The Tongue Wrote Us A Track-By-Track Ahead Of His New Album Release

19 November 2015 | 11:46 am | The Tongue

"I don't allow strangers to determine my value or how I feel about myself. That's how I've survived to the fourth solo record as an independent rapper."

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Sydney MC The Tongue is due to release his fourth album tomorrow and it's a cracker. To celebrate, The Tongue wrote us an exclusive track-by-track about Hard Feelings, complete with how songs came about and insights on working with mates like Ngaiire, Thundamentals and Ev Jones of Jones Jr.

We gave the album three stars and said, The Tongue "is a rap custodian; an elder statesman here to educate and inspire."

Listen to the record below and read on! The record is available on Elefant Traks via Inertia tomorrow.

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1. The Knock

This was the first track Papertoy and I made together and it's still one of my favourites. The beat is so unlike anything I've heard an Australian rapper attempt before. Is it trap? Is it 2-step? Is it hip hop? I dunno. Feels like something new to me. See if it doesn't make you screw your face up when you hear it. 

2. Never Going Down ft Ngaiire 

Ozi Batla (of The Herd/Astronomy Class) once playfully called me "the impenetrable ego". In a way it's an accurate description; I don't let anyone bring me down, I don't allow strangers to determine my value or how I feel about myself. That's how I've survived to the fourth solo record as an independent rapper, that how I made it through so many MCs battles and career challenges. You should love yourself if you feel that you have good intentions in this life, nothing should ever bring you down.

3. Houdini ft Tenth Dan and Thom Crawford

Tenth Dan is a fire-breathing young MC from the Blue Mountains who helped Tuka write some of his last album, Thom Crawford is the smoothest crooner this side of the Murray-Darling. We joined forces to create Houdini; an ode to this modern form of magic we call music. 

4. Proud

"Said I don't ever pray, I let the chips fall where they may, I'm falling down. And I don't ever beg, I never shed a tear for myself, you must stay proud". I've seen a lot of friends going through tough times lately, this is an song they can put on at their lowest point as a reminder that, even when everything feels f**ked, you should still be proud of yourself. Produced by Poncho and DJ Morgs of Thundamentals.

5. You Got Me ft Mataya

Sometimes you just meet the right person at the right time. It happened to me on a dance-floor in 2013, she just walked up and kissed me without saying a word. Good inspiration for a song. 

6. Setting Sun ft Ev Jones

Ev Jones is one half (alongside DJ Morgs) of Jones Jnr, easily one of my favourite Aussie music acts right now. His voice is something else. This is a song we wrote about the power-play between men and women when it comes to dating. The man is supposed to approach a woman, so the woman gets to decide… but the man chose to approach in the first place.… so who is really deciding? Who really has the power? I don't know the answer to that but it was an interesting discussion that turned into a real smooth tune.  

7. Bring Me Home

This tune was inspired by my housemate (and famed rapper) Joe New. He often practices piano at night, creating original compositions. One night he showed me this piece he'd recorded, the take was perfect and I knew could turn it into something special. I'm not a great singer, but I wanted to sing on this, so I did. 

8. Free

Australian citizens are having their rights eroded by the government, simple as that. Our internet privacy is gone, we get taken to court for protesting environmental disasters, the public broadcaster is being steadily defunded, Aboriginals face some of the highest incarceration rates in the world. We need our freedom and it must be taken back. 

9. Mercy ft Jeswon

Jeswon (of Thundamentals) is an amazing artist and a good friend. We play 1 on 1 basketball three or four times a week, so he was bound to end up on this album eventually. And he MURDERED this tune! Lord have mercy!

10. The Rule

There's something very intimate about this song. I wanted to talk about the lack of leadership in this country and what that is doing to us. I follow Australian politics closely, and from what I see no one has an inspirational vision for the future. The mentality is defensive and nasty ("keep the economy strong above all else! And stop the boats!"). That makes us defensive and nasty. That's not the Australia I believe in. We can do better, and that's something I have some very hard feelings about.