hip hop

Eastside Grammar | Their new E.P, 'Head Cinema', & the struggles of self-funded artistry by Hannah Stretton

I personally love a good story about humble beginnings and when it comes to Eastside Grammar, humble at best, is how you'd describe these talented working class men. From uni mates in a share-house bickering about the footy, to creative jam session buddies, Michael Crellin & Charlie Raby have come a long way since meeting back in 2015. 

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Sitting there thinking 'why isn't there a cool party I can go to that is guaranteed to have some fun straight-up Hip-Hop & Rap music all night' well I have just the solution for you. The Cambridge Hotel have just finished renovating the Cambo Courtyard and now it is time to throw down. An intimate event to turn up at. The kids said something about "Getting LIT" but I still don't know what that means? Anyways here are the details. 

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PLACES WE LOVE: The Cambridge Hotel by Kian West


Cambridge 3Some think of the Cambridge Hotel, The Cambo, as the heart and soul of the city. The venue that plays host to every band they want to see and the space in which so many beautiful memories. For others The Cambo has lost its way over the past few years (maybe a decade) but it has turned the corner! Installing the always delicious Newy Burger Co. a burger joint that plays off Novocastrians sense of pride with perfectly named burgers that are super duper tasty. Plus The Cambo has bringing the music back with a gigantic list of touring artists walking through the doors over the coming months and seems set to #BringIt with a fantastic New Years Eve lineup! Cambridge 1Place: The Cambridge Hotel Address: 789 Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW Hours:


Why We Love it: They are doing it! They are bringing the pride back to The Cambo and more importantly the music back to the city! We know that there are a heap of cool venues putting on local heroes and we love them too, but Newcastle needs an alternative, rock, metal, indie band venue for the masses, a space for hip-hop, rap and electronic to happen for larger groups (but not festival sized). Plus #burgers

Cambridge 2

PEP-C :By Amy Theodore by Amy Theodore


Since stepping into his first breakdancing workshop at 13 years of age, urban arts instructor, Pep-C, or as you may otherwise know him, Andrew Burrows, has been in love and involved with the Hip Hop genre. Mentored over the years by DeeJay Mathmatics, as an entertainer and musician, Pep-C now passes on his skills at Newcastle’s Pivot Studio, teaching both adult and kid’s R&B Hip Hop breakdancing class. He also hosts school holiday workshops teaching kids all types of urban skills, including breakdancing, graffiti art, DJing and music production. 10410674_374722566016047_5866777280112802143_n

In a world where Hip Hop has been placed alongside negative connotations involving drugs and violence, Pep-C aims to bring back the conception that he grew up with.

“What I was taught when I was younger was Hip Hop is about peace, love, unity and having a good time, and that’s as simple as it is,” explained Pep-C during his chat on ABC’s Story Box Program.


He has been particularly focused on this message during the music program he is currently running with four primary Indigenous young boys from the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre in Kariong on the Central Coast.

The program has involved letting the boys put together their own music track, teaching them to write lyrics and create instrumentals, with the work centered around creating a new beginning, about being free from all the mess and chasing the dream of a better a life.

“My workshops are full of positivity and are based on giving the disadvantaged kids of Australia a different view or aspect on life that they are in. No one has a choice about where they are born, who their parents are, what they look like or what colour skin they have, the only choice we have is the choice of what life we want to live” said Pep-C.


In the last week of the program the boys will get to go to the Regional Youth Support Service (RYSS) centre to record their music in a professional recording studio.

All of Pep-C’s Hip Hop workshops focus on looking at the genre as a collective one that embodies, not only music, but also art, creativity and movement, and reinforces that the Hip Hop community is actually a close one that is accepting and embracing of everyone.



So why Pep-C? “When I first started breaking dancing, I use to wear this ridiculously oversized Pepsi t-shirt. At that time the slogan was “the choice of the next generation” and DeeJay Mathmatics gave me that name purely because he could see me doing this in the future,” explained Pep-C on the Story Box Program.

Pep-C is set to release his album Focused with Anarchy N Alchemy Records on November 11th. The tracks on the album don’t exactly reflect your typical Australian Hip Hop sound, but rather bring together funk, soul and jazz influences, into a more experimental approach. The album release will be coupled with an exclusive VIP launch party to celebrate!

For more information about his album, launch party and workshops, and to get a bit of #woopwoop in your day, check out Pep-C on Facebook.




60 seconds with... Micks King by Kian West




So Micks King, is that what your mother calls you?


You run a cool Thursday night event at the Hamilton Station called Madhouse that has the city a-buzz talking about it. For those that don’t know, tell us what goes on at the Madhouse?

Thank you, those are kind words. “Madhouse” is a loose-knit collective of DJs that has been working together for a couple of years now. Our aim is simply to bring people great music. Part of this is putting on live events and artist showcases. We have been running a Thursday night event at the Hamilton Station Hotel that focuses on showcasing live Hip Hop performances in all their various forms. Hip Hop has been traditionally misunderstood by a lot of people in this city, which has led to certain venues and people trying to ignore it or stop it from happening. We wanted to put together an arena where all the talented Hip Hop artists from our city could showcase their talents. There is a lot. Hip Hop people know how to party and have fun, so it's a good vibe.


As a DJ, who and what inspires you?

Life. I see DJing as being made up of all the same elements that make up my life. So I'm always trying to take whatever I learn day to day and apply it to my DJing in whatever way I can.


Madhouse Radio is about to become a thing. You have successfully run a campaign through pozible to fund the project; with the assistance of Creative Partnerships Australia, This Is Not Art and Octapod, can you describe Madhouse Radio?

It's really just an extension of what we have already been doing. Giving people more of what they want in it's pure form instead of the watered down versions they might get elsewhere, only now instead of being able to reach people in nightclubs or bars at certain times of the week, we can reach them wherever they are at any time. That might be bringing people new artists, new music or bringing them the facts on what's happening. The world is digital now, so Madhouse is digital too.


What is the lowdown for Madhouse and Micks King in October?

We got to keep it moving, Hip Hop in Newcastle is crazy right now, there is a lot of people doing a lot of great things so we going to stay on the front lines bringing people all the great new music we can. We got two great parties in the first week I'm definitely looking forward to on the 3rd at the Hamilton Station Hotel and on the 5th at The Cambridge Hotel. Lots of great artists are involved like Blades, Context & Jimmy Flipshit, P. Smurf, Tycotic, Corner Store Superheroes, Lomas & Mad Man, Dawn Laird, Stateovmind, Talakai, Kale and like a thousand other great guys who are going to hate me for not mentioning them. Of course Wizla will be on the loose as well. He just bought a van. Last I seen he was putting a DJ mixer in the back.


Anything else our readers should know about Madhouse or yourself?

Everyone should have fun and get involved with the art of expressing themselves. It doesn't have to be with Madhouse, whatever makes you happy. As long as people are getting involved with music and the arts in Newcastle I'm happy.





Tornts Interview - by Mitus by Kian West


Tornts Interview

by Mitus


Rap heavyweight Tornts is almost to Melbourne what the harbour bridge is to Sydney. So entrenched in the makeup of Melbourne and its often grimy exterior, the “Hells Burn” native embraces the often harsh reality as an extension of himself. Already 4 albums deep, there is no stopping this workhorse who has just released his 5th full length LP “Street Visions”.

You’ve got a new album out in “Street Visions”. Tell us about that and who you’ve got on board this one?

Rapwise as well as myself i’ve got Kings Konekted from QLD on a track, Dr. Flea, my cuz Diem and Murky on a track, also a killer HG crew track featuring Bigfoot, Ciecmate, Billy Bunks, Murky, and Diem.

Productionwise i’ve got myself, Melbourne up and comer Kharnivor, Beat Butcha (UK) who’s produced for Prodigy from Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks etc, plus Ciph Barker (Holland).

The recent single with “Apprentice” seems like something different whilst still being somewhat familiar from you. How did that track come about?

Yeah I wrote this track and knew it was a real street anthem type joint. Wrote the hook and thought, “You know what? A proper gangster dancehall singer in the style of Sizzla or Mavado would sound sick on this beat.” So I put the word out that I was looking for a dancehall/reggae type artist and was recommended by a friend to Apprentice. I hit him up on the phone and said, “check out my tracks, if you’d be interested in getting on this track, let me know.” He was keen so we met up and hit up a studio down Fitzroy. He was real down with what I wrote so he got in the booth and killed the hook, sounded dope. The track is one of the best songs I’ve done….check it out it’s called ‘THIS PLACE’ with a video up on Youtube. I think it really stands out amongst local hip hop.

Not only have you got this album coming out (which is already starting to sound like a monster), you’ve been working on a Booze Bastards album too I hear, with Billy Bunks?

Yeah me and my bro Billy Bunks have got a Booze Bastards mixtape dropping in December, it’s gonna blow minds haha. We basically meet up and write a lot of back and forth raps drunk as fuck. It’s a chance for me and him to let loose on the world basically. The modus operandi is drink, write, talk shit, win, ha. A lot of people have been hounding us about when it’s coming out. Shit is gonna be heinous.

For first time listeners, how would you describe your music if you were to introduce them to your stuff?

I describe my music as original, hard, street, honest, and very visual rap. Deep subject matter. Modern with international sounding production. Innovative. Tracks about life and reflecting on the city of Melbourne that I live in.

What first got you into hip hop? What record or track did you first hear and be like, “yeah im going to do that”?

Well I started rapping when i was like 16, when local rap was in it’s very early beginnings, so there wasn’t any local artists that I really looked up to to start with. I just used to think I could do it better than those that I’d heard haha. I honestly think when I heard rappers like Ice T and a few others very early on, I thought in the future i’m gonna write some shit for sure, so I did. Way too many influences from the US that got me into rapping than I could even mention here haha.

Most people know you for your rap but is there any music you listen to outside of rap that might surprise some people?

Well yeah I like a lot weird 80s movie soundtracks that have a lot of synth and dirty drum machines. I like artists that tell a real story like Paul Kelly, and Archie Roach. I like a lot of gangsta dancehall shit like Mavado. I love UK rap like Giggs and KKoke. I listen to a lot of trap joints from down south America that people probably wouldn’t expect me to like, also French Montana, Coke Boyz and them. Ace Hood, Gunplay, Waka Flocka Flame. I’m open minded when it comes to music, I like it to sound original so the artist doesn’t sound like anyone else and is innovative.

There is a massive resurgence in wax at the moment with Trem, Maundz, and more putting up limited numbers and selling out in minutes. Any thoughts of releasing street visions on wax?

Yeah i’ve been overwhelmed by the response to this album and how good it’s going, so many people have hit me up about wax so i’m thinking i’ll do a limited run for all the vinyl heads out there.

Finally when will we see you in Newcastle, I know I’ve been asking for a while now haha.

Man when it’s sorted right I’ll hit up Newy for sure, looking at Sydney gigs now too so hopefully I’ll be up in that part of the world very soon. Any interested promoters can hit me up on the Tornts Facebook page or Twitter.

Cheers for the chat, anything final you want to leave us `with?

Thanks for the interview, thanks to everyone supporting my music out there, and go check out ‘THIS PLACE’ and ‘I DO THIS’ on Youtube now!! STREET VISIONS OUT NOW!! Stay up... T