. Together, they cover everything from the 2008 EP The Waiter Minute EP, 2012’s This Was Tomorrow, and a few sneakies off the new album.

    The setlist opens on Vacation which instantly provokes a strong singalong. He then parts his audience into hipsters and suits and breaks into My Scene. In true storyteller fashion, Sentry speaks between tracks setting each one up, as he does with Room For Rent and Float Away sending it out to all the bartenders, wait staff and those in hospitality who have had to put up with dirtbag customers, which receives huge roars of approval. Sentry then swings a left and hits everyone with his Like A Version cover of Frenzal Rhomb’s Punch In The Face. Shit gets real.

    Crowd participation has peaked. So when The Waitress Song ramps up it’s recited line by line like a nursery rhyme. Being the consummate showman, Sentry runs that straight into Dear Science and careful not to trip over, employs security to tie his laces before balancing himself out on to barricade railings at the left of stage to chat with punters. With some so-called “Ninja Scroll shit” he tightropes back on stage, front and centre for new single Run, crossing the line for curtain call by midnight.

    Sentry encores with Strange Lot and Langoliers Banquet leaving its backing track to linger on as he and Sizzle humbly thank everyone. For a big-time rapper, Seth Sentry’s the guest who will offer to clear plates and thank you for having him over before taking off with your girl.

    Seth Sentry live @ Hi-Fi Brisbane on February 20th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dave Kan Photography Seth Sentry live @ Hi-Fi Brisbane on February 20th, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dave Kan.
     
  • Dyl Thomas & Flu - Red Wine Bars Shine(Official Video)

     

    Dyl Thomas & Flu - Red Wine Bars Shine

    Dyl Thomas & Flu - Red Wine Bars Shine(Official Video)

     

    Pang Productions first release for 2015 is the Idol Hands EP, an unlikely combination of Flu in his first role as sole producer, and Pang Productions veteran beat maker Dyl Thomas in his first performance as solo mc for the label since Gunpowder Footstep (2006).  The result of this winning formula is a 4 track EP pressed to limited edition 12" vinyl, available on World Record Store Day - April 18, 2015.

     

     

    Taken from the IDOL HANDS 12" Ep

    Available on World Record Store Day (April 18 2015).

    Lyrics by Dyl Thomas. Produced by Flu.
    Mixed by Phil Gektor. Mastered by L-Rox.
    Shot by Must Volkoff. Edited by Mata & Must.

     

    Pang Productions Pang Productions
     
  • Nuggy Gee Interview Straight out the 23

    Nuggy Gee; live performance. Images courtesy of Dwayne Bridgland Photography

    Nuggy Gee is not trying to redo the game, nor is he trying to be the best MC. He is here for the love of the art, the therapy and of course the riches and the fame that comes from contributing to Brisbane’s Indie hip-hop scene. In 2013 he dropped his debut EP, Home Is Where The Art Is (HIWTAI) on independent label Gee Spot Recordings, representing the Four One fam on Brisbane’s southside. But don’t get it twisted, it’s in the DNA of Nuggy Gee to be a freestyle MC. The beast within is a battle rapper with the gift of gab to tear down a cypher and turn out the lights before last drinks. While he seems nice on record, he’s formidable in a freestyle.

    For an MC who feels more comfortable getting in your face, when asked if his competitive spirit carried over into his records it was somewhat surprising to hear that he doesn't see collaborators as opponents. Although, perhaps the cohesion nurtured in recent collaborations with Def Man Walking and Fundamental Elements proved to be the right call over throwing down verses at each other in competition. Nevertheless, Nuggy Gee strives, at all times, to bring his A-game to the booth and, whether he likes it or not, the lyrical venom stored from the battlefield does leak out into his records.

    Rip Nicholson holds audience with the independent as f**k MC. Everything is covered, from what inspired Nuggy Gee to stomp his name into local hip-hop, to deconstructing HIWTAI, to the self-produced Crate Of Mind project and how he both manages and contains the freestyle MC from taking over his records.

    If you didn’t know about Nuggy Gee..., now you do.

    NUGGY GEE interviewed exclusively for Ozhiphopshop.com / Rip2Shredz Print
    Images courtesy of Dwayne Bridgland Photography

    Rip:                 I know you’re from Bris City’s Southside, you’re a battle MC competitor and in 2013 you released your first EP, Home Is Where The Art Is. I’ve left off so much. Why don’t you fill us in on Nuggy Gee?

    Nuggy Gee:    Correct, HIWTAI was released in early 2013 and was received much better than I ever could have hoped. Recorded and mostly produced by my homie Insideus at his studio "The Shire", It was a great process making the EP and I learnt a lot along the way. I do like to get in the ring and battle from time to time, its the competitive side of me that I honestly never really knew existed until I first entered into the battle scene and my hunger has grown for it over time, I didnt think id achieve what I have through battling but worked hard to get where I am, its a big part of me as an MC, If I had to fill you in on Nuggy Gee I guess its me in the creative sense, through my love for hip hop, But at the same time it's me everyday, not just an Alias.

    Why did you become a rapper, aside from the riches and fame that being a Bris City MC brings of course?

    Haha, definitely the riches. Its more like a lifestyle my love for hip hop goes way beyond me ever wanting to become a rapper, hip hop is almost therapeutic to me in the sense that it has always been there for me. I started messing around on jacked beats as a youngen and it just grew from there. I would freestyle over beats for hours and the novelty of this great culture just escalated for me and never wore off.

    Nuggy Gee; live performance. Images courtesy of Dwayne Bridgland Photography

    Going from recording a track to freestyling at a cypher, do you carry the same level of enthusiasm for each discipline?

    Man, this is a strange one for me because I feel a lot more in my comfort zone freestyling then I do conforming to spitting words I've written, freestyle is almost a natural thing for me, its what I came from its how I learnt and is probably my strongest trait as an MC. I do try to bring my absolute best at all times behind the mic and if I'm going to lay down a verse for people to listen too I try to give them my outlook on my own situations, life struggles and experiences in life, I try to respect the listener through my music.

    Recently you collabed with Def Man Walking (Carpe Diem) and Fundamental Elements (The Sickness), does it get competitive in that environment where you’re spitting verses with other hungry local MCs to the same track?

    Hmmmm, not really. We are all trying to bring our A game to every track but I don't treat another MCs verse on a track as a competition by any means.

    Home Is Where The Art Is - the EP been out since 2013, looking back did it come out as you had envisioned?

    It actually didn't come out exactly as how I'd planned, but I am in no way disappointed on the end result of the EP. I have to be honest and say it was still received much better than I thought and appreciate everyone that helped out and supported the release.

    It must be a labour of love for you and for everyone involved in the process?

    It is, and if it isn't, don't do it. Its that simple. Hip hop doesn't owe me a thing. Its a pure love for me.

    Raw Joint From the Ball Point’ a very strong head nodder. Love the brass horns and how the big piano chops kept your bars at speed like a metronome. Dope touch. Definitely a very dusty ‘92 boom bap vintage. What came first the beat or the rhyme?

    Yeah, a few people found that as a favourite off HIWTAI actually. Thats the only track I produced on the EP, and the beat came first, I have a real love for the boom bap sound its where its at I guess you could say for me in hip hop.

    Nuggy Gee; live performance. Images courtesy of Dwayne Bridgland Photography

    Lyrically, too, you’re strong in the art of braggadocious rap as demonstrated in several joints. No doubt a skill honed on the battle circuits?

    I wouldn't say overly braggadocious but I guess my battle traits play a part in that. I feel confident in this art form. I feel at home with it and am not shy to express that through my music.

    Very few artists can harness message and poetry in a way that is both clever and insightful. Some rappers get wound up in such a mess of metaphors and loose wordplay that their message weakens. You rein that in nicely. Do you try to be very succinct with your raps so that there is no misinterpretation?

    If I have a message I want to get across to the listener then yes, I love a good track with heavy word play but if it ends up just gibberish you're not really doing your job as an MC, in my opinion.

    Is it as important that fans pick up on the message behind each track as much they enjoy hearing a dope record, regardless?

    I think so, yes.

    You and Insideus seem to be on the right page with the soundscape. What is a conscious effort to stick with a tight team on the boards?

    Beats wise, I was pretty much shown it all by Insideus, and can't thank that dude enough for the time and effort he put into showing me how its done on the pads, I guess a bit of his style on beats rubbed off on me but am still learning everyday, I try to surround myself with like minded MCs that help each other out, it makes for a great working environment.Nuggy Gee Crate Of Mind, Australian Hip Hop, Aussie Hip Hop, Ozhiphop

    What can you tell us about the Crate Of Mind project? A snippet you had posted sounded like a very Premo-style beat.

    Its a project I took on about 9 months ago, This project is actually fully self produced with scratches by me aside from one track "All Four Corners" produced by Sid with DJ Nikk-C on the cuts. It is my first release I had full creative control of with everything at my disposal. I'm very proud of it to be honest.

    I read somewhere you were dabbling in Grime beats? Could we hear Nuggy Gee going “Souf London” on his raps?

    Haha, I don't think so, I make beats that reflect my moods really and wherever the drums n samples take me.

    Is there anything I have left out that you would like to mention?

    You have covered a lot, all I really want to say is it’s been an awesome experience and process up to this point and I hope it continues in my contribution to this culture, expect to hear much more out of "Gee Spot Recordings" in the future.

    Nuggy Gee, Ozhiphop, Australian Hip Hop, Aussie Hip hop, Hip Hop

     Download Nuggy Gee's music for free via the links below.

    Nuggy Gee - Home Is Where The Art Is

    Nuggy Gee - Crate Of Mind EP

    Keep up to date with Nuggy Gee via the links below.

    Facebook

    Instagram

    Twitter

    Bandcamp

    Soundcloud

     
  • Fun Not Fame Mixtape Vol 3

    Fun Not Fame Mixtape 3

    Fun Not Fame Mixtape Vol 3

     

    Fun Not Fame III mixtape, when unleashed, is an unregulated assault of hip-hop knocking out ear canals like a Tyson left hook, cocked and loaded by the Velvet Couch commission. This is the third wave of yet another arsenal of dope weaponry made locally, mixed by DJ Backlash and mastered and produced at Clockwork Studios by Sneaky-T and Pleura (Fundamental Elements) who cut and prepared a sharpened cache of only the realest of independent hip-hop.

    MCs involved in the operation represent a strong contingent of Australia’s independent and unmerciful collective with international allies in Sean Strange (U.S.) and with blazing bars from AliSonOfAbdul (Canada). The likes of Burn City’s Mantra, who tears into the fray making silence sound louder than sirens, setting the tone for the likes of Prophet Rayza, Fundamental Elements, Nuggy Gee and Irrelevant to make noise alongside Tailor Made from the depths of Bris City’s scene, setting pace immediately through rhymes at a rapid rate. Tendancee and Master Wolf also flank the front assault, strong-arming the first half of the mixtape.

    No VC assault would go down without the VC’s most uncontrollable rapper, Biotic (The Allegiance) who tears off ears and yells into the young minds of those who dare to listen. His outburst equalled only by Newcastle-newcomer Nhostic’s high-paced and well-timed spit on ‘Continuum’ as Fun Not Fame III ramps up the second half of its lyrical barrage, going all guns-out after Ezekiel and MicWise’s raw and nihilistic delivery over a sinister beat comes off like a jailhouse shivving.

    Grime Connoisseurs and Upryt are thrown in to flame this rap massacre while Verbill rides the somewhat last smiling melody of mercy before the ills of Pleura returns with a funeral for the fallen in the wake of Fun Not Fame III, administering last rites over an eerie Premo-themed beat from Adelaide beatsmith, Must Volkoff in readiness for the death blow to 2015’s Clockwork and VC mixtape. Served at the return of this operation’s most vicious, Biotic, together with Sean Strange, steals away the final breath by lyrically lashing at the jugular with a rusty razor.

    This project forms the third instalment of the Fun Not Fame series with a reputation as a formidable competitor across Brisbane’s underground hip-hop and indeed Australia’s independent scene. The raw and uncompromised talent pool showcased on Fun Not Fame III promises to deliver on every threat in a serious fight for real hip-hop, made independently.

    Available now for free download from Velvet Couch Clothing.

     
  • MMAD Calling Out Rappers To Fill Album!

    MMAD2015 Music making A Difference - Calling Out For Musicians

    Right now, MMAD (Music Making A Difference) is calling on all music artists to participate in this year’s album for National Youth Week 2015.

    This will be the second annual National Youth Week release from MMAD who are requesting for rappers, singers and recording artists at all levels to submit single tracks for consideration to be added to their second album.

    Songs should reflect the theme 'It Starts With Us' and MMAD encourages all young artists to participate in the album.

    The deadline for submission will be Saturday, 7 March 2015.

    The album will be available April 2 to coincide with National Youth Week (8 - 17 April) and will be free to download on iTunes, Spotify and freeyouthweekcd.com

    A panel of industry representatives from APRAlAMCOS, Sony Music Foundation and Universal Music will judge the entries. Tracks that best describes this year’s National Youth Week will be selected  and will feature on a double album, It Starts With Us.

    Last year’s album featured guest appearances from Bliss N Eso, Justice Crew and long time international hip-hop legends Public Enemy.

    This community-driven project is a great opportunity for unsigned artists to gain exposure.

    This project has been made possible by the support of MMAD sponsors APRAlAMCOS, Universal Music and the Sony Foundation.

    MMAD is a community-driven outreach program that helps in the juvenile corrections facilities around Queensland and NSW.

    Our Vision: Every young person has someone who believes in them and the opportunity to live their full potential.

    Our Purpose: To inspire young people to make positive choices so that they can find their place in the world.

    CEO of MMAD, Dominic Brook said:

    “Music is a powerful way to help young people express their thoughts and feelings, and more than ever we feel that by giving kids their own voice, they will be able to tackle whatever it is that is going on in their lives in a positive way. At MMAD we see young people every day affected by some pretty big issues that impact  the whole community, so we want to give them an opportunity to collaborate with each other and come together, whatever their background, through music and find positive solutions to their concerns.

    “Basically, we are helping young people transform their lives by learning how to break negative cycles in their life.

    “We do this through music, dance and mentoring.”

    MMAD's podcast show made in Kariong JJ, features the guys from Bliss N Eso dropping some inspirational bars of wisdom.

    [CLICK HERE]

    For further information or to submit a track, visit freeyouthweekcd.com

    For further information about MMAD and its programs, visit mmad.org.au

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  • Gaz Hazard interview - The Blueprint and signing

    Gaz Hazard - The Blueprint

    Karsniogenics are proud to present the new song and video for Gaz Hazard - 'The Blueprint'. 'The Blueprint' is Gaz's long overdue announcement to the Brisbane-based Karsniogenics revered roster. Haz's sophomore album is slated for a late 2015 release so in the meantime (and in between time) check the Heathen Steelberg helmed visuals for 'The Blueprint'.

    We caught up with Gaz to ask a few questions about the clip and being signed to Karsniogenics.

    In your own words can you tell us about your new clip?

    The new clip/track was designed basically the way I approach most projects. Start with a plan, the right beat, the right verses, the right cuts, the right production and just execute the plan. Hence the name 'The Blueprint'. Akidcalledchubz and Dontez on the production with that hella nice beat it just all came together quite easily. (The) clip was shot cut and stabbed by Heathen Steelberg aka Overproof with my CRS brothers with some cameos. Simple but effective.

    You have just been signed to Brisbane label Karsniogenics. That is really good news, can you tell us about that?

    Being offered a spot on the infamous Karsniogenics label was very humbling with guys like Lazy , Jake Biz , Ken Oath, Overproof just to mention a few already repping the label it was an easy decision. I have always really just done my own thing when it comes to music but always have the CRS brothers Servo and Porse involved, so now we just doin' what we love to do just flying the Karsniogenics flag while i do it. I grew up with half the label anyway so i already had there respect which was dope.

    What can fans expect from you in the future?

    The future looking good for sure, my new LP is in its production stages at the moment. The main thing I always concentrate on is making sure production always steps up another level with each release. We're definitely heading that way with some heavy hitters already involved in my new project. With the loss of one of the originators of our crs crew Rip Bezrock our goal is simple, create and release an LP he would be proud of. We will always keep it original and never curb our style for anyone. We have the Brisbane Kold Heat Launch coming up so expect to see me with Servo and Porse pulling out a few CRS classics also some new tracks from myself and Porse as well......Stay Tuned.

    You can check out the new clip below.

                   Produced by Akidcalledchubz and Dontez of Kings Konekted
    Cuts by DJ Dcide 

               Video shot, cut and stabbed by Heathen Steelberg

                      This track is dedicated to the loving memory of Christopher Troy Rendell

     

    Karsniogenics

     
  • New Music! Hilltop Hoods - Rumble, Young Man, Rumble Feat. Dan Sultan (Suffa Remix)

    hilltop hoods rumble young man rumble

     

    Hilltop Hoods - Rumble, Young Man, Rumble Feat. Dan Sultan (Suffa Remix)

     

    Hilltop Hoods have just released the first taste of 'The Cold Night Sky' Remix EP, a handful of tracks that they have taken from Walking Under Stars and flipped for your listening pleasure.

    The EP will be available for free download in March and people who pre-ordered the 'Walking Under Stars' Deluxe Edition or Vinyl will receive a hard copy in the mail as a thank you for their patience during the delay they experienced last year.

    Check out the new track below.

     
  • Mobb Deep 20th Anniversary The Infamous Australian Tour 2015

    MobbDeepAustralianTour2015

     

    Mobb Deep 20th Anniversary The Infamous Australian Tour 2015

     

    American hip hop legends Mobb Deep have just announced they will be touring Australia and New Zealand in April for the 20th anniversary of The Infamous album .

    Hip Hop fans rejoice as Mobb Deep have confirmed they will bring their “The Infamous” 20th Anniversary Tour to Australia & New Zealand this April. This will be their biggest tour to date visiting all five capital cities and then heading over for three dates in New Zealand. Consisting of New York native rappers Havoc and Prodigy, Mobb Deep will bring with them special guest DJ “SkiBeatz” as they perform their historic “The Infamous” album in its entirety.

    Mobb Deep the American hip hop duo from Queensbridge, Queens, New York, "are one of the most critically acclaimed hardcore East Coast hip-hop groups" and are best known for their dark, hardcore delivery, that lead them to sell over three million records and develop a cult following worldwide.

    "The Infamous" was their second studio album, released April 25, 1995 on Loud Records. The album features guest appearances from Nas, Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, A Tribe Called Quest member Q-Tip, and close Mobb Deep affiliate Big Noyd. Embedded with hyper-visual lyricism, dark soundscapes, gritty narratives, and hard beats, it marked Mobb Deep's transition from a relatively unknown rap duo to an influential and commercially successful one.

    “Havoc and Prodigy simply report what they know” The Source «««««

    “Mobb Deep’s masterpiece. One of the most realistic gangsta albums ever recorded” Allmusic 4/5

    Rolling Stone “Nihilistic masterpiece… one of the greatest rap albums of the 90s” 4/5

    Pitchfork “10/10”

    Spin “9/10”

    LA Times 4/5

    Joining the duo on the tour is none other than DJ Skibeatz:

    Discovered by DJ Clark Kent, Ski was originally known as "MC Will-Ski". In the 1990s, he was a member of the group Original Flavor, the first group managed by future recording industry executive Damon Dash. In the mid-90s, Ski was working on duo Camp Lo's debut album Uptown Saturday Night when Dash called him in to work on the debut album of his own artist, Jay-Z. Jay's album, Reasonable Doubt, was released in 1996, marking Ski's first major production placement. Ski produced four tracks off the album, including the singles "Dead Presidents" and "Feelin' It".

    Catch Mobb Deep performing The Infamous Album in full.

    Tickets available now.

     
  • A Beatbox Tribute to Terminator- Tom Thum

     

    Tom Thum Beatboxing

    This was all 100 percent vocal with the only effects used being a bit of compression and reverb. Hope u guys feel it, I almost melted my brain trying to record it/ film it/ edit it. - Tom Thum

     

    A Beatbox Tribute to Terminator- Tom Thum

     

    Brisbane beatboxer Tom Thum has just released a brand new Tom style acapella rendition of Brad Fiedel's theme for the Terminator franchise. This mechanical madness is another reason why Tom has become one of Australia's best beatboxer and is world renowned for his ability to manipulate his voice box.

    Check out the brand new clip below.

    Keep up to date with Tom via the links below.

    Facebook.

    Twitter.

    Instagram.

    Google.

     
  • O.C. from D.I.T.C. - In His Own Words

    OC DITC

    One of BK’s finest, D.I.T.C. cohort O.C. who dropped the classic Word... Life album in 1994 is set to bring his underground catalogue to Australia. An auspicious first time for the rapper, who sits with Rip Nicholson to chop it up over his career. Going way back to the days of 1991, The Source tour, when he and Nas were aligned on the same path. When Pharoahe Monch had O.C. drop a bomb on ‘Fudge Pudge,’ the 2001 album and the latest movements of one of hip-hop’s realest.

    1994 is widely regarded as the greatest year of hip-hop albums, producing a catalogue that would be etched deep into the grooves of music history with Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn released in March, Nas’ Illmatic in April, Jeru’s The Sun Rises in the East in May and Biggie’s Ready To Die in September. When O.C.’s solo debut Word... Life came out in October it held its’ own against such classic works and is today, a beacon of unregulated, hardcore underground rap albums from the boom bap era.

    The Brooklyn-born and one-time Crooklyn Dodger and original member of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew, O.C. grew up alongside Organized Konfusion’s Pharoahe Monch and played a part in the early movement with he and Prince Po, appearing for the first time on ‘Fudge Pudge’ in 1991. But, it was on the inaugural Source tour where O.C. jumped on Serch’s ‘Back To The Grill’ alongside Nasty Nas which later led to him signing with Wild Pitch Records and Serch’s Serchlite management with Nas. While on tour, O.C. met Lord Finesse and long time producer Buckwild which would form one of New York’s grittiest underground rap acts, Diggin’ In The Crates. The Source mag had said of D.I.T.C.; ‘they put the ‘under’ in underground hip-hop with party anthems and rugged beats and rhymes.’ O.C. would soon play his part alongside some of hip-hop’s greatest albums with his debut solo LP, Word... Life.

    Despite the heralded success of Word... Life for O.C. as well his second LP in ‘97 Jewelz, it would be his third release in 2001, Bon Apetit that would leave a lot of critics and hip-hop colleagues to agree that O.C.’s work was a far cry from the groundbreaking earlier work. He would briefly step back from the fray returning in ‘05 with two albums before recording Oasis with fellow D.I.T.C. member A.G. in ‘09 and numerous records since.

    Having an interview with O.C. was met with stipulations to not ask the generic questions that seem inadequate for a rapper of his renowned stature in the culture. Cultivating discussions to cover not only his career achievements but to delve into what went wrong on Bon Apetit, the reality of a D.I.T.C. reunion and playing in Australia for the first time was a challenge taken head on. This is O.C. original D.I.T.C. MC, in his own words.

     OC

    Omar ‘O.C.’ Credle interviewed @ 12pm Wednesday 4th February, 2015

    Exclusively for Ozhiphopshop.com / Rip2Shredz Print

    RIP:     How did you guys remain so influential in such a competitive underground movement in the early ‘90s right on the brink of what is regarded as the greatest period in hip-hop besides ‘88?

    O.C.:   We just did what we were blessed to do as a collective. There really wasn’t a set format in creating music. Whatever we worked on either made the cut or it was put to the side so as far as the competitive aspect everybody in our era were trying to top what was being put into the market.

    ‘Day One’ (1997) - one of the best posse cuts in hip-hop history. As is ‘Symphony’ for the Juice Crew. Do you see yourself and DITC as holding a lot of similarities with the Juice Crew?

    I never thought about it like that, but the Juice Crew was the crew to definitely measure up to. That in itself is a big compliment, but our music was different from theirs just because of the producers in the camp we have.

    As a solo MC, you’re a gifted storyteller. How was it competing with Big L, Showbiz, AG and Monch and Nas (Serchlite Music days) Was every recording session a battle in the booth?

    I never looked at it as a battle in recording sessions. We all just tried to follow up one another in song making as completing the puzzle of the jigsaw. At least for me anyway.

    How do you think your career would have turned out if you and Nas went to Def Jam or bad Boy or with Clark Kent?

    Dunno!? You can never predict how a situation would turn out, but I can say it would have been interesting to see though.

    1994’s Word... Life is probably the most overlooked album in hip-hop. Coming out with Illmatic, Ready to Die, Hard To Earn, in the greatest year of rap albums, must have been real hard. Do you think your album was overlooked?

    As far as being commercially overlooked it is, but coming out around the time when those LPs you mentioned, I fall in as one of those elite LPs. It definitely wasn’t hard at all to compete with them because I did what I knew how to do. None of the albums sound the same so that’s a feat within itself.

    When everyone was trying to get on a Premo track or Pete Rock track, you smashed it out the park with Buck on ‘Times Up’ - again, hard to do in 1994. How important was it to align yourself with the calibre of beatsmiths like Buckwild and Lord Finesse for that album?

    It was a chemistry that just fell into place. A kinship developed with them and everything fell into place afterwards.

    Buck’s way of chopping the sample, adding horns and playing it over beats from an SP-1200 sampler was somewhat revolutionary to the Boom Bap sound grid. How many other producers were making music this way at the time?

    It’s too many to name, but Da Beatminerz and Large Pro were already chopping as opposed to just looping joints just to name a few. Showbiz taught Preem how to chop if I’m not mistaken.

    Buckwild said of ‘Times Up’ and  Organized Konfusion’s ‘Stress’ - both records had paved the way, introducing that dramatic soundtrack that was adopted into 1995 with the likes of Puffy & Bad Boy’s sound. Who in today’s movement do you see following that similar DITC style ?

    I really don’t see anyone at the moment even close to what we were doing.

    Is it true that the record (‘Times Up’) was originally slated for Organized Konfusion? If so, how did you get the nod over them?

    It was a joint that a producer named Prestige handed to Monch. It wasn’t given as an OK submission.

    After you dropped Word... Life you refused to record for the label. How much did Wild Pitch’s Stu Fine have a play in that album? Next album on Payday. Was that a better environment?

    Stu had nothing to do besides putting out the album on his label. It was all Serch’s brainchild and myself. Serch partnered up with Stu Fine and that’s how the LP  came to fruition. My new manager at that time worked for Payday so me, him and Serch made the transition to Payday after Stu Fine decided he wanted out of the music biz.

    On Jewelz you opted for Premier’s help on the entire project, Black Moon’s Evil Dee and Walt as well as a list of guest MCs. What made you go all-out on the guest list for your next album?

    All of those situations came to be after building personal relationships with those guys. Preem played a part in the mixing process along with everyone else on that project.

    Have you got your yacht, ‘The S.S. Minnow’ yet?

    Ha!  Not at all. It was a metaphor.

    OC DITC Press Shot

    Lyrics from ‘The Chosen One’ still seem relevant 20 years on. What did you mean here?

    Influenced; but not by the ancient ruins of rap /

    A large percent of y'all fell into a trap.

    Trendsetter share with y'all a veteran's nightmare /

    Not for you to follow it but try and stand clear bust it.

    Bein intelligent, means you a sucka /

    Bein wild as hell, means you a smart motherfucker. WRONG

    Analyze songs nowadays /

    Most rappers gun sprayed or hustled from night to day - fiction.”

    Again it was a metaphor about people toting their raps to be reality as opposed to it actually playing out in their everyday lives. Some felt like if you talked intelligent you were actually smart. Or if you said things about street shit people would take you as being a real street cat and that wasn’t the case for all rappers.

    It’s widely believed that had you written several radio-friendly joints then more people would know of your music. However, in ‘Times Up’ you said, ‘I’d rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect’ - Some found that Bon Apetit was an attempt to make radio. How do you still feel about that album against the rest? (P.S. ‘Psalms 23’ ode to Big L was the REALEST!)

    Just because someone puts a million bucks in front of you doesn’t mean that people would respect you more. Being broke only meant you have someone financially unstable and I always felt that broke people will give you more honest details about things in life in general. And those of sound mind will respect you more for it. As far as Bon Appetit, the songs/verses were too long. The record itself as a whole wasn’t radio friendly at all. People get used to a certain sound in hip hop and that’s what they want you to stick to. Me personally, I feel to this day it’s a dope record. It wasn’t nothing being sold out doing that album. They said the same thing about Nas’ It Was Written which to me was an incredible piece of work.

    Despite Bon Apetit bringing back funk & soul into rap, it received mixed reviews. One critic (M.F. Di Bella) went so far as to liken Buck’s production to a Jermaine Dupri impression. Originally, the LP didn’t translate well but today the production is being applauded as a DITC classic. What was done differently to the making process of this album?

    Age made the difference. I was 3 different ages for Word... Life, Jewelz and Bon Appetit, all different perspectives. None of my LPs sound the same to date.

    When Pharoahe Monch stepped away from Organized Konfusion, Po said he supported his commercial success after ‘Simon Says’ but is still ‘the world’s biggest mic soldier with little exposure’ and still seemed a lil’ bitter. While Po was struggling to buy beer, Monch was doing Sprite ads. How do you feel about that situation and where Monch is today?

    That’s something you would have to talk to them two about. I never been one to get into other peoples going ons. That’s not my place.

    Are you an artist who prefers to keep reinventing for each project rather than find your niche and perfect it?

    To me, there’s no such thing as a niche because if you try doing the same thing over and over again the same people who supports you will be the same ones that get tired of you and move on to the next artist. Reinventing yourself tells the tale of an artist to see if he can transcend a generation. I’m blessed to be able to do that.

    When you and A.G. got together for 2009’s Oasis LP you dropped it on Myspace a week prior to the official release date. That was back in 2008. Have you always been an early adapter to new platforms of pushing your music?

    No doubt. Changing and adapting is my motto. Especially if you wanna stay involved in this game, but I’m doing it on my terms.

    So, in 2011 Showbiz said DITC was done. Then, you assured us that DITC will return with a new album. There’s been a few re-releases but everyone’s waiting on something fresh. Say the wheels are in motion?

    I don’t know how to answer that so look out for material from everybody.

    It’s hard for anyone affiliated with DITC to not have their names mentioned in the same breath given the impact you had on their records. The legacy is strong. Do you feel a responsibility to get everyone back together, for the sake of DITC and for the legacy of Big L?

    It’s not my responsibility to do that. If it’s something that’s going to happen it will, but  no one can force the hand of destiny.

    Recently you seem to be 'shopping' for producers including Apollo Brown, Ray West and as I understand it, Apathy with the latest work...  Has that been a purposeful decision or has just been par for the course?

    I haven’t shopped around for anything. These are projects that came to me.

    Your work with Apollo Brown has been celebrated by a lot of critics, what are the chances of us hearing another collaboration between the two of you?

    You would have to ask Apollo about that. If it’s meant, it will happen. Again, everything up to this point has been destined. Anything after that I couldn’t speak on.

    The idea of your flow over Apathy production sounds exciting...  Have you had to switch it up at all or has Apathy changed his 'darker' production style to suit your rhyming, how has that been working?

    That’s the beauty of it. We shouldn't have to change up anything we do as individuals as far as recording together. You figure it out like a jigsaw as you record and see what fits.

    So, touring Australia. Been here before? You've got a hardcore fanbase over here, homie. What have you got planned for your shows?

    Never been! Can’t wait and as far as the show aspect I’m hittin’ them with everything that I can possibly squeeze in cause its so much material to perform.

    PEACE !!!!

    O.C., Cheers. All the best for your upcoming tour in Australia.

    Catch O.C  on his upcoming tour. Event and ticket details below.

    OC DITC Australian Tour

    Event Links.

    Ticket Links.

    Sydney

    Ozhiphopshop

    Moshtix

    Adelaide

    Ozhiphopshop

    Oztix

    Melbourne

    Ozhiphopshop

    Oztix

    For more info head over to Simmerdown Productions

     

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