Def Man Walking

1 June 2012 | 3:04 pm | Chris Yates

MC Sereck convinces Chris Yates that the new Def Wish Cast record, Evolution Machine, is more than just another sporadic reunion record for the group – it’s the start of a whole new chapter in the ongoing saga of Australia’s hip hop originators.

It's been over six years since Def Wish Cast gave the Australian hip hop community a dose of the real shit with their Hydrofunk-released album, The Legacy Continues... Audiences across the country were treated to a double whammy of legendary hip hop recently and for most it was their first glimpse of material from the new album.

“A few heads showed out,” MC Sereck, aka Paul Westgate, says modestly, playing down the overwhelming support that DWC received on their recent tour supporting one of the true icons of hip hop, KRS-One. There was as much love for the Australian group from a lifetime fanbase as there was for The Teacha himself. “We really enjoyed ourselves, we enjoyed the whole tour – I mean it was incredible. It was really uplifting. We needed it, the nice big crowds. We got to meet him a couple of times; at the publicity launch we did, we kinda hung out and had a few words. At the end he got to see the show and we met his wife and his son. KRS-One's little thirteen year old daughter is a full Def Wish Cast fan. His wife was telling us, 'My daughter just loves you guys.' How's that, hey?”

He laughs retelling this story, but it was obvious from the shows that it's not just the kids of hip hop royalty that are still excited by the group. It has inspired DWC to really head into this next part of their story with gusto.

“The last record was 2006 and it's just a different time for music now than it was then. It was long enough, and we knew that we needed to get our shit together now or we'd never get it together. It's not like we disappeared. We were still hanging out with everyone and still gigging and whatever, but for the music side of things, it's such a promotional thing, with making a record and touring, there's a lot of effort behind it. If you want to take this stuff seriously and push this internationally, it takes a whole team. It takes our manager Randy (Glazer) and our record label Creative Vibes and everyone to be on the same page. Luckily enough, there's a friendship in all those areas as well, and those people have really put themselves out there for us. So that's what makes it in the end.”

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Westgate says that the title of the album, Evolution Machine, represents the evolution of the band, and the evolution of hip hop itself, which he says go hand in hand. The new single, Forever, produced by Katalyst, is just one taste of a massive record that also features production from Brisbane veterans Resin Dogs, M-Phazes, original DWC beat-maker DJ Vame, New York City's DJ JS1 from Rocksteady Crew and Westgate himself – and that's just a shortlist of some of the names onboard.

“We're not having a long hiatus again like it's been since 2006,” he says with steadfast seriousness. “We're going full-on now, this is it. Every year from now there will be albums, there will be remixes dropping all the time. It's involving the whole culture as well, the art and dancing, trying to bring everyone back around. This is just the start of us getting back into it and getting us back out there. It's like where Rocky used to train in his old neighbourhood. We're getting the eye of the tiger man,” he laughs. “The machine has relaunched and it's starting now, and it's going until the day we drop.”