Adelaide Hip-Hop Riding High (2007) - posted by Xpose
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HIPHOPSPHERE.COM: Now I don't claim to be old skool, I definitely don't claim to have seen it all, but hip-hop in Adelaide is now in one of its most exciting times. There is a series of increasingly dope parties coming from dedicated promoters doing it for the love of the music, plus a wave of brilliant talents stepping through doors opened by today's heavyweights . For those of you not in my fair city, or those who are but may not realize the quality of what they are witnessing this feature aims to set out who is doing it in 2007 and who made the first steps to create what we have today.
Now as I get started this is my story, what I witnessed, heard and attended from the mid 90s when my mum would let me out of the house through until the present day. There was a brilliant story on the entire history of SA hip-hop written last year by Madcap, if you want the full story track this down. But for now here is my take on why Adelaide is rocking and how we got here.
After discovering hip-hop in the very early 90s and falling for the sounds hard I began wanting more, it didn't take long and I had discovered The Source and then located Central Station Records. This was then located in Rundle Street with Madcap in charge of purchasing fresh hip-hop, although we were more concerned with what The Source recommended. Around 94 this was I recall seeing flyers for parties with names I had seen in The Source, names like Aceyalone or De La Soul, but at this stage they meant little to me. A couple of years later I was shopping for clothes in one of the few stores stocking hip-hop branded clothing when the guy behind the counter told us to tune into a radio show that night, that guy behind the counter was Delta and that show was 93.7 Degrees In The Shade. This show was an institution it played me sounds I would never have otherwise heard, Lord Finesse, Show & AG, KRS 1 as well as early Nas. ITF Australian champ and original Hilltop Hood DJ Next manned the decks while Madcap and Quro were on the mic. This was the first time I ever heard an Australian accent rhyme as Quro would spit freestyles, a very young Delta also appearing in the studio at times and very early Hilltop Hoods and Fuglemen tracks were played to the masses. Now I'll admit it was harsh to my ears and I glossed over a lot of it, but today I appreciate how lucky I was. Still too young to get into clubs I saw Naughty By Nature at an all ages gig and managed to sneak underage into a A-Trak gig at the Synagogue circa 97. These gigs were full of guys in trackies and very few women, my how things change, the trackies remain, but thankfully the fairer sex rock as hard as the fellas these days.
Through the late 90s and early 00s hip-hop really began to grow as we know it, I caught live sets by the likes of the Hilltop Hoods in seedy little bars but for a brief minute fell out of love with the sounds as American hip-hop went bling. The first real gig I remember winning me back was in 2003 it was the launch of The Calling and it drew 2000 heads, phenomenal for this city. Aside from the Hoods though things in Adelaide seemed to always be faltering venues got pissed at the bombing of their toilets and violence, the scene lost Madcap to its promoting a massive loss of an originator. Other promoters came and went as the buzz behind the Hoods and Australian hip-hop in general slowly but surely built. One of the first indications of how big hip-hop had gotten was a lineup of roughly 1 hour to see the Hoods play outdoors on a Tuesday night during The Adelaide Festival, it sticks out as a defining moment for me.
Around this time another promoter Blake emerged, a Drum & Bass DJ with a passion for hip-hop he began to book some big names on his bills. Blackalicious for an outdoors rave near the beach, the Hoods, Oars and Delta all getting love at some of his shows, more on him later. In 2004 the next big step was taken by The Hilltop Hoods selling out Thebarton Theatre for their Calling tour and into 2005 a buzz began to re-emerge on the local scene. Shep from Da Klinic through his weight behind local parties, Blake had his venue Traffic hosting acts like The Lifesavas and as we reached 06 Misnetreeg chucked some rocking parties at Earth, although we still seemed to shift from venue to venue as the cities scene without a home. Late in 06 saw the return of Madcap from obscurity for the rocking Zulu Nation Party at HQ Lord Finesse tearing the venue apart, while it also saw the Hoods sell out Thebarton Theatre for the second time, just months after selling out the Adelaide Uni for their Hard Road launch. Also around this time one of the three shining lights of our current scene emerged, City Of Verses promoting its first party in Nov 06, today with Da Klinic and Blake's Hi Fi these three promotions teams are pushing hip-hop to incredible heights.
Part of the success has been the emergence of some incredible acts, The Funkoars, Mindfield & Delta joining the all conquering Hilltop Hoods as nationally recognized names. While acts like After Hours and Terra Firma held it down locally, alongside a stream of Australian champion DJs, Staen-1, Snair & Kansel grabbing the baton from predecessors like Kim Dezen, Reflux, Next and Madcap.
Fast forward to 2007 and Adelaide is an incredible place to live for a hip-hop fan. Firstly you have the big name interstate acts hitting our stores on the regular, quite often handled by Da Klinic. Thanks to Shep's hard work acts like Bias B have played sellout shows at supportive venues like the Colonel Light Hotel, while the Block Party tour saw Muph and Plutonic and Pegz bless the local mic. On the larger scale is Hi Fi, if there is an international on offer or on Blake's wish list he heads out and gets them, Brother Ali, RA The Rugged Man, Louis Logic, these guys have blown people away and you know the party will always have first rate production.
The man arguably doing the most however is Eldy the man behind City Of Verses, he runs parties in a brilliantly professional manner, has secured one of the cities best rooms in Viva and is giving many local talents the chance to shine. City Of Verses in partnership with Nurcha Records has brought some brilliant names to our town this year, Mortar, Optamus, Dos Noun, The Hospice, Hyjak & Torcha, Last Credit, Mind Over Matter as well as the incredible COV 5 show where Def Wish Cast blew everyone away. But these parties are not all about the guests, they are about giving the next wave of Adelaide talent a chance to perform to an up for it crowd. Names like Mossrock & Vella, Subversive Crew, Pagan Elypsis, Headstrong Company, K21, Particular People, Finalcause & Legacy, Ill Equipt and DJs like Sanchez, Sum One, Snair, Menace these acts are the future of hip-hop in this country. There is seriously something for everyone from the rougher styles of a Vents or a Mandle to the battle sharpness of a Chase or the on stage havoc and brilliance that is Adroit Effusive, there is more than enough talent to secure the future of this cities hip-hop scene.
So there you have it, one mans look at a booming hip-hop scene, who you should watch and the promoters whose names on flyers you know you can trust. Do not miss your chance to see Adelaide laying more pavers in the oz hip-hop road, it is really a brilliant time to be a part of the scene.