Exclusive Interviews

  • Interview: Bomb Threat Returns With Their 4th Single "Fly On The Wall"

    Interview: Bomb Threat Returns With Their 4th Single "Fly On The Wall"

    Sydney Rap Group Bomb Threat

    Bomb Threat returns with their 4th single" Fly On The Wall."
    A hard hitting and brutally truthful song by the conscious Hip Hop group consisting of Sydney and Blue Mountains artists well known to the scene.

     

    Ash spoke to Mikoen, the lyricist and emcee from the group.

     

    Talk us a bit through the message behind Fly On The Wall?

    Ah man, for me, and I know everyone in the crew is one hundred percent with this, It really is "United we stand divided we fall."
    It's bigger than politics, it's about community, It's about breaking down the divide between us.
    There's way too many divisions and we're being polarised by so many different things. I can see it and it bothers me on the deepest level.
    I've been fighting this war, It's like a spiritual war I feel I've been fighting with my music, trying to gee everyone up for it and to wake us up because you gotta be real, the news and the mainstream media has been lying to us for a long time.
    Whether they're twisting facts or outright lying it doesn't matter, they have an agenda and they're working for the richest fucking one percent of the planet.
    Their objective is to control us and direct us in certain directions so you should always look at them with a large amount of scepticism.
    My message is to basically question everything, but also get in tune with each other and combine and unite.
    There doesn't have to be a seperate movement, we've all gotta strike together as one united general front.
    Shut down the machine. Then they'll listen and we can negotiate for a better deal, rather than being separate individuals fighting our own little thing.
    The biggest unity we need is the human unity across all the racial shit.
    They're trying to make us afraid of each other and hate each other, and it's all just being stirred up so we fight each other and become more and more divided and thereby easier to control and manipulate.
    We've gotta put our differences aside.

     

    As an emcee what role do you see Hip Hop playing in regards to consciousness and being vocal in this current climate?

     

    We need unity and I've always felt Hip Hop is a vehicle for that movement.
    It's a vehicle for feminism, you've got female conscious emcees, strong women getting up and putting shit down and representing.
    You have all people representing, like now we can have openly gay emcees doing the same, so we can be a movement for everybody.
    We've both seen it bro, music has been infiltrated by the mass media. They've corporatised it and it's no coincidence they're selling us back drugs and stupid unconscious imagery now. Because they want us divided.
    We need unity and we need community and we need positivity and we need peace. We can't get anywhere with violence, we can't get anywhere with attacking each other. It has to be a conscious, peaceful revolution.

     

    Just speaking a bit on the history of Bomb Threat and how it all came together, you've been  writing songs with Caustic Yoda for a while now. I first caught you both working together with the Cooking With Caustic album From Mercury To Pluto.

     

    Yeah Yodas been fam since about 2009.
    Daily Meds did our demo up there and I connected with him and he slung me some beats while I was working on a solo mixtape in between Reverse Polarities and Daily Meds. I've always recorded at Yoda's studio, I just connected with him.
    It's a comfortable studio to work at and he's professional as fuck.

     

    You played a Toasted Loops show in Katoomba in 2016 and you were just called Mikoen and Caustic Yoda, I think that's the first time you had Aisha on stage.

     

    That's correct, that's technically the first Bomb Threat gig but we just didn't have a name. I think in 2015 or very early 2016 Yoda and myself and Aisha were in the studio.
    I've always been like 'this chick has a great fucking voice man' and we sorta just dropped her in the deep end.
    We ended up writing three songs within that one session and they wrote themselves man it was just so easy.

     

    Then Codeks from Down Under Beats joined the crew on the turntables. How did that come about?

     

    Codeks is just family man, you know how it is with the Sydney scene man it's all family. We've all worked with each other on one project or another, Platterpush being fam with Yoda and the Otherside boys and so it was only natural when thinking we needed a dude to
    handle the wheels.
    Codeks is also a dope producer in his own right.

     

    And Jarv on bass, which also kind of connects the whole Cooking With Caustic thing yeah?

     

    Jarv's been bass on pretty much everything, you'd be pretty lucky to find a beat that hasn't got her bass in there.
    She's in video clips, she's in tracks, yeah she's the fifth member bro.

     

    So what's the future plans for Bomb Threat?

     

    I'll be doing this as long as people are listening to it.
    We've got songs in different levels of being finished where if we spend some time there's an
    album there.
    I'm a Hip Hop lifer so it is what it is, if people are feeling it sky's the limit.

    Peace.

    Words By Mighty Ash

     

    Watch Bomb Threat "Fly On The Wall" Below!

     

     
  • Interview: Australian Hip Hop Artist Helen Earth Talks About 'Hell Hath No Fury' And The Journey So Far

    Interview: Helen Earth - Hell Hath No Fury

    Interview of Australian Hip Hop Rapper Helen earth

    Ozhiphopshop caught up with Helen Earth a few weeks ago to discuss her brand new debut album 'Hell Hath No Fury' and the journey so far. Helen isn't new to the scene and has be honing her skills for the last few years in preparation for this release. The emotion and bars that went into this release is something special. From the lyrics to the production this album will drop jaws and snap necks. The wordplay is on another level and makes you double check you haven't jumped back into time when lyrics were everything.

     

    Hey Helen, hope all is well. I have really been enjoying this release.

    Hello Travis. Thank you, I’m glad to hear this.

    You have been extremely busy the last 6 months working hard on your brand new album Hell Hath No Fury, what has the road been like?

    It was longer than six months, although I’m not too sure precisely how long. But it took awhile to get off the ground. I had a few bumps linking up with producers, but as soon as I linked with a solid network it all came together pretty quickly and smoothly.

    The artwork is insanely good, Deej is an incredible artist. Did you work closely with him on the concept and design?

    Not at all. Like you said, Deej is an incredible artist, so I gave him free artistic rein. I know my limitations, and I wanted his interpretation of the theme I was running with.  I’m not sure if that makes me easy or difficult to work with.

    What part of the process are you most comfortable in; writing, recording or performing live?

    Probably writing, and I see myself more in terms of a writer than I do an emcee. Recording is fun and performing is always an incredible experience. But writing gives me a feeling that words can’t describe, as ironic as that is.

     

     

    This is your debut album and creating it must have been a learning curve especially being independent, did you find anything about the process hard?

    If I made my own beats, this album would have been done a long time ago. Unfortunately, I don’t. The merit in self production is that you don’t have to synchronise your work ethic with another producer. You have complete autonomy. So, the challenge for me was to find someone who’s work ethic matched mine – and I did, several in fact. I am grateful to have worked and continue to be working with some of the producers who feature on my album. But it was a fucking pain in the ass finding them.  

    The album features some head snapping beats laced with some heavy bars. How did you decide on the beat selection for this album?

    The way I approach writing to an instrumental is through interpretation. I interpret what the instrumental is saying. I don’t like coming into things with a pre-conceived notion or expectation. It’s a mediation of sorts. If I hear something, I say something. You know what I mean, it’s like the bomb squad for writing rhymes. Of course, I have a preference for certain beats. Rafle, for example is pretty switched onto what I like. Producers gauge your preference, and if you’re working with a lord (Rafle is a lord) they’ll cater to that – or they might facilitate and encourage a different direction because they hear something you haven’t yet.

    Good choice on the beat selection and the production is on point. Do you stay within a circle of producers who know how you like it or would you prefer to go with who can create the most suitable beat for each record?

    What’s suitable one day might not be suitable the next. I just like whatever I like. Right now, I am happy with who I’m currently working with. I think working with Rafle is a good formula, and I want to pursue that and hear it in full. I like to keep my ears open, and if I like something: I’ll engage it. There’s definitely a range of producers who I try to keep up to date with, like Insideus gets busy as fuck. He has a great work ethic as well and I definitely recommend him to anyone looking for beats.

    Where did you record the album at?

    In the spare room aka the ’office’ where I do my uni work, yeah definitely nowhere fancy.

    Rob from Shake Down Records has been working really hard in the local music scene especially with upcoming talent like yourself, did you find working with him has helped with the overall outcome of the album?

    This album would have taken a lot longer if It weren’t for Rob. Rob provided me access to catalogues from a variety of producers and put me in touch with those who I wanted to work with. He navigated me through the album process, referred and advised me, facilitated gig opportunities. Rob is the fucking man.  He’s a professional, and that’s who you want to work and be in touch with - professionals. He makes good memes too.

    What are some of the lessons you've learnt in the industry thus far, be they good or bad?

    The first lesson I learned was from Ciecmate, and that lesson is ALWAYS GET THE STEMS. Lessons I’ve learned myself? Just do it for you. I write for me, and it’s been like that since I was a kid. Writing is just something I’ve always done and enjoyed. It’s apart of me, to the point that at times it’s a seemingly thoughtless action. But when I read it back, there’s a body of reflection. And this reflection addresses what I’ve been overlooking.  Writing facilitates growth. So I guess, what I’m addressing here is motivation. Is it intrinsic or extrinsic? Because it’s the process that’s enjoyable for me, I don’t have an expected outcome. I’m interested in the mechanics, the how. That’s my pursuit. Enjoy the process.

     

     

    Is an album launch or tour on the cards?

    I’m not too sure at this stage, right now my priority is uni. In the holidays I’d like to head back to Perth and do some gigs. I also want to head down to Sydney sometime, and a few other places.

    What first got you into hip hop and how has it changed your outlook on life?

    Probably my mum’s record collection, her record collection is stacked with samples. I was exposed to a lot of good music as a child. And I always had this obsession with writing, and rhymes and manipulating words. I’m not too sure what age I was exactly when I started brain washing myself with hip hop, but It started at a young age. Regarding my outlook… Music is like this intertextual secondary source, an accompaniment of this weird concept we call self. I don’t know if it changed my outlook, think if anything it reassured it and at times challenged it. Back then listening to hip hop was like falling in love for the first time.

    What steps do you go through in writing your tracks, do you have a set method that works for you or does it vary?

    I’m a lot more disciplined these days. I pace myself, I think my approach to academic writing has greatly influenced my approach to writing rhymes. I don’t follow a set structure though. It comes from this deeply immature part of myself. I don’t know why, but I’m so resistant to structure. I have this problem with uni too, I do really well when it comes to textual analysis, my mind is wired for it – but when it comes to assessments that require a very strict structure and admittedly very boring content, my inner disruptive student screams ‘get fucked’. I have been following a set structure lately though for something im working on.

    Who in the Australian hip hop scene would you like to work with next and why?

    Sinks. I feel like I don’t even need to explain why because I’m under the impression that everyone is of the understanding that Sinks is a fucking GOAT. Sinks music makes me feel a way about hip hop that I haven’t felt since my teens. I would also like to do a track with Shook one day, I hold her in high regard. Hands down, Shook is a Queen.

    What home grown hip hop are you currently listening to?

    Definitely the artists I previously mentioned. I don’t get too much time to listen to much music anymore. And in my spare time, I’m usually trying to make it. But Sinks gets regular play, and I always try to keep up to date with Dialect. I placed an order for Photograph Your Aura the other day.  And I’m very keen for that album he’s doing with Must Volkoff – most rational beings are, right!

    Any shout-outs?

    Thanks to everyone who’s been involved in this project and especially to those who have been supporting it, sharing it and reaching out with their thoughts. It’s truly humbling.

    Any advice for others wanting to pursue this art from?

    Don’t add me and tag me in your shit.  Have some fucking decorum.

    Thanks for your time.

     

    Catch Helen Earth at the upcoming Scenario Festival in Brisbane!

    Listen To Her Music Here!

     

    Words By Travis Broi

     
  • Interview: Brisbane's Crooked White Talks Music And Breaking Awards

    Interview: Brisbane's Crooked White Talks Music And Breaking Awards 

    Australian Hip Hop Artist Crooked White

    Ozhiphopshop was lucky enough to catch up with Brisbane rapper and recent QMA nominee Crooked White to chat about music and his newly released album "Confessions" and what we can expect from him in the future. 

    (T) Hey mate it’s good to catch up, How’s things been?

    (CW) Good thanks.

     

    We might start with the recent name change as some may not know you from your previous name or work. What was the reasoning behind it as a name change can be a pretty big thing?

    I’ve always been known as Whitey, and over the years that grew into many titles C.White, White dogg, Idiot boy...originally I was going to go with C.White, but after a little research I discovered an american dude running with the same name....so in order to avoid a clash...I went with Crooked, which is also the title of the first single off 'Confessions'

     

    You recently dropped your debut album Confessions under the new name Crooked White. Did releasing music as a solo artist differ to how you previously released music with your band?

    My history of releasing music has mostly been with my band Schoolfight, so this process was different for sure, with bands each individual instrument needs attention and tweaking, so the process takes longer, you also have alot more ideas and input, which to be honest I missed at times while making "Confessions"- saying that , I enjoyed the freedom of making the big decisions on things, working to my own time line and seeing it thru.

     

    Did the writing method differ as well?

    Yeah absolutely, working with Aussie made things pretty seamless, he would swing thru beats every few weeks, Ide go thru em, pick a few, jump in the booth over at GrotBox and demo them, swing em back, and we kinda built the record that way.

     

    Being an independent artist means you have to juggle a lot of roles, were there any that you found particularly challenging?

    The self promo..hands down, Im old school, and to be constantly spruiking,  posting and talking about yourself gives me the shits haha - its part of the beast I guess, but I always feel like my music sells me better than self hype and the 'look at me' gimmicky rubbish.

    But in order to get heads to listen, you gotta let em know about your product...and...the circle of pain continues...

     

    It must feel good to see your hard work and effort come to fruition.

    Couldn’t be happier man, a solo album was always on my "to do list" I’ve had great support from family and friends and my team also, I feel like people are enjoying the album, and that’s what matters, we set out to make something familiar, something new and classic, to bring something back that I felt has been missing, and I think we got it right, stoked.

     

    This isn’t your first time recording with Travesty at the Grotbox, how did you find the experience?

    7ravesty is my ace, without him, Confessions would not have happened. He is a humble guy with a shit ton of patience haha. I returned from holidays a few years back, and we made a plan, started the demos straight up, hours spent, zero dramas and bulk beers, good times.

     

     

    You’ve released three videos off the new album, how did they come about and why did you choose to release them?

    We released "Crooked Feat 7ravesty" first, I felt we needed to lay the foundation, an introduction if you will, the clip sees me and 7ravesty reppin' the high vis, just being shit kicking bastards, which isnt far from the truth..

    Second came "Put me on" I shot the clip up home with some help from my big bro, the track means alot to me, and I wanted to show peeps around my neck of the woods and also rep beautiful FNQ.

    And last but but not least "The 4th Beegee" The jewel in the crown haha, Beegees is the ladies jam, we shot it here in West End with a cast of awesome cats and a solid team behind the scenes the clip was directed and edited by my good mate Bobbi from Ninja factory, she did a ripping job.

     

    Can we expect a Brisbane album launch or a tour?

    We will be officially launching the Album 'Confessions' Friday the 13th Of July @ the Flaming Galah.

    Supports announced soon! Hard copies and merch available on the night! You heard it here first!

     

    You have recently been nominated for a QMA award for hip hop. That must have been some great news considering all the hard work you have been putting in. How do you feel about it?

    Always nice to be nominated, heaps of good music being made here in Queensland, and it’s nice to be mentioned and involved, I actually took one home many years ago with Schoolfight, it was a great moment and honour, annnnnd I dropped it, shattered it into 14 pieces...full grown man, just picking up the flakes of glass, salty tears...

    Be real nice to replace that one.

     

    Any advice for young people looking at getting into music or hip hop?

    Sell out, dress like everyone else, sound like everyone else - you’re up and away!

    Or, be yourself, write every day, respect your peers and those that came before you, be original, create your own scene, accept things aren’t always going to go your way

     

     

    Where can people see you live next?

    Flaming Galah Friday the 13th July!

     

    Any shout outs?

    Shouts to my friends and family! Everyone that has copped the Album, shared, liked and sent messages of support! It means heaps!

     

    Good luck with it all mate.

     

    Keep up to date with Crooked White here!

    Peep the new album here!

     

    Words By Travis Broi

     
  • Interview: Brisbane's Karsniogenics Label Mate Gaz Hazard Talks The Lower 42nd and A King.

    Interview: Gaz Hazard Talks The Lower 42nd and A King release.

    Interview: Gaz Hazard - “The Lower 42nd b/w A King”

     

    With the recent release of Gaz Hazard's 7" wax release and the drop of the brand new film clip, Ozhiphopshop caught up with the Brisbane local to chat about the recent release and whats on the cards regarding his sophomore album due out via Brisbane independent hip hop label Karsniogenics. Gaz is no stranger to the scene has been putting in the hard work with multiple shows and releases over the last few years including work with CRS.

    Hey Gaz, good to catch up with you again. Hope everything is good since last time we spoke?

    Yeah everything is good mate.

    You have just dropped the “The Lower 42nd b/w A King” 7” wax off the upcoming sophomore release ‘Welcome to Gullywood’ out through Brisbane label Karsniogenics soon, can you tell us a bit about this release and how it came together?

    Welcome to Gullywood actually came about while we were doing our first official recordings at the new studio at my old place in Acacia Ridge. We naturally called it Gullywood Studios and since then we had created about 18 tracks. For various reasons a few didn’t make the cut, then after joining the label I decided to turn it into another LP. #W2G was born.

    The first track that was produced by Sean B(The Statesman, Kold Heat) The Lower 42 features some heavy hitting features in a massive posse cut with the likes of Lazy Grey, Jake Biz, Overproof Pete and Simplex. What was it like working with them artists and getting everyone to lay down the heat?

    Its always incredible working with such veterans and truly talented people . I am lucky enough to call them all my brothers. The track came about very quick actually in the scheme of things, getting 6 dudes on a joint together can be hard sometimes but everyone came threw asap for the project. We are all label mates anyway so a posse cut was fitting.

    Did you all record at the same place or were different studios used?

    The Lower 42nd  was recorded completely at Simbiotic Studios by Simplex. The album #W2G was all recorded at Gullywood Studios by me.

    Gaz Hazard - Welcome To Gullywood

    Sean B is a brilliant beat maker and has been killing it in the scene for many years now with production credits on a range of local releases, what was it like working with him on this track?

    Seany is an incredible beat maker but I gotta be honest I didn’t see him or even talk to him about it. Jake showed me the beat and we both had that look in our eye like fucking bang..thats for a posse cut on the album. Dj Dcide co produced the track too so mixing and structure was created by him.

    You have teamed up with Director Dolan from Dfdes1n to produce a dope clip that has been well received by fans, can we expect to see another one drop soon for the second track?

    Yeah we have a new clip dropping soon for the Bezrock tribute track. A King shot and cut by Heethan Steelberg. Dolan did  an fucking rad job with the clip too.

    The second track “A King” is a very personal and touching story written about the sad passing of a Brisbane legend and fellow hip hop head, it’s a very emotional track and I’m sure it was very hard to write. Was this one of the toughest ones to pen or do you feel it has helped with the grieving process?

    Most Definitely.  The track began from a eulogy I didn’t get to say at his funeral and a week or so after he passed I found it on my phone and began writing instantly. Threw endless tears I just kept writing, it was hard but I felt it needed to be done. For Bez, and yeah for me it helped me vent and go threw those stages of grieving properly. Its still hard. I still tear up hearing the track and almost everyone who has listened to it with me has teared up too. So much of my heart and soul went into that track and with the production from Bigfoot and Heata it became a very powerful song. Cant thank them enough for creating it the way they did.

    Losing a friend can be very hard. It must feel good tho to be able to tell his story and allow his legacy to live on through music?

    I always had a vision of the song on Vinyl with his B logo on it so of course the B Side made so much sense. It's a very humbling thing to be told by his close mates and mine that they thanked me for writing it because they wouldn’t of been able to do it. To be honest his legacy is already set amongst those he was close to anyway. His impact on this life especially mine will never be forgotten.

    The track was produced by none other than Bigfoot along with Heata(Hired Goons) on the scratches. Did the beat selection come play a major role when it came to writing a track like this?

    I wrote the lyrics to no beat actually. It wasn’t until Biggie asked to produce it for me and with Heata's help A King was born. They did an incredible job.

    How would you describe this release to someone who is about to listen to this for the first time?

    The Lower 42nd is a bass heavy posse cut with a mash up of styles from Karsniogenics.

    A King is a heartfelt tribute to my old mate and CRS OG with production from Hired Goons finest.

    The new album “Welcome To Gullywood” and follow up to “Hazardous To Ya Health” is your first release through Brisbane label Karsniogenics. What has it been like working with them and has it been a lot easier to release music now instead of being an independent artist?

    These guys are true veterans of rap music in this country full stop. Lazy Grey and DjDcide who run the label have been dope to work with. We all come together on the project and aimed for next level every time, sonically, lyrically everything. Always trying to step our game up. You seriously cant fuck with the K TEAM.

    When can we expect to see the new album drop?

    The LP will be available on cd, digital and as a 12 inch record due on within a few months along with a new video for a solo track off the album that i'm hoping to have it ready soon.

    Gaz Hazard Drops "THE LOWER 42nd" feat. Lazy Grey, SussOne, Jake Biz, Overproof Pete & Simplex

    Is there a show or tour coming up to coincide with this release?

    Yes we have Brisbane ,Melbourne and Adelaide in our sites to launch the album. Hoping to do them all this year. I also have a couple big international support spots to be announce soon.

    Any advice for upcoming rappers looking to get into the game and release music professionally?

    Be yourself. Do You and focus on you. And yes exactly, make ya music professionally. Dont judge your value as an artist by the views or likes  you get. Judge it by how many people turn up to your shows and actually buy your music.

    Where can the fans check out more of your music?

    My last LP . Hazardous to ya health is on I tunes.

    It was good catching up mate, wish you all the best for this release and I’m sure we will speak soon.

    Words By Travis Broi

     

    Keep up to date with Gaz Hazard via Karsiniogenics

     
  • Interview: Ben Iota Talks Jazz, Family And Music

    Interview: Ben Iota Talks Music, Family And Jazz

    Australian Hip Hop Ben Iota Interview 2018

     

    We caught up with Australian hip hop artist Ben Iota for a chat about what has been going on music wise and what we can expect in 2018 from him.

     

    Hey mate, it's good to catch up hope all has been well?

    Life is great. Let us begin.

     

    You are based in Darwin and have just had a new member of the family arrive, how has that been going?

    Darwin has been good to me and mine for the past couple of years. We find it to be a relatively easy place to live. The pace of life is slow, the sun is usually shining and the people are generally neighbourly. These are the qualities of Australia that I cherish. I am in the right time of my life for it. The frosty big city rat race aint calling me no more. And yes, we were lucky to be blessed with the arrival of our second child recently, who were are wrapped with.

     

    Do you find it hard sometimes to find the balance to do music while raising a family?

    Yeah its a tricky balancing-act. Having children has changed my perception of time. It was only after becoming a parent of one that I realised I had ample free time when I didn't have a child. It was only after becoming a parent of two that I realised that I actually had a bit of time up my sleeve with only one child after all. Now I have two children, I am wondering if I can squeeze any more time out of my 'full' schedule. I probably could, but it is going to take some serious self-discipline, and understanding from the people around me. Releasing a single once or twice a year seems like a more realistic goal, but we'll see. I would love to continue this musical journey.

     

    I first started hearing your music with the album Born free that was released through Butterthief down in South Australia, Has the road from there till now been hard musically?

    Nah, it hasn't been hard at all. For a few years after 'Born Free' I didn't release anything, but still worked on music steadily. I did gigs, hit open mics and rapped on street corners around Sydney (where I was living). Shout outs to Tall Papi. I wrote lyrics, jammed with a band, and just enjoyed the musical experiences I was having. After Sydney I moved to Darwin and linked with local champions like TASK and Dan the Underdog. They have been welcoming and supportive of what I do, and we have gotten busy collaborating. It has been a fun time.

     

    Born Free seemed to be well received by the Australian hip hop community what would have been your favourite track from it?

    I was happy with the response to it. I sold all my personal copies, got a bunch of gigs off the back of it, had a few press opportunities, gotten some good support on radio, and have had more than a few people tell me the songs have impacted on them. This all amounts to a win in my book. My favourite track was and is 'Iota'. It sums up my worldview and where I see myself in it. It has aged relatively well.

     

     

     

    What is it like releasing music independently compared to when you were with the label, is it a lot harder now or is it good doing things at your own pace? Has working by yourself giving you a different outlook on the way you release music?

    Nothing has really changed in regards to the pace. I have always worked at my own pace. I am inspired by those I work with, but I am never pushed. Despite not being released on Butterthief I still work closely with other people, including Social Change. Its good being self- reliant because I am learning about the industry, understanding what fellow independent artists do to leverage themselves in the game, learning what they have been telling me for a little while: 'your album is your business card'. Get it out there and make sure you follow-up any connections. It seems that you can't be too cagey with your music anymore. Well, you probably could, but I think it would keep you in your corner. I have also learned about gatekeepers- labels, radio stations, promotors, cliques of artists, etc. I never had to deal directly with any of these people previously, in terms of attempting to squeeze opportunities out of them. However, I see it now and have had small breakthroughs on that front. If I had a bit more time up my sleeve I feel like I could unlock the secrets to this game. Getting older now I stay active for the joy of creating, and for performing. A lot of people don't have a craft or creative outlet in their lives. I feel fortunate I have one in mine, so I keep going forward with it.

     

    What made you fall in love with hip hop and the culture we love?

    Rebellion and non-conformity. I felt out of step with the mainstream when I was young. I was looking for an alternative to the lack of anything meaningful. I found graffiti first, which gave me a feeling that there was something magical here. Doing something that was so heavily stigmatised and misunderstood by the general populace (this was in the 90s in Adelaide), and was risky to do, gave me a rush and a sense of belonging. It was my middle-finger to the conservative forces and values that I was surrounded by. It was a different world. Hip Hop music was next and had a similar impact on me. It gave me a bigger purpose, it gave me an outlet, it gave me an identity and further validated my 'outsider' status. It formed me. Even now as person who may seem like every other bum on the bus, I know there is a point of difference that I got through Hip Hop. I recognise it when I randomly meet other old heads with Hip Hop in their DNA. Its an experience that stays for the long run, in some way.

     

    You have recently released a brand new 15 track album produced Dan The Underdog, How did this release come about? How did you select the beats for this project? Where did you record this album? What was working with Dan? Is this the first time working with him? Did you approach this release differently than you would normally when working on an album? Can the fans expect to hear similar style with this album compared to you last releases?

    At some point in late 2016 Dan suggested we do a 'joint' together. We started by doing a single song, which was never released, but we both liked. Around that time I was revisiting old A Tribe Called Quest albums and realised how much I still love that jazz Hip Hop style, vibe and attitude. Its just good, laid-back Hip Hop music that means something. Even in my mid-30s, it still resonates with me and is relevant to my life, and thats the type of  music I want to make for other people. Anyway, with a new child on the horizon and a bunch of lyrics up my sleeve, I stepped to Dan with the idea of doing an album of all jazz Hip Hop, and getting it done before my son-to-be arrived. Dan was down. I linked him with the first samples in late June and by early September we were releasing an album. It was all recorded in Dan's studio (apart from the two bonus tracks), and produced by Dan, with me playing basslines on a bass synth that gives the songs extra depth 'in da clurrrrb'.We had a good energy and finite time to finish the album in, so we went hard. I felt the stress of the looming deadline and the pressure to perform, but we had a lot of fun making it. Dan and I have a similar sense of humour, values and outlooks on the world, so we clicked. I hope we can work together again. He is a machine when it comes to making Hip Hop music, and a really good-hearted human to boot.


    Any advice for other upcoming independent artists that are thinking about releasing an album or are starting their hip hop journey?

    Everyone is on their own path, so I can only speak on the advice I would give a younger version of myself, with my limited knowledge on how this all works. Here goes:

    Speak from the heart- thats number one. Be true to yourself, but don't be afraid to change, because you inevitably will if you are living life. Don't go by the book. Allow your musical journey to unfold. Believe in your process and dedicate yourself to your craft. Don't listen to the scene and don't become bitter by all the setbacks. Create your own thing. Jump at the opportunity to perform and enjoy connecting with people through it. Get the experience. Be a martyr and do mad favours when you start out. Don't charge people for beats or verses. Don't decide that $400 is your going rate for gigs. Just do the gigs and get the feel for performing. Use features as opportunities to get your name out, but make sure you respect the artists you collaborate with. Be real with supporters and be humble when you succeed. Be real with the more decent industry people out there and look to create something with them. Put a bit of your hard-earned into your music. That means getting a publicist, travelling interstate if gig opportunities arrive and making your product quality. Vinyl and merch are worth the shell-out if you have disposable income. Connect with like-minded people, including musicians and artists of all sorts, and get busy. Don't become egotistical. Diverge from the path of the parasites, vultures and toxic people. Try not to belt them. Get knowledge. Study and travel help with that, as does living life and making mistakes. Get your mind right to navigate this unpredictable, confusing, and sometimes-demoralising journey through music and industry. If you stay balanced, you will look back at this time as a rewarding time in your life, even if you don't achieve all your goals. And you may be even be one of the few who strike it lucky. None of this will make sense until you get out there and start doing, so take the first step and keep it moving.

     

    What can the fans expect from you in 2018? Where can the fans catch you live next?

    A music video for 'Do Dat', from the 'Jazz' LP, should be released around the same time as this interview. Keep an eye out for that on Youtube. I plan to keep gigging around Darwin at random intervals when the opportunities arise, as I have been continually doing for the last year and a bit. A launch is in the works. I also hope to chip away at making new songs, in a similar vein to the last album, because I am still loving jazz beats, but made via a different studio method. It's all about the process for me. Its gotta be fun and interesting. I am excited to announce that I will be launching a music-based blog in April. It looks fill a void in the current industry landscape. I can't give too much away but I can promise it will be quality, with some awesome artists on board. The Ben Iota Facebook page will give notice when the blog is live.

     

    Was good to catch up mate, look forward to peeping some new music this year.

    Cheers! Thanks for the reaching-out

     

     

    Stay up to date with Ben Iota music and blog happenings at:

    www.beniota.com

    www.facebook.com/beniota

    Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, iTunes

     

     

    Words By Travis Broi

     
  • Interview: Brisbane Rapper Skrub Releases Second Studio Album "Long Story Short"

    Interview: Brisbane Rapper Skrub Releases Second Studio Album "Long Story Short"

    Interview: Skrub Releases Second Studio Album "Long Story Short" Skrub - Long Story Short

     

    Today sees the release of Brisbane rapper Skrub's second studio album "Long Story Short" and we were lucky enough to catch up with him yesterday and cop a sneaky listen and have a chat about the brand new release..

    Interview: Brisbane Rapper Skrub Releases Second Studio Album "Long Story Short"

    Skrub has been making waves in the local Brisbane scene since moving from Muswellbrook in 2016 with a heap of local shows under his belt and releasing his debut album The Skinned Alive Lp. The new album features collaborations with a range of upcoming talent like Brisbane rapper Nerve and Tasmanian rapper Wombat. The production on Long Story Short enables Skrub to show off a diverse flow and really sets an upbeat vibe for the album.

     

    We caught up with Skrub to chat about his new release and also whats on the cards for 2018.

    T - Hey mate, congratulations on your second studio release “Long Story Short” that has dropped today.

    Skrub - Thanks bro, it's been a loooong ride!

     

    It must be a good feeling seeing all the hard work finally hitting the fans?

     

    S - Yeah definitely is! It's always a mad feeling when I see the fans happy with something I've put a lot of myself into.

     

    You have released the first single nasty, what made you decide on that track?

     

    S - I released 'Nasty' first because it was one of the most different sounding songs on the album, and I wanted to give everyone a different side of my music. 

     

    Can the fans expect to hear similar style with this album compared to Skinned Alive L.P or have you tried to explore a more diverse style?

     

    S- There's reminiscent styles from the first album but I've really tried to expand myself and experiment with different sounds for this album. The first album I was more focused on it being bar heavy, and it was more a rushed process than anything.

     

    The beat selection is varied and showcases your different rapping styles as an artist, how did you go about selecting the beats for this project?

     

    S- I just let it all come to me, chose what I was digging and worked with it.

     

    Where did you record the new album?

     

    S-  I recorded at Syori Studios which is ran by the power house himself Sam Steensen. I've recorded the first album with him, but over the past year we've grown together musically, and I really wouldn't trust anyone else to record and mix my shit!

     

    You have already released the first single and video from the album how do you feel the response was?

     

    S-  In the back of my mind I was actually hoping for a better response. But it still got some mad hype, after a little brief hiatus from myself, and the fans were happy, so I was still grinning!

     

    You have a few collaborations on this including Brisbane rapper Nerve and upcoming Tasmanian rapper Wombat. You have been working with these boys for a while now. What’s it like working with them as artists.

     

    S-  It's always dope man! Whenever Nerve and I are in the studio together, something dope is always bound to come out of it based on the connection we have built. Wombat....man he's fucking insane, it's always a pleasure to do anything with him.

     

    Is there a joint album on the cards in the future?

     

    S- I guess we're gonna have to wait and see ;)

     

    You have been smashing out hype shows around Brisbane in 2017 can we expect an album tour or at least a Brisbane album launch?

    S- Definitely an album launch. Tour is still on the cards, I've been trying to work something out with Rivercity_ who's been doing a lot of work with me, to figure out some possible shows in other cities. But you'll have to stay tuned to my Facebook page for that! Haha

     

     

    Being new to the hip hop scene and being an independent artist what’s the hardest thing you have found about releasing an album 5 days into 2018?

     

    S- Well, the release date wasn't exactly planned for this date, due to some family circumstances.... but at least people have a dope way to start their year hahaha

     

    Any advice for other upcoming independent artists that are thinking about releasing an album?

     

    S- It's corny as fuck, but all I can say is....Just do you.

     

    What can the fans expect from you in 2018?

     

    S- Definitely  you can expect to see this face around a whole lot more this year...that's a promise.

     

    Where can the fans catch you live next?

     

    S- I'll be supporting Nerve & Wombat at The Brightside on the 16th of Feb! After that will be the album launch baby!

     

    Was good to catch up and look forward to seeing you do an album launch.

     

    S-  Cheers brother,  I look forward to seeing you there haha!

    This album from start to finish was something very unique and unheard of currently in the Australian hip hop scene and will definitely relate to a wider variety of listeners.

    Words By Travis Broi

     
  • Exclusive Interview - Brisbane Producer/Rapper Insideus Reveals Plans for Exciting New Label

    Inisideus Shire Records Interview Shire Records

    New venture for one of Brisbane’s hardest working crews has finally come to fruition. All the blood, sweat and beats of his craft has finally paid off, allowing Bris-bang beatsmith Russ (Insideus) to build this new stable, Shire Records into a brick house by which to store the fat of the river city’s freshest hip-hop.

    The early roster at Shire Records boasts the album campaigns of Exit Strategy and projects from solo artists Elaborate and Audacity whose latest single ‘10th Pace’ out Friday 14th finds the MC shooting raw lead from the double-barrel - all produced in-house. Shire Records aims to provide a complete music production haven to anyone who seeks to build a platform for making music from production to recording and delivering right through to distribution. Shire Records is a creative, grassroots, do-it-yourself recording studio and label that supports and shelters the local scene and banging out the dopest sounds that the national scene can handle. 

    Ozhiphopshop drops in to see Russ for a quick one-on-one about the label that he built and the roster with whom he shares it.  Everybody’s welcome. Just wipe your feet.

     

    OHHS with Russ (Insideus)

    For Ozhiphopshop.com - July, 2017

     

    It’s been a while. How have things been since we last spoke?

    Things have been wonderfully hectic since we last spoke! I bought a house with my woman, renovated it and built a new studio with the help of some awesome people in my life. Since we (Exit Strategy) dropped ‘Seventh Dimension’ there’s been a lot of work put into a couple of our solo projects and they are finally coming to fruition. We’re very happy about that to say the least. 

     

    You’ve been working hard the last few months on something special can. Can you finally tell us what that is? 

    Shire Records. Since our first EP ‘Preliminaries’ we have been very much a DIY group of artists when it comes to the production and distribution of our music. We decided it was time to make it official so I started this label with the intention of further distribution as well as professional services for local artists.

     

    Do you have any artists you’ll be signing to the team?

    So far we have myself, Audacity, Elaborate and Patrsn on the roster. I do plan on getting a few more artists on board and building a collective of like-minded, skilled MCs to in-turn craft a solid discography akin to some of the independent labels we’ve always respected.

     

    What can The Shire Studio offer local talent?

    Our services include exclusive beats, recording, mixing, mastering and music videos.

     

    How would an artist contact you to record and send you some work to check out?

    The best way to contact me would be via email at russ@shirerecords.com.au. A message to one of our social media pages [links below] would also suffice but email is your best bet for a swift reply. I’m more than happy to give honest feedback and try to steer artists in the right direction in regards to quality of their product.

     

    What does the future hold for Shire Records?

    $$ Dollar dollar bills ya’ll $$. No, in all seriousness, our main aim is to improve further on what we’ve been doing for the last few years - performing live shows and putting out music and merchandise for the hip hop heads far ’n’ wide and hopefully build the name into a highly respected camp that’ll stand the test of time.

     

    Hope it goes well for you mate, speak again soon.

    Thanks for having me, OHHS. Always a pleasure. Peace!

    Interview By Travis Broi

     

    Check out the brand new website and keep up t date via the links below!

    Website 

    Bandcamp

    Facebook

    Instagram - @shirerecords

     
  • Lord Finesse & Large Professor Australian Tour Interview!

    Lord finesse Large Professor Hip Hop Interview Australian Tour

    Lord Finesse & Large Professor Australian Tour Interview!

     

    Next month, Large Professor and Lord Finesse descend upon Australia, two of the realest rhymesayers and cut creators set to put some work in with an attaché full to the brim of classic dope of boom-bap and wisecrack lyricism unkut and ready-to-rock in what scores the soundtrack to a throwback New York-style hip-hop. In an exclusive interview with Ozhiphopshop (OHHS), both allrounder producer/emcees huddled to talk shop on their well-chartered catalogues spanning 25 years, their relevance in the game and how fan support turns the wheels of motion into rolling out their legendary presence down under for a run of tour dates. Between these two legends and the groups from which they sprung, Lord Finesse AKA The Funkyman and Large Pro stand as pillars to the foundation of hip-hop’s makings well beyond the accolades and recognition bestowed upon them.

    Both opened their recording careers aligned through Wild Pitch Records in separate album drops synonymous with the shaping of many of the golden era’s most prolific talents. Finesse’s Funky Technician was released in 1990 with partner DJ Mike Smooth - produced and overseen by DJ Premier from Gang Starr and featured beatsmiths Diamond D and Showbiz before creating the future Diggin In The Crates stable. Not long after Large Pro, fronting the Main Source trio, created the Breaking Atoms album which gave way to hits Looking at the Front Door, Just a Friendly Game of Baseball and Fakin’ The Funk the last two making the soundtracks of films Boyz N The Hood and White Men Can’t Jump, respectively, something Prof points out proudly in the grand scale of his achievements - one of which includes the co-sign of one of the greatest of all-time. This is where, by and large, the most indelible footprints from the boots of both Lord Finesse and Large Professor have tread in music history, from their signatory advances in developing the career talents of those with whom they worked alongside.

    Lord Finesse Rapper

    In this interview, Large Pro goes in on Main Source’s transition from making tapes to Breaking Atoms and puts into perspective the chemistry between the Harlem, NY legend and the insertion of Nas into the realm of the public scope for the masses by way of the fellow Queens MC’s opening verse to the Main Source posse cut Live At The Barbeque in turn piqued a working relationship between the pairing that began from crafting the Columbia Records’ demo to Nas Will Prevail to where Large Pro sits today most notable as the lead producer of rap’s most illustrious full-length album in Nas’ Illmatic which was followed up on Stillmatic’s You're Da Man and Rewind. However, despite the chemistry and high rate of success attained from their MC/producer pairing, Large Pro tells OHHS, that there was never a thought for the two to become one.

    “I was just hungry to work with up-and-coming dudes that I thought was nice,” Large Professor recalled on the first time he and the God MC got together in the Flushings section of their native Queens. “Nas came along and he fit that mould where I thought, ‘yo, this dude is kinda nice’, so I kept giving him beats and it turned out that it’s a nice chemistry between us where people were liking that combination of LP and Nas”.

    Large Professor Australian Tour

    Credited with the discovery of the late MC Big L, Finesse produced a large portion of his debut album Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous while the Diggin’ In The Crates’ (D.I.T.C.) lineup was built off of the production credit from his first LP with star beatmakers; Diamond D and Showbiz adding to it with rapper AG and later future solo artists; Fat Joe, O.C. and Buckwild - all of whom Finesse tells OHHS that D.I.T.C. rivals that of the legendary supergroup Wu-Tang Clan in depths of impressions marked on the genre through the catalogue of esteemed and well-heralded classics from its members. And here, the Bronx’s own Funkyman pays dues to both members of Gang Starr, (Guru having been the man to tell Wild Pitch’s Stu Fine to listen to Finesse’s demo tape) having both played pivotal roles to the making of his formidable catalogue of punchline anthems that kept him in good stead into the foray into hip-hop.

    “To this day people don’t realise how vital and instrumental Premier was to me with making the Funky Technician because he actually sat in on sessions that wasn’t his productions,” said Finesse who went on to reminisce the first time Preemo laid a blunt on Finesse at a club for his very first smoke. “Me and Premier got stories, man. Premier was the first one I smoked a blunt with, how about that!”

    This is Large Professor and Lord Finesse in one room at one time with Rip Nicholson, putting real hip-hop back on the map for Ozhiphopshop and Matt Van Rooy Presents.

    Peep game before the Lord Finesse & Large Professor Ft DJ Boogie Blind Australian Tour rolls out this coming April. Don’t sleep on it.

    Lord Finesse & Large Professor Ft Boogie Blind Australian Tour

    Large Professor [LP] + Lord Finesse [LF]

    Large Pro, when you first started Main Source is it true you won a tryout with K-Cut and Sir Scratch? Was this like a job interview, what went down in that tryout?

    Large Pro: Nah it wasn’t a tryout. We were all at school together. It was just an after-school hobby thing. They had turntables, I had turntables. I was multi-faceted in that I DJed and I wrote my rhymes, so one thing led to another and I was going through their rest after school and started DJing and that was pretty much the base of it, you know. But it was no tryout, no. I think later on after I had departed from the group that’s when they had tryouts.

    Was Main Source simply a vehicle to get yourself out there as a name, a brand and showcase your talents or did you see this group being a fully fledged recording act for many more albums than you did?

    Large Pro: It was just a matter of, back then it was like dudes just wanted to make a record. We were already making tapes. That was the thing, like, anybody could make a tape. Once you felt like you was good enough. Like, my pause tape - the tape that I did rhyming over this beat was hot I think I’m ready for records now and after a while I said, ‘yo, I’m ready for records’. It was just that thing right there. For those times a lot of the artists at that time, I’m sure you could ask them the same question and I’m sure they’d give you the same answer like, you wanting to hear yourself on the radio and sticking your chest out like, yo, I’m that dude.

    Before Live at the BBQ you and Nas shared great chemistry from your first day recording down in Flushings, NY... You dropped a Chairman of the Boards loop and you both went in. Was there ever a thought for you to become a duo?

    Large Pro: Nah because at that time he was looking for me for tracks and I was just hungry to work with up-and-coming dudes that I thought was nice. Nas came along and he fit that mould where I thought, ‘yo, this dude is kinda nice’, so I kept giving him beats and it turned out that it’s a nice chemistry between us where people were liking that combination of LP and Nas but it was never a thought that, ‘yo, we should be a duo’ or anything.

    Main Source songs playing during Boyz N The Hood and White Men Can’t Jump. To me that’s pop culture right there. Do you feel like a creator of history?

    Large Pro: Absolutely, definitely. I’m very proud of those achievements. Like, Boyz N The Hood - I wanted that with my father and we would get to the part where the credits rolled and I would see my name on the credits and he was seein’ me like, ‘yo, I’m proud of you’, and so-forth and that to me, was golden and just in general to be able to boast those things It’s more than I asked for. All I wanted to do at the time was just make a record. And then, you know, a bunch of records and album later and all these accolades and movies, all of this it’s beautiful. It’s a great feeling.

    Lord Finesse, when you started did you actually sign with Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate Records?

    Lord Finesse: I mean, we can go back. My history is funny, you know. I actually started off with Ski Records before I was released then I went with Wild Pitch Records then after that Ice-T signed me to Rhyme Syndicate.

    When did Wild Pitch come into play and is that what brings you both together for this big tour?

    Lord Finesse: It plays a significant part on many levels. I think, when I was at Wild Pitch Records - I mean, I have to really take my hat off to and always pay respect to, rest in peace, Guru. Guru was the one who listened to my demo tape and the one who really told (Stuart) Fine ‘yo, you better sign this dude! This kid is dope’. Even though the President wasn’t sure, he was telling the President, ‘this is the dude, it’s worth it’. Then I think around The Seminar, 1989 Premier was just fresh up from Texas and he was in the crowd with Stu Fine when I was at the New Music Seminar in 1989 and right after that Premier was like, ‘yo, man I wanna work with him’. Funky Technician went into effect right after the seminar and sayin’ those two Premier was the one who put me on to Large Professor which came about during the time of the Positivity video. And that’s when I first met Treach and the whole Queens connect thing when they were performing and I think that’s when the night after Premier and I went to K-Cut’s and Sir Scratch’s Mum’s crib or wherever they was stayin’ and I got a white label tape of Main Source album.

    You got a lot of cred for the Funky Technician - how influential was that album for Preemo’s career?

    Lord Finesse: I think it was Gang Starr more than Funky Technician and I think to this day people don’t realise how vital and instrumental Premier was to me with making the Funky Technician because he actually sat in on sessions that wasn’t his productions. He wanted to make sure I got my rhymes right and he actually engineered and did a lot of things on an album that he didn’t really have to do. And, to this day I always thank him for that. He wanted to make sure that it came off right. And no matter how picky I was with the beats, no matter what. Me and Premier got stories, man. And he knows I love him to death because he was there in the studio and he was there outside of the studio. So he mentored me through a lot and I put one for Wikipedia and for the people Premier was the first one I smoked a blunt with, how about that?

    Nice! That almost trumps what you have created in the studio together, The first dude to hand you a blunt, you always remember that, right?

    Lord Finesse: We wasn’t even during a recording, we was at a club. We was drinking, I remember he was drinking a Jack and Coke and he was like, ‘yo, Finesse you wanna hit this?!’ He ain’t never seen me smoke before so he was shocked when I pulled, you know? ‘You really took a pull of this shit’, you know?

    Australian Hip Hop, Rap Tour, Hip Hop Tour, Matt Van Rooy Presents

    Do you think that Diggin’ In The Crates, if had you guys continued to record together, could have rivalled that of Wu-Tang Clan?

    Lord Finesse: I mean, I don’t look at like would we rival, I think we do rival the Wu-Tang Clan in so many different ways. Maybe not as successful from a plaque level or different from the way they did things to what we did but uh, but beside Wu-Tang, and I don’t say this to be cocky, but I do say it confidently, you can’t name another group that has as many established producers and rappers in one group. Wu-Tang got the rappers and it was RZA as a the head producer and if you break it down with us, you know, we got classic albums maybe although maybe not as well-accomplished as theirs were as far as attention-wise but they all classics if you mention Funky Technician, Runaway Slave, Word... Life, Lifestyles of Da Poor & Dangerous, I don’t even wanna keep going through the list...

    Large Pro: Stunts Blunts and Hip-Hop,

    Lord Finesse: Word! I’m buggin’ out. So, when you look at it from an artist’s standpoint we was all different just like Wu-Tang is different. Now when you look at it from a production standpoint if you take me, Buckwild, Show and Diamond and you take all out credits for production and you add up all the plaques and everything, you know, that’s a whole other level of the game that’s different from theirs that might even be one-up on theirs, you know? So whenever I think of Diggin’ In The Crates I definitely compare them to Wu-Tang ‘cause they’re a group that I definitely love and respect and they know that and they remember when I bump into RZA with the love I show for him - it’s just there. And at one point they went through the same struggles that we went through as a group.

    They were out here last week and they tore the roof off the whole country, man. People are still salivating for round two so you guys might be just in time to bring that same energy with that real hip-hop. There is still a strong contingent down here who still lust for that old school hip hop.

    Lord Finesse: I tell people, I had said earlier that you have to support it if you want, this stuff just ain’t gonna keep occurring because you’re thinking of it. It has to be supported to where if you go to the shows to support real hip-hop it gives promoters something to look at and think start promoting more hip-hop shows. When acts come in people have the attitude of ‘I’ll catch the next act’, and then when it really starts to trickle down and turns into an open faucet then it’s like, ‘we don’t get no real hip-hop’ and ‘they don’t come down under’ and then when you finally get acts to come down and you don’t support, how long you think that’s gonna last?

    This is true, you guys have gotta eat, right?

    Lord Finesse: To me it’s not just about eating it’s the whole culture of it all, man. If people could do shows over the world and they know it’s lucrative where they can do a good style of music, don’t about pop, don’t worry about trap just do very good music - hip-hop-wise and it’s a good demographics for it there then it gives people inspiration and motivation that they can do real hip-hop and still economically be OK from a hip-hop standpoint to go out and perform straight, basic hip-hop.

    When each of you do big tours internationally, do you feel as if you’re giving an education on your part in hip hop’s history?

    Large Pro: Well we definitely show how it’s supposed to be done. If you want to equate that to us giving an education.

    Large Professor Australian Tour

    Lord Finesse: I think it’s the education part or more so, you’re not gonna catch us rhymin’ over no vocals. We’re gonna keep it a thousand, you know? From a real hip-hop sandpoint, so you know it ain’t gonna be a hundred people up on stage singin’ our rhymes. It’s mainly just gonna be us, it’s gonna be the foundation and the go-to albums and perform album cuts like we did ‘em yesterday. I take my catalogue very serious and I know Pete takes his catalogue very serious. When you think of the Breaking Atoms album I think of Funky Technician, I think of Mad Scientist and I Just Wanna Chill, and Fakin’ The Funk. Those records just bring chills when they come on and the dude jumps on there sounding like the record. I think it’s gonna be a combination and a collage of all that and just having fun and playing rare stuff you rarely get to hear and then you got the brother Boogie Blind from the X-ecutioners making sure everything is in-tune with the groove. So, I think it’s going to be something very special and I think the more we get the more energy we’re gonna give y’all.

    The RZA said the same thing, ‘the energy you give us we’re gonna give right back’ for last week’s Wu-Tang concert.

    Lord Finesse: I wasn’t even there so that shit’s telling you it’s a very important blueprint of us golden era artists that when we go up there and perform and we’re giving you that energy through those classics - when we’re seein’ and feelin’ that energy back from the applause or y’all singin’ the vocals along with us it just makes us go even harder.

    Words by Rip Nicholson

    Lord Finesse Large Professor Australian Tour 2016 Ft DJ Bogie Blind

    Matt Van Rooy Presents!

    Lord Finesse & Large Professor Ft DJ Boogie Blind Australian Tour.

    Wednesday, 13 April 2016 – Amplifier – Perth 18+
    Thursday, 14 April 2016 - Factory Theatre – Sydney 18+
    Friday, 15 April 2016 - Brown Alley – Melbourne 18+
    Saturday, 16 April 2016 - Fowlers Live – Adelaide 18+

    Go to www.mattvanrooy.com for tickets.

     
  • 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

     
  • Artist on Artist Interview! Cormega VS Jake Biz

    Cormega Australian Tour Flyer 2015

     

    Artist on Artist Interview! Cormega and Jake Biz

     

    For what had started as a kid in the hallways of a Nas storyline, Cormega has grown a notoriety as one of the most-revered emcees out of 41st Side and Vernon of Queensbridge, New York. Despite his independent career having been met with great adversary, twenty years after Cormega’s release he has stayed true-to-form and triumphed along the way with some well-regarded records, The Realness and True Meaning. For a rapper Marley Marl had once referred to as the ‘original gangsta rapper of Queensbridge’, Cormega regards himself a veteran of hip-hop. After long-service leave, his 2015 album, Megaphilosphy marks a return to fold for the rapper and, for the first time, is bringing his steez to every capital city down-under which opens up in Melbourne, September 25.

    Before the arrival of one of QB’s finest, a purist of the art of rap who has always upheld the traditions of a microphone fiend, we decided to let one of our own emcees, Jake-Biz from Bris-Bang’s Karsniogenics label and one of the formidable few of the 750 Rebels to ask Mega anything and everything about the what-could-have-beens and look-backs at the commercially-underrated career of an incredibly-talented MC. Never shy to tackle the business-side of his business, Mega chopping-up with Jake Biz resulted in a frank and concise exchange of realness between two true heads of hip-hop.

      Cormega Australian Tour

    JAKE BIZ -     Your first album The Testament was shelved by Def Jam in the 90's and didn't see a release until the early 2000's. How was your experience as a signed artist on hip hop's preeminent label?

    CORMEGA - Being on DEF JAM was a learning experience and introduced me to the industry.

    You predate 50 Cent as one of the early artists to use mixtapes as a promotional tool but you rarely receive the credit. Was that the early inspiration for Legal Hustle and your independent grind?

    I was definitely the first to utilize mixtapes as marketing schemes and also as a determiner of where I stood with the public.

    The Realness and True Meaning could almost be viewed as companion pieces and are both clear, fan-favourites. Do you ever feel the pressure from fans and the public to recreate that early success?

    Realness and True Meaning are definitely albums I aspire to equal or exceed every time I make an album.

    You've shown immeasurable growth over the course of your career and you've never hesitated to cite peers such as Chuck D, Slick Rick and the Juice Crew for that, how have you managed to stay a fan of the game and not seem as jaded as other MCs from your era?

    I love what I do and understand it is a blessing to be in my position as an artist plus I respect the foundation.

    The chemistry you share with Large Professor is unquestionable and your latest album Megaphilosophy is a testament to that and you've also worked together in the past. How did the process of making a whole project together differ from getting single tracks from individual producers?

    Working with LP is a challenge but when challenges are met you find out who you really are.

    ‘Industry’ (and its subsequent remixes) is one of the most profound statements in hip-hop from the last five years! In a time where digital reigns supreme and CDs are essentially obsolete do you think the recording industry could ever regroup and see the immense profit it saw throughout the 90s?

    The industry will always find a new way to return like a villain in a superhero movie.

    You're a known sneaker head, do you still get out and cop on release day or has hype-beasting seen your interest diminish?

    I love sneakers but I’m not a hype-beast and luckily I have some cool friends at Puma and New Balance. I really don't wear Nike anymore until I see them show more respect to the black consumer who, by-the-way, kept them from going out of business.

    Peace.

    Can't wait to see you here in Australia. Thanks for your time!

    Jake Biz(750 Rebels/Karsniogenics/Run Royal)

    You can catch Cormega on his massive upcoming Australian tour.

     

    Cormega Melbourne Show

    Cormega Hobart Show

    Cormega Brisbane Show

    Cormega Perth Show

    Cormega Sydney Show

    Cormega Adelaide Show

     

    Keep up to date with Jake Biz via the links below.

     

    Karsniogenics Youtube

    Website

    Facebook

    Run Royal

     

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