Australian Hip Hop Artist Spolight

  • Soul Elixr X Beyond June Release New Music!

    SOUL ELIXR Soul Elixr

     

    Soul Elixr X Beyond June

     

    Returning from a 2 year hiatus since the long anticipated and hugely successful album ’Inside Out’, Soul Elixr are back with a self titled EP produced solely by Melbourne based producer Beyond June. Mainstays of the Australian hip hop scene for over a decade, Visionz and Omega-two brothers who make up Soul Elixr and previously from the renowned group Headstrong Company– have reappeared to bring their fans something new and relative.

     

    Centred on intricate lyrical narratives, Soul Elixr have aimed to push their musical boundaries and steer away from the traditional Boom Bap sound of their previous works. Beyond June’s uniquely sculptured instrumentals and eclectic taste, powerfully complement the deeply introspective lyrical landscape that is laid out. This EP is all about exploration and taking music to new previously unexplored places.

    With a who’s who of hip hop inviting them on stage to support - Redman, Raekwon, Method Man, M.O.P, Brother Ali, Xzibit, Foreign Beggars, Onyx, Blakalicious, Percee P and Def Wish Cast (to name a few) - Soul Elixr have well and truly established themselves as mainstays in the local hip hop community.

    With the help of Beyond June, Soul Elixr have succeeded to create an inspiring sound that has been maturing from a lifelong dedication to the craft.

    Out now!

     
  • URTHBOY – ON THE MAGIC OF PERFORMING, RAPPERS AND LETTING GO OF THE EGO

    URTHBOY_TOUR_PRESS-SHOT-2016

    URTHBOY interviewed by Rip Nicholson
    Images supplied.

    “There are so many instances in my creative experiences where I’ve tried to do one thing and it’s ended up at another place. I’ve been in control of every aspect of this song along the way. Where it ends up is not where I had set for it,” says Sydney rapper and founding member of The Herd Tim Levinson, a sentiment that has never been more apparent to the artist than on his latest creative project, The Past Beats Inside Me Like A Second Heartbeat.

    “Some of that is just because I’m liking things and I’m responding to it and it takes me further down a path, which is not where I set out to go. That’s where you kind of have to acknowledge, even if you set out with a real particular plan, there’s a different compass inside you leading you where it wants to go and just accept that you are not this great, egotistical genius. You’re actually just a vehicle, and I really enjoy the fact that you can separate yourself as an artist from the ego that claims ownership of everything and allow the fact that the audience has ownership over this. We are engaged and participating but we don’t necessarily have to take credit for every single thing, we just accept that we’re all in this together now.”

    The project has led him a long way from its conception three years previous. Past Beats had the working title Decades and was initially planned as five lineal EPs, each representing a decade in Australian music between 1950 and the 2000s. Levinson has previously stated “I dreamt up a beast so daunting, that I spent three years trying to tame it” in relation to the process. However, the beast has changed in the breaking, partly from Levinson’s concerns that the project was going down too academic a route.

    FEATURE---Urthboy

    “I really enjoy the fact that you can separate yourself as an artist from the ego that claims ownership of everything and allow the fact that the audience has ownership over this.”

    “You don’t take the contents and circumstance to a song into account when you’re deciding whether you like it or not,” asserts Levinson. “You just like it or you don’t. So, I found the biggest challenge with it was working out where I had to put the brakes on this quite academic nature of the project, and how I would steer it back into something that felt like it had some sincerity and something personal that was very real and honest. And once I stopped trying to force all these elements and ideas into the music and let it happen more it really flowed more. So the beast was, I think, that the concept started as an academic exercise but it became clear that music isn’t academic. It’s visceral, it’s emotional.”

    Another shift in momentum from something strictly conceptual to something with a roaring pulse was the inclusion of several collaborators, such as Sampa The Great and Okenyo on track Second Heartbeat. Sampa in particular goes deep on her own family history in Zambia and Botswana. The resulting verse is indeed visceral.

    “With rappers you’re always going to have that because [they] are always writing their own lyrics,” says Levinson. “With singers it’s a little different, sometimes we collaborate and write, and other times it will all come down to the singer’s performance, which is a great thing in its own right. But it doesn’t take an expansion of the song’s theme into a new direction the way a rapper would. And Sampa absolutely nailed the theme that we were talking about and she brought a different expression of the same theme. So it’s not even that she took it off into a new direction, she expanded on it.”

    As Levinson gears up take his album on the road, the rapper opines that despite the distance and time already travelled with Past Beats, the most exciting part is still to come.

    “There is nothing like the loud nature and the visceral nature of live music. But, it’s not about trying to capture it on a phone and watching it later. It’s about the experience you have with friends at the gig and from me on my side of the fence it’s about diving into the songs and screaming our little hearts out,” he continues. “No matter what you walk into that gig with, you can have the flu and feel like death for the whole day, for that period of time, it’s a fucking weird thing, there’s something magical about performing. The adrenalin just goes, ‘you know what, body? Whatever it is that is currently preoccupying you and making you feel like a fucking deadshit, you’re going to be transported to somewhere else for this time,’ and I love performing for that. It’s a great thing and I can’t diminish that experience.”

    urthboy_secondheartbeat_tour-a2_3mmbleed-web

     
  • Australian Hip Hop Artist Spotlight - Exit Strategy

    Australian Hip Hop, Exit Strategy Hip Hop

     

    Australian Hip Hop Artist Spotlight - Exit Strategy

     

    The name is Exit Strategy but the aim is to remain in the game and based on the strength of their latest release, you wouldn't expect them to be heading for the back door just yet. The new LP Seventh Dimension is the first full-length release from the boys outta Brisbane, something they consider to be a conscious riddle wrapped in a rap of a deeper focus like some hypnotic enigma that suitably frames the character of Exit Strategy.  OHHS goes in on the members, untangling each record like a bunch of tied cables, from guest features to beats layered and lyrics unfolded to the strong influences that have helped with this almighty creation of this auspicious local hip-hop album.

    EXIT STRATEGY Interview 

    Insideus (Producer/MC)  //  Elaborate (MC)  //  Audacity (MC)

    Congratulations on delivering the debut album. It really is an old fashioned body of work, cohesive tracks that fit together like a story. How critical were you guys of the album when it was in your hands?

    Insideus: Cheers! It was scrutinized heavily when picking tracks from a list of roughly 22. The aim was to end up with 12 songs, each being different enough from the last to keep it interesting for the listener. We spent a good amount of time discussing which were the best picks out of any that sounded marginally similar to each other. It was a good feeling to finally sort the puzzle pieces into a picture. I'm stoked on how it turned out.

    Your lyrics have a very broad scope to them, very globally-aware rather than being personally-reflective or environmental, in terms of rapping about your world, your town, etc. Is that a purposeful style the group has adopted?

    Insideus: We've seldom spoke about a particular style to adhere to as a group. Our overall sound (lyrics, production etc.) from beginning to now has been more of a natural progression of picking beats, bouncing ideas and forming track topics we can each grasp in our own way. I think we push each other into putting a good amount of effort and substance into our verses, on some friendly competition shit haha.

    ‘Honor the elders with monoliths from esophagus/
    Melodic offerings on another level of consciousness/
    Fine solemn solace plotting methodical documents/
    Autonomous operatives blocking the devils reconnaissance/
    Harness spirits drinking the witch doctors elixir /
    Speak chronicles from a philosophical scripture.
    Smoke signals drift and we spit toxic charisma /
    lost on a mixture of this hypnotic enigma.

    - from Smoke Signals(track 4) - Audacity

    God damn! Those lyrics pretty much sum you guys up, right?

    Audacity: This is pretty much my mission statement when it comes to making music and I'm sure it's the same with the other boys. In short, I'm basically saying, we are inspired by the pioneers that led the way for us, and we honour them with our brand of music. We believe knowledge is something that is often overlooked in the current scene and we won't be dragged down by that. We treat our music almost on a spiritual level, putting our all into it and leaving a part of ourselves on the track.

    Exit Strategy Seventh Dimension, Australian Hip Hop

    Do you see ‘Seventh Dimension’ as this hypnotic enigma framing Exit Strategy’s taste and character just right?

    Audacity: Yes, we have always been inspired by artists that speak on a more conscious level with a hidden meaning behind what they say. We try to portray this from our own perspective in our music. And for the listener, it can be seen as a puzzle that often takes a few listens to grasp the message.

    Elaborate: Seventh Dimension took around about two-and-a-half years to make including the tracks we didn’t use, and in that time i think we all grew personally, mentally and musically. Seventh Dimension pretty much paints the canvas.

    As you would know, the most talked-about rap tracks in Oz hip-hop are often the simple and more relatable party raps and anthems, something more from Drapht or Seth Sentry, say. Do you feel any lack of connection from fans because the content of your music is more big-picture and not  anthemic of something more-relatable to them?

    Audacity: Not at all, that type of music has its place. Not everyone views music in the same way that we do, and we realise that not everyone wants to hear what we have to say when trying to push a deeper message. This is why, on seventh dimension, we have added such tracks as "The Strategy" to diversify the release and make it a little easier for listeners to relate.

    Collaborating with Dwiz seemed an organic match on ‘Web Of Lies’. Is it important that you’re on the same page on a song idea with outside guests (like Rezedent and Mata) or do you let them interpret the idea in their own way?

    Audacity: I think we picked those guys because their music is in the same vein as ours. So yes, we did let them interpret the idea in their own way, but it blends well because of the similarity in styles.

    Insideus Australian Hip Hop Producer

    Insideus on the beats. How does the process start for you when creating a track for the album? And how early on do you know whether you’ve got an album hit or an EP/mixtape banger?

    Insideus: I don't necessarily start making a beat with a destination for the track in mind, it's more so trying to make anything that sounds dope at that time from what I can find on old records. When i end up with something decent I send it to the Elaborate and Audacity and if we're all feeling the beat it becomes an Exit Strategy track.

    What feeds the creative kernel to a song idea, the beat or the lyrics first generally?

    Insideus: For this album we were mostly forming concepts after hearing the beats. Usually one of us would come up with an idea, write a verse, show the others and they'd follow along and build on the topic.

    On the opening of ‘Glasshouse’ sounds like Son Doobie. Who else influences the music behind Exit Strategy?

    Insideus: A few of my influences lyrically have been Eyedea, Taskforce, Rezadent, Phi-Life Cypher, Ill Bill. Production influence has come from Pete Rock, Necro, J Dilla, Chemo, Harry Love, Madlib.

    You’ve supported Masta Ace, RA Rugged Man, Taskforce, High Focus and shared stages with hometown heroes 750 Rebels. How much of the live performance comes into the thought process when you’re creating tracks for the album?

    Audacity: If I'm honest, for me, there is no thought about that at all (lol). We just make what feels right and go from there.

    Elaborate: I second that, every crowd is different so it would be unrealistic for us to produce a track made to cater for a crowd. For us, we tend to figure what tracks go well live after we’ve performed it a couple times.

    Any new music on the way?

    Insideus: At the moment Elaborate and Audacity are working on solo EP's produced by me and I'm working on a production release with various artists on the rhymes. A new Exit Strategy project is definitely on the cards though.

    Elaborate: All of us have features on a few upcoming local projects as well so keep an eye out for them too.

    Where can the people get this album along with other releases?

    Insideus: We have recently released 'Seventh Dimension' on 12" vinyl. Heads can cop it from exit-strategy.bandcamp.com and ozhiphopshop.com as well as our previous EP's as digital downloads.

    Elaborate: The Seventh Dimension wax is also available at limited stores - Rockinghorse Records in Brizzy, Clinic 116 in Adelaide, and Rarekind Records in Brighton for the UK heads.

    Cheers boy's been bangin the latest release and can't wait for the new stuff to drop.

     

    Cop some of Exit Strategy's music from the links below.

     

    Buy Exit Strategy - Seventh Dimension on vinyl here.

    Buy and download your digital copy of  Exit Strategy - Seventh Dimension here.

    Download Exit Strategy - Preliminaries EP for free here.

    Download Insideus & Elaborate - Disclosure Project for free here.

     

    Keep up to date with Exit Strategy via the links below.

     

    Exit Strategy Facebook

    Exit Strategy Logo

     
  • The Holy Sinner Released Brand New Album 'Possessed'

    The Holy Sinner - Possessed, Australian Hip Hop, Ozhiphop, Ozhiphopshop, Aussie Hip Hop, Hip Hop Shop The Holy Sinner - Possessed

    The Holy Sinner Releases Brand New Album 'Possessed'

     

    The Holy Sinner original member of Tha Cannibal Tribe has released another hardcore classic to stack amongst you Aussie hip hop collectables. This album boasts heavy beats mixed with violent melodies to keep the most dedicated hip hop activist ready for war.

    Produced by Legendary Dj Vame along side the incredible Dj Kworks this album is sure to entertain. Featuring some of Hip Hops Finest Mc's from all around Australia including Tha Cannibal Tribe, Layla, Hunter, Bigfoot, Lenz One, Plarks, Lil Jayo E, Profitz, MrCee, (Nunga Style), Gaz Hazard, Fortay, Zeed Mantis and Alice Adriaanse.

    This hardcore hip hop album is not to be slept on.

     

    Grab your copy of The Holy Sinner - Possessed now!

     
  • Australian Hip Hop Artist Spotlight - Demolition

    Australian Hip Hop Artist Spotlight - Demolition

     

    Demolition Tristan Yuile aka Demolition

     

    Demoliton

     

    From freestyling to writing poetry all the way to rap battles Demolition has immersed himself in every aspect of hip hop within his grasp since he first fell in love with the genre. Standing center stage amongst his sound is the unique deep tone that could only be Demolition, along with an array of melodies and hooks blended within a rhyming scheme that keeps listeners tuned in to his clever and intricate story telling.

    As a performer you can expect to see an artist that doesn’t hold back on stage no matter the crowd or venue. You can expect to hear a freshly polished set of your favorite, or new favorite, tunes from his latest works, as seen while supporting the likes of Cortext, Paulie P, Bam Bam, Manaz Ill and Greeley and more.

    With the release of his latest album “Faith In The Frequencies” Demolition shows his ability to work with artists of all types from the scene, such as Tys & Mitchell James, Shaye Bianchi, Jaks, Cortext, Kogz, The SBX General himself Mc Optamus and many more.

    Faith in the Frequencies was just the beginning, so get ready.

     

    Available now for purchase in the store.

    We caught up with the rising Australian hip hop artist Demolition for a quick chat.

    Demolition

     

    OHHS - Hey mate hope all is well, You only have recently landed back in Australia after a year or two break overseas how was that?

     

    Demolition - Yeah I've been back around 3 weeks I was in Vancouver for just over a year I didn't do any shows or anything but I kept on top of writing tracks and learning new production techniques etc as i'd like to produce my own beats one day soon, so I didn't really take a break but I did have an awesome time while I was there, Vancouver is an amazing city.

     

    Did you get a chance to see some local hip hop while traveling?

     

    I was fortunate enough to get free entry to a naughty by nature gig, Treach and Kay gee, and saw the local supports, to be honest i wasn't that impressed at the time, it wasn't till further down the track when i saw some rappers busking in the street using loop peddles and keyboards to make beats using mostly their voices and synth sounds, then rapping over them, that i got into the Canadian hip hop. It probably didn't help that the music scene in Vancouver is over flooded with artists I mean there's musicians everywhere its crazy.

     

    Did you find they have a different way of doing things in your eyes or was it very similar to the local scene?

     

    It was similar in some aspects i guess. They have a huge thing with weed being medically legal, although any one can get it really, and its cheap, really strong and everywhere most artists seemed to just talk about getting high and seemed quiet stoned on stage too haha but I guess that's just a difference in our cultures and I only got to see a small part of their scene so I cant really make any assessments to be honest. all I can say is i enjoyed most of what I saw.

     

    What was the main reason for you getting into the hip hop culture?

     

    The main reason... well damn there's a few aghhh I guess it comes down to the fact that I used to try my hand at singing but it wasn't a path I could follow really I just don't have the pipes for it in the way i would like, I was fortunate enough in 2003 to meet a guy in high school who was into hip hop and he started teaching me how to rap and then we would freestyle for laughs. Optamus (Downsyde, SBX) came to our school that same year with, My now good friends, Delta Forse and were doing workshops and performances and we spit some freestyles with them at lunch time one day and he was really supportive and acknowledged that we might have something so he, for me personally, was a huge impact on the reason why I got into it but I guess the essence of why i'm into hip hop is due to my love of music in general. I mean there's no feeling better then when you finish writing a song you go in and record it, mix it, master it and then get to perform it in front of people that are really vibing of something as simple as a thought that crossed your mind one day at work or driving home or even just laying in bed.

    Faith in the frequencies by Paul Deej

    Your last album Faith In Frequencies that was released at the start of the year and was a solid debut release featuring some strong local talent like Optamus, Cortext, Bryte Mc and some production from Perth producer Rob Shaker. How did the album come about and what was it like working with the other artists?

     

    It was a real mission to a degree I mean you don't really know or understand what it takes to put out an album until you've traveled that road yourself, but i will say its really rewarding and I got to work with some of my favourite artists and a few I never dreamed i'd get to work with I mean I never expected in a million years that Optamus would not only be rapping but co producing on a track, City Of Kings, on the album he even wrote the hook for the track which turned out incredible. most of my beats came from Creed Birch, he makes the style that seems to fit me best, with the exception of some beats from Big Tybes and one each from Cam Bluff, Cortext and Andrew Wright. Rob Shaker mixed and mastered the entire album down at Shakedown Studios with the exception of some feature verses and he nailed it, it was a real experience to work with some one that knows what their doing and has been around the scene, I mean i'm real new to doing this thing right, everyone that was involved in the album was only involved because i wanted them and chose them to be and luckily for me their some of the sickest artists we have in Australia, there were moments where I was concerned as its not easy to get feature artists on the same page as you because its not their project its yours and you have a time frame in your head and you want to meet that time frame but it drags out waiting for verses or hooks or when i'm available to record but I stuck to it I knew what i wanted and it was worth the months of pestering Mc's to write or record. all in all i love the album and think it really was a learning experience and will make the next one(s) that much better.

     

    How do you find the Perth local scene to be going, there seems to be a lot of local events being put on and also a lot of local releases, seems like people be busy?

     

    I'ts really dope to be fair most artists I meet are really supportive of one another and their seems to be gigs going on every weekend if not every other night lately so its great and lots of releases being worked on from what i can see. a great one to get onto which is free is from Aero D a mate of mine from the Down South Crew he just released some tracks as a lost sessions album and its so dope, as is to be expected from him.

     

    Demolition

     

    Any locals we should keep an eye out for?

     

    Ohh so many dope artists some of whom i'm proud to say are good mates I mean there's Cortext i'm sure every Mc in Perth will tell you to look for him he's a beast then you've got cats like Dista, Paulie P, Kogz, Macshane, Marksman Lloyd, Coin Banks and so many more also my good friend and Hype Man/collaborator Jaks is another guy to look for, when he releases something it will no doubt be pure fire.

     

    Are there any shows on the cards now you are back?

     

    Most definitely, I've already hit up the Rosemount for the Moms Spaghetti nights organised by Shaker and performed at a 21st birthday party all within the same week i had a dope time it was really good to be back in front of people doing what i love. it was also good to reunite with Jaks we have a blast on stage every time. I really cant wait to do another show and i'm rehearsing the hell out of my set at the moment so i can really deliver for the crowd.

     

    Have you been working on anything new lately you want to discuss with us?

    Well I have huge plans for my next album and I've started on it already i'm going about it with a whole different approach and its not like anything I've done before i'm feeling confident with all my abilities and will be singing on it as well this time and putting more effort into making music from the ground up, instead of just writing over beats and using the usual structure, i want to really make music and really feel every track i put out. I will say i'm not going to include too many features this time and this album wont be as big ill probably make as many songs as i did previously but ill choose only the best ones and the ones i feel fit well with the theme/style of album i'm creating. I really want to work with a few different producers too depending on the feel of the song as to which producer I choose, but essentially the plan is to spend a lot of time down at Shake Down studios again.

     

    You're an independent hip hop artist, what have you found to be the hardest thing about being an independent artist and releasing an album?

    The hardest thing I guess would be exposure I mean i could make track after track and that's great and there's nothing wrong with having no one ever hear them because i love doing it, but my goals are to perform for people and id like to get to the point where i'm doing some big shows because its what i love doing, so getting the music to the people tends to be the hardest thing for me but i'm slowly working on fixing that problem its all just a learning curve.............and I learn fast.

     

    Is there anyone you want to shout out?

     

    I want to shout out to Rob Shaker hes taught me so much and is always there to help me the second i need it the dudes a warrior, also to the DSC boys the SMA crew and the SBX members that were a part of the album. Also to Shaye Bianchi who co wrote the title track  amongst others with me and really nailed every session we had together her voice is incredible.  I don't want to list everybody because its a crazy list but to any one that was a part of the album or that helped in its conception a massive shout out, from the Mereenie wolf pack to the people in the crowd at the shows to anybody that gave me a lift to the studio or advice on the album MUCH LOVE.

     

    Can you leave us with your top 5 Australian hip hop albums?

     

    Top 5 ohh man that's tough well in no particular order five albums I love and jam nearly every day are.

    Drapht - Who Am I

    Spit Syndicate - Sunday Gentlemen

    Horrorshow - Inside Story

    Seth Sentry - This Was Tomorrow

    Illy - The Chase

    But there could be so many more in that list depending on my mood haha.

     

    Cheers mate we look forward to hearing more from you.

     

     

    Keep up to date with Demolition via the links below or check out his clip for Blue Skies

    Facebook

    JJJ Unearthed

    Soundcloud

     

    Words by Travis Broi

     

5 Item(s)