STRAIGHT UP! – Australian Hip Hop Interviews

July 26, 2007

JUSTICE Interview – AS vs NZ

Filed under: Justice — Force @ 10:51 am

JUSTICE INTERVIEW

By G Force

 [i]G Force (G):  So, being crowned the best freestyle emcee in Australia must feel alright yeah?[/i]

Justice (J): No doubt man, feels real good.

[i]G:  Run us through your battles on the night.  First round you drew Surreal.  He has a large following in Melbourne and has beaten you before, what was running through your head at this point?[/i]

J: Not much. As soon as they read out Surreal I was saying to myself “I bet they’ll call my name.” I was pretty focused and wasn’t phased who I battled, but you could tell that both of us were real hungry to get to the next round. In my opinion the battle could’ve gone either way, especially since our styles are fairly different, and we appeal to two different audiences.

[i]G:  Then to follow that up you had to battle Syndey’s Anecdote who was also highly regarded in the battle line up.  What were you thinking then?[/i]

J: Since the line up was announced I’d made up my mind that Anecdote was gonna win the Australian final. So when we were battling I just wanted to go out and have some fun. Dote has some insane battling abilities and heaps of his stuff went over the crowds head, but it was still heaps of fun as it was probably the freshest battle I’ve taken part in.

[i]G:  And to finish it all up Dragonfly in the final, thoughts?[/i]

J: Dragon Fly came with some nice lines and had a real relaxed delivery which worked for him, but the crowd didn’t really appreciate some of his stuff and started to boo him a fair bit. The crowds behavior for some of the dudes was pretty disrespectful, but I do appreciate most of them getting behind me and helping me get the win.

[i]G:  There has been some animosity towards you in past battles, particularly the heats for this and even in the final.  Few crod boos etc, what are your thought on this?[/i]

J: It bothered me in the beginning, because I didn’t really understand why guys were booing me for doing well. Nowadays I couldn’t give a shit. I don’t battle to impress certain people, or to live up to others expectations/”battle guidelines”. I battle to get my name out there and to essentially pay my dues. If guys don’t like the fact that I’ve done well for myself, how is that my fault? Instead of booing me why not boo the judges? There’s too many egos out there.

[i]G:  Claims of pre writing some of your punches have plagued you since you began battling, what do you have to say to those who believe this?[/i]

J: Not much. It’s funny most lines that guys pull me up on are the one’s that actually came off the top. But yeah, I have some writtens, I would say that all “good” battle mcs probably do. Whether that means thinking up lines before you go onto battle or writing them last week, it doesn’t matter. You’re on stage to make a fool of the other person. But all that aside, I still don’t understand why guys are hating on me when I always rebut the other guys lines, talk about his appearance, and talk about stuff on the night. Every mc has filler that they will revert to if they are running out of things to say. A lot of guys say I’ve recycled lines and stuff (I still can’t think of any) but I can’t name one good battle mc who hasn’t had some filler or a line that they’ve said twice just out of habit, and the fact that the rhyming word triggers that line. I’m starting to babble a bit so I’ll stop here, but essentially I don’t battle to impress anyone or to coincide with what others do. I do my own thing and it’s helped me do well over the year. Guys should just respect that and do their own thing rather than worrying about me so much.

[i]G:  So, New Zealand huh.  You are but a small lad, surely you must be getting slightly intimidated?[/i]

J: At the moment, I’m not that phased but I’ve got a feeling as soon as I step out on stage over there people are gonna be like “what the …?” So it might be a bit hard to get them to listen but we’ll see what happens. I just wanna head over and have some fun.

[i]G:  What did you think of their team last year and what are your opinions on the battle and the result?[/i]

J: They had a pretty solid team, apparently a few guys who were supposed to come down couldn’t make it or something so I’m not sure if it was at full strength, but a few guys definitely impressed. It would’ve been real hard performing in front of our crowd.

[i]G:  What do you think of this years Aus team and who do you think will stand out over there?[/i]

J: I think this year’s team is a clear example of the “new generation” in battling. Looking at some guys in the team and looking at what battling was about a year ago or so, things have definitely taken a turn for the better. I gotta say if Anecdote is on point he should shred dudes over in NZ. He has insane ability. 

[i]G:  Do you think there is anyone who should be in the team that isn’t there, from what you have seen and heard from battles in the country?[/i]

J: I can’t really speak for other states, but I think Surreal and I both deserved our spot. We’ve really “paid our dues” in terms of battles over the last year and have done fairly well from it, so this was really the icing on the cake.

[i]G:  You know I beat you at Double Beef yeah?[/i]

J: Still bitter?! Haha we’ll have a rematch kid.

[i]G:  If you could battle anyone in the world, who and why?[/i]

J: I’d probably say Diabolic or Nocando, just so I can get the chance to see them battle in person. Both are insane.

[i]G:  Alright, over talking about battles.  What’s happening with third world?  Your rocked a well received set just before Layla at Underground sound 2, been dropping a few tracks over mp3.com, collaborated with a few artists, J-Flow etc.  What’s next for the militia?[/i]

J: We wanna get some more gigs and get our names out a bit more before we jump into anything. We’ve got some good stuff lined up for a demo which will hopefully be finished sometime soon, so heads should keep an eye out!

[i]G:  Cool, so back to battles, haha.  Do you ever get sick of it, being a battle emcee, battling and being labeled as just that?[/i]

J: Hell yeah. Battling really takes it out of you, and I’m at a point where I just have no motivation to keep it up. It’s more an obligation to myself rather than a passion nowadays and I’d much rather focus on making music and doing shows etc.

[i]G:  Do you have goals as a battle emcee?  One would think they would almost be achieved and will you retire when they are reached?[/i]

J: I didn’t have goals when I first started, after last years Aus vs. NZ however I really wanted to be up there. Now that I’ve got that I’ll probably focus heaps more on making tracks and getting our music out there.

[i]G:  What’s the best line you can remember spitting and having spat at you?[/i]

J: Haha I hate this question. I really can’t think of the “best” line I’ve spat over the year, however the freshest line I’ve heard toward me was probably at Real Deal when I had to battle Kaos. I said something about him being my back up dancer and he came back with “I’m bout to rape you/you just mad coz your back up dancer just upstaged you”

[i]G:  What are the best and worse prizes you have won in a battle?[/i]

J: Best prizes would have to be the stuff I won at the national final. Got a wicked new phone, SM-58, some k-swiss sneakers, and a tonne of clothes. Worst prize? I got some really oversized t-shirts once that looked like night gowns on me.

[i]G:  Well, good luck in N.Z bro, I think yourself and the team will shit it in.  Any last words?[/i]

J: G’day to all the guys from the battle. Look out for Third World Militia stuff coming real soon. Peace man.

[i]G:  Cheers mate[/i]

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MC INFALLIBLE – A burning ambition interview

Filed under: Infallible — Force @ 10:49 am

FORCE:  So a little background check to kick it off mate, you know the regulars, age, where you from etc?

INFALLIBLE: Werd well 19 Years old Mate, I’m from the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne in a place called Cranbourne, Been into hiphop for most of my life and Australian hiphop for the past few years.

G:  You have just dropped your first release, an EP titled “A Burning Ambition”, can you tell us about this burning ambition, what is it and have you achieved it with this EP?

I: Well thus far I’ve completed a life long goal/ambition of mine which was to have something I was proud of out there, But that didn’t hit me until DJ Flagrant sent me a message saying I should be proud of what I cut @ dB studios and that’s when it kicked in, I kinda thought hey ..Yer I should be proud, I put lot of efforts gone into this.

G:  What do you want people to take away from listening to the EP?

I: I’d like people to feel the raw emotions at times that I display throughout the coarse of the EP, for example In “Pussywhipped” I want the listener to feel what I’m going through and what the person is going through that the song is actually about who happens to be a good mate of mine, Other then that I just hope they take a CD they listen to over and over again and hopefully want some more in the near future.

G:  The EP kicks off with a religious quote from the funny ass flick “Dogma”, and the track Burning Ambition seems to deal with a little bit of religion, are you a religious man and how does this influence your music? (Or is it just cause he says God is infallible?)

 I: Well its funny you ask that, As a child I was raised a pretty strict catholic, but it seems when I hit the about ten, I just got sick of it, and although I went to a catholic high school, Religion was possibly the least thing on my mind at the time, However in saying that, “ A Burning Ambition” does borrow from many biblical ideologies and delves into the religious spectrum. 

G:  I feel that the EP offers a lot of diversity, with tracks running from an aggressive spit feel such as Burning Ambition then it flows off into “Pussywhipped” a fucken hilarious track about pussywhipping, did you feel that diversity would create a difference in your release?

I: Definitely I was so overly sick of hearing the same style of tracks over an Entire album, I thought that concept had been done to death, and hey myself being an avid listener I knew what I wanted, I wanted an EP or LP with different concepts which gave me bang for buck and also kinda shocked the listener when one track put them into a particular mind frame, then the next track would come on in with a completely different concept.

G:  Ok, the beats on your EP are straight fire, obviously this held a fair bit of importance with you, was it a case of producers you had heard and just had to have their beats and what influenced your choices?

I:  No I definitely knew which producers I wanted to work with I’ve been listening to Australian Hiphop for a few years and in that time had the chance to listen to some serious works of art, People like StatD are quite unknown at this point of time, I believe this EP will change that because this guy has seriously been slept on, if your after a groovy neofunk chill beat that you can rock for ages then this is you man. If you want a beat so hot and fiery that your speaker’s just blow the fuck up the moment his beats come on. Then trials beats are the ones for you. And also this dude has great diversity he can make nearly any style beat, and finally Bdeps beats I can only describe as utterly amazing the first time I heard the beat he provided my spine tingled.

G:  With the producers again, you have a pretty straight line up on the EP, how did you hook up with all these cats being that they are from all corners of our country?

I: Well welcome to the age of the Internet and mobile phone! , Ahha well I pretty much approached every person in the same manner, I asked repeatedly until they eventually gave into my submission, ahha no really though some of these guys took risks allowing me to use their beats I think I managed to pretty well but I’ll let the listeners be the judge.

G:  Situation Critical features Hunter, 360 and Versa, obviously emcees you are stoked to work with, who else would you like to work with in the future however?

I: well without a doubt I would love to work with the Hired goons, hospice crew, any of the three elements that make up the Lyrical Commission, Pegz, Funkoars, Syllabolics, Reason Clandestine or even put a track down with Tzu.

G:  Who do you think is killing it at the moment when it comes to these areas, Producing, Freestyling and just straight tracks?

I: Ok in the production realm you just cannot go past a Trem or Prowla beat, these guys redefine the word “PHAT BEATS”, these guys in my view are just amazingly skilled and advanced, In the freestyle realm, I think Anecdote, Ciecmate, New sense, Trials are pretty amazing. Straight up tracks, I’m realling Digging Clandestine, can’t go past how trem rips a beat, or if I’m in a more laid back mood Hilltops are the shit.

G:  Are there any artists that you feel people should watch out for, some tracks you have heard that make you think that these cats need some attention?

 I: I will assume you mean like in a good context, just reading that question it could be misinterpreted as people needing attention with there tracks or something. Well Although 360 is in my crew, anyone who feels this kid don’t deserve the attention his getting should feel free to approach me about this, The first time he caught my attention was at a MC battle where he was matched up to a very dope MC and he ripped a line “ This motherfucker took obese records seriously”, Although he later lost that final, since then I made it my task to make sure this kid and I hooked up. 

G:  How dope is Mad Capa? Haha

 I: Madcapa is a savoir, This guy is without a doubt the best hiphop related graphic designer Australia will EVER see, this guys just nuts, his handling the Coxster cover art work at moment as Coxsters debut album will be on shelves VERY soon, anyone who wishes to checkout the rawness of madcapa feel free to goto www.madcapa.com he even designed the ozhiphop.com graph style logo. 

G:  Cerebral Atrophy.  This crew seems to be full of young up and comers, who are determined to let people know who they are and that they are here.  Tell me a little about each member of the crew and what they bring to the table?

I: Sure, well there are three lyricist to this crew, first we have the newest member called Anecdote, who is affiliated with Doublebeef Crew run by MassMC, This guy is one word “breathtaking”, I mean it I’ve never seen someone be able to freestyle off the top quicker then this guy, Revolver 2003 MC’s better be on guard or else this kids going all the way! 360 is so advanced for his age I really think this kids just lying to me about his age. Ahha Nar seriously 360 would be my favourite individual up and comer of the moment, then there is myself so considering this interviews about me in parts I just skip, we actually have two DJ’s, the studio DJ who happens to run the studio we will be recording at dB studios is Dj Flagrant, an amazing bloke who helped me so much without him there is no way in hell my EP would have been ready. DJ shame is the last member, and up and coming producer and DJ..This guys beats progress so fast that I feel by the end of the year his beats will be unbelievable hot.

G:  When will Cerebral Atrophy drop, and how similar will the overall feel be between A Burning Ambition and the stuff you will drop with Cerebral Atrophy?

I: The stuff on Cerebral Atrophy LP will be a lot more complex and battle orientated, I felt the battle concepts had been abit done to death so I was pretty stagnant in my battle phase over the EP, although Situation critical does have a battle tip It was just a way to let my aggression out at certain people who were annoying me at the time.

G:  From the original album cover displayed on your website in comparison to the EP that you sent me I see a few tracks have either been dropped or not ready when I copped the EP.  Have some tracks been dropped and if so, why is that?  If not, when do I get my full version huh? Haha

I:  Yes that’s correct, we dropped two tracks, these although were decent track even after mastering we felt they didn’t have the same dynamics as the tracks recorded at dB studios as they were recorded last year in another studio, They are actually the first two tracks I recorded but feeling no one should miss out on them I’ve made them available on my website for free.

G: AUS VS NZ – who do you think will win, who do you think will stand out?

I: I think weapon X has gotten a bad rap as of recent and I think he will really surprise a lot of people after having spoken to him recently, I think that both teams will shine and my heart obviously goes with the Australian side but I have battled one of the members from the N.Z team previously and know how good they can be. So I will honestly say I don’t know who will win but I really hope its AUSTRALIA of course.

G:  Do you have any gigs coming up that you would like to plug and are you looking for support acts or other crews to perform with you?

 I: Well  I should be having some form of a launch at the laundry abit later in the year and 360 will be doing some support as well as several other MC’s , At the moment a gig is being organised in Perth for I believe the September period so if that is confirmed that will be happening as well as a gig being organised in Brisbane I believe as of yet though there are no confirmed dates, People can check up on my website www.mcinfallible.com for upcoming dates. 

G:  Besides gigs what are you future plans?

I: My futures plans are to simply progress to the best of my ability and hopefully still be releasing albums in ten or so years, I don’t want to be one of those dudes who release once and disappear into the mist .

    G:  Alrighty, Cranbourne is your home, I used to play baseball there.  One time at the park a guy jumped over a back fence and ran across the field with three plants under his arm, have things changed much?

I: AHAHAH No not at all, Cranbourne I think will always have its issues it’s a very interesting place to live in, the first year I lived here I got chased down the main strip by 50 guys hurling beer bottles at me for no particular reason, so life’s interesting here but hey as the track says “its home to me “.

G: Any advice for the kiddies who wanna be part of the oz hip-hop scene?

I: Keep trying and keep working on you shit, Take everyone’s opinions into consideration but remember the final decision always lays on you. Get your music out there and don’t stop at anything until you achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.

G:  I asked Trials this question, but I think it is good so fuck it ima ask you as well.  What would be you luxury item that you would take in the Big Brother household?

I: My luxury item without a doubt would my zippo lighter because I smoke and wouldn’t be able to handle no cigarette so when it all got too much for me Id burn that fucking joint down and in hail the smoke fumes.

G:  Finally, drop some shout outs and some thank-yous to all the homies out there who have helped you on your way to achieve your Burning Ambition.

I: Well id like to thank: dB studios, MC Hunter, Trials, 360, Versa, DJ Flagrant, Bdeps, Mark1, Wika, CHECKOUTWAX for distributing my release and anyone else who has helped me along the way, Shout outs to everyone that knows me because I don’t want to forget someone and have people getting angry!

G:  Thanks Infallible and good luck with everything, will have a beer with you on Sunday at Hi-Fi.

 I: Thank you so much for your time Gareth I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and thank you to MassMC and ozhiphop.com for doing such an amazing job. G: Cool, and thanks for letting everyone know my goofy real name, haha. OUT

MARK STRETCH (FOREIGN LEGION) – PLAYTIGHT INTERVIEW

Filed under: Mark Stretch (Foreign Legion) — Force @ 10:48 am

OK – SO HE IS AMERICAN, BUT WE LOVE FOREIGN LEGION OVER HERE 

G Force :  Mark, how are you, whats happening?

Mark Stretch : Oh not much man.

G:  Just listening to the new Release here, its pretty good stuff

M:  Yeah its not bad

G:  So are you pretty happy with eh?

M:  Yeah I am happy with it, I think it would be the kind of record I would have tried to make the first time if I was any good.

G:  So with the beats for the album did Design come to you guys with the beats first or what happened there?

M:  Yeah that’s how we always do it, cause you can’t have a beat that’s really mellow and then and then have some horror gore type rap on it or sumthin, you gotta fill the music out.  Cause that’s what gets people at the gate.  I mean I see people selling instrumentals album all the time but I don’t see anybody selling an accapella album.  I mean you gotta have a feel for the music, that’s it, the music.

G:  So with that is he pretty much 100% control of the track making process, in that he starts it off with beats or you got to him with lyrics, or is it an all in session?

M:  I reckon 90 to 95 Percent then every once in a while somebody will have a concept and Keith (DJ Design) will be like, oh well I gotta beat im working on that could fit that concept.  I used to be able to write without a beat but now I feel like I can still write without a beat but if I get a beat chances are I will write something new for that beat.

G:  You’re heading out to Australia pretty soon….

M:  Oh yeah man

G:  Looking forward to it?

M:  Oh yeah, im totally looking forward to it, I need to have someone order me like a XXXX or like a Victoria Bitter hoodie!  I want them to sponsor us or sumthin, we got banked on that shit last time.

G:  So what did you think of Australia the first time you were down here?

M:  Ozzies are out of their fucken mind.  You guys don’t give a shit, that was what I got more than anything else.  When you guys go out to the club, I don’t see no security in there, I see like two guys by the door maybe.  It don’t matter cause you guys are so busy having a good time, nothing stupid going on.  I mean we got in a little fight but nothing major.

G:  So what are you guys trying to do this time around, cause you are pretty well known for your live shows, are there any surprises this time round?

M:  Oh man, why you ask me that?!  I’ll get expelled from the Foreign Legion Society if I tell you what we gonna do for our shows.  You gotta wait and see man, I got nothing to say about that.  Its just so unplanned.  Nine times out of ten the wild shit we do on stage is planned like an hour before or just kinda happens then and there.

G:  With regards to Oz Hip hop did you check any out last time you were down and are you going to try to check some more this time?

M:  Yeah, I mean last time we was hanging round with that dude DJ FX and DJ J-Red and those two cats played me a lot of stuff, it was nice.  The last time we went we weren’t making a lot of money so we was hanging to get some records and we were over at whats that record store called? 

G:  Obese

M:  Yeah Obese, we were over at Obese and you know I was ehoping they would hit us up with like one or two promos but they didn’t really give us anything.  So I stole one of the shoes off the display.  I actually have it on tape.

G:  You gonna return it this time round?

M:  Hell no dog, I mean if they lace me with some records this time.

G:  Do a swap hey?

M:  Nah, like I mean after last time, I might leave with some shirts to, haha.  They gonna keep losing their stock if they don’t take care of me, hahaha.

G:  Haha, fair enough.  Well Prozack is dropping his solo soon is there anything in the works for Mark Stretch?

M:  As a matter of fact there is.  I’m in the process of doing a Children’s Record, I feel that the children are the future so ima help them with some of that subtract, adding and spelling. 

G:  Any collaborations on this childrens records?

M:  Yeah there is gonna be one with this kid, shit what’s his name?

G:  Barney the dinosaur?

M:  Nah man, this kid Abacus, there’s plans for one with Encore and um, Weird Al Yankovich.  I’m trying to get one with John Lennon but he kinda flaky, you know what I mean.

   G:  And production for the album, who you getting, any ideas yet?

M:  Yeah, mostly by Design, J Qwan, Oh No, and I am trying to get ahold of Yoko Ono, she got Hot beats!

G:  So with Prozak’s solo, is it a Foreign Legion sound, and is yours going to be the same or is it more a chance for you to express yourself only?

M:  Well I dunno if you can necessarily say it is a Foreign Legion sound, I mean everyone is definitely Foreign Legion first but yeah it will have your own personal stamp on it.  You know mine isn’t going to sound like Prozaks and Prozaks isn’t gonna sound like mine.  I mean I have songs on it with him on it, so for part of the record you gonna get an F.L sound whether you like it or not.  There is no way around it, you gonna have to deal with the three of us.

G:  So you all work together pretty tightly on each others solo projects?

M:  Yeah I mean everyone likes to do their solo thing but it’s still cool to have your folks with you.  I mean in the future I can’t see me not making songs with these guys.  Unless like they fire me.

G:  On Playtight there seems to be a few stabs at the commercial based hip hop that is out there at the moment, what is your view on hip hop at the moment?

M:  I think its great, I mean there are some more people who are fortunate enough to have some more money behind them but shit to me personally good music to me is like having VD, you either got it or you don’t.  I don’t care where it came from or how much money you put in to get it.  I mean people like Just Blaze, he makes great music, I mean he has heaps of equipment and all kinds of money behind him then you got somebody like MadLib or Keith, they can’t even afford to go down the street and get a taco but they making mad shit with a four track recorder and a old casio keyboard.  I don’t care where it came from or how it was made, if it’s hot it’s hot.

G:  With the beats , does Design pretty much  just go off on his own and make beats or are you guys there inputting and helping him as well?

M:  Well I mean the music side is pretty much his section.  I mean he knows how to mix hi-hats where he wants them and to make a kick really snap.  I mean we put input into it like, hey maybe change that drum pattern or put this in here or a drop out here.  I mean in the formulation of it, it is still collaborative but everyone has their main responsibilities.

         G:  With the lyrics that you guys are writing, is it more sort of your upbringing with hip hop or what you are listening to at the moment is that influencing you a lot for the solo album and did it influence you for Playtight?

M:  I mean you are influenced by everything around you. I don’t think anyone can deny that and even if you isolate yourself you are a product of that isolation.  There’s No way around it, everyone observes what they observe and take it how they take it and in the end you get something that comes out sound like you, or at least it should.

I mean the first record I din’t drink a lot I was still playing a lot of sports and still working for a corporation so I sounded different.  I mean this album, I’m at the club half the time, half drunk dragging myself across town to get the train home at 3 oclock in the morning.  So this album sounds a little different, I mean we aren’t afraid to be ourselves when it comes to what we doing.  I mean I am influenced by the things I listen to but in the end its just me.

G:  Since Kidnapper Van came out in 2000 do you think your audience has changed between albums and are you trying to make music to this new audience or just trying to keep everybody happy?

M:  I mean I hope it has changed, as we progress but I hope that the people are still listening.  If you heard Bicycle Music it is just about having fun stealing bikes, now all we done is add a few shots of liquor to it.  I mean I know people change so we gotta make music for change, people change, we change.  I dunno if we aim at making music for a new group of people but we doing it.  I hope that the older fans still come along for the ride.

G:  With that the new album has picked up a lot of distribution in a lot of different countries.  Is there plans to tour all these countries and see them all?

M:  Are you kidding me?!  I mean, I am not over here getting 60 cents for every album to not go, I gotta go.  I’m still trying to get to Thailand and get my own Vanerial Disease named after me.  I mean, that’s what its about, music first the getting it out there.  I mean there is no point in making it then not getting out there to support it. 

G:  With that I thnk the album will give you some new segments of fans, are you looking forward to picking from the new categories of groupies?

M:  Hahaha.  How much of this you gonna print, cause people will get pissed off!  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the people.  I mean girls have a good show, before it was all mainly a scene for guys but now we consider them but shit im doing it for the girls.  If they have a good time, everyone have a good time.

G:  So with the album doing well, what does the future look like for Foreign Legion, another album, a dvd, whats gonna happen?

M:  We working on a DVD now, but you guys aren’t ready.  It’s not gonna be pretty, if anyone out there still living with your moms, she aint gonna let you watch it.  Especially not with mixed company.

G:  So future tour plans, whats happening for you?

M:  We gonna tour, support Prozak.  Then I am going to finally get my hand made hair piece.  That’s my next thing, 100% mink style.

G:  With that design have you checked out the Mullets in Australia, whats up there?

M:  We started that shit, that gangsta shit, you guys alright with it but we got it on lock.

G:  You sport an O.G Mullet?

M:  Anyone from San Jose will take an Aussie Mullet any day of the week/

G:  You obviously haven’t been to Frankston, check that out when you over here.

M:  I will try to peep that cause I am like an actual mullet expert man.

DRAPHT INTERVIEW – Pale Rider Interview

Filed under: Drapht — Force @ 10:46 am

G Force: Firstly, congrats on the new release.  How long has this release been in the making?

Drapht:  Thanks bro, it had been in the making for just over a year then it lied around for a few months gathering dust, I was hopping to get it out earlier but I had a few problem with the manufactures just shit that I had to learn and then just waiting on a few crew to come threw for me. 

G: We have heard from you before through Hunter and Dazastahs album, do you feel that you have changed since the release or took a different direction with your solo work?

D: Yeah definitely changed since DONE DL that was the start for me, I didn’t really have the confidence or feel comfortable recording then, I needed to find my own flow, delivery, proper pronunciation with my word and voice , it was a good chance for me to get out there especially to start on DONE DL, I can’t listen to those tracks now though does my head in.   

 G: It is sort of a theme album, or at least has references be it  lyrically or beatwise to a western theme throughout  the album.   Is this a character  you adapt, the ‘Pale Rider’, the fact you are from the west, or is it simply cause you liked the idea? 

D: It came from the old Clint Eastwood movie Pale Rider, then it just linked up with me being from the west and all my life being told that I have real pale skin by EVERYONE! Then started writing a few track around the idea gave some info to Dash and the crazy man Brought it to life with the cover.

G: The production is of very high quality and suits your style well, were the beats made specifically with you in mind, together with you or just thrown your way?

D: It was just me picking out of a wide dope selection that Daz, Fdel and Opt offered me. Any beat that I could feel and write to I would snatch them up and go crazy, then  come back when I finished writing to em record it then Daz and my self would work on it till I was happy with the track but much respect to my man dazastah he had to put up with a lot of my shit day to day and then put a lot of his time into Down Syde and the rest of sbx on top of that. He’s a machine..

G:  You have included a full instrumental track by Optamus, is this to get his production out there for people to listen to or just something you enjoyed and wanted on  there? 

D: Yeah Optical Illusion was for a bit of a break, it was for any young crew that didn’t have any instrumentals to write to or rap over with their mates when they where out getting there booze on.

 G: Still on production, the beats are very funky, head nodders. Being that a lot of latest releases have taken a more grimy hardcore direction, how do you think people will accept them?

D: Not really sure, so far so good but I didn’t really think about that I pretty much picked what I like, I love my dark raw hip hop that’s where I get most of my inspiration from but I also wanted to widen the selection of beats so different people could get into different tracks and if yah don’t like it don’t listen but you should listen! 

G: Your lyrics are full of multi, metaphors and are rather complex.  What influences you in regards to how you construct the format and how highly do you place these elements in lyrics?

D:  I like to put a lot of time into my rimes there’s way to much hip hop out there where I think people don’t put enough effort into there raps especially OZ hip hop, but what ever floats yah boat.. 

G: Also within your lyrics there are a few graff references, do you still write? 

D:  not as much as I should be. Graff was what got me into hip hop but now I’m a slave with in a full time job I sleep , write, eat and lady liquor controls my weekends….

G:  Flow wise you seem to switch it up a bit, using your voice to go from highs to lows.   Is this also something you do on purpose to try to differ yourself from the norm?

D: yeah do it purposely so it’s not the same old monotone flows I like to change it up a bit make it a little more interesting so people don’t go to sleep listening to me.

G: The battle track with Layla ‘Uncontainable’ is insane, do you battle often still?

D: that tracks pretty much is just about me and Layla and our bad tempers. Never been a big battler I free style in cipher’s with mates at parties and that but not a big fan especially when half the people that enter Perth battles think they’ve come from the 8 mile video and hopping that they’ll get the next big break get signed to shady records and become eminem’s mini me. ITS AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!     

G:  Weather Man is also a highlight on the album for myself, Speaking on the  current state of the country.  What is your inspiration for other tracks and how do you go about putting together a track from idea to end?

D:     My inspiration is every thing, every thing that happens to me to every thing that’s going on in the world, that we know about any way. a get a lot of my inspiration when some one give’s me the shits put my anger to some good use rather than tryna fight dudes or flipin out.

G:   Sylabolliks, how you hook up with the crew and what do you see in the future for Perths finest?

D: I grew up with Armee and met Layla when I was younger threw mate of mine we all just use to roll down to this Monday night hip hop at the hydies met the rest of crew there and then Opt formed SBX. We all pretty much do our separate thing but have been meaning for a while now to get a SBX album out not gonna say when but it will happen..  

 G: Do you think Finatik should be on one of them shows where it has kids who are natural freaks at their chosen area. His being cuts, cause he kills it on the album?

D:  finats a Robot, 16 years old and already better than 90% of the oz dj’s out there, a crazy kid.

I was stoked  with the cuts he dropped on the album been thinking I might have to snatch the little fucker up to cut on all my tracks..

 G:  Anything else you would like to let the people know?

D:   um, BUY MY SHIT..  PLAY MY SHIT. And you better watch out for Layla..

G:  Cheers mate and  congrats again on a fine debut album.

D:  Thanks Bro…

CLANDESTIEN INTERVIEW – Dynasty interview

Filed under: Clandestien — Force @ 10:45 am

Force – Firstly, congratulations on the new release.  How do you think that this varies overall, if it does, to the 2001 self-titled release? 

  • Grafik – It’s nothing more than the simple progression of skills.

 F – So how did you all meet and form Clandestien? 

  • Tommahawk -We all met at a Mya Appreciation Club meeting.
  • G – Ever since the days of “ghetto superstar” we were hooked!

 F – So, what the hell does Clandestien mean? 

  • Mortar – the name is a bastardisation of the word Clandestine which means: Secretive, concealed, usually in a bad sense.

 F – Some people, not me, are comparing you to such crews as Base Dynamics, Cannibal Tribe and other Sydney crews.  Do you think your sound is similar or is it the sound of Perth and do you have any words for anyone comparing? 

  • T – Good lord man what are you talking about?
  • M – It’s just the sound of Clandestien. Perth’s too isolated to be concerned with what’s going on in other scenes. Besides Cannibal Tribe, I think some of the crews ya referring to are still developing compared to us, this is our second official release, ya need to look back in time to see the full picture.
  • G -Ya need to retreat back and catch up to the demo!

  F – On that topic of sound, Mortar came very well with the beats.  What got you into producing, who are your influences and what equipment do you use? 

  • M – Grafik and T-hawk locked me in a cellar and said I couldn’t come out until I had an albums worth of bangers. They fed me nothing but fish heads in a bucket and took turns poking me with a stick to keep me awake and deprived of sleep. The whole process of making the beats is a complete blur. I need counseling.

 F – Oh yeah, congrats on winning the ozhiphop.com beat competition, did you enjoy it, anyone you think should get props for their work? 

  • M – I just trained harder and came out on top on the day. I had the sweet smell of victory in my nostrils and I was in the zone, as Mark Holden would say “Touchdown!” Plus I new there was a trophy up for grabs! Aint no one blocking my shine! Props to Espa for hosting!

    F – Track 5 on the album ‘Eye for an Eye’ is an impressive story telling journey, what influenced this track as it varies a bit from the rest of the album, lyrically and beat wise? 

  • T -Incessant laughter.
  • M – And Rod Stewarts tight pants.

 F – Tomahawks designs seem heavily graff influenced.  What are your influences from the scene and are you still involved? 

  • T – I don’t really get influenced by the scene, I just do what I do, its all in the lyrics, pick the references.

 F – The Designs for the album cover are pretty damn awesome, especially the thank-you picture, how long did it take you Tomahawk and what artistic influences, besides graff influences you in designing such intricate works? 

  • T – Good lord man, that was just a spare lying under the bed.

 F – Lyrically Clandestien bring that sort of hard battle type edge to their tracks however you have the ability to switch such as ‘Eye For An Eye’, ‘My Enemy and I’ and also tracks such as ‘Roses Thorn’.  Did these tracks vary in the creative process and if so how? 

  • G – Nah, its all the same.
  • T – Put it on shuffle and ya wont notice the difference.

 F – Also on lyrics, what influences you; there seem to be dark almost gothic undertones at times, what inspires you and who are your influences? 

  • T – Mya.
  • G – Robbie Williams and the West Coast Eagles theme song.
  • M – A full bucket of fish heads and a sharp pointy stick. And lack of sleep.

 F – On the process of creating your tracks, beat first, lyrics first, big group session, what’s the go? 

  • M – Firstly Thomo thinks of everything, I bang out a rhythm on the empty bucket with a wooden spoon, Graf writes all the rhymes and then we all try to catch up for afternoon tea and scones. It wavers a bit but I think that’s slightly accurate.
  • G – Sometimes it crumpets.

       F – What are your aspirations for Dynasty and Clandestien, what did you set out to achieve by releasing this album, what do you want the listeners to gain from it? 

  • T – A false sense of security.
  • G – Its like cunts will listen and go “oh yeah I know how they gonna flip it”, then its like “oh shit, I just got caught with my pants down!”

 F – Finally, will we see Clandestien touring shortly? 

  • T – No, Longley.
  • M – Confidence is high, repeat, confidence is high.

 F – Any last words for the OzHipHop.Com public? 

  • M – Somebody send for help. PLEASE!
  • T – Peace to Mya.
  • G – Skills, recognize skills cunts.

CIECMATE OF HOSPICE – STORMWATER INTERVIEW

Filed under: Ciecmate — Force @ 10:38 am

 CIECMATE INTERVIEW G FORCE (F):  Congratulations on the new release ‘Stormwater’.  The album is  very impressive, not only for the crew’s lyrics and mic presence but the production which you handled.To kick it off, how long did it take to get this album together, being that it was all recorded in Melbourne and the crew is Canberra based? 

CIECMATE (C):  Some of the tracks were recorded in 2001 and others were recorded more recently.  Various members of the crew made the pilgrimage to Melbourne when they had time & we always had recording on the agenda.  I also went to Canberra to record some verses with the crew.   Stormwater was actually finished in July! However…. Mexi has always got a lot on his plate so we had to wait till he had enough time to get the artwork done.  That was a blessing anyway because it gave me more time to add the finishing touches on the album that make it what it is.  

F:  I think that people who are expecting an album that contains crew members who are involved in the Graff scene to make many references to the scene.  However I found the album to be a lot deeper and diverse.  Was this intentional or do you mainly keep the two things separate? 

C: There’s alot more to all of us than just our activities within hip – hop.   

F:  The track ‘You’re Gonna Get Got’ has a very nice concept, how did this track come about? 

C: I wrote the beat & while I was playing it to Rhys, Newsense & Air Tight we came up with the concept of:  Intangible forces that cause people to act in an irrational manner (Greed, Fear, Hatred, Corruption, Envy, Perversion, Love & Remorse.)  Then we informed the others of the theme & they wrote verses to match.  Scribes 1 also had a verse for the song. His theme was Madness (It was Ill as fuck!) which he recorded & sent from China, however, the audio was fairly distorted & there wasn’t enough time to re-record and mix it so we had to leave it out (Maaaaaaaaad pity!) 

F:  Tracks such as ‘As The Days Grew’, ‘From Where I Sit’ from Stormwater and ‘Type Cast’ from COK3 express your views of the Government and society in general.  These tracks show a very strong viewpoint towards them; do you keep up to date with many social issues?  

C:I keep up to date yes.  But I don’t obsess on the state of society & let it dictate how I run my life.  I was raised with my own set of morals and standards & they seem to work well enough for me to be able to live in this crazy world we all share.  In my humble opinion, government’s worldwide appear to be the most organized crime outfits run by some of the most incompetent buffoons made available.  With that being said…I vote, I drink, I get high & I’ve done things that I was taught not to.  We all play our part in society’s evolution, some more than others. I just choose my path, follow it through to wherever it leads & catch the views along the way.  

F:  So, what did you aim for people to take away from the album.  Simply a pleasurable listening experience or a bit more? 

C:A pleasurable listening experience with a bit more.   

F:  Some people were expecting a few more tracks, was it simply a matter of quality over quantity for the release? 

C: Nah…Most good things that last for only a moment, make you want more.  So I kept the album short & sweet. 

F:  Let’s put you on the spot.  Who do you think in the crew possesses the skills to stand out above the rest? 

C:Everybody else but me! 

F:  So, in a normal Hospice get together, be it for recording or otherwise what occurs? 

C:  Lots of laughter & good times! 

F:  Yourself and Newsense combine very nicely on the half dozen tracks you have done together, is there any collaboration or solo albums in the works for any crew members? 

C:  Funny you should say that.  Yeah there’s gonna be a Ciecmate & Newsense album sometime in the next “However long it takes”, we’re also gonna put out a 12” with some solo songs.  Pretty much everyone in the Hospice crew is gonna get busy with some new material.  Of course there’s also the VISITING HOURS lp (Possee cuts and Features only) which will be out mid 2004.  Keep your eyes peeled.  

F:  Let’s talk on production.  You self produced the whole album, was this going to be the way it was from the start, always a Ciecmate produced Hospice album, keeping it within the crew? 

C:It wasn’t really planned like that, it just took shape that way in the end!  Newsense, Paranoia & Gala all make Ill beats too.  They just didn’t have any that we used on this album, but stay tuned. 

F:  The album goes through grimy loops to more upbeat tracks such as ‘Top Shelf’, where do you get inspiration from for beats? 

C: Situations, samples, movies, people, experiences & a whole gang of dope music that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing over the years. 

F:  You are seen as one of the nice hard working people within the scene and appear on everyone’s covers somewhere from Pegs to Drapht down to the up and comers such as Litigate.  You seem to be everywhere Ciecers, what drives you to keep going? 

C: Not a Limousine that’s for damn sure!!!  Nah…I love what I do & I enjoy meeting new people (Especially when they’re hot chicks!) F

:  Full length crew release, successful first release in Tornts, Record Label. Is this where you saw yourself going and what else do you want to achieve? 

C: Yeah, I’m well on my way to where I want to be.  I’m gonna travel more and see where I  can take me.   

F:  So who is signed or working with Broken Tooth Entertainment, Future releases etc? 

C:Tornts, Hospice crew & a string of associates.  You’ll just have to wait & see. 

F:  So will the people be seeing anything live from the crew shortly? 

C: We’ve already held a launch in Canberra (It was off the hinges!) Melbourne launch should be in February and then we’re going to organize launches in every state that will have us.  Promoters can feel free to get in touch with me on: ciecmate@yahoo.com.au 

F:  Any last shout outs, thanks or anything at all you would like to add? 

C: Cheers to all the heads who made me and my crew feel welcome where we were strangers.  Anybody who bought a copy of the album…….You’re a champion! 

F:  Thanks for your time Ciecmate! 

C: You’re welcome Mr-Force, the pleasure was all yours!!  Hehehe.

ADAM of CHECKOUTWAX.COM INTERVIEW

Filed under: Check Out Wax — Force @ 10:38 am

ADAM FROM CHECKOUTWAX.COM INTERVIEW           

G Force:  Well to begin with mate, for those who don’t know already what is checkoutwax and what do you offer? 

Adam: Checkoutwax.com is Australia’s premier online Hip Hop store offering Australian Hip Hop CDs & vinyl, used / out of print vinyl, new 12”s, new LPs, new CDs, DVDs, Books, Magazines, Clothing items – basically anything to do with Hip Hop and all at a great price! There’s also content on the site in the form of interviews, reviews, news and events and a listen page which hosts some exclusive audio. We also distribute a wide variety of US and local labels / releases to stores Australia wide.  

G:  So how did the site come about and what was your main involvement in the conception? 

A: Checkout Wax started as an online store in October of 2002 with an aim to provide out of print Hip Hop records to Australian and overseas customers. Basically we saw the amount of people chasing rare vinyl and thought we could provide an easier service to local customers than them spending $15+ on shipping one record from overseas websites etc We had some contacts in the states for rare vinyl and traveled over there to purchase a whole heap, we went on a second trip but haven’t been for a while – hence the lack of out of print titles of late. I own and run the site, so most of the ideas / decisions were by me however I did have input from others. 

G:  Your passion for hip hop music must be fairly extreme to be so involved.  Where did it initiate on both worldwide hip hop and Australian in particular? 

A: I got into Hip Hop when I was 11 listening to Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA etc and then started to write, break, rhyme and DJ around 1993, Hip Hop has been my life 24 hours a day since then. As far as Australian Hip Hop goes I bought a Recipe 4 Disasta tape in 1993 and that inspired me to start rhyming which I took semi seriously from around 93-96 doing shows, radio spots, recording etc so I was around the local guys like Towering Inferno, Dope In Action and others watching the scene develop. Def Wish Cast was the first Australian release I bought on vinyl and I picked up every release after, up until the huge influx of recent; which makes it too hard to keep up. Mainly I was a writer and ended up giving up MC’ing and breaking around 1998, by then there was a lot more people doing it and my heart was really in graffiti and records. These days I only really get time to DJ once in a while. 

G:  I believe you have had some fairly big events related to the business as of late, some exclusive distributions and a split, what can you tell us about that and what will it mean to the consumer? 

A: As well as our online store we’ve been distributing a number of Hip Hop labels / titles in the past year including Pyscho Logical, Day By Day, Skillionaire, Galapagos 4, Molemen Records, Bomb Hip Hop, some Australian releases and lots more. We’ve now taken on some bigger labels and decided to split the two businesses and get separate premises. A new company called ‘Shogun Distribution’ has formed to take on all the distribution business, still managed by me but with a couple of new faces helping out. This will take affect sometime next month. The consumer can expect a wider variety of independent Hip Hop release available in a bigger selection of stores at cheaper prices!        

G:  So what are your aims with the new business and the site in general? 

A: Well basically ‘Shogun Distribution’ is aiming to be the first serious specialist import Hip Hop distributor in the country. You have Hip Hop heads like Obese holding it down for the local releases but we don’t have a specialist import Hip Hop distributor in the country with knowledgeable staff of the underground / independent scene. Because we’re involved in the scene and more prepared to push and advertise independent artists we feel we can provide a good service for overseas labels and also for the consumers. As far as the site we’re trying to provide a very comprehensive Hip Hop selection at affordable prices, we’ve been mainly getting new stuff in lately but the out of print stuff will be back soon and at cheaper prices due to our stronger dollar. 

G:  Your newsletter or new arrivals is always impressive and quite large, just how much music do you get  in and do you get a chance to check out most of it? A

: Well what we get in varies but lately we’re putting up 100+ new titles a week. Of course I check the music out! We have to know what is good to recommend and what better way to work than to be listening to all the latest releases while you work! We only send out newsletters and lists when we have a big influx of new arrivals so to be up to date you have to check out the site fairly often. 

G:  What would you recommend as:  Favorite current release? 

A: Of late I’d have to say Jedi Mind Tricks – “Visions Of Ghandi”. Some JMT fans weren’t feeling some of the production but I think when you look at it on its own rather than comparing it to their previous material you can appreciate it a lot more. I think it’s incredible…  G

:  : The release you are most looking forward to? 

A: Definitely the new MF Grimm (now GM Grimm) album titled “Digital Tears”. His first 12’s were amazing and although his debut album is a personal favourite; it was recorded in 24 hours before he went to prison and definitely had more potential. This time he’s had time to do it how he wants and the two tracks on the “Taken” single are a nice preview…. I can’t wait! 

G: Your favorite record of all time? A

: My favourite record of all time is Big L’s debut album – “Lifestyles Of The Poor & Dangerous”. My rarest record I’ll say the test pressing only Jeru The Damaja “One Day” 12” but I have a lot of others on the same level. G

:  Infallible was actually going to ask Cash Money the next two questions but he had some groupies to fuck and refused our interview and I thought it shouldn’t be wasted, so here goes.  What’s the single wackest vinyl you got sitting somewhere in a dusty crate back home that brings you to shame at the mention of it? 

A: Well I used to have some bad records but I have so many that I threw them out to make space. I can’t really say I have a really wack record right now.. I used to buy some bad records just to have a laugh at but when your house is full of records that isn’t a good idea. 

G:  So, any special deals for ozhiphop.com members at the mention of the word ‘Goosefrabar’? 

A: Yeah at the mention of the word Goosefrabar you will receive a free autographed photo of G-Force doing a strip tease. 

G:  Anything else that the people should be on the lookout for in the future, sales, specials, limited edition vinyls or the like? 

A: We will be holding a sale on all out of print titles soon so get on our mailing list if you’re not already to be notified. 

G:  Any shout outs or anything else that you would like to add? 

A: I’d like to shout out Ozhiphop.com, my staff, the customers and stores that support us and also thanks to some people that took time out to help me along the way – Mr. Lawson, Chris from Spine, Hams, Kirk and Rare Dave. G

:  Well things seem strong for you at the moment, I wish you the best of luck with the site and your future endeavors, thanks for your time. 

A: Thanks for the interview.

Andrew Gauld Interview – AG Design, Skribble Studios

Filed under: Skribble Studios — Force @ 10:37 am

G Force:  How did you begin your work in the graphics industry? 

Andrew:  I studied graphic design, although the computer age wasn’t quite as active, I used to do all my designs hand painted in gouache on watercolour paper and colour photocopy them.I never went to uni – ironically I was knocked back from one major school, and asked back to conduct a talk a few years later!I began my first design job in Sth Melb about 12 months out of High School designing ad’s, magazines, business cards etc,. I saved up some cash and bought a second hand pmac 8100, and started hooking up freelance jobs from home, after a while I was getting some nice work from Nike and Ford, and album covers and nightclub flyers. 

G:  Where do you draw your design influences and inspiration from? A

:  I don’t really go in search anymore, the busier I get, the less ‘writers block’ I get these days.Over the past few years, I’ve been into too many projects at once to get stuck, before I start a job, I pretty much know what the end result’s going to look like, although sometimes they take they’re own direction, in that  case, you let it develop itself. 

G:  Who did the beats for the main flash presentation on the site?  Some of them, in particular the portfolio are nuts! 

A:  Beatnuts actually – most of them, and a few peterock tracks. Trem was supposed to create original beats for the whole site, but it never eventuated.While doing the short film ‘Red’, I had to get clearance for the KRS track from the ‘proper people’ for this BBC thing, and found out anything under 40 seconds on the net is reasonably royalty free. 

G:  You have been involved with website development for some of Australias biggest groups, Hilltop Hoods and Lyrical Commission and also with A-Love from Duality Records.  How did this come about, what was it like developing the sites with the crews and what was their level of input like? 

A:  There wasn’t an over amount of input with any of the sites which is good, I like to be given some direction then I like to take it from there. There’s nothing worse than a non-creative person telling you how to create. 

G:  There is a rather diverse range of designs and companies you have worked with.  From L.C. all the way to Quiksilver and restaurant menus.  Are there areas you prefer or do you meet each client with the view of it being a challenge if it is new to you? 

A:  I enjoy going from one extreme to another, it’s all communicating a message to an audience, it just makes it more enjoyable when you can switch styles from conservative ‘suits’ to more street stuff.I did a site for a communications co. in the UK filled with a bunch of sales suits adding their useless 2cents for the sake of it – but in the end, the battle eventuated into a mad site, so you live and learn I guess.      

G:  Your Epick snowboad designs are up there with the slickest designs I have seen floating around on boards.  Did you enjoy the chance to work with a different type of canvas and was it a challenge? 

A:  It’s not really that different, ‘cause all the designs still have to start on paper, it’s strange seeing your designs printed on something other than paper or web – like a cd-rom or tshirt. 

G:  What are your prefferrd medium to use when doing your own personal works? 

A:  I like doing a few, It’s like changing jobs or careers, you can shift from one form to another.I like doing the websites for their interaction, short films for there animation, illustration for the drawing factor, solid graphic design for the arranging element and painting (spray and canvas) for the hands on – they all offer the same qualities, just in different formats. 

G:  How long did the Skribble Studios site take to develop?  It is quite impressive to say the least. 

A:  I’ve been asked that a few times, and still can’t quite remember, I came up with the concept about 4 years ago while working in London, in a fear of someone using the concept first I was eager to come back to oz and get into it. I launched it sept 02, so I think I worked on it over about 7 months, but fulltime solid working, probably about 4 months, mind you there’s a huge mess on my editing floor. 

G:  You have just opened the new exhibition, consisting of seventeen pieces, which I have checked out, and they are some impressive works.  How long has this exhibition taken to get together and are there pieces that you enjoyed creating more than others? 

A:  They took a few months to paint, from feb – may this year, the organizing of the event took twice as long. They were all favourites to paint, as they were so unplanned without any expectations. 

G:  What audience would you be aiming for with this exhibition, as it borrows from quite a few areas such as graff and pop art, who are you aiming your works at? 

A:  No one, they were straight my ideas I wanted to paint, as a designer I’m used to pleasing the client, as a graff writer, you expect to be judged – this was neither, it’s  for anyone, graff writers, designers, pop-artists, tattooists, whatever. 

G:  Stencils, some of your works seem to borrow from the look of stencils, in particular the women series.   What do you think of the recent increase in stencil work going up around Melbourne? 

A:  The women series were hand painted, it wasn’t intentional to rep. Stencils, I’m not too keen on the whole ‘hey I’m at uni, I can change the world with political stencil statements’ as a fad. I do however like the stuff done properly, the shit that’s pre-thought, the kids that have there shit together, not trying to hang off a fad, I love that banksy dude’s work, his stuff tells me a story, not a statement.    

G:  From the exhibition what do you hope people take away from it with them, besides a few t-shirts and possibly a piece of art? 

A:  That my shit’s versatile, I’ve been creating for a long time – any form will do, whether it’s graff, design, internet, photography, painting…, I like creating in multi-mediums, I don’t think a creative should be limited or pigeon holed. 

G:  Just touching on hip hop music, when did your passion for it begin and how did you get involved with Australian hip hop and what are you feeling right now? 

A:   I was introduced to hip hop about the time I started graff, I remember when By all means came out– I’d sit in my bedroom for hours just sketching, they used to get me so hyped up, the thrill of a form of music that was relatively close to the graff culture that I could related to. I then got into RFK, pretty much the whole crew was and currently still is involved in hip hop.These days, most of the hip hop I listen to came from artists first or second albums – souls, show and ag, beatnuts, kurious Jorge, big-l, mob deep, diamond, hard knocks, double x. 

G:  Ok, here is the part where you can plug Skribble Studios, the exhibition and say anything else you would like to the ozhiphop.com community, go! 

A:  Peep the website for updates – www.SkribbleStudios.com and keep your eye out for new shit in 2004 – hopefully another Short Animated Film, another Art Exhibition, an online Hip Hop store and watch out for the bangin new Unkut website due Dec.03 – www.UnkutRecordings.com  

G:  Thanks for your time Andrew. Unfortunately this interview was held back due to busy schedules and the exhibition is finished.  However some of the works may still be available, peep the Skribble website for details. G 

Bias B Interview – In bed with Bias

Filed under: Bias B — Force @ 10:36 am

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. 

G: Cheers. 

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