From the depths of Melbourne, the highly respected rapper and venomous author, Tornts, is back with his highly anticipated LP, Concrete Slang. Broken Tooth Entertainment’s most prolific MC returns with a hard-hitting dose of reality rap and imagery riddled visions of city life in 2012.
Explain to us the concept behind the title of your new album Concrete Slang and how that relates to the tracks on the album?
I set out to do an album that had a lot real life rap content and story type joints about living in Melbourne…so ‘Concrete Slang’ relates to what I’m rapping/writing about…life in the city and how I relate to it. Out of all the albums I’ve done this is the joint that I think is the most killer. It definitely shows the evolution of my style.
How long have you been working on Concrete Slang?
I worked on the album for just over a year and at the same time it was getting mixed and engineered along the way. I ended up recording about 27 joints haha but cut it down to 16. Those other joints will end up coming out but on different projects or for download.
Broken Tooth Entertainment is the label you’ve been a part of for many years now. What’s it mean to you being an artist on the BTE roster and how does that flow on down to the final product you release?
Well I had the very first release on BTE back in early 03 and it meant a lot that they backed me and helped me get product out there properly. I’m proud of the music that has come out through the label and we have definitely been pioneers in street level/hardcore rap coming out in Australia. It’s good to have a label behind you and one that has always given me freedom to release whatever music I wanted to do.
For those that picked up your last LP The Deadbrain Diaries, how does Concrete Slang differ from that release or should heads expect something in the same vein?
Concrete Slang is a better album in my opinion. I put so much focus and writing in to it and the content I think is more complex and full of real life joints and story tracks. I fucked around with my delivery on this album too, going hard in the booth on some tracks, backing off a little on some joints… you know fuckin with my vocals to see how I could switch it up. The mixing/engineering by 2Bladez takes it to a new level too…sounds real pro. I set out to do an album that stands up internationally rap wise and production wise and I think that’s been achieved.
For this release you’ve sourced beats from around the country and also internationally, was this a big change-up for yourself?
Yeah in the last few years I’ve been working with a few different producers/beatmakers it adds another angle to my tracks, I think its good to vary it up and show you can spit over any beat. I’ve got Beat Butcha from UK, Ciph Barker from Holland, WIK from Melbourne, Nebs from Sydney, 2Bladez and some others I’ve been working with.
The track City Life is a dark tale of Melbourne city living. How do you find living in Melbourne? Is there a touch of a love/hate relationship there?
I love living in Melbourne man, I moved around a lot when I was a kid but Melbourne’s my home, in the sense I’ve lived here way longer than anywhere else. In the track ‘City Life’ yeah I’m, talking about those days when you just think fuck, look around there’s a lot of stress and paranoia around the place and I’m gonna write about it…it should be written about you know. it’s a universal track man people overseas in other cities could relate to what I’m writing about as well.
You’ve always had a dark and hard-hitting style and the track Venom is no different. What were some of your inspirations for this album?
Venom is more of a straight up dis/battle rap joint taking foes out type shit hey, more of what I’m notorious for. My inspiration for this album was setting out to do some ‘life rap’ shit and do a few story type joints too. Melbourne inspires me daily and the people and shit that I see in general. I write with a lot of imagery and description in my verses.
A clip dropped a few weeks back for one of the lead singles titled Traumatic Cinema. The track deals with some pretty heavy issues. Why did you pick this track to apply the Full Clip treatment and what was the motivation behind this menacing track?
I showed Heata from Full Clip who’s a good mate of mine and in my crew some joints off the album and we both agreed straight away there had to be a clip for that joint! Traumatic Cinema…it says it all really. I started writing to that beat from WIK and ended up writing two nutso verses about kids getting revenge on their parental figures who abused them. It turned out so sick that clip! My motivation comes from knowing some kids like that who would have loved to have got revenge and I think that kind of subject matter should be talked about .
We see a mammoth posse track feat. Jake Biz, Ciecmate, Gaz Hazard, Fluent Form, Briggs & Bigfoot. In your opinion what makes a quality posse track?
Yeah dope track that one…well I reckon for a quality posse track you have to get the talent on there and rappers that are varied and from different hoods/areas but speaking on a similar theme. Each spitter gotta carry their own weight and add some style up in the mix.
How did you go about selecting the guests on this album?
All the guest rappers on the album are either crew or friends of myself who I respect on all levels and also who I thought would add some extra style and content to the album. They all on some similar steez but different angle type shit heh
On the cover of Concrete Slang there’s a picture of you showing a bit of ink, did you what to tell us a bit about your tatts?
Well my first tattoo was a Decimation Recordings tattoo I wrote myself and got a fella I know at a shop to do up for me and I just kept going on from there. They all mean something to me, got some quotes off my tracks on there, got a whole Hells Burn Melbourne theme on one arm. There are too many others to go into here, this could sound like a Picture mag interview if I ain’t careful haha Basically they all link into my writing and my fucked up psyche.
There has been quite a bit of discussion on the state of Hip Hop in Australia of late, whats are your opinions on those who choose to rap over boom bap style tracks to those who go for more of the dance styled beats?
Everyone does their thing, fuck everyone’s got an opinion haha but it would be boring if everyone did the same rap that’s for sure. I like more new 2012 sounding production that you tend to hear in UK gangster rap shit or new NY or Texas / Down South production than boom bap joints. I used to rap over them joints but I like to keep it moving and evolve and progress.