Here's to representing a part of the world that breeds fighters - those down for the cause, and those that put weight behind their words like they would on a set of scales. We are the underdogs on life's undercard, and we have love for everybody that's in our corner.
Our Adelaide homie Terry Nickolas (IG handle @tc_nicks) knows to go 12 rounds or nothing - we play for keeps, after all. Terry has been an avid representative of our label, and has recently secured his spot as an Australian boxing champion, coming in at number 1 in his 69kg weight division at the Commonwealth Games trials in Sydney. Terry was an ambassador long before this post was written – in it for the love – but we’re here to cement that title in place. We’re with him with every step, duck, weave, jab and hook to the top. We're excited for the next chapter and welcome Terry on board.
Shouts to all the interstate role players flying the flag, as well as those on home soil. It's blood, sweat and tear season for the competition, remember that when you’re doing your thing. We support you all the way!
Succeed extremely – murk all others, and destroy competition.
September marks the beginning of Spring, and with it comes a new collection, and this season, it's centred around the finer things that we enjoy.
Lightweight and diverse are two words that correlate with the Finer Things launch, introducing trackpants and wind-breakers with a much thinner makeup to allow airflow for the hotter days that Spring is blessed in and out with.
Our Play For Keeps French Terry cotton shorts have made an entrance in Black and Grey, and when partnered with the Core Logo slides in Hyper Red or Snow White, they’re a casual and essential staple for the range. Our embroidered Play For Keeps hoods in Red and Cool Grey Marle represent the heavier side of constructed clothes, but boast a very thin fleece lining to remain breathable and extra comfortable.
We’ve put an increased amount of attention into accessories this time around, too. Customised fluid lighters, ostrich leather wallets and canvas personal and travel bags are the goods that have been tailored to suit the garments they’ve been thrown in the mix with.
This is the season for the not-so-polished gent – for all the cats that like to keep it clean and let the details do the talking, but aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty.
Ps. When you drop $300 or more online or in-store, we'll hook you up with a free duffle.
As the calibre of Australian rappers begins to rise and diversify as the scene develops, so too does that of the producers and behind-the-scenes playmakers that make it all possible. As many musicians here look to expand and connect as far outwards as possible, it's still not often that we see projects completely materialise with the huge names we're accustomed to overseas - particularly from the United States. Canberra producer Ghosts In The Room has managed to do exactly that though, with the release of his latest single putting Sydney's emcee Kerser on the same boat as G-Unit's Young Buck and yes, you read it correctly - Future. We picked his brains about his thoughts on the industry and how his latest single was able to materialise between two different continents and three very different styles.
Give us a little history on Ghosts In The Room - how long have you been doing your thing for?
"I started producing in Canberra back in 2001. Canberra had a fairly small hip-hop scene and social media was in its early stages, so I relied on my mates to provide vocals. In 2004 I started reaching out to other artists through Myspace and produced a few songs, but it wasn't until 2010 that I started working under the name Ghosts In The Room - eventually releasing my first album in 2012. My debut had some big features like 360, Briggs, Maundz, Kool G Rap and Havoc (Mobb Deep), but it never gained much traction. I followed up with another release in 2013 and have been working on the new project ever since."
On your latest single titled 'Total Concentration', you've managed to pull Kerser next to one of the biggest names in trap/rap music - Future - as well as G-Unit veteran, Young Buck. This has really stunned a bunch of people, which is great. Tell us, how did this collaboration all come about?
"There's a lot of American artists who will give you a verse if the price is right and will 'phone' something in. I'll be the first to admit that some of my previous tracks have been made that way and I've learnt from that process. My new music has been a lot more collaborative though. I started working with Young Buck around 2 years ago and in this time we have worked on several tracks yet to be released. My work with Buck opened up the opportunity to get Future on the track and from there I reached out to Kerser. While the lineup is unexpected, I just make the music I want to hear and hope others can appreciate something different."
With 'Total Concentration' as a good introduction, have you got any current projects that you're working on that you can tell us about?
"My main focus is finishing my upcoming album Life, Death, Ghost. I won't give away the features yet, but if you enjoyed my previous albums and 'Total Concentration', then I think you'll love this project. There's a lot of work involved in coordinating a production album where there are so many artists involved, so I haven't been able to contribute to many other projects at the moment."
Who would you like to work with most on a record - your dream pick, so to speak?
As far as Australian artists go, I would love to work again with Maundz, Fluent Form and Tornts. I'm also keen to work with Rates at some point in the future, but my dream collaborations would have to be Lloyd Banks and Styles P."
What's your take on the Australian hip-hop community at present?
"I think hip-hop in Australia has reached the point where we no longer need to refer to it as 'aussie hip-hop'. There are so many artists and producers that are of an international standard and I think we can hold ourselves back at times by referring to it as a sub genre to hip-hop. That's no disrespect to the people who support the aussie hip-hop movement - we couldn't be where we are today without them - but to continue to grow, I think we need to respect those that came before us but also let the new artists do their thing - without getting caught up with the idea that their music might not fit the traditional mould of 'aussie hip-hop'.
Who do you have your eyes on?
"There's some quality stuff coming out of Brisbane with the likes of I AM D and locally here in Canberra you've got guys like Citizen Kay and Turquoise Prince. In Sydney, Mitchos Da Menace just dropped a crazy album, as well as in Perth, Mr Grevis' new album is doing big things and in Melbourne, Crate Cartel is consistently putting out high quality projects. From a production point of view, Must Volkoff and Discourse have released production albums in the last 12 months that can stand with anything put out internationally."
What can we expect from you in the near future?
"Following the release of my next album, I'll be working closely with Canberra based label Mudd Music on developing and releasing projects with new artists. I'm constantly making new music and will continue to release more collaborations with Australian and international artists alike."
You can find Ghosts In The Room on Facebook >here< as well as on Instagram (@ghostsintheroom)
Have a listen to Ghosts' thumping new release below.
As hip-hop experiences a turn in tastemakers, with a much more promoted focus on tracks that can yield commercial growth and appeal, we, as listeners, generally run into songs that feature repetitive themes, with quite a similar style of production. Drinking, drug use, expensive jewellery - it's all good, but it's a face value theme, and it's been done plenty of times before. What's refreshing is being able to listen to an artist with a clear cut message - something that harbours some depth and some intimacy.
I AM D has been consistently adding to his discography in a great way, with his latest offering titled 'No Inbetweens' as a perfect example. As the statistic stands, one Australian woman is killed by a partner, or former partner, every week, so exploring the real and very serious topic of domestic violence is one that is so unbelievably relevant and important. 'No Inbetweens' is an insight into D's perspective on the matter, as well as a calling for the enabling behaviour and disrespectful attitudes of men to cease abruptly at their roots. On what spurred the writing of the record, he had the following to add.
"I wrote this song because I was listening to Pharrell talk about women one day, and he really went in depth on their beauty and I guess, just how amazing they are as beings," he said.
"After this I started thinking about all the women who undeservedly get mistreated because of insecurities within the man. I had a few things going on at the time seeing women being mistreated - even if it was more mentally rather then physically. It just struck a chord in me and that was the outcome."
As a cemented figurehead in the Grime scene, and a respected leader of hip-hop and street culture in the UK and abroad, Skepta has partnered up with footwear giant Nike for a very personal and dope delivery of the Air Max 97 Ultra 'Sk'.
The colour inspiration can be traced back to the streets of Morocco, with cities like Marrakesh and Essaouira setting the scene to which Skep would ultimately channel into the shoe. Rose gold and polyurethane-coated copper tones, panelled with black mesh and a welded swoosh logo are included in the new 97's makeup, also reminiscent of Nike Air Tuned Max vibes from the late '90s. Speaking to Nike News on the Tuned Max, Skepta had a nostalgic connection.
"That was the first shoe I ever saved up money to buy, so I wanted to bring its magic to the 97 — the magic that made me first love Air Max when I saw it as a child," he said.
The Nike Air Max 97 Sk is available globally starting September 2 on Nike + SNKRS, nike.com and at selected retailers.