Class A MC Interview: Milkmen, Money & Music

aahh: 2010 saw the release of your debut LP Me, Me, Me & Him, The Secret Life of a Receptionist. What so far has been the highlight of this journey?
Class A MC: The highlight of the journey was seeing it out and in JB Hi Fi. That was a big goal for me- to get it in stores. It was a very long and arduous journey and to see it finished, packaged and ready for sale was an amazing feeling. After the visit to JB, we then went and drank champagne and ate lots of dumplings to celebrate. The release date in general was pretty exciting, just knowing that it was finally going out into the world was a great accomplishment for me.

aahh: Where you going for the longest hip hop album title in history?
Class A MC: haha um.. I just didn’t want something that was cliché or been done before and I wanted something that gave listeners an idea of what the album is about. There were a couple of strong themes throughout the album and I wanted to fit both of those in. It has caused some confusion, and radio dj’s not being able to get it right, but I wasn’t budging. Also, it reminded me of an Atmosphere album title so I liked it.

aahh: Your versatility on the mic has been described as one your strengths and it carries on through to the album with impressive fashion. Were your intentions from the outset aimed specifically on making a versatile album?
Class A MC: Why thank you! Well I get bored with the same style, I like to switch things up a lot. I did want to show my versatility and to show all sides of my personality. I also didn’t want every track to sound the same. To keep it exciting, entertaining and diverse was the plan. I was just hoping it would all fit together and that it all wasn’t too different. I had to cut a few tracks to make it work, but I was happy with it in the end.

aahh: We don’t tend to see many female emcees in Australia with such character and style, what was it that lead you into this wonderful world of hip hop?
Class A MC: I started getting into hip hop about 10 years ago when I heard it on community radio for the first time. I fell in love with it and the rest is history. I was already into Snoop Dogg and Salt N Pepa and Biggie etc. I started writing and kept it a secret for a while and I finally revealed my rhymes at an open mic and started hanging out with local emcees Fatty Phew, Thorts and crew who nurtured my skills and helped me create my music. I went to an all girls private school so nobody in my school was into Australian hip hop (except for a couple of girls). I hung out in town after school with the other rappers and kept the rapping pretty quiet for a long time at school. It wasn’t until I moved to Melbourne that I started meeting other female emcees, which was great.

aahh: Subject matter was obviously an important aspect on this album. Did you have any challenges in presenting an album that didn’t isolate the larger male audience?
Class A MC: Yeah I was a bit worried that boys might not like the album, but I can’t help what I write, it’s all personal experience. I try to write songs that everybody will be able to relate to, but this album was very specifically about my life as a receptionist and my relationship with boys. I knew girls would definitely be able to relate to it, but I do think there are songs that guys can enjoy as well. Everyone can relate to being stuck in a job they don’t want to be in and fantasising about a better life.

aahh: Is the sexy receptionist we hear about on the album a bit of a persona/metaphor or more of a true representation of who you are as a person?
Class A MC: haha no, I’m not really a sexy receptionist. I really was a receptionist, but I was a massive nerd. I guess I can be very girly and I suppose sexual at times, but I was that bored that I just came up with some fantasies of the milkman etc. I can be a bit of a daydreamer.

aahh: You worked closely with some of the finest producers in the country on this one, including BVA, Dly Thomas and M-Phazes. In your point of view, is it vital in the creative process to be able to have that back and forth interaction/relationship with your producers?
Class A MC: Yes, absolutely. I only worked with producers who are my friends as well so it makes it an easy and enjoyable process. I like working with producers in their studio and throwing ideas back and forth. That’s what works best for me and I think you get the best result from working that way. I lived with Akouo at the time, M-Phazes came over and recorded “So Bad”, and me and Dyl would talk on a regular basis about the tracks. Thank god for the internet for the times where you can’t get together, especially working with BVA (who lives in Adelaide). We became good friends after the album as we spoke so much. There was a lot of interaction between myself and the producers.

aahh: With such a range of tracks on the album, from straight up hip hop to funk and electro what were some of the most enjoyable tracks for you to record or write?
Class A MC: I really enjoyed ‘So Bad’ with M-Phazes, that recording processing was fun as hell. He challenged me so much and was wouldn’t settle for anything that wasn’t the best. We ended up with a great product and in the end, that track was one of my favourites. Fitzroy was pretty enjoyable to write too, I went for drinks with Akouo during the day (he made the beat), came home and wrote the song in a fairly tipsy state. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was high off life in Fitzroy. Writing Break It Down was also memorable, as I was at a holiday house with my mum and sister and best friend and just reflecting on the year and where I was at. I was at the end of the album writing process and realising how important music was to me. That was pretty special.

aahh: Everyone wants to know, have you scored the milkman yet? Has he heard the track? Is there a milkman?
Class A MC: No I haven’t. haha. After I left reception, I didn’t see him again. The new receptionist fell in love with him after I left, and now he isn’t working there anymore. I don’t think I’ll ever see him again, which is fine. It was just a fantasy! We were joking around saying we should send him the track but I decided against it, I think he might be scared of me if he finds out.

aahh: You recently went Wildside with The Tongue on his album tour, which also featured Spit Syndicate. Even more recently a few shows with Syntax. What have these tours been like?
Class A MC: It was so much fun! I brought Rachael Berry and DJ Mathmatics with me for a lot of it and we had a ball. Me and Rach were like two schoolgirls on an excursion, very excited and loved doing the shows. I’d have to say Joyride would have to be one of the funniest guys on the planet, loved getting to know the boys. Brisbane, Melbourne and Freo were the highlights, they went off. Doing shows with Syntax is enjoyable as well. He is a very funny man.

aahh: We saw a spontaneous twitter battle between you and 360 earlier last year. Do you get many rappers wanting to battle or trying to spit bars at you when you’re out on the town or whatever?
Class A MC: Haha yeah that was fun. There needs to be more of those. I’ve only had a couple of people trying to battle me when I’m out, but I’m a lover, not a fighter. I don’t really like battling, I don’t like dissing people for no reason. I can with 360 because he can handle anything and we give each other shit all the time anyway. If anyone tries to battle me out I just find it funny, I’m just out to have a good time really.

aahh: Without sounding to cliché, even though the question is cliché as fuck. What would your words of wisdom be to any young female looking to push their skills further or even just to start writing some raps?
Class A MC: Just be yourself, make the music you want to listen to. Be proud of what you do, don’t be too hard on yourself and work really hard. Don’t let haters get to you, prove people wrong. If you believe in what you’re doing, you can hold your head up high and push your music to as many people as you can. Oh and be patient!

Purchase a copy of Class A – Me Me Me Him: The Secret Life Of A Receptionist here (via JB Hi-Fi) or here via Bandcamp.

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