Fat Records

9 August 2012 | 4:42 pm | Staff Writer

Influential Aussie hip hop label Obese Records release their Obesecity 2 compilation, a decade after their first, and Drum got the label to catch up with a few of the artists involved.

BIGFOOT (Hired Goons Crew, Melbourne)

One of the few artists on Obesecity 2, who also appeared on the first Obesecity 10 years ago:

“When the first Obesecity came out I was living in Thornbury with Fletchrock & Kade. There were a lot of hectic times had under that roof, and many interstate visitors passed through the door. I remember the late Hunter and one of his mates from WA even stayed on the couches in the living room for a few months after driving over via Adelaide. My crew Hired Goons were in full swing having formed the previous year and would frequently congregate over choicest intoxicants for beat-making and freestyle sessions. You have to remember that Australian hip hop was nowhere near as big as it is now…Many of us had been plying our trade for years with little or no reward, other than the camaraderie and friendships gained with artists from all corners of the country following a similar path. Hip hop clubs were few and far between and it was fairly commonplace to be personally acquainted with almost everybody in attendance.

Shaheen (Shazlek One) was a mate and had always been supportive of what we were doing at the time. Most of my HG crew were known for a few guest appearances and some burnt CD-R albums that we sold at live shows; the Internet had a far lesser role in the way things were conducted. The opportunity to have one of my own tracks on a legitimate release, alongside many of my friends, was one I did not intend to pass up.

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I had made a prototype of the beat several years earlier, but revisited it to fortify the drums and bass with techniques amassed in the interim. Typically Australian hip hop at the time had laid back and easy going overtones that I could not always identify with. I was striving to make something more indicative of the lifestyle that I was living at the time, also reflecting the more extreme nature of the music that I gravitated towards as a listener. It was my aim to make Destroy The Rhyme the hardest and fastest song on the album, highlighting the differences between myself and the majority of Australian rap at the time. Having grown up painting graffiti and performing numerous shows with Fletchrock, I thought it only right to bring him along for the ride. The song was recorded and mixed one blurry night at Ciecmate's place after probably a bit too much liquid warm-up, but we managed to smash it all out.

Since then, with the proliferation of relatively inexpensive home recording equipment and influence of the Internet, the music industry has undergone a radical change. What once took an excruciating effort to record, mix, release and promote your material can now be undertaken from the comfort of your own home. With these luxuries also comes an online market flooded with an ocean of new artists and releases, some fantastic, many awful, all competing for the same space in your music collection. Gone are the days when major labels would take a sizeable financial gamble on an unknown performer hoping for a hit, these days artists create their own buzz organically before being lured into the dark side of the business.

Obesecity 2 is testament to the years of hard work and solid foundations built by those artists who have stuck to their guns, unfalteringly walking their own path and building their own fan-bases from grass roots beginnings. Very few of them are household names in the commercial realm, but the majority are revered and respected mainstays amongst hip hop circles who have invested blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of their passions. Seasoned veterans from all corners of the map are aligned alongside newer generations of talent showing limitless potential.

My track on the new compilation is What I Do, and it's in part a return to the essence of why I do this music. Carefully plotted word-plays, vivid rhyme structures and unrelenting, abrasive beats. I think the main difference between then and now is that having spent another 10 years on this planet, I have witnessed and experienced a whole lot more of life to draw on as inspiration for lyrics. Punch lines have largely been replaced with actual facts, real events, statements of intention and a glimpse into the way that my mind operates… literally 'What I do'.”


One of two lady emcees on the new compilation:

“I think stigma for women in hip hop began in the early '90s when the genre became more about making money for a lot of people, and women were expected to be an entire marketing package than just good emcees. This is still the case I think, with videos and image becoming increasingly important in getting noticed. Unfortunately it's not just about the music anymore in the music industry, and there is a lot more pressure for females to look good, and “sexy” in the scene, and people are quick to judge a female emcee's looks, just on YouTube! It's a lot different for males in that respect.

There has always been incredibly talented women in hip hop, behind the scenes and on the stage. People like MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante were making classic albums back in the day that are still respected now. It is a very male dominated scene and there aren't that many females in the spotlight in hip hop, because rap is about being very self assured and confident and overcoming people stepping up to you and trying to bring you down. You have to have a very thick skin. There are people who don't like women in hip hop at all, but you just have to have the guts to step up and challenge those people and show them you don't give a shit and that you have as much as a right to make hip hop and represent as males do. You can make what you want out of hip hop these days I believe, if you have talent and you can get people's attention just through that, then you're killing it.

There are more females doing it now, as it has become more widespread and embraced around the world, and it has entered the mainstream, for example, Nicki Minaj, making ridiculous amounts of money off it and over sexualising it all. But then you have people like Azealia Banks really coming out with critically acclaimed music and gaining the respect of the industry and her peers. I think more and more female emcees will emerge in the future, and different styles, and flavours will appeal to different tastes, so I think it will become less of an issue in the future. There will always be haters and people who will judge females more harshly, but such is life. You just have to be you and ignore that.

It means a lot to me to be a part of Obesecity 2. I used to catch the train up from Geelong and go to Obese Records (retail) to get my hip hop music and clothes as a little homie, I really looked forward to that… I was just such a big, dedicated fan. I actually dreamt about being on an Obese compilation. I remember saying to some guy at McDonalds in Geelong when Culture Of Kings came out: 'I'm going to be on one of these compilations watch me!' That was the 10 years ago bratty me… It took me a while but I got there.

This album in particular means a lot to me because it has so many of my friends on it, a lot of us started rapping around the same time and started doing shows together years ago in Melbourne for eEample 1/6, Maggot Mouf, Fluent… Also, me, Raven, Aetcix (Goatmob), Luke Mac and Spit were rapping together in Geelong so so long ago. But yeah, the fact that we'll be on such a dope, recognized and respected CD that will be distributed nationally is amazing. Being on an album with some of my favourite Aussie rappers such as Lazy Grey, Bigfoot and Newsense is just a spinout really.

My track on the album is called The View, produced by Aoi. It's pretty much head-nodding, sassy, creepy but soulful, thoughtful, Aoi and Class A goodness .”

P LINK (Rawthentics Crew, Melbourne):

Part of the next gen emcees coming through the scene, in his mid-20, he grew up with the first Obesecity.

“Hip hop in Australia today is definitely more exposed and 'popular', so to speak, which is always gonna have its goods and bads. But considering the live shows and quality and consistency of local releases, especially in the last couple years, I think it's mostly good.

The scene is a whole different ball game compared to 10 years ago, thanks mainly to the Internet, I think, I'm not sure Myspace was even round back then. Now with YouTube and all the rest, it's a lot easier to get yourself out there. Anybody with a laptop and Facebook is an emcee these days. But I'll admit, overall I'm stoked to see crews I grew up on as well as mates of mine able to making a living off their hip hop now. In the future, I wanna see the hard working real heads past and present get credit for their craft. Recognition.

I guess it all started for me on the battle tip, slinging punch lines with the boys, and gradually turned into hitting the pad and getting serious with it. These days it is my everyday life! My sound… It's Rawthentic! Melbourne-made Boom Bap from a true fan of the art. Go cop my EP for a better explanation.”


Dwizofoz is one of two winners the (other being DVS from Melbourne) to earn himself a place on the Obesecity 2 compilation alongside the nation's best underground acts.

“In a word, it's unbelievable to be chosen for the album. 10 years ago I was a 16-year-old stoner, rappin' about 'bitches and money' in a 'gangsta' American accent and had never even heard of Aussie hip hop. So to now have my name alongside some of the best in the country on a release like this… Yeah, unbelievable. I guess it means all the hard work isn't for nothing. It feels great to get the recognition that's for sure.















I actually didn't discover Obesecity (the first one) til a year or two after it came out. But when I found, it I loved it. I'd heard a bit of Aussie stuff by then, but this was the first time I was really struck by the amount of talent we actually had locally. It changed the way I saw rap from our shores. I actually started dabbling in rap because of my probation officer. I was on parole for a heap of stupid shit ya do as a kid to make money to buy weed and eat. Every week she'd come round and I'd basically ignore her with my head in a book writin'. Luckily enough she actually gave a fuck and saw that music was a way to get through to me. She introduced me to Evil Eddie from Butterfingers as a part of a government program running out of a local recording studio. Eddie actually took the time to hand dub me a tape with Bias B, Lyrical Commission, Koolism, Hilltop Hoods, Pegs etc on it. I remember the first time I heard Trem say “Me nn Brad Strut, we straight up Bombers fans” and LC were instantly my favourite on the tape. He gave me homework to write a story as a track, taught me to count bars and all that stuff. I came back a week later with a four-verse track about how I got kicked outta school. Got to record it in a full-on studio, learn about production, making beats etc. Around that time the studio engineer introduced me to Ghosty, we connected straight away and formed Ozalians. The rest, as they say, is history. If it wasn't for that probation officer though, I would never have been able to do what I have so far and would still probably be talkin' about how gangsta my guns are so thank fuck she cared.

To quote the track on Obesecity 2, “I'm a walking contradiction”. I guess my sound has matured a lot recently… I'd say my music is honest, pull no punches type music. I like to think my flow is pretty unique and I don't sound like anybody else too. Content varies widely because I speak from experience and I've been through a lot of different shit. My lyrics probably sum it up best: “Look deep within, past my teeth n evil grin/It ain't hard to see the need to win so pardon me for arguing n preaching here.”