Hijak Special Bios #3 – Merc Swazey

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Merc Swazey is an exciting and hilarious live hip-hop MC headlining the show, with brand new material debuting exclusively at Hijak!  This new work utilises his new alibi highlighting the undeniable swag of Andre Agassi.

Formely a rap-battling heavyweight in New Zealand known as Hash, Merc Swazey was created on a whim to satirise and have fun with current rap trends in an on-point and engaging manner, but still as formidable as a real hip-hop MC from his rap battle days.

Swazey has worked with trap producer NettSmoney to create a tropical and catchy rap flavour that’s humourous and catchy as fuck, yet grounded in solid and talented lyricism and rhyming patterns second to none.

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Merc Swazey/Nett$money Bandcamp:  nettsmoney.com/album/loud
Merc Swazey Soundcloud:  soundcloud.com/merc_swazey
Merc Swazey Facebook: facebook.com/merc.swazey/

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Merc Swazey X Nettsmoney – Cash (self-released)

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Kiwi Melbournites – MC Merc Swazey and producer Nettsmoney – combine forces to create an album in the semi-satirical vein of such artists as Odd Future.  Both rapper and beatsmith come from New Zealand, and Nettsmoney has a history of working with other Kiwis such as label Breakin Wreckwordz and Jay Roacher. Swazey is also known as rap-battling Hash, and slayed many rappers on the NZ battle scene.

Cash has been described by Nettsmoney as “tropical traphouse/genius rap”. His production focuses more on electronic elements influenced heavily by trap, and is one of Australia’s finest examples of emulating the genre with his own unique and humorous twist.

It’s already surprised me that many people out there haven’t realised that this is intended for paradoxical purposes. However, this misunderstanding could be understood, as the satirical element isn’t established that strongly with tough-starting ‘Cash’, which may be a bit subtle for some listeners to realise that Swazey is sending up rather than advocating materialistic and shallow American trap culture.

The album really comes to its own on the second track. ‘Stupid’ holds no mystery that Swazey is taking the piss with hooks like “my girl’s ass stupid and her brain’s retarded” and spitting lines within his tight and breezey structures like “I like my shit real ig’nant (turtle tank stupid)”, and then flexing his abstract and self-effacing humour with gems like “…my name’s so hot, I’m gonna say it a lot (Swazey). I wear it out like a sweater, I should wear it out on a sweater…”

This is continued with Swazey continuing to unleash his comedy flamethrower in more complex yet simplistic potty-mouth form in ‘Timmy Two Times’ with lines like “what the fuck wtf would you know about knowing ‘bout shit that i know about? Bitch, you don’t know about that, ima throw out her back when i throw her out back, tryna let her mouth flap, i dont know about that, picture me with a talkin trophy

This is one of the finer moments of the album with its catchy “something something, my swag” quite clearly making a statement of much trap music not really having that much to say, it’s all about the style.

‘Roll the Dro up’ didn’t really sustain my interest, although it’s in fine form. My ears perked back up again with Nettsmoney’s immaculate production in ‘Most Breezey’, which really highlights Nettmoney’s strength within the realms of original trap beats. ‘Tim Dunkin’ also showcases Nettsmoney’s production to maximum effort, but rapper Young Lean (no, not Yung Lean, this guy was apparently around before the latter.) ruins the satirical effect of Swazey and makes the track seem all a bit too serious and tough.

Swazey shines in ‘Head on the Phone’ with catchy hook “I got my purple drank sittin’ by the turtle tank…” and tight and quick staccato rapping style flowing effortlessly through his bars. ‘Sleepin Like a Baby’ would be regarded by Swazey’s finest moment on Cash, with his lazy drawling bars in regards to the finer points of Xanax, Valium, sleep and smokin’ weed.

Cash is effective in what it intends to do, but there were elements of it that could have been tightened in regards to introducing the trap satire theme strongly, and some rather average tracks amongst the stand-outs. Merc Swazey X Nettsmoney are a strong pairing who show creativity, originality and flair in what they do, and I’m sure more people will catch onto their humorous craftsmanship soon.

7 out of 10 Haarp Strings.

‘Cash’ is available at Bandcamp on a pay-as-you-please basis in a variety of digital formats.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1455371388/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Saturday 1 March – Damn Son feat. Merc Swazey @ Workshop

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Get wavey to Merc Swazey this evening in Melbourne CBD’s Workshop, as part of the Damn Son trap nights.

Kiwi Merc Swazey has been grabbing Australian hip-hop’s attention with his tongue-in-cheek trap style of MCing, and has also been slaying the Australian MC battle scene with humourous flair at such battles as 1outs.

On a side note, it’s never escaped my attention that many diehard Australian hip-hop fans loath some MCs and DJs utilising American elements to their production and performance. Whilst they have a point on authenticity, have they ever considered the fact that hip-hop is actually an American cultural product? If you have this point of view in mind, what’s wrong with lending American elements in this artform?

Anyway, rants aside. Other DJs playing trap styles are No Name Nath, DJ Penfold and John Holmes.

Getcha bar handle fists up!

Starts 8pm. Workshop, Level 1, 413 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD. Free!

FB Page: facebook.com/events

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Saturday 23 November – Haarp Media, Uncomfortable Beats & L-Burn Illuminati present Neigh-Bours

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Yes, it’s that time again where we join up with our good friends to bring you our very own production! This time around, we form like Voltron with our buddy crews Uncomfortable Beats and L-Burn Illuminati to bring you this one at our home bar Horse Bazaar.

Some of you might be wondering why we chose these crews and this place to work with. It definately was a gourmet selection for us.

We believe that Uncomfortable Beats are one of Melbourne’s leading crews in innovating in both local and other fresh sounds from around Australia such as Ribongia, Aneurythm and Akouo, in a way that is quintessentially Melbourne, functioning as both label and party maker.

To us, L-Burn Illuminati are Australia’s most original hip-hop group, and do something rare in hip-hop by breaking away from the status quo. They let their personalities shine and (to us) are the equivalent to an Aussie fun-time backyard Wu-Tang Clan. They too are quinessentially Melbourne. All of their music is free at Bandcamp.

Horse Bazaar is our choice for a venue because they’ve always been on the local pulse and exemplify (to us) what being a beats-based community is all about. We love the staff, food, cheap Monday drinks and good times to be had there, and they too are quintessentially Melbourne.

We at Haarp Media also like to think that we’re quintessentially Melbourne ourselves as a blog and also as a DJ click too in our support for the various factions of musical communities all across Melbourne.

And so all of us present this proudly to you as a little bit of our heart and soul. Now presenting our playas…

Merc Swazey (L-Burn Illuminati – NZ)

Latest L-Burn Illuminati member Merc Swazey combines complex rhyming sensibilities with a sense of fun in satirising #yoloswag and trap music. This is one of his first public performances in Melbourne.

Mr DNA (L-Burn Illuminati)

DNA’s smoked-out and dirty lyrical flow has steadily been improving since instigating the L-Burn Illuminati crew, and is this is heard in his latest collaboration with grimey analog boom-bap king DOS4GW on free EP Molecules.

DJ Kid Language Barrier (L-Burn Illuminati)

L-Burn trill member KLB is one of the few brave individuals who specialise in footwork/juke beats, and will also be acting DJ for Swazey and DNA.

Able 8 x Ghostsoul (Uncomfortable Beats – Live)

Able8 and Ghostsoul are singularly unique and original producers, and both share no-nonsense hip-hop instrumental styles to highlight their individual flavours. They combine their elements for this rare and live performance.

Shikung (Uncomfortable Beats)

Shikung is a DJ name synonymous with Melbourne city bass beats, having over a decade’s experience in DJing in virtually every poppin’ spot across our fair city, and leads the way in eclectic DJing of various bass music and hip-hop styles. He will shortly be celebrating ten years of DJing at iconic Brunswick Street bar – the Black Cat.

Warpa!nt (Hopskotch Records/Haapy Mondays – Live)

Warpa!nt’s production is set on the rock of garage, dubstep and hip-hop foundations, and succeeds in creating a sound that is familiar yet original in its depth and atmosphere. He released his first EP Burn City Steppa Vol.1 earlier this year on Hopskotch Records and plays as regular guest at Haarp Mondays.

U-Wish x Kayhat (Cymatic Society/Haapy Mondays)

U-Wish and Kayhat reside every Monday night at Horse Bazaar for a B2B three hour set. U-Wish’s hip-hop, glitch and dubstep/dancehall foundations blends perfectly with Kayhat’s psychedelically dark dubstep, IDM and juke track selection. U-Wish produces his own hip-hop beats and Kayhat’s popular ‘WTF is Glitch-Hop’ mix has had over 250 plays.

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SPECIAL LET THEM EAT CAKE TICKET GIVEAWAY!!!

We are giving away two single passes to Let Them Eat Cake, Melbourne’s biggest niche electronic music festival, worth $150 each. We aren’t going to tell you what time we’re giving them away, so you’d best be there for the event in its entirety to avoid missing out. Every donating attendee will have their name put in the draw once.

DIY SOUND!!!

Monkey Marc’s DIY sound system will turn out our sound perfectly, and we encourage you to donate to help fund the cost of running the system.

That’s about it. Come along, have fun, and also note that all attendees will be put on the guestlist for Hopskotch Records’ Unsub event at Roxanne’s (functioning for us as an after-party), meaning you can go to that party for only $10.

8pm-1am. Horse Bazaar, 397 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD. By Donation!

FB Page: facebook.com/events

Written by Kristian Hatton.