Amidst the continued stair-climb by Brisbane collective Born Fresh to set a foundation for quality local hiphop in the city; Mr Hill and Rahjconkas release Put The Work In, the first single from their forthcoming sophomore album Dead End Street.
2012 has been a busy year for the duo, following the successful reception of their debut LP The Feedback, with tours, guest appearances and collaborations presenting themselves consistently. Since January, the two have toured with label-mate Seven, 360, Seth Sentry, Illy and the Funkoars as well as supporting US successes Atmosphere and Evidence and locals Thundamentals, Urthboy and Spit Syndicate. There was even time for interstate headline and Victorian Flood Benefit shows, as well as Mr Hill grossing over 100 000 youtube views with a remix side-project with Seven.
Even with a plate so obviously full, the geographically disadvantaged boys put forth their new single Put The Work In just 9 months after the release of their debut LP. Put The Work In honour’s the ethic of the two and their peers, hinting at picking up the shovel and digging, rather than waiting for the world to come for them. With a very successful 2012 almost in the bag, quickly leap frogging others in the genre, Mr Hill and Rahjconkas are preparing to go even bigger in 2013.
You can download Put The Work In – Mr Hill & Rahjconkas for free here.
Amidst the mayhem that was touring with Australian sensation, 360 and heading straight back on the road with label mates Seven and Mr Hill, Vegas Aces have managed to craft an EP touted as ‘next level’ by the local hip hop scene.
The Departure is VA’s coming of age, both lyrically from emcee 4th and in the production from Cam Bluff, who is fast becoming Australia’s man to beat behind the boards. The two clearly set out to craft their own sound in making The Departure, a title directly related to a change in sound since their debut, VA All Day. The boys called on Adelaide stalwarts and fellow up and comers, Prime and Purpose as the only features for this release on the futuristic Nebula. Following Day Dreams (feat. Kaysie Rowe), the second single taken from The Departure is All That Shines.
Proven to be a success live, All That Shines is a raucous portrayal of 4th’s view on his standing within the Australia music scene. VA celebrate the launch of their website with The Departure EP, available for free download NOW. Tongue in cheek as always and accompanied by world class production, Vegas Aces truly are the next benchmark of local hip hop.
Born Fresh Records is hosting one hell of a block party and you’re invited! This weekend, June 16, Coniston Lane in Fortitude Valley will be hosting the very cream of the Brisbane hip hop crop with sets from Rainman, Seven, Mr Hill & Rajconkas, Crate Creeps, Vegas Aces, Prophet Rayza along with many other special guests. Tickets are on sale now.
aahh: The history between Vegas Aces goes way back to the days when Cam was working with Publik Relationz and you (4th) were apart of Pure Product, are we right? 4th: Yeah, I started sourcing beats for the Pure Product album and got put in touch with Cam through Mr Hill and Seven (Publik Relationz) and was just blown away at his beats, even back then. At the time I think he was just 18 and had only just started making beats, so I knew he was going to be someone to watch out for.
aahh: Fast forward to 2011. We now have the Vegas Aces partnership in full swing. Tell us a little about the new EP VA All Day? 4th: The EP really just started out us making a couple of songs and seeing how they turned out – which were Boomtown Shuffle and Two Sides. We really liked the sound that was coming out so we decided to do a whole thing. Originally we were just gonna make a few songs and chuck them out for free but as we made more, some friends of ours egged us on to release it properly.
aahh: Vegas Aces is an interesting name, are you both massive gamblers or does it go a little deeper than that? 4th: Haha not at all! No gambling here – it was more so at the time there were a lot of those sorts of references in what we were doing. And the fact that we were in the same circle it was sort of ‘shuffling of the deck’ to be super-corny for us to work together. To be even more corny, it’s also a nod to Bris-Vegas. Corn.
aahh: How long how you guys been working on the VA All Day material for this EP? 4th: The actual music didn’t take that long at all. Everything on there was the culmination of Cam sending me a beat and immediately I knew what it was going to be about and wrote it in a couple of hours. If it didn’t work like that – it’s not on there. All the other behind-the-scenes shit is what took the most time. I’m pretty picky so there was a lot of back and forth tweaking etc. Sorry guys!
aahh: The depth of this EP is impressive, Are you guys strong believers in the old adage of quality over quantity? 4th: Without a mother-effing doubt! We really wanted to put out something really solid to make a good first impression. Because obviously we were a ‘new’ group we had to start from scratch again and really turn some heads to get the name out there. There are so many great acts these days you need to bring something special to the table to stand out.
aahh: What have been the some of main challenges you’ve faced in bringing this release to the people? 4th: The generic ‘being-on-a-small-label-and-lacking-a-big-budget’ one is pretty obvious as a factor. I don’t think being in Brisbane geographically is a hurdle in getting our music around the country though, for most part the scene here has been really supportive. I dunno, maybe because we started from scratch as a new group was our biggest hurdle? Hurdles have also been a pretty big hurdle.
aahh: A lot of artists talk about their influences and how it shaped their musical development. With such diverse backgrounds what were some of your early influences? 4th: I can safely say my influences now are pretty different to when I was starting out, but with that said, those early influences were very important! A few years ago I was pretty anti-mainstream which I’m sure every teenager goes through. My biggest influences overseas were probably early Eminem, Apathy, Copywrite… shit there is seriously too many to name, now I am really into Jay-Z/J. Cole, Evidence and Fashawn are getting a thrashing too, again though – waaaaaay too many to name! Locally though the biggest were Lyrical Commission, Left One, Lazy Grey + 750 and co, they made me wanna do it.
aahh: What do you think the most important aspects are to consider when constructing a track lyrically for your audience? 4th: That they can understand it and can picture what I’m saying. I find myself doing that when I write now. I more want to write shit that someone can relate to as oppose to having the most technical verse now.
aahh: For the gear geeks out there, what kind of equipment set up do you have? Cam Bluff: Im currently rocking my good old mpc200xl along with a m-audio key rig 49. Primarily i did start making beats on my mpc, however nowadays as i branch off into larger compositions i rely on my mpc as more as a midi controller than a beat machine. Accompanying my mpc and keyrig are also a m-audio profire 610 audio interface, a pair of behringer truths, a pair of stanton T.150′s and a 27” IMAC. I use Native Instruments complete 7 which is fantastic for laying down vintage or orchestral sounds. Keys,organs, retro 70/80′s synths you name it this package packs a punch. Its pricy though it pays off.
aahh: We’ve heard you’ve already started work on the full LP. Is it true that Cam has sent you a pile of beats but only one has made the cut so far. Has that been the general way you guys work together? 4th: Yeah I can be pretty notoriously picky with music. Lucky Cam is a fucking incredible talent and we are on the same page. There are actually a few beats that are definite now. Pretty much if I don’t love a beat and have a feel for what the song is going to be about straight away, then it most likely wont get used.
aahh: Can you give us a little insight on how the album will compare to the EP? 4th: In the early stages its more musical I suppose, Cam’s production is definitely moving forward in this way. Fundamentally I suppose it will be similar to the EP but I guess just ‘bigger better more’ (yo Opees!). We know what we want to do with it for this release, which I guess is a good thing.
aahh: How far into the album are you and will we see a 2011 release? Cam Bluff: We have a few songs written and roughly recorded and a few more beats picked out. And yes we are aiming for a late 2011 release.
aahh: With the recent floods and cyclones to hit QLD, there have been numerous benefit gigs and money-raising efforts. Vegas Aces were involved in a Rap Relief track. Tell us a little bit about the track and how these disasters have affected you on a personal level and as a member of the community? 4th: That track came together through Chris at Soulmate Records and mutual friends Choose Mics, Seven and Syntax. I dunno? I kind of just jumped on board, Cam was making a beat with the same sample which was meant to switch up or be a remix but didn’t end up happening in time. Then Tom wrote and recorded the chorus after I recorded my verse and that was that really. I wasn’t affected directly by the floods but I know people who were and it was fucking horrible. As horrible as it was, it also showed how altruistic we can be as a city/country with all the donations and charity gigs and that was brilliant! The whole world seems to be getting reamed at the moment thought… shit is hectic.
aahh: What’s 2011 hold in store both as separate artists and for Vegas Aces? 4th: As Vegas Aces we are aiming to have the album out late this year. We want to tour. Tour. And tour again. Basically just stay building and making music. Hopefully I will getting up and finishing the Pure Product album. Cam Bluff: Damn so far 2011 has kept me busy. Along with the VA album i will be reconnecting with Spit Syndicate on their next release. I have another project im working on with Syntax. We’ve pretty much chosen all the beats and we are looking at a late 2011 release.
This is the official film clip for This Is, the lead single off Prophet Rayza’s (QLD) debut EP Six Books. Released November 12th 2010 on Born Fresh Records and distributed nationally by MGM.
For ten years now Prophet Rayza has been a stronghold in the Australian Hip Hop scene perfecting his talents across the four elements of Hip Hop as an emcee, breakdancer, graffiti artist and beatboxer.His passion for the art form stems from his first train trip from Brisbane to Melbourne at five years of age, when he first saw graffiti and told his mother when he grew up that he would do it too. At 16 he was exposed to Hip Hop through graffiti and soon after became a bboy (breakdancer). At this point in time, rhyming was second to break dancing and purely a hobby.
As the years passed and he perfected his craft, his natural ability as a performer through break dancing led him to pick up a microphone and hypnotize the crowd in a whole new way. As anyone who has been to one of his live show can attest, Prophet Rayza is one of the most vibrant and energetic performers in the country.With a passion and drive for perfection, Prophet Rayza draws from his musical inspiration the likes of Nas, Rakim, Ice T, KRS One and Wu Tang Clan.
His performance past reads like a who’s who of Hip Hop having performed alongside such greats as Grandmaster Flash, DJ Q-Bert, Kool Keith, Lord Finesse, Grandmaster Roc Raida, Q-Unique, MC Supernatural, Talib Kweli and local legends Def Wish Cast, Muph and Plutonic, Drapht and the list goes on. In 2009 he released the Spits and Pieces mixtape which went on to move all of the limited 5,000 copies pressed within two months of its release (and over 650 downloads to date) and was Nominated for Oz Hip Hop Awards “Mixtape of the Year” 2009.
Recently releasing his debut EP Six Books on Born Fresh Records, Rayza has worked with some of this countries and abroads most up and coming producers including Daneja (pronounced Danger) from New York (production for Kool G Rap, KRS One, Immortal Technique, Joell Ortiz), Dats of The Optimen (production for Thiristin Howl III, The Optimen, Pure Product), Tommy Illfigga and DJ Butcher of Crate Creeps (production for Mantra, Thundamentals, Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples) and Cam Bluff of Vegas Aces (production for Spit Syndicate, The Tongue, Raven), you can be sure to expect big things from one of Australian Hip Hops fastest rising stars.
This Is produced by Cam Bluff (Vegas Aces)
A Rebel Era Production Directed by Isaac Bell Edited by Isaac Bell & Tim Bell
In anticipation for the debut Vegas Aces release V.A.ALL.DAY (Feb 4th) your good friends in VA and Born Fresh have decided to host a sexy little competition. Cam Bluff is fast becoming a new go-to-guy for production (Spit Syndicate, The Tongue, The Optimen, Pure Product, Raven etc) and we want you to put him to the test. Basically we want you to submit a sample/sound for Cam to flip and make an exclusive beat out of. The sample can be anything – an old or new song of whatever genre, ad music, movie score, a beatboxing parrot, whatever you think would make for a slammin’ signature Bluff beat.
The most creative submission will have their sample used in an exclusive Vegas Aces song and will receive a Born Fresh prize pack consisting of Vegas Aces – V.A.ALL.DAY, Seven EP, Crate Creeps – It’s About That Time, Prophet Rayza 6 Books EP, Pure Product – Eviction Notice, and the last personal copy of Tommy Illfigga’s Unfiltered. So start entering your samples to email@example.com (feel free to send mp3′s, wav’s, links to sounds/music, YouTube links etc) for your chance to win! V.A.ALL.DAY
‘Tom Thum appears to have swallowed an entire orchestra and several backing singers’ The Guardian (UK)
‘There are not enough superlatives to describe the wonder of this beatboxing virtuoso – I am still trying to figure out how he got those sounds out of his mouth’ The Daily Telegraph (UK)
‘The mic master seems to have an orchestra living in his throat: trumpet blasts, guitar strums and samples from classic songs including Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” effortlessly spout from his mouth’ Time Out, NY
These are apt quotes to describe the performance of one of Australia’s most prominent and respected beatboxers and serial pests. Only in his mid-twenties Tom Thum has achieved and experienced more than most artists could hope to achieve in a lifetime. From winning the team battles in the World Beatbox Championships in 2005, to fulfilling every artists dream and performing on Broadway in New York with the Tom Tom Crew, Tom has seen his fair share of accolades and well and truly paid his dues. Raised by the small but accommodating Brisbane hip hop scene, Tom started out as a graffiti writer and a Bboy but slowly rose to recognition through his ability to produce unhuman sounds and his natural knack for performing and weaselling his way on stage.
Following on from the 2005 victory in the world championships in Germany, 2006 saw Tom travelling to Ohio to secure a second place position in America’s most prestigious hip hop battle, Scribble Jam. More recently, Tom was invited to perform and exhibit in the 2010 world beatbox convention in Berlin, in front of many of the worlds most respected and revered beatbox artists, blowing away even the most cynical of critics with his performance. It is not surprising with achievements such as these, he has been seen fit to share the stage with hip hop legends such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. As a solo artist, Tom has proved time and time again that he is a creative force to be reckoned with, whether using one mic, loop pedals, spinning on his head whilst beatboxing or even playing strange instruments in obscure ways they were never intended to be played. Alongside others, he is an essential ingredient in the alchemy of creating sonic gold. Teaming up with long time DJ friend Sampology, saw the formidable duo playing countless festival spots and supporting and impressing a range of Hip Hop heavyweights, from DJ Qbert and Mix Master Mike to the X-Ecutioners and Blackalicious.
In 2007, Tom began touring extensively as a beatboxer and breakdancer with the Tom Tom Crew: an energetic show, explosively fusing the worlds of Circus and Hip Hop culture, alongside many of Australia’s leading musicians and performing artists. This has seen Tom and the crew perform with critical acclaim to sell out seasons In Brighton, Scotland, New York, London, New Zealand, Holland, Berlin and Hamburg, culminating in a record breaking 23 sold out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 2010 has been yet another exciting year for the Tom Tom Crew, after sell out seasons in the Netherlands, France and Germany, and Munich, Taipei and Bangkok seasons still to come.
As Tom’s experience within the music industry expands, he plans to push the limits of the human voice as far as inhumanly possible. Enrolling the help of numerous loop stations, Tom has been conducting DJ sets using only his voice and nothing else, propelling crowds across the country into a frenzy of jaw-dropping disbelief, as he re-creates and remixes classic joints and jams from all eras and genres. You might see him on a stage at a festival looping up a storm or supporting anyone from the Hilltop Hoods, Blue King Brown, or you might catch him annoying the hell out of commuters on public transport. Either way, you will notice him soon enough. Keep an ear out for Tom Thum.
The video below is a little dubstep cover of Tainted Love performed by Tom Thum using Kaoss Pads. Footage includes bits that Tom ripped the audio from, another up close demonstrating the one shot features of the KP3 and live footage from performances with Tom Tom Crew at Tollwood Festival in Munich.
Following the enormous success of The Spits and Pieces Mixtape (moving ALL 5,000 units within two months of its release, and over 650 downloads to date) Prophet Rayza returns with his latest offering 6 Books on Born Fresh Records. Comprising of 6 original tracks composed by 6 different producers, 6 Books is themed around 6 being a perfect number mathematically, hence the writing of 6 Books depicting the ways of the world as seen through the eyes and pen of a Prophet. The first single This Is, produced by Cam Bluff is your classic boom-bap drum driven hip hop anthem portraying Prophet Rayza’s passion for hip hop in its purest form, and how the culture can make you feel empowered in the worst of life’s situations.
The second single The Lesson, produced by Daneja (NY) is a story of two men leading very different lives at the opposite ends of the scale only to find out they have more in common than they think. Featuring the smooth and soulful vocal talents of HUA (lead singer of Brisbane reggae band Darky Roots); The Lesson is classic storytelling for a modern world.
Featuring guest appearances from Hua (Darky Roots), Tommy Illfigga and Adverse and production from some of the most up and coming beat makers from here and abroad including – Daneja (NY), DATS of The Optimen, Tommy Illfigga and DJ Butcher of The Crate Creeps, Cam Bluff of Vegas Aces and Prophet Rayza. 6 Books is an experience. From the flawless lyrical tapestry perfectly woven into the meticulously crafted musical fabric, right down to being designed and packaged to resemble a book, 6 Books will awaken your 6th sense. Release date November 12th 2010 through Born Fresh Records. Distribution nationwide by MGM. Available at all good record stores (inc JB Hi-Fi) and online.
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!