A vision of two of Brisbane’s premier hip hop producers, Bankrupt Billionaires has now culminated into a super group featuring the powerhouse production of Sammsonite and Dats (The Optimen) and the strong emotive vocals of Brisbane diva Kel on Earth, with a host of regular special guests.
Reminiscent of singer/producer teams like Gnarls Barkley, Little Dragon, Mark Ronson and the late great Amy Winehouse, Bankrupt Billionaires have established their very own world-class sound that blends head-knocking beats with soul drenched vocals and themes of love, compassion and frustration. After honing a wealth of quality material behind closed doors, Bankrupt Billionaires finally debuted 2 singles Daze of the Dead and Feelin This in 2011, earning them #4 and #5 in the unearthed Hip Hop Charts and a healthy dose of ongoing national radio play. Their impressive 7-piece live show has received rave reviews and high demand since debuting in November last year.
Bankrupt Billionaires released their debut, self-titled EP on Friday 19 Jan, following the release of their goresome video for Daze of the Dead and brand new single Turn the Other Cheek which has already received triple j interest and airplay. Check it out.
If you haven’t heard the name Cam Bluff of late, then you surely haven’t been paying enough attention. 2010 has seen Cam Bluff produce some of this years most impressive beats with no intention of slowing the pace. We take a deeper look into the past, present and future of this amazing producer.
Past Cam Bluff born (18/02/1989) grew up in Kwazulu Natal (South Africa). Cam was always surrounded by music and heavily influenced by the country’s culture and people. He was constantly surrounded by music having both an aunt and grandma who were both music teachers. He was always into sports and from this, found hip hop through skateboarding videos.
After migrating to Australia in early 2001 he continued his involvement within the skateboarding scene and grew more interested in hip hop music and the production behind the genre. In his last year of school, He stumbled across a program a mate had accidentally given to him called Fruity loops. During lunchtime, whilst still at school, Cam’s mate would show him how to use Fruity loops. This is where he leant how to compile loops and to structure drum patterns.
As time passed, he later on bought himself an akai mpc2000xl after learning about the long relationship and history involved with drum machines and sampling. Keen to learn more, he then equipped himself with a turntable and records which he had bought from local thrift stores. He soon started sampling early 70’s soul/funk records, drawing inspiration from the likes of Pete Rock/CL Smooth, DJ Premier and J Dilla to name a few. Later on in 2007 he made the switch back to a computer based program called Ableton live 6, using his MPC now as a midi controller as well as a beat machine. He shortly attended sound engineering classes in early 2008 learning about the techniques involved in mixing the music he was creating.
Around the same time, Bluff started working with a couple of emcee’s from Adelaide, Purpose and Motive (Pagen Elypsis/Afore Mentioned). After sending countless amounts of beats, he managed to secure a track on their Afore Mentioned – Red October release which dropped in 08.
He later met DJ Butcher through Butchers cousin (who he was producing for at the time), Keen on working with local rappers, he soon was introduced to Publik Relationz which complied of Mr Hill and Seven, (winner of the M-Phazes comp 2010). Work on an EP quickly began. During Cam’s time working with PR, he met 4th (Pure Product) who quickly became interested in working with him. Publik Relationz EP unfortunately did not see the light of day, though Cams sound did manage to catch the ears of local rap icons, The Optimen.
After creating a bit of a buzz in late 2008, Cam Bluff was signed to Red Tape Entertainment, thus beginning a new chapter in his music career. This sparked big things for him, being given the opportunity to remix a track for the The Optimens work of art The Out Of Money Experience, which dropped this year.
During 2009 Cam contributed production towards Spit Syndicates – Exile, and Pagen Elypsis’ – One Way Ticket which both dropped this year. He also managed to secure two tracks on Rainman’s album (yet to be announced), as well as a few on Pure Products new album (due later this year/early 2011).
Present Cam is currently working with fellow Red Tape Renegade, 4th (Pure Product) on the Vegas Aces EP which is near completion, closely being followed by an album. Hit up Vegas Ace’s Facebook here to check for upcoming gigs/shows. He is also working with former Queenslander resident and rapper Syntax (Trace Elements), working on a full length LP. Old mateSeven (Born Fresh Records/winner of M-Phazes comp) debut EP is out now and features production from himself and DJ Butcher to name a few. Cam also produced a track on The Tongue’s – Alternative Energy LP, also out now. You will also be able to find production in the near future on Raven’s (Crate Cartel) new album Ravenous dropping 2010. Afore Mentioned – The 11th Hour album with the bulk of production being handled by himself and also Prophet Rayza’s – 6 Books dropping soonish. Red Tape Entertainment is also working on a Red Tape remix project, which will feature production by Bluff, and others on the Red Tape Entertainment label.
Future Bluff is proving to be an immense competitor in the hip hop scene, already working with some of the most well-known artists around the nation, and is quickly working his way up in the industry as a respected beat maker/producer. Keep an eye and ear out for him, there’s much more to come.
Interview with Cam, more about his Vegas Aces EP with 4th coming soon.
This month theJudy Breaks Competition teams up with Brisbane’s Hip Hop labels Born Fresh Records and Red Tape Entertainment to bring together a collective of Queensland bred emcees, turtablists, beat boxers, DJ and beat makers. Taking place during Valley Fiesta, this FREE event includes some of Brissie’s best.
Performing on the night will be: The Optiment
Eloquence and Truths
Hosted by The Crate Creeps.
4:00 Prophet Rayza
5:00 Vegas Aces
5:30 Eloquence and Truths
6:00 Tommy Illfigga/Crate Creeps
6:30 Pure Product
7:00 The Optimen
In celebration of this massive event, the Born Fresh crew and the Red Tape Entertainment have joined forces to release The Born Renegades Mixtape, FREE for download. Grab a piece of that greatness here.
ALSO ON FRIDAY NIGHT (night before): Tom Thum (beatbox extraordinare) will be on the Valley Mall stage at 9pm
Then Hermitude are playing at 9.30pm ON FRIDAY NIGHT!
Following on from the shining release of their sophomore album The Out Of Money Experience in April, Brisbane’s The Optimen are hitting the road this July/August and taking their tunes to the nation on the official album launch.
A five-year sojourn that culminated in one of Australia’s finest-hip hop releases this year, The Out Of Money Experience has been robustly received. The Optimen are getting ready to blast off on the long awaited Album Launch Tour. Taking in the East-Coast and Adelaide (Sorry Perth, we owe you!), The Optimen are taking to the road, bringing brand new tunes from The Out Of Money Experience, plus old favourites from their earlier releases.
The Out Of Brisbane Experience Friday July 16 – FBi Stolen Records Gala Ball, Gaelic Theatre, Sydney
with Koolism, Thundamentals, Ozi Batla, Daisy Meds, Phatchance feat. Coptic Soldier, Loose Change and Katalyst (DJ SET)
$12 supporters / $17 non supporters / $22 on the door.
All proceeds go to FBi Radio. Saturday July 17 – Transit Bar, Canberra
With D’Opus and Roshambo
$10 Entry | 8pm Friday July 30 – Beach Road Hotel, Sydney
With Undertow, Gabreil Clouston and Edseven
FREE | 8pm Friday August 20 – The Espy, Melbourne
With M-Phazes Saturday August 21 – The Rocket Bar, Adelaide
More dates to be announced soon. Stay tuned.
Though the title might sound like a desperate plea for help in these trying times of economic uncertainty or, more predictably, the ‘old as the ages’ cliché of the starving artist, The Out Of Money Experience is really anything but. This much-anticipated sophomore album by The Optimen (The OPees to their friends – and they will take all the friends they can get) is the result of work: hard work.
Featuring some of their favourite emcees, both from Australia (Tommy Ill, The Archetypes, Pure Product, Adverse, Lazy Grey and Rainman), two international legends in the field – Jehst (UK), Phil The Agony (USA) – and local Brisvocalists Laneous (Mr Laneous) and Kel (The Kelly Gang), The Out Of Money Experience is galvanized by its strength of guest appearances, not stirred into a turbulence by them as can be the case.
The Out Of Money Experience displays a far greater diversity of sounds and assortments of instruments than ever before heard on an Optimen record, but the album isn’t only advanced and progressive in terms of its production values and musicality. It is also the most diverse work that The Optimen have released topically.
Indeed, for The Optimen, the last five years in the culmination up to this sophomore release have been a journey of epic proportions – and for the listener that’s what The Out Of Money Experience brings – it’s a journey.
It’s been some time between drinks now since Brisbane’s best, The Optimen have performed a headlining show for their fans, but even with the AA meetings and late night phone calls to their sponsors they just can’t control their thirst any longer. For this reason, and also to bring their blistering new album The Out Of Money Experience to the live stage, The OPees are back in the lab and planning their launch for Friday, May 28 at the new home of hip-hop in Brisbane – The Step Inn.
Not leaving anything to chance, they have joined forces with fellow Queensland compatriots Choose Mics, also launching their new album Beggars Can’t Be Choosers. Choose Mics have been steady in the studio, with 2 releases under their belt, this duo are getting it done real big in the lab and on the stage!
This is shaping up as one of the must-see events on this year’s live show calendar and all for $15!. Because we all know The Out Of Money Experience is real, you best start saving your dollars now cause Beggars Can’t Be Choosers.
With two local releases of such acclaim being launched on the one night, you really don’t want to miss this! The Optimen & Choose Mics Dual Album Launch
Friday 28th May @ Step Inn – $15
In celebration of this huge event, Sammsonite has thrown us the recipe for one of his favorite dishes Stuffed Capsicum. You can check that out below. Be sure you pick up your copies of The Optimen – The Out Of Money Experience and also Choose Mics – Beggars Can’t Be Choosers. Both out now!
Stuffed capsicum (dolmeh-ye-felfel) Ingredients:
10 or 12 large capsicums
50g fresh parsley
50g fresh chives
50g fresh mint
50g fresh tarragon
50g fresh dill tips
1 onion (medium)
300g minced lamb
¾ cup oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup rice
Note: If you have to use dried herbs instead, replace every 100g of fresh herbs with 5g of dried herbs.
Cut the top off the capsicums in a circle to make a lid. Scrape out the seeds and pith very carefully. Avoid making any cuts or holes in the body of the capsicum. Put the lids back on each capsicum and leave aside.
If you are using fresh herbs, clean and wash the herbs. Drain and put in a tea towel for further draining. Chop the herbs finely and stir-fry very lightly in ¼ cup of oil (for a minute or two).
Chop the onions into small pieces and fry in ¼ cup of oil. Add the minced meat and stir-fry. When the water from the meat is evaporated, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, which has been dissolved in ¼ cup of water. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper, cook for 2 minutes and put aside.
Wash the yellow split peas, add 1½ cups of warm water, about ½ teaspoon of salt and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes (do not allow it to go too soft).
Wash the rice and cook with 1½ cups of water and about ½ teaspoon of salt over low heat for about 10 minutes until there is no water left.
Mix the cooked meat, chopped herbs, cooked rice and split peas. Test for salt and, if necessary, add extra. Fill the capsicums one by one, and put their own lids back on. Put the capsicums tightly next to each other in a pot.
Pour the remaining ¼ cup of oil and 1½ cups of water all over the capsicums. Cook on medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, then on low for an extra 20 minutes.
Place the capsicums carefully in a serving dish and serve.
On recent return from a ‘management speak’ workshop (ManSpeak2010 – not to be confused with the instructional ‘how to speak like a man’ workshops – ManlySpeak2010) we’d like to take this time to ‘touch base’ and ‘help us to help you’ (to help us) by having a brief discussion about The Optimen’s latest project The ‘We Currently Have Our Funds Tied Up In Private Offshore Ventures‘ album (‘The Out Of Money Experience‘).
Just as an ‘FYI’ about the release of this album, you can actually ‘TCB’ your purchasing prospects ‘asap’ by pre-ordering ‘The Out Of Money Experience‘ from JB HiFi. Doing this will ‘ensure the better likelihood of being elligible to be in receipt of your very own signed poster’ – yours to keep! Tell me that’s not a plus and I’ll tell you that junior and I won’t win the three-legged race at this year’s family picnic fundraiser! * pause for laughter * But seriously, folks…
On the agenda also for today, ladies and gentlemen, is the next generation of forward thinking in future purchasing power and online merchant enablisation. Yes, I’m sure by that you all understand I am of course referring to the launch of ‘Optimoney‘ – your own exclusive ‘cashola’, as the kids say these days, to spend on selected items of merchandise from the Optimen website (still in ‘advanced stages of development’ and ‘awaiting the green light’ – but will be up soon) www.theoptimen.com
But to ‘fast track’ the chit chat about ‘Optimoney‘ and streamline this presentation for time efficiency and mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties, we would like to inform you that the first 500 retail copies of ‘The Out Of Money Experience‘ will come complete with $5 of Optimoney to save you money when shopping online – terms and conditions will be up when the site goes live, but you can be sure it will include a whole host of ‘incentives to spend’ and ‘synergies’ and shit.
The Out Of Money Experience – out April 9th through Red Tape Entertainment and distributed nationally by Inertia.
Below you can check the latest film clip taken from the album The Out Of Money Experience – 80s Babies.
Though the title might sound like a desperate plea for help in these trying times of economic uncertainty or, more predictably, the old as the ages cliché of the starving artist, The Out Of Money Experience is really anything but. This much-anticipated sophomore album by The Optimen (The OPees to their friends – and they can take all the friends they can get) is the result of work: hard work. The sort of work that keeps you up late at night and makes you late for the next day’s “working for the man”. And it shows.
The three original members and emcees of The Optimen (Sammsonite, DATS and Kristoff The Russian) have never wavered in their commitment to being independent. From release to release, whether their own or for label-mates, and all on their own Red Tape Entertainment imprint, they have done it their own way – even turning down record contracts that most upcoming artists would lay aside a baby-maker for to do it. Add DJ Damage on the turntables and Peter Beaty on live samples and studio mixing detail and you have one of the country’s few thoroughly independent acts, through and through.?
This insistence on in-house production carries forward from the beats (courtesy of Sammsonite and DATS) to the cuts and scratches (a tip of the hat to DJ Damage), and even the samples used to give the album its sonic slap to the face were provided by Kristoff The Russian (with the occasional offering by former crew member DJ Sheep). This self-reliance has also been integral in the cultivation of their truly unique sound – warm brass, even warmer bass, gripping guitar riffs, shimmering strings and drums that move through you so freely they could make a religious sister renounce her faith and take a part-time job at a bikini carwash. Add to this the trademark Optimen rap presence and precision of Damage on the cut and you might begin to have an idea of what The Out Of Money Experience sounds like.
Only it’s bigger… And it’s better.
Featuring some of their favourite emcees, both from Australia (Tommy Ill, The Archetypes, Pure Product, Adverse, Lazy Grey and Rainman)and two international legends in the field – Jehst (UK) and Phil The Agony (USA) – and also local vocalists Laneous(Mr Laneous) and Kel (The Kelly Gang), The Out Of Money Experience is galvanized by its strength of guest appearances and not stirred into a turbulence by them as can be the case.
The Out Of Money Experience also represents some standout ‘firsts’ for The Optimen: First time using session musicians – including drums, saxophone, trombone and a range of keys, the first time working with some of their own international rhyme idols, with Jehst bringing his signature introspective reflection and effortless flow for Dust (an exploration into what it means to be human when you take away all of the constructs that society has placed here), and Phil The Agony (Likwit Crew/Strong Arm Steady) with his characteristic commanding of attention on the album ender (and bonus remix track) Number One.
The album isn’t only advanced and progressive in terms of its production values and musicality, however. It is also the most diverse work that The Optimen have released topically – which is what really gains attention. While they still deliver their standard (though stepped up) form of ‘battle’ inspired rhymes, replete with ‘bragadociousness’ they have dug deeper this time around, mixing through a palette that begins with reminiscing on days past (80s Babies and time pre-money troubles in Pay Cheques) to the approaching of 30th birthdays (all this year) for emcees Sammsonite, DATS and Kristoff in 30 Rock. On The Rocks gives insight into the rocky relationship goings on the boys have with alcohol, which has been personified here, and Something in the Air featuring local heroLazy Grey is a pseudo-socio-political address on how we could all be making greater efforts to connect with each other and put our differences aside in the name of getting high… really, really high. Before the album is through, though, The Optimen have to pay hommage to the mostly African American musicians who paved the way for them as a sample-based act but also just for the incredible and inspirational music they have gifted the world with. This track, Respecognise, features the newest Red Tape signess, The Archetypes, as well as the powerful and soulful singing voice of Kel, who takes the track out appropriately.
Indeed, if this album were an outside-of-the-genre musical performance, it’d be Frank ‘Old Blue Eyes’ Sinatra, complete with the New York Philharmonic, performing ‘My Way’ to a packed Madison Square Garden in the mid 70s – only you know that to reach that earth-moving crescendo at the end you first get to enjoy the journey it takes to get there. And that’s what The Out Of Money Experience brings – it’s a journey. An expedition for over an hour that will leave you wishing there were more artists out there who were in it for the music and not the semi-permanence of praise and empty accolades.
If this isn’t your new favourite album for this year then it won’t be far from it, or your money back*. *Not a real guarantee.
You can check out the latest leak from The Optimen below. The track titled 80′s Babies is off the upcoming album The Out Of Money Experience. Due out April 10.You can also check out the video clip for the track here.
It’s been awhile since we first heard about The Optimen’s next project, The Out Of Money Experience and finally after all this waiting, the guys have locked in a release date. April 10 will be the day The Optimen unleash The Out Of Money Experience on the nation with a few tracks floating around already (Myspace and free download), things are sounding large. Here’s what the guys at Red Tape had to say about the whole affair.
We got some good news here at Red Tape! From the people who brought you Boomtown and The Red Tape Renegades,The Optimen’s long-awaited sophomore album is in the big canvas bag with the dollar sign on it and they’re laughing all the way home from the bank (to keep from crying). The Out of Money Experience is a sonic excursion, a boom-bastic voyage, a sample-based tour-de-force, enriched lyrically by your favourite Boomtown bandits, The OPees.
Yeah, son. Shit is real! The production is bigger and better then ever. The sample chops are more musical and the low-end will leave you all shooken and your innocence tooken.
Of course, the drums are going to slap you in your face and “demand satisfaction”, and the raps will submerge the brain through the engaging consciousness of Kristoff the Russian, Sammsonite and DATS.
Subversive, honest and skillful, the OPees have kept it on a level. The guests are all your favourite rappers (and even some of your less favourite ones!) Tommy Ill, Jehst (UK), Rainman, Lazy Grey, Pure Product, The Archetypes (Clinic and Proclaim), Adverse and Phil the Agony (US).
The Optimen never fail to impress and early signs point to another banger. There are some huge names here, Tommy Ill, Rainman, Prue Product, Jehst. A track of interest should be Lazy Grey’s appearance with Laneous from Laneous and The Family Yah’s (more to come on these guys soon). You can check three tracks from the new album here. You can also download the leaked Fire Fighters track here. Not long now….
1. O Shit!
3. On the Rocks
4. 80s Babies
6. Interlude 1
7. Bigger Better More feat. Tommy Ill
8. Dust feat. Jehst
9. 30 Rock feat. Rainman
10. Something in the Air feat. Lazy Grey and Laneous
11. Interlude 2
12. Pay Cheques
13. Act 1 feat. Pure Product
14. Drop That
15. Number One feat. Adverse
16. Respecognise feat. The Archetypes and Kel
17. On the Rocks (Cam Bluff remix)
18. Number One (remix) feat. Phil The Agony and Adverse
It’s been a long time coming but it appears there is finally movement at The Optimen base camp. Over the last few days, we have seen the opening of the their new Myspace, also an update of their website (pic above), and the official announcement of the new album, The Out Of Money Experience.
The Out of Money Experience will be dropping in (about) March next year.You can download the first single of the album, Fire Fighters, for free (and it’s a banger) via their website here.
Fans of Lazy Grey should also check out Something in the Air feat. Lazy Grey and Laneous (info on these guys coming soon) on The Optimens Myspace page here.
The Optimen are back in the building with a brand new album! ‘The Out of Money Experience’, is on its way and is due for release on July 31st on Red Tape Entertainment, distributed through Shogun Dist.
The album features guest appearances by some of Australia’s most respected, including the likes of Lazy Grey, Pure Product, The Archetypes (Clinic and Proclaim) and Tommy Ill. We also hear whispers of verses by two international rap industry icons! We will provide more information on this closer to the release date.