Perth hip hop artists work together to achieve a dying man’s wish
When you think of Australian hip hop, you think of beers, illicit drugs, graffiti, and crews. However the passing of Perth rapper and SBX crew member Robert Hunter, of cancer in late October, has shown a massive supportive community of friends who band together in tough times.
Two years ago, in 2009, when Hunter was first diagnosed he decided he wanted to give back to the community that had given him so much love and respect. On the suggestion of a friend, he decided he would create an Aussie hip hop compilation album with the proceeds going to not-for-profit organisation CanTeen.
“It seemed like a natural thing for me cos I knew a lot of people making Australian hip hop,” said Hunter.
“Hip hop can be very inspirational and hopefully we can sell enough CD’s and iTunes to make money to do something cool for the kids.”
It has been two years in the making, but the Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen album is due to be released on Friday December 2nd.
Although a number of both established and up-and-coming Australian hip hop artists, such as the Hilltop Hoods and Perth’s Bitter Belief and Downsyde have provided tracks for the album, it is the determined work of Hunter’s Perth-based mates, who want to see Hunter’s project come to fruition, that have ensured the release of this album.
Fellow SBX crew member and good friend Dazastah, of the Perth hip hop group Downsyde, has worked tirelessly to ensure the release of the album before Christmas. Working from his home studio, Daz executive produced the album with Hunter.
In his final interview with RTR’s Bren McGurk, Hunter even admitted that Daz had “taken over” and that Hunter had “put this on his shoulders”.
But Daz doesn’t mind. “Anything for the crew,” he said.
Daz had the difficult task of mastering the album, with songs that have been produced and mixed in studios all across Australia.
“I wanted to get a consistent sounding, technically good sounding album, and it was actually harder than I thought,” Daz said.
“But it’s come along really well. It’s a mammoth album to listen to but it’s awesome.”
When working on something as big as releasing an album, it’s not all fun, games and music. There is an endless trail of paperwork, involving marketing, legal documentation and distribution.
Another of Hunter’s good friends, SBX member and one of two girls in the crew, Porsah Laine, along with her sister Rachel, of Wonder Management, have worked since 2009 on the ‘boring’ stuff to ensure this album’s release.
Porsah Laine said, “I was hoping that Hunter would see the completion of his amazing project, but I’m happy the pain has gone. He’s set a standard for us all to, even in the face of death, follow your passion and always help others.”
Daz, Porsah Laine and Rachel, along with rapper Layla and Deej have put immense time and effort into the Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen album.
Graphic designer Paul ‘Deej’ Donnachie, of Toasted Designs, has been involved in the all aspects of design for the project, particularly with marketing material and album cover design.
With the album developing into a double CD compilation, it is going to be the Australian hip hop album release of 2011.
Kylie De Vos