The australian rapper talks here about where us UK folk can get OZ rap, the sound of the country's hip-hop, what he's released so far and why he's called what he is.
UK-based hiphop websites are naturally UK orientated in its focus. However, one thing about hiphop is that, since its conception in New York almost a quarter of a century ago, it has developed into a worldwide movement without borders. This I think is a great tribute to its mass appeal, its ability to absorb influences and to evolve to fit with its setting… and of course the pioneers who have pushed it forward from New York to London to Sydney to Paris. As a result of its development, no true lover of hiphop coming from the UK can live on a diet of British or US hiphop alone because that would be missing out on a great chunk of hiphop and provide them with only a narrow perspective of what is has become. Just like the UK and Canada, Australians have taken the great American export that is hiphop and made it their own. Matt Grant stretches his big gangly legs to reach down under and bring to you some information on the new generation of artists coming out of OZ… step up MC Infallible…
Ok, let's get the ball rolling, who is MC Infallible?
Well Infallible is the pseudonym I perform and release music under. Infallible stands for working extremely hard to perfect his craft, I chose the name infallible because I knew using it would set unbelievably high standards for myself and yield the best material I was capable of. When I'm not attempting infallible status I'm a twenty year old Australian guy with Argentinean parents who lives in Melbourne…
And who are the Cerebral Atrophy Crew?
Cerebral atrophy is the group I put together in early 2002, which was originally myself and 360, who has parted and gone on to do great things with Unkut Recordings. The group has since changed roles and currently acts more like a banner group. The current roster is myself, Anecdote, Lewis One, DJ flagrant, C-One, J Flow , Kaos and Justice .
Are you focusing more on your solo material or are you going to be working with the Cerebral Atrophy Crew?
Things have been pretty hectic, Most of the crew are at uni, and recently Anecdote and Justice competed in the Australia Vs New Zealand battles in N.Z where Anecdote took out the comp and Justice made it to the semi finals. At the moment I'm about half way through a Solo LP, but talks of a C.A compilation are in the works, as well as other releases from other crew members.
How would you describe the hiphop you put out?
I guess it's difficult to describe the style, I find my music ever changing, but I guess the best word would be progressive. I don't think I have hit anywhere near my peak yet so I honestly feel with every track I put down my confidence grows and my lyricism increases in every aspect. The current release I'm working on breaks down into two main parts -conscious and raw.
So what releases have you got to your name to date?
I've been featured on "Battletown presents the Mixtape Volume 1" which was the first compilation and release I ever featured in. I've released an EP Australia wide entitled "A Burning Ambition" and C.A recorded a track with Chino XL which was featured on the "Nodfather" compilation.
Most UK heads are up for checking hiphop in other countries, is there anyway we can get our hands on your releases?
Sure, I will be working on getting a C.A 12" into U.K stores shortly, Other than that my EP from 2003 can be purchased on my distributors web address www.checkoutwax.com.
You come from the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia… how does that get reflected in your music?
Well this is my fourth year living in the south east, and its certainly been different. I grew up in the suburbia of the western suburbs which have since gotten worse so I hear. On my EP I dedicated a whole song " Home to me" which is basically an anthem for the suburb I currently live in, Cranbourne, its quite a countrish Australian town on the outskirts of Melbourne. It starts off taking the piss in the first couple of verses but in the third I mention the better aspects of the area and speak on a more serious note.
In general, how would you describe the Australian hiphop sound? How is it perhaps different to hiphop from the US for instance?
In my opinion the Australian sound is still in its infancy, there is a lot of good and bad, I feel there are maybe ten or twenty groups/artists really doing something original and then a lot of other artists emulating their sounds. But don't write it off there is plenty of dope shit down under. I'd say the Australian hiphop scene is like the U.S scene back in the 90's where it was finally breaking through into the mainstream markets. Groups such as the Hilltop Hoods who have been around for a decade or so are now just starting to really reach a broader audience and get the respect they deserve.
It says on your biography that you are nineteen years of age, so my question is to what extent do you feel you represent the new school of hiphop in Australia? Or can we not even talk in those terms yet?
Well I'm actually twenty as of February so I guess I better update my site hey! I think I represent a new generation of artists. A generation who are quite rapidly catching up with their peers but still respect those who have paid dues and made things easier for us.
Here in the UK there is great diversity in the style of hiphop being pushed forward and often this is based on what region you
come from, does Australian also have this kind of variation?
I'd say yes. In Melbourne you're generally treated to a much more rugged sound than say in Adelaide, in Adelaide the sound is more a party-ish vibe. However, in saying that, there are all sorts of sounds coming from all areas, that's just generally there is always an exception.
Just how popular is hiphop in Australia?
Imagine Vegemite in a German grocery store – that's Australian hiphop. Most of the time people ignore it, but once in a while the bright colours will catch someone's attention and the word slowly spreads!
How big an influence does US hiphop have in Australia? Is this the music that generally gets airplay?
I'd say U.S hiphop has had a huge influence in all styles of hiphop since that's where the sound originated, However in saying this I really feel Australia has separated itself by keeping its natural accent, because of that rhyme schemes are different. If I could pick two hiphop scenes that have really separated themselves and made a unique sound it would be the English hiphop scene and the Australian.
Would you say it is a struggle for homegrown hiphop to break through in Australia?
I would say its a never ending struggle, but as I mentioned previously people like the Hilltop Hoods are going a long way in helping the Australian hiphop cause. I think the next ten years will be the most interesting for Aussie hiphop.
And what about the issues of accent? In the UK we have a problem with some artists copying American accents, be it intentionally or not, is that also an issue in Australia?
This used to be a huge issue, it's famously known as the "accent debate". But yes we have faced some of the same issues here. The Aussie hiphop scene is made up of rappers who keep an authentic Australian accent, there are some groups/ artists who do put on a American accent, but not many have been very successful in their endeavours. It's not so much an issue anymore, those who chose to rock an accent do so, and those who don't don't.
Moving on, here's a question I always ask artists outside of the Sceptred Isle, what do you know about the UK scene? Are there any artists you know of? What's the outsider's view of our scene?
I'm quite fond of UK hiphop. It is my favourite scene after the U.S, I'm a fan of Phi life Cypher, Braintax, Task force, Jehst, Blade and Mystro. My understanding of your scene is that its a lot bigger and more developed than ours. My view is your scene is flourishing and hopefully in the near future I'll have the chance to head up to the UK. and find out for myself.
What artists can you recommend to UK heads looking to get their hands on some Aussie hiphop?
Hilltop Hoods, Lyrical Commission , Pegz , Funkoars, Delta, Art of war, Solomon Illios , Clandestine, Layla , A-love, Drapht, Infallible and Cerebral Atrophy.
And to finish, do you have any shout outs or final words for the readers?
Shouts to hiphop heads worldwide, my crew, friends and all the Aussie cats getting there read on! Peace!
Related Links: MCInfallible.com