Friday, 5 April 2013

Sinking Battleships

Thought I'd drop a quick note to let people know that it's just over a week until I make my Battle Rap debut at 1Outs Street Battles Melbourne: Amped Up event; "Space Invaders". Going to be a fantastic day down at Frankston, if you're in the area get down and support local talent, it's a free event and their will be a BBQ and plenty of entertainment.

Mikey Pipes, Codix and the crew at 1Outs Street Battles have been making huge moves recently, their latest Youtube video to drop, which I've linked below, has clocked over 80,000 views in less than a week - probably the best battle I've ever seen live. I'm lucky enough to have Greeley judging my battle next weekend.

It's going to to be great fun to get involved as a battler rather than just a spectator; been working hard on my material and looking forward to keeping everyone entertained! I'll be sure to post the footage as soon as it drops.

Hit up the Amped Up Street Battles on facebook for further details or just find the links through the video.



Thursday, 7 March 2013

Neat Brass, Street Sharks and Ducks Smoking Doobies

Dylan Joel @ Laundry Upstairs

If I make only one music prediction for the entirety of 2013, it is this; Dylan Joel is the next big thing in Aussie Hip-Hop. Mark my words. Recite them back to me. And then listen to this kid’s music. To quote Dave Ruby How  from Triple J Unearthed; “If the Mayan calendar doesn't f**k us over, then 2013 will be his year.”  I agree entirely.

After dropping a solid debut album Added Chapter in 2011 to great reviews, Dylan and his team immediately set to work on crafting out a piece that reflected his unique style and message to endear him to the Australian music landscape - enter Kid Illin.

Kid Illin’ is the personification of Dylan Joel; a fresh, laidback, somewhat cheeky attitude that promotes youthfulness, fun and ultimately, sublime music. As far removed as possible from the egocentric stereotype of the Hip-Hop scene, Dylan represents the new generation of Hip-Hop; one who sees the movement as a soapbox to stand on and spread a positive message of hope, inspiration, identity and the challenge of self and global improvement.

Not to be underestimated however, the dude possesses mad skills and at only 21 years of age has received praise from industry professionals local and abroad through to Aussie Hip-Hop icons Mantra and M-Phazes. He packed out The Corner Hotel for the Kid Illin' EP launch back in July, with Allday as support, and then went on to score the support slot at Prince for the Funk Volume team of Hopsin, Jarren Benton and Dizzy Wright. 

Not only does Dylan bring ridiculous flow and penmanship to the scene but his established musical background sees him equally at home singing with a guitar in his hand. His renditions of Aloe Blacc’s I Need A Dollar and Daniel Merriweather’s Change are terrific showcases of his vocal and creative ability, adding his own unique inflection and verse to the performance of an incredibly talented backing band. 

His Laundry Bar set on Saturday Night was pretty eclectic. Featuring a live brass section, he played the covers alongside crowd favourites Set Us Alright and the Triple J featured track Leveled, before demanding the room’s attention with an acapella verse showcasing his double-time ability and his message about materialism, identity, meaning and purpose. The crowd responded in raptures – Dylan is a natural communicator.

After endless cries from both the crowd and venue management, he closed the night with a huge rendition of his popular early number D In The Moonlight which is honestly my favourite summer tune since Pez and 360 did The Festival Song. I’m a regular at the Laundry Bar, even gig there myself on occasion, but I’ve never seen the place go off like it did during this encore. He simply smiled and thanked everyone for their support – instantly reminding me of Macklemore’s captivating performance at The Forum only a few weeks earlier. This is a kid who loves what he does and is genuinely in awe of the fact that people know his music. 

The behind the scenes Dylan Joel is exactly the same guy you get onstage; humble, genuine, open and hella cool. He plays a stack of shows at High-Schools and youth events around the state and is a regular on the youth speaking circuit where he motivates and inspires teenagers to strive for their goals. 

Recently he scored a spot opening Pyramid Rock Festival and can be seen this weekend headlining at Forest Edge Music Festival. With the much anticipated free album That’s Good with Otis Grey pending release, I dare say you can expect to see the name Dylan Joel in next year’s Triple J Hottest 100 and on every major festival bill over the summer. 

Until the album drops, make sure you catch the Leveled clip below (shot and produced in Toronto, Canada) as well as the verse Dylan recently dropped on Soliquay’s EP Double Sided – be warned, it’s fire. 

Sketch The Rhyme @ The Famous Speigeltent

Earlier in the day, before catching Dylan Joel’s show, I found myself at the Arts Centre’s Famous Spiegeltent with a few friends to check out the only Melbourne show of Sketch The Rhyme – it turned out to be one of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever seen.

For those who don’t know what Sketch The Rhyme is, the best way to describe it is as a cross between Mr Squiggle, Who’s Line Is It Anyway and 8 Mile. A unique showcase, STR fuses hip-hop, theatre sports and freehand art, forcing talented emcees and artists to think on the spot and improvise scenarios, songs and stories all the while keeping in time with the live band.

It really is amazing entertainment and gives you a whole new appreciation for the talent and creative artistry of the Australian underground scene. My friends and I were in fits of laughter as we watched sketches of aliens, stilettos, ducks and doobies, transformed into rhymes about love, loss and victory. You are genuinely in awe of the abilities of all on-stage who ensure not a dull moment is had and that you are constantly on the edge of your seat anticipating the next wordplay or twist in the story.

I can’t really talk too much about Sketch The Rhyme without merely telling you to check it out yourself. I guarantee you will enjoy it. It’s a light-hearted, relaxed atmosphere perfect for a session with the lads/ladies or a great way to break the ice with that new someone. The product of rappers P Smuf, Rapaport, Jeswon (Thundamentals) and a team of astoundingly talented artists, Sketch The Rhyme deserves to be a phenomenon. It is unique, innovative and will appeal across the board to Hip-Hoppers, art lovers and comedy fans alike.

I managed to catch up with the boys and special guest Grey Ghost at Laundry Bar that night where a couple of the lads were playing sets. Not only did they kill the stage but they were great dudes to have a beer with; these are highly skilled musicians who have developed a creative concept that merits a more mainstream audience. 

So watch and share the video below, hit up Sketch The Rhyme on Facebook, and spread the word. But most of all make sure you check it out when the showcase next hits your city.