G Force: Well to begin with mate, for those who don’t know already what is checkoutwax and what do you offer?
Adam: Checkoutwax.com is Australia’s premier online Hip Hop store offering Australian Hip Hop CDs & vinyl, used / out of print vinyl, new 12″s, new LPs, new CDs, DVDs, Books, Magazines, Clothing items – basically anything to do with Hip Hop and all at a great price! There’s also content on the site in the form of interviews, reviews, news and events and a listen page which hosts some exclusive audio. We also distribute a wide variety of US and local labels / releases to stores Australia wide.
G: So how did the site come about and what was your main involvement in the conception?
A: Checkout Wax started as an online store in October of 2002 with an aim to provide out of print Hip Hop records to Australian and overseas customers. Basically we saw the amount of people chasing rare vinyl and thought we could provide an easier service to local customers than them spending $15+ on shipping one record from overseas websites etc We had some contacts in the states for rare vinyl and traveled over there to purchase a whole heap, we went on a second trip but haven’t been for a while – hence the lack of out of print titles of late. I own and run the site, so most of the ideas / decisions were by me however I did have input from others.
G: Your passion for hip hop music must be fairly extreme to be so involved. Where did it initiate on both worldwide hip hop and Australian in particular?
A: I got into Hip Hop when I was 11 listening to Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA etc and then started to write, break, rhyme and DJ around 1993, Hip Hop has been my life 24 hours a day since then. As far as Australian Hip Hop goes I bought a Recipe 4 Disasta tape in 1993 and that inspired me to start rhyming which I took semi seriously from around 93-96 doing shows, radio spots, recording etc so I was around the local guys like Towering Inferno, Dope In Action and others watching the scene develop. Def Wish Cast was the first Australian release I bought on vinyl and I picked up every release after, up until the huge influx of recent; which makes it too hard to keep up. Mainly I was a writer and ended up giving up MC’ing and breaking around 1998, by then there was a lot more people doing it and my heart was really in graffiti and records. These days I only really get time to DJ once in a while.
G: I believe you have had some fairly big events related to the business as of late, some exclusive distributions and a split, what can you tell us about that and what will it mean to the consumer?
A: As well as our online store we’ve been distributing a number of Hip Hop labels / titles in the past year including Pyscho Logical, Day By Day, Skillionaire, Galapagos 4, Molemen Records, Bomb Hip Hop, some Australian releases and lots more. We’ve now taken on some bigger labels and decided to split the two businesses and get separate premises. A new company called “Shogun Distribution” has formed to take on all the distribution business, still managed by me but with a couple of new faces helping out. This will take affect sometime next month. The consumer can expect a wider variety of independent Hip Hop release available in a bigger selection of stores at cheaper prices!
G: So what are your aims with the new business and the site in general?
A: Well basically “Shogun Distribution” is aiming to be the first serious specialist import Hip Hop distributor in the country. You have Hip Hop heads like Obese holding it down for the local releases but we don’t have a specialist import Hip Hop distributor in the country with knowledgeable staff of the underground / independent scene. Because we’re involved in the scene and more prepared to push and advertise independent artists we feel we can provide a good service for overseas labels and also for the consumers. As far as the site we’re trying to provide a very comprehensive Hip Hop selection at affordable prices, we’ve been mainly getting new stuff in lately but the out of print stuff will be back soon and at cheaper prices due to our stronger dollar.
G: Your newsletter or new arrivals is always impressive and quite large, just how much music do you get in and do you get a chance to check out most of it?
A: Well what we get in varies but lately we’re putting up 100+ new titles a week. Of course I check the music out! We have to know what is good to recommend and what better way to work than to be listening to all the latest releases while you work! We only send out newsletters and lists when we have a big influx of new arrivals so to be up to date you have to check out the site fairly often.
G: What would you recommend as: Favorite current release?
A: Of late I’d have to say Jedi Mind Tricks – “Visions Of Ghandi”. Some JMT fans weren’t feeling some of the production but I think when you look at it on its own rather than comparing it to their previous material you can appreciate it a lot more. I think it’s incredible!
G: : The release you are most looking forward to?
A: Definitely the new MF Grimm (now GM Grimm) album titled “Digital Tears”. His first 12″s were amazing and although his debut album is a personal favourite; it was recorded in 24 hours before he went to prison and definitely had more potential. This time he’s had time to do it how he wants and the two tracks on the “Taken” single are a nice preview. I can’t wait!
G: Your favourite record of all time
A: My favourite record of all time is Big L’s debut album – “Lifestyles Of The Poor & Dangerous”. My rarest record I’ll say the test pressing only Jeru The Damaja “One Day” 12″ but I have a lot of others on the same level.
G: Infallible was actually going to ask Cash Money the next two questions but he had some groupies to fuck and refused our interview and I thought it shouldn’t be wasted, so here goes. What’s the single wackest vinyl you got sitting somewhere in a dusty crate back home that brings you to shame at the mention of it?
A: Well I used to have some bad records but I have so many that I threw them out to make space. I can’t really say I have a really wack record right now.. I used to buy some bad records just to have a laugh at but when your house is full of records that isn’t a good idea.
G: So, any special deals for ozhiphop.com members at the mention of the word “Goosefrabar”?
A: Yeah at the mention of the word Goosefrabar you will receive a free autographed photo of G-Force doing a strip tease.
G: Anything else that the people should be on the lookout for in the future, sales, specials, limited edition vinyls or the like?
A: We will be holding a sale on all out of print titles soon so get on our mailing list if you’re not already to be notified.
G: Any shout outs or anything else that you would like to add?
A: I’d like to shout out ozhiphop.com, my staff, the customers and stores that support us and also thanks to some people that took time out to help me along the way – Mr. Lawson, Chris from Spine, Hams, Kirk and Rare Dave.
G: Well things seem strong for you at the moment, I wish you the best of luck with the site and your future endeavours, thanks for your time.
A: Thanks for the interview.
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