Greetings. Not necessarily the final word on the Australian Underground Hip Hop scene (and we hope there are many more out there) but this is one perspective. The title 'Oz Hip Hop Underground' is a little broad, but it serves as a simple way to catch viewers. As we are based in Melbourne most of the content may seem a little biased, but we'll try and get to other regions when possible. We hope you enjoy what's on offer and return. Any feedback or contributions are appreciated.
"Is anybody out there?"
begins the title track of Tenda Mcfly's latest mixtape, 'The.Story.Of.My.Life'. A fair question in todays expanding movement of independent artists having to rely on self promotion to get their name out there without the help of a major label marketing machine. For the advancement of culture and art we can only hope that an emerging, unique talent like Tenda McFly can find an audience not only in cyberspace, but the universal matrix.
According to Tenda's Myspace profile he is a self proclaimed "Martian", which is not hard to swallow if you were to sit his music on the same shelf as other hip hop artists from Australia. This is far from traditional and better for it. With influences from Lupe Fiasco, Chiddy Bang, Talib Kweli and indy rock artists like Oasis & Coldplay you get an idea of what a collaboration between Mos Def and The Verve might sound like.
Tenda's talents don't only lie within the MC world, he has also competed at the AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM competition in 2009 & 2010.
For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to the diverse indy hip hop stylings of Brisbane MC, Tenda McFly, make sure you download a copy of his latest mixtape, 'The.Story.Of.My.Life', a mesmerizing mix of poetic and personal stories (yet universal in theme) with clever word play, skillful delivery and tongue placed firmly in cheek. You can download the album here...
While you're there, download his previous album, 'Music & Popcorn', which displays more dimensions of Tenda's diversity.
In the meantime we wait in anticipation to see what journey Tenda McFly will take us on next time with music made specifically for his style. Hopefully a best selling official release and tour that answers "yes" to the question - "Is anybody out there?"
Two months since the new hip hop label’s massive launch in August, Big Village crew bring their fresh and exciting sounds to Dust Tones at beach rd Hotel.
Three acts from the Big Village record label, Daily Meds, Loose Change and True Vibenation will be joining DJ Max Gosford at the beach rd hotel on Friday Ocotber 8th.
Big Village is an independent record label representing and run by a new wave of Sydney’s finest Hip Hop artists. Since their formation and launch in August, they have secured a distribution deal and released their first official EP from The Daily Meds, which is now available in all good record stores.
The label has also been spreading their sound beyond Sydney with Loose Change recently launching their debut album in Melbourne, with future Big Village tours in the pipeline. Meanwhile, Daily Meds and True Vibenation have been tearing up stages in Sydney, both performing to a massive inner west crowd at Changing Lanes Festival, and supporting Urthboy as part of the indent all ages tour.
Big Village’s next release will be the debut album from one of Australia’s most exciting lyricists, Tuka (Thundamentals, Rumpunch, Sketch The Rhyme) due out early November.
Friday 27th August
@ AT LARGE GALLERY
208 High St., Northcote
Another STREET ART NOT VANDALISM (SANV) event is upon us. This time they are taking hip hop culture to AT LARGE GALLERY in Northcote, with graff, DJing, open mic & performances from IZZY of COMBAT WOMBAT, HEPTUNE THE DUB MARINER and DJ TSUNAMI.
If your in Melbourne make sure you go to this event and show your support for the local scene and enjoy an evening of good vibes, art, culture & company.
Here's a new clip we put together of Melbourne underground hip hop group, ANON SPEAK, performing at SANV2 in October 2009 at Reservoir Skatepark. These guys are awesome live.
I remember the first time I heard Curse Ov Dialect. I was visiting Melbourne with my girlfriend and she wanted me to meet a friend who was into hip hop. Being that she was more of a grunge & Indy-rock fan my assumption was that this friend would be more into commercial rap, something I've never had much time for. I had always leaned more toward experimental hip hop artists like Freestyle Fellowship, Divine Styler & Kool Keith.
At that time I had discovered the diverse catalogue of Mush records - a Californian based independent responsible for the releases of Anticon, Sole, Dose One & Buck 65 to name a few. All my friends at the time were bemoaning the death of hip hop, believing that it's glory days ended around 1992 and I was starting to think i was the only one in Australia who liked this 'weirdo music'.
I was more than suprised when I finally met the friend and discovered that not only was he into the same music, but he was an MC and discribed his music as a bit like 'Dr Octagon' - Kool Keiths alter ego with the incredible production talents of Dan The Automator - one of my all time favourite albums. He was taking us to punk gig/house party in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, an unexpected treat for a couple of outer towners used to the torture of pub bands and they're limited repartee.
After standing on the fringes of a mosh in a backyard filled with punk fans of various colours & attire, drinking & pissing in the adjacent alley, we were on the road again - this time to meet up with a few friends parked in a quiet residential street. After meeting this new group of people and feeling elated to be able to talk about experimental hip hop and the recent break up of Antipop Consortium (another favourite) the friend started telling me about the new album his group was about to release through Mush. Suddenly I was really interested in checking out this guys music. He said he went by the MC name of Raceless, an interesting moniker that would make more sense once I listened to his music & heard the groups message.
Raceless happened to have a copy of his new pride & joy and was enthusiastic to share with all. He passed the CD to the driver and we all gathered around the car to hear. Right off the bat we were hit by a crazy song built on samples from childrens musical toys with four MC's flipping styles like a high diver and a sampled chorus of someone singing "baby how'd we ever get this way?". I had never heard this kind of hip hop coming from Australia before and although it was 'out there' like other Mush artists, it was totally unique. We listened to the whole album that night and I was constantly bowled over by the rhymes, levels of production & message.
I found out the name of the album was 'Lost In The Real Sky'. The group - Curse Ov Dialect. I became an instant fan.
Over the years I've been fortunate to be able to get sneak previews of their latest songs and I'm amazed at how they continue to sound fresh. Especially they're new album, 'Crisis Tales', which was nice to see get some heat on national radio - no mean feat with the overwhelming ammount of Hilltop Hoods clones saturating the airwaves.
Curse Ov Dialect have always been very open & generous and it's with the attitude of give & receive that they are sharing their catalogue on Bandcamp. If you are unfamiliar with their sound or have just started listening to them, here's your chance to get fully aquainted...
Another element of the Curse Ov Dialect experience is their live performances. Veering away from the traditional and over used hip hop routines of "everybody throw ya hands in the air and say hoooo" these guys actually entertain rather than stalk and gesticulate on stage. Each member has their own look and style representing their culture & personalities. The most difficult thing at a Curse show is knowing where to look because, in true sense of performance art, there is always something going on.
Fortunately we've had the oportunity to capture the madness of a Curse performance onto a digital time capsule in the form of a DVD. Here's a sample...