Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

Sprung Festival Tickets

In 2013 Sprung Festival returns to Brisbane for a third straight year; and with it a line-up boasting some of the country’s hottest hip hop acts at the moment.

Topping the bill are 360, Drapht and Seth Sentry while other interstaters include: Funkoars, Urthboy, Horrowshow, Thundamentals, Brad Strut, All Day, Purpose and Dialectrix.

The local scene is fronted by Lazy Grey, Jake Biz and DJ Dcide plus Mr Hill & Rahjconkas and Chelsea Jane.

To win a double pass to the Saturday September 21 event at Victoria Park This competition has closed
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Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 12pm Thursday 18th July at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winner drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail.
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:14

Lazy Grey: Me And The Biz

Lazy Grey has so much to say that he barely stops to take a breath.

His answers to my enquiries stream forth like pages torn from a dozen different cultural theses, taped together to form their own manifesto. There are no simple answers, it seems. Instead, everything is a complex issue that Lazy needs to deconstruct and analyse, piece by piece. Having been active as both an MC and producer on the Brisbane hip hop for the better part of two decades, Lazy Grey has had plenty of time to ponder the state of the music world and his place within it.

"The hip hop scene in Brisbane is still growing. There's a lot of different branches these days [compared] to what there used to be, a lot of different sounds coming out. In general I think it's healthy. I haven't got anything negative to say at all! At the end of the day everyone chooses what to listen to; if you don't like it, don't listen to it. I think people now are being really business-minded about how they present themselves, particularly with the way they use digital media. And, you know, I think it's gonna keep growing. Things come in growth spurts. Just when you think that this is as far as it can get there's always gonna be someone who comes out and instils your faith back in it again and makes you say, ‘Damn, these guys just took it to the next level’. I reckon it's on the up and up still."

Talking about the development of hip hop in Brisbane from its early days of breaking and painting trains, Lazy sounds like a proud father. He is, after all, one of the founding figures of the scene, and has remained prolific even if it has meant making sacrifices along the way.

"To be honest most of us have full-time jobs or have other things going on to get money. We don't live off this music."

Most of us have lost track of the collaborations that Lazy has formed over the years; even he has some trouble remembering them all. But it's his latest studio pairing with Jake Biz that's given him a second wind, adding some fuel to his tank and some syllables to his rhymes.

"In the last two years I've refocused a lot of the things that I've been doing and taken a lot of inspiration from Jake Biz and seeing what [he's] done in the last couple of years. Especially with this latest release that [Jake Biz and I[ are working on... we've been in the studio now for six months and I've found myself upping the ante and being pushed to keep writing and do better.

"I've known him since he was recording demos ten years back. When we're on stage presenting the stuff that we record I think Jake's got a very strong stage presence. He has the hunger — he's never comfortable to do just enough, he always wants to push it."

Lazy speaks of the 'hunger' as if it underpins everything that he and Jake Biz do; as if, without it, both of them are destined to pack up their equipment and head back to the nine to five world. Perhaps it's the result of seeing so many others come and go that has left MCs like Lazy with the will to overcome the odds.

"You always gotta stay updated. After doing it for so long, if you start resting on your laurels and think that you've taken it to a level and that's it and you don't try to push any further, you get stale. You get stagnant and people hear it. I'm surrounding myself with like-minded people, even younger people, and getting inspiration from them."
Lazy may not be resting on his laurels, but the production side of his persona does seem to be taking a break.

"I'm not doing it as much, I still get in there most weeks and dig for records and load up the MPC. I still make beats but no one really hears them; I'll have a night off and just make beats for the fun of it."

Lazy Grey and Jake Biz perform at Sprung Festival in Brisbane on Saturday September 21.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 10:45

Lazy Grey

 

Rap’s Rap

In the world of real, gritty Brisbane hip hop, no one stands taller than the diminutive Lazy Grey - more than 20 dedicated years on the mic and MPC tend to stand a man ahead of the pack.

Ask around - any head in town will nod knowingly at the mention of Grey's name, and perhaps get a far-off look in their eye like they're remembering some legendary show/  release/  rumour. He's collaborated with most of the Oz hip hop fraternity at one point or another - Resin Dogs, Bias B, Brad Strut, Pegz, Tornts and piles more - and his work as part of Brothers Stoney and 750 Rebels, alongside his solo output, marks him as an MC/ beatmaker who's in the game for life. Yes, that greatest of hip hop cliches seems to suit Lazy down to the ground - he actually keeps it real.
"I'm getting stuff together with Jake Biz and DCE for the DOOM support, dropping beats down for Bias' new album," he says. "I worked late last night. Bias' album comes out in June, so I'm just polishing beats - I think I've got five beats on the album and a guest spot, so that's sort of my priority at the moment.

“I've got a day job at a lighting company and I've got a bub, she's 17 months old, so being a dad and going to work is a big part of it all these days ... just doing what everyone else does and I'm just trying to find the time to do music. I get home at nine at night and make beats then, or get some raps done ... I very rarely watch TV these days, if I've got a spare two hours it's going to music. No rock star lifestyle here, man. I'm 36 now, I've lived a crazy life for a long time and I'm enjoying the normality."
Indeed it seems that the reality check of having a kid often puts the artist in a better, less self-absorbed place, although I'm interested in how these changes affect his often-direct lyrics.
"At first you're thinking different, but after a while, it's doesn't matter where you are or what's happened to you ... rap's rap, you know? It's still the game and you know how it's played. So, yeah, there was an effect but it's not like I've started rapping about different topics ... nappies and shit. It's still rap, you just execute it. It's about getting a smashing beat and spitting a hot verse and that doesn't change."

His next show is as support for legendary US rapper DOOM, a man whose entire career has been forged behind an iron mask and bent around the imaginary character of a cartoon super villain. Despite turning out some of the dopest rhymes the planet's ever heard, DOOM's supposed to be quite... difficult. And that's putting it nicely.
"I think the last support me and Jake did was for Raekwon a year ago. I'm stoked, it's a good support to get and I'm a big fan of MF. I've only heard some of the rumours this week, like that he doesn't even turn up for a lot of his shows in the US and gets other rappers to do the show from behind the mask ... he's just cancelled [Ed’s note: DOOM postponed his Sydney and Melbourne shows due to ill health] some of the Australian shows too, so ... it's pretty cheeky of him. Hopefully he'll show. And the Hi-Fi is a great venue."

20 years ago, there virtually was no Australian hip hop scene. Even now, crowd numbers at hip hop shows can fluctuate wildly for big-name internationals, so the fact that Lazy Grey recently sold out out his own headline show at the Step Inn speaks volumes about the respect he gets from the local hip hop community.
"Now that we're not playing as often, it can be a bit of a special occasion, people come and check it out. That Step Inn show was crazy - you seriously couldn't have fitted another person in there. The Raekwon show was sold out too. On the night, we'll be doing some new stuff, some old bangers, some 750 tracks, some stuff off 'Banned In Queensland', some stuff off 'The Soundtrack' and yeah, we're just going to mix it up and have some fun.

"I'm aware that I've got a special place in Brisbane and I love the underground scene up here. It's been a weird thing to watch the Australian hip hop scene grow from within ... we were absolutely hated when we started, but we knew we were working on something and building something even back then. We felt it. Some of the artists getting exposure these days truly deserve it - hip hop's their life. Without naming names, some others are just riding the wave."

Lazy Grey supports DOOM at the Hi-Fi on April 1.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 09:59

Lazy Grey Interview

Supplying The Beats

Lazy Grey is set to consolidate his position as one of Australia’s premier hip hop artists when he supports Raekwon’s, of Wu-Tang Clan fame, upcoming Brisbane show.

What have you been up to following the release of ‘The Soundtrack’?

‘The Soundtrack’ was released about June/ July last year. Rather than doing shows straight away, we sat on it for a few months to let that shit marinate. We did the Melbourne launch in October at the Espy; same night my daughter was born, great fucking timing! And we did the Brizzy launch at the Step Inn about a month later. The Brisbane show was off the hook, sold out show with Bias B featuring Bigfoot, with supports from Fluent Form plus local emcee Dwizofoz. I had DJ Dce, Dave V and Jake Biz on stage performing ‘The Soundtrack’. Just been makin’ beats for nuthin’ in particular and doing a couple verses on other crew members releases since then.

Are you in the market for a distributor for future releases?

At the moment no. Our distribution went to shit quite early in the piece with ‘The Soundtrack’.  We’re still workin’ that angle, but for the moment we’re just sittin’ pretty. To be honest, we’re just a little over the shit the industry has been going through in recent years, and don’t see much point in underground hip hop having distro through major chains for now. In fact, I see these dinosaurs dying off in the next five years or so as the industry completely re-invents itself for the new digital era.

Have you been doing much production work or is that still on the backburner?

I’ve got some production on the new Bias B release and a beat on the debut from Jake Biz, both releases that should see light in 2010. A lot of beats I’ve made in the last six months still haven’t found a home as yet. Things will fall into place as releases get finalised; so short answer yeah, staying busy with the beats.

‘The Soundtrack’ featured a bit more conceptual stuff, do you think this did much to dispel myths regarding the supposed beer and bongs focus to your music?

I’d never done a concept album before, and had a lot of fun making the album.

I consciously made the decision to stick to the script and not go wandering off in my usual direction. In saying that, I love my drunk stoner rap more than ever! Whether or not it worked to dispel myths? I think it has to some degree, but that wasn’t the initial intention behind the change of focus on the record. It was just another natural step for me is all.

Are there any more Lazy and Ken Oath gems in the pipeline?

Ken still makes an appearance now and then; him and me haven’t done shit together for a while now but this year you’ll hear him on a couple of releases.

What have 750 Rebels got coming up by way of releases?

The Rebels have got a shitload of tracks recorded, but whether it comes out as a full release or broken up on solo releases as the big posse cuts, we’re still figuring that out. Either way, you’ll definitely be hearing from the Seven Five O in the not too distant future.

The Raekwon show is coming up, have you had any support slots that eclipse that in terms of magnitude?

It doesn’t get much better than Raekwon, but we’ve supported a lot of US rappers over the years. Some have been some of our favourite emcees and others we just happen to be on the bill that night. Recently, Ghostface was Killah!

What are you looking forward to about the show?

I want to see Rae mash it out on stage and get the whole room into a frenzy. I'll be hitting the stage with Jake Biz and DJ Dce with a guest spot from Bigfoot and Sean B droppin’ a new banger off the forthcoming album from The StatesMen, ‘Drama To The Finish’. There’s also The Optimen doing supports. Should be a dope night for all, so get ya tix on Brisbane ‘cause you don’t wanna miss this!

Lazy Grey and The Optimen support Raekwon at The Step Inn Friday March 19. ‘The Soundtrack’ is available from all good record stores.

Published in Urban

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