BIAS B INTERVIEW
G Force: Besides a few guest appearances here and there and the Hip Hop life single in 2001, why has it taken so long since Beez Wax (1998) to release some new material?
Bias: After the last album, I stopped smoking and had a big life change. The haircut and the lung collapse was a new change from the old person I was and into the new me. I wasn’t really happy with life at the time, just smoked pipes all the time and it was really a waste of life. It sort of woke me up to what was going on and it could have been the best thing that ever happened to me. I guess I spent a lot of time just discovering myself and just going out doing various things, making up for lost time I guess.
G: Have your influences changed heavily for the new album, and if so, how?
B: They have changed in the way that the scene has progressed, more shows; people are going out a lot more and drink a lot. I used to but don’t really anymore just during the period between Beezwax and now everything was new and exciting and I was real content that I was making money and going on all these holidays that I had never gone on before so I was just relaxed for a bit. I sort of lost direction on keep going, keep going, just went on a relaxed tip. Just started picking up more girls, hanging out with the ladies and that became a bit more of a focus; I guess that’s what makes me happy. I guess I lost track of the music, had other things in mind.
G: Do you still keep up to date on what’s happening graff wise, and if so, who are you feeling at the moment?
B: I still pay attention to the graff scene, always on public transport to work and everywhere I go. I don’t really do anymore myself, if I head interstate I will have a paint, more like a fun sort of thing, I don’t really take it serious anymore. It’s not really where my interests are at the moment. I want to move on and do other things. I see what comes out in Def from Above magazine and people coming into the shop with photos and showing us what’s going on. On the bombing side of things, Zork, Peeza and Sic just like everywhere I go, those fellas are out of control. I see the occasional panel on a Monday morning or a Tuesday, but I guess I’m not really that much in touch with it, I mean I see what’s going on but I’m not really a part of it anymore. Still I speak to all the people and have interest in what’s going on but I don’t want to get involved in the whole crime aspect of things anymore. I’ve been there and I don’t want to get locked up for that shit.
G: What artists in Australia do you listen to and what do you think of the current state of the scene?
B: My favourite releases are Brothers Stoney, Lyrical Commission, Pegs and Muphin. I really respect Muphin, in the way that he is real personal in his raps, I have written heaps of stuff like that over the years but never released it because I thought people would be like oh that’s not cool enough, a bit happy rap. But it inspired me to do that myself, sort of come out of my shell a bit. So, I guess they are the main sort of things I am listening to. I have actually been listening to a lot of Timbaland and Magoo lately, I do the radio and Stu takes all the good promo cd and I get the rest, take it home and listen to it and it has become me.
G: There have been some recent stabs taken at you by a few younger up and coming artists, mainly about you being yobbo rap. Do you think this is simply ignorance on their part and how do you feel about these sort of people?
B: I don’t take anything personal, I mean anyone can diss me and I don’t really care but I guess some people do it to try to get a bit of recognition for themselves, a bit of attention. There has always been a thing about the old school people and the big names in the scene holding back the scene and I reckon that’s just bullshit. When we first started there was no one holding us back, we had to go make it happen for ourselves, that’s what everyone else has to do, the younger people, get out there organize your own gigs, get ya crowds, do your promo and do your own shit. Don’t wait for other people and use that as your excuse. I sat around for 6 years waiting for a producer to come to me and go I want to make beats for your rap. But it doesn’t happen like that, you have to get out there, find the dude, pay him, you have to make it happen. You have to believe in yourself, and if your stuff is good and you know it’s good and you know it will sell then you can believe in yourself and if it’s shit then you are going to make excuses and blame it on other people.
G: Being looked upon as one of the pioneers or the bigger people within the scene seems to be another reason that people take aim at you. How do you feel about those people who think that there is a small group running the whole scene in Melbourne?
B: When I was growing up doing my raps, I didn’t think they were that good, I still don’t think they are that good, the best they could be. There are other people I listen to who I think are a lot better. I just do my thing, keep it simple, I’m not some super intelligent human being, I keep the words simple, the raps simple, nice and clear so you hear what’s being said. Not try and get all these metaphors and shit like that. There were always other people who said that they loved what I was doing and it was always other people pushing it to release. Which is why I guess I stayed modest and it has always gone well for me, I don’t have the big ego thing going where I’m like ‘I’m the shit and everyone loves me, I’m the best’ which some other people seem to do but it has just never been be. I just do my thing, if you like it you like it, if you don’t you don’t. It keeps me happy so that’s all that matters.
G: On the past few tracks you have appeared on, Muphin’s ‘Sometimes’, and Pegz ‘Last Straw’, we see that you address your lifestyle more personally, is this a new direction for the album?
B: I guess when other stuff like Beezwax and the older lifestyle I was in, I was concerned with what other people thought. Now it is just like I don’t give a fuck what you think. I am me, that’s who I am, I like doing things I like doing. When I was growing up it was like you can’t like this person because your mates don’t or don’t listen to this because your mate doesn’t like it. I followed that sort of thing, and then I grew older and thought what did I waste my time doing all this shit for? If I want to like someone then I like them, if everyone’s hates them as long as they have done nothing wrong by me it doesn’t bother me. So I guess that’s where the whole personal thing comes from, just being myself and not worried about people not liking what I am or just letting myself be. The Muphin track was a time when I was pretty depressed at the start of 2001 and I was working on this little compilation thing I was going to bring out which never happened and Muphin sent me a few tracks and it included that one with a spare verse and it fitted in with what I was writing at the time and I rang him and asked if I could do a verse and he agreed. The next day I wrang him and said lets record it, I had it ready to go and just wanted to get it out while I was still feeling it. For about two or three months I was really down on life. You know sometimes Im happy, sometimes im not, I go through good and bad times and I am someone who thinks a lot, analyses things to much and get myself down and think way to hard and get myself really down. But when im up, im really up. So that was just one of those down times.
J-Flow: The album title, in bed with bias, is that more on the personal side as well?
B: It is sort of like; people will go like what is he calling it that for, it gets them thinking. I spend a lot of time in bed whether I am sleeping or fucking, but the original thing was that I write most of my rhymes when I am in bed and it gets typed on my phone if I am on the train but then when I get home in bed I write it up. If I wake up and have ideas then it is always there in bed. It is a personal thing as well, your bed is your personal space, about as personal as you can get. The other flip side to it was there is average shit coming out so when this comes out, get in bed with bias and sleep on the rest, its time for the slumber party.
G: On to the new album. People who purchase the album are invited to get into Bed with Bias. Who would you like to be invited into bed by yourself?
B: I don’t want to have to answer that, there is to many things I could say there.
G: Guests on the album include Muphin, Lazy Grey, Big Foot and the Hospice crew, any future plans with the Hospice?
B: Me and Ciecmate get along really well, plus we are born on the same day so there is this sort of connection between us. He is one of the nicest people you can meet; I have made a few beats with him, hung out with him, just feel 100% comfortable around him. Also doing shows, he is fully professional so I respect him a lot and would like to do a lot more with him. As well as Big Foot, he is very inspirational to me, so they are two people I would really like to do more with. Lazy Grey always been inspirational as well, he is like the king of Aussie hip hop, the man. I have known him for a long time, done a lot together. When he gives me a beat and I write raps to that, nothing else compares it is just so easy. Just the feeling I have, the way I want to write, I get his beats and it is just perfect. So they are three people I would like to work with in the future. Also I prefer on Beeswax I had Reason and Bob Balans these are people who are well known now and I would rather give exposure to people who aren’t as well known. I mean people know of Big foot and Hospice but they haven’t had a major release out yet. For me it is more like I work with people not just because they are good but because they are a good person. The same like if I go interstate and piece I don’t care if it is the biggest toy I am painting with if he is a good person then I am down, it’s cool. If someone is a smart ass then I don’t want to go near them, people that are rude you just don’t need that anymore. The older you get it is just not necessary.
G: You have continued work with Lazy Grey on the new album, will there be another Boney Stoney release?
B: It is hard because they are doing their thing, I am doing my thing. When we originally did Boney+Stoney I was going up to make tracks for my second album which then turned into that, which was a great thing. Then we tried to do another one and it just wasn’t working. It is hard sometimes feel it, so we were going to bring it out on cd with a couple of extra tracks but that didn’t come through either so I guess we will just see how it all pans out.
G: Jase, Lazy Grey, Ciecmate, Optamus, Bigfoot, Weapon X, the beats for this album sound pretty tidy on paper. How do you go about selecting beats?
B: Well it comes down to the same, friends I know and hang around with. Or if people have come in here (Obese) and I hear it, such as Weapon X is on there. He bought in a cd for Solomon and I was like Weapon X beats, yeah whatever at first. Then I heard them and thought these are really good and approached him for a cd, he gave me a few and I picked one, then he bought one more in and I knew I wanted that one. Which is the first track on the album, ‘Keep It Moving’. Lazy Grey, I cant go wrong with his beats, Big foot wanted to make beats for it, Ciecmate, yeah, people I hang out with really. I will take it into the studio, break it up into choruses, write my raps to it, rap on it, put cuts on it and then give it back to them saying arrange it like this, this is how I want it. So I have already taken a simple beat and turned it into a song with the components and they just do their final little touches on it.
G: You are known as a person who bought a ground breaking style to the scene, will this release achieve the same results?
B: I would hope so, when Beeswax came out, it was real experimental. Not that it hadn’t been done before, there were other hip hop groups, just that it sort of hit a different market. A solo person, aussie accent, I wet out and believed in myself, people were like you cant do that but I showed them you could. I guess that is what made it so ground breaking. People still tell me it is one of their favourite albums to listen to, personally I can’t listen to, I can’t stand it, it sounds like a demo. I know certain things that I could have changed at the time with things in my past that I wasn’t happy with. This new album I am actually proud to play people tracks off it when people want to heat what I have done. Beezwax I wouldn’t want to do that anymore, it is old, it isn’t me, it is not where I am at now. I think my rhymes have progressed a lot more, my personality and my whole understanding of the music and the way it is all created, putting songs together that is. What works for me is that I am honest, I be myself, I don’t just make hip hop tracks to make like a theme song. I make stories, you get all these visuals when you listen to something I do, you don’t just sit there and hear battles raps about nothing. You get to the end and are like well he had some good punch lines, cool that was good. You actually have a visual of what was said, it is like you can create your own film clip in your head and I think that is what works. I used to write stories and I think that is where my whole style comes from.
G: Tours, launches, release parties, anything live coming up for Bias?
B: Shows start in February, I cant say where the Melbourne one is as it is not allowed to be announced yet. Brissie is February 14, Valentines day at the Alley Bar with Brothers Stoney and Miss Brown with DCE for the lineup. Then all the other states I am working on sorting that out now.
G: Any last words for ozhiphop.com or anything at all you wanna add?
B: Get in bed with Bias at Christmas.
G: What a present.
B: Yep, what a present.