Sophomore albums are supposed to come quickly, turned out to capitalise on an artist’s early momentum.
But what happens when it doesn’t quite pan out that way? Rainman made a splash on the national scene with his 2006 debut ‘Fire In The Belly’, but since then life has gotten in the way of what many genre pundits think should have been a steady rise to the upper echelons of Australian hip hop.
“I guess it’s like a rebirth,” the Brisbane-based MC says, laughing. “We started working on it in 2008, but then at the same time I got a big DJ festival gig in Korea and got back into the DJing side of things for a few months, and then I was working on my band project – Deep Ends – a seven-piece … But yeah, stuff can take a bit of time if you let it, and I’m definitely keen to keep the ball rolling with this.”
Part of Rainman’s problem in previous years has been a budding expertise in a number of different fields, including turntablism and production. But his new record, ‘Bigger Pictures’, finds him doubling down on the microphone skills. “I’ve definitely been focussing more on the rapping … I limit myself on the production side of things now – I tend to release and pass it over to [producer] Sammsonite or anyone else I might be working with, and they’ll clean it up and add basslines and other instruments.”
A wise decision: ‘Bigger Pictures’ is easily one of the Australian rap albums of the year so far. If he’s not skewering Brisbane nightlife on ‘The Valley’, Rainman’s teaming up with Laneous – just one of many exceptional collaborators – for a gentle ode to the fairer sex on ‘Muse Sick’. “After the first one, I realised from doing a few of the tracks live that the heavier, angrier tracks weren’t so much me. I wanted it to be a bit more representative of who I am, day-to-day.”
Now for the album launch, when Rainman will be teaming up with his Born Fresh Records compadres for a block party of intimidating proportions. “We just thought, ‘Let’s make it one cracker event rather than splitting it over two things’. And I like the idea of it being framed as a party, especially on home turf. It’s going to be a celebration.”
RAINMAN LAUNCHES ‘BIGGER PICTURES’ AT THE BORN FRESH BLOCK PARTY, CONISTON LANE, SATURDAY JUNE 16.