Kerser is hustling personified. Barely three weeks would have gone by in the past year where the Campbelltown MC hasn’t pumped out some sort of release, whether it be a single, free cut or YouTube clip.
“I try to keep my fans entertained,” he explains down the line from Sydney where – funnily enough – he’s laying down a bunch of new tracks. “That’s how I am: pretty much constantly working … I think about it constantly. [My passion for] rapping is genuine and I want it to work that much that it comes before everything else.”
It’s an approach that has seen Kerser convert thousands of hip hop heads to his cause. This is a new form of unrefined rap, one that eschews what he sees as the local genre’s middle class leanings.
“Man, there’s some good Aussie hip hop, but to be 100 percent honest with you, I find a lot of it boring and too similar. A lot of artists sound the same and attract the same market. I think what I’ve done, and the people I’m rapping with have done, is put a whole new spin on it. There were a lot of uni students and shit in it before. It’s like the street’s coming up now.
“I wouldn’t say [what I’m doing] is necessarily something street. But it’s definitely different to what anyone else in Australia is doing – I see it as that, anyway. And I think that’s why I get a lot of fans coming up to me saying that I’m the only Aussie hip hop that they’re listening to. I think that’s the reason: it’s so different to what they’ve heard on the radio. They find it and think, ‘There is a different side to it’.”
Confirming Kerser’s presence on the pop cultural landscape was his much-hyped battle with Melbourne MC, 360 – arguably Australia’s biggest hip hop artist right now – in January of this year. The internet still rages with arguments over who came out of the battle victorious, and it goes to highlight how much life has changed for Kerser over the past year.
“Yeah, I still get comments on it and people still talk about it, so it’s still massive,” he says. “It’s had over a million views. It’s just crazy, bro – definitely the biggest Aussie battle that’s ever happened. I’m proud to have been a part of that … And life is so different from a year ago. I’ve got an album in stores. I’m actually living off my music. I toured the country. So, it’s a massive change. I get noticed pretty much anywhere I go in Australia. So, still getting used to it, man.
“I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Now I’m hoping that ball just keeps rolling. But yeah, it was definitely a goal to live off music, and now it’s gone beyond that.”
Part of the growing mythology surrounding Kerser is his emergence from Campbelltown – renowned for being one of Sydney’s more rough and tumble suburbs. It’s important to Kerser to represent where he comes from, but he also chats about the area being a little misunderstood.
“It’s hard to explain, man. In Campbelltown people get into shit a lot younger: alcohol and drugs. There’s heaps of kids out on the street and there’s a lot of public housing. People say it’s rough, but there are nice areas. I suppose it’s like any other place; it’s just that there’s a lot of crime. But I do think people misunderstand Campbelltown. I’m really proud of it, and I’m cheering, man, how far I’ve gotten. And it all started in Campbelltown. So I don’t want to forget my roots. It still is home to me, so I try to take it everywhere I go.”
Kerser’s certainly taking a lot of Campbelltown with him on his brand new Do The Kers tour. Travelling with him will be younger brother and hypeman, Rates, along with Kerser’s regular DJ, Skeamo, and Skeamo’s younger brother, Nter.
“They’re going to be pretty crazy shows, man, and you’ll see a different side to Australian hip hop,” Kerser says. “‘Do The Kers’ is one of the most popular songs on my album. It’s the most downloaded on iTunes. I get people at the concert holding up placards asking me to do it. And we didn’t do it at all on the recent Nebulizer tour. I thought, ‘Fuck it. This tour we’re going to call it Do The Kers.’ If we left it out now, I think there’d be riots!”
KERSER PLAYS THE SPRING LAKES HOTEL APRIL 19, TEMPO HOTEL APRIL 20 AND RUNAWAY BAY TAVERN APRIL 21.