Some of your favourite rappers get together for a collab track, sure, but it’s rare you find MCs and producers joining together for a full album. With Victorian veteran Mouf relocating to Perth City, he’s joined with newcomer Kogz, and SBX’s Rob Shaker teams with local producer Mat Rafle, and with their powers combined, they are, SMOG. A crew that gets down to business, SMOG are all about big booming beats, beastly lyrics, and, most importantly, having a laugh.
Mouf, you have moved to Perth from Melbourne and are in a unique situation of being involved in both Hip Hop scenes. What do you think are the key differences between the two?
Mouf /// Perth has welcomed me so much, the scene here is real tight. There’s only a handful of crews in Perth with major skill because if someone has skills, they’re noticed straight away and put in a crew. Melbourne has a shit load of crews with skills, and the area’s a lot smaller than Perth, so it feels to me a lot more competitive in the scene. Everyone’s bumpin’ shoulders with each other all cramped in.
Mouf and Kogz, having both grown up in different sides of this great land it seems that you can definitely relate on many topics featured on the album because of your own life experiences. Were there any track ideas that didn’t make the cut due to difference of opinion? How did you resolve any conflicts of interest?
Mouf /// When I first meet Kogz through Sever ( who I’ve know a long time ) I didn’t know much about him, thought he was a nerd or crack baby, but I liked his tracks. The more we hung out the more I realised we both grew up the same way and had a shitload in common, so we didn’t have many conflicts in the studio. I might have an idea and Kogz would say “fuck that”, but I’d do it anyway and if it fit, cool, if it didn’t, we both knew it was shit
Kogz /// We had one track about magic mushies which we agreed on but it didn’t make the cut, type of tune that would give you an acid flash back or something haha.. but yeah honestly I think we agreed on most shit, we are very like minded and have pretty similar up bringings, so there wasn’t a lot of clash, none that were enough to come to mind anyhow..
Rafle and Shaker, You both have fairly different styles of beat making, but managed to find synergy with this project. Did you guys clash a lot trying to find a middle ground? Could we see the two of you collaborating again on a project?
Rafle /// Yeah this one time Rob Shaker accused me of using the same shaker that he used one time. Whenever I send him stems now I have to label the shaker “(not Rob)”.. Nah we work well together I think, both understand each others vision. For sure I think that is a must! Keep your ears peeled!
Shaker /// Man I love Rafles beats and always have, but it’s always pissed me off when he uses a shaker in his beats. Thats my fucking percussive instrument to use.. it’s my trade mark. Sometimes I think he’s taking the piss when he puts a shaker in his beats because he mixes them so loud. It’s like are you trying to rub it in my fucking face?! So yeah a few times it’s come to blows..
Kogz, you’ve come up fairly quickly in the local scene and have had to learn a fair bit in a short amount of time. Mouf on the other hand has been fairly prominent for the good part of a decade. What are the most notable things you’ve learnt from him in regards to longevity in the scene?
Kogz /// I think it’s all mind state, I think he more taught me to shrug shit off, try have a relaxed way about myself, don’t feed into the things around you or let the hype affect you and just keep doing you. If you don’t feed into expectation there’s no limits, no win.. no lose so you cant put a foot wrong…
Mouf, do you think much has changed from when you were a young whipper snapper rapper?
Mouf /// A shit load has changed from rappin’ on tapes in the 90s to the internet. I just try and go with the flow and listen to what the new whipper snappers in Aus are coming up with. Crazy talent in Aus now.
Kogz, you seem to rap quite well, but many have accused you of being pretty fucken retarded including your producer Shaker. What do you have to say to that?
Kogz /// Look Shaker hasn’t been wrong a lot so if that’s from him there’s probably some truth in it, I’m like the rein man of rap maybe some shit like that? I don’t know but he does have to do a lot of me internet shit. I’ve picked up how to use emails a bit but he use to do all that shit for me so yeah, could be true.
Rafle, not many people know you’re actually a really good rapper and have ghost written a lot of verses or part there of for rappers. Why have you never decided to push your own career as a vocalist?
Rafle /// Indeed keep an ear out for the new Dr Dre ft Drake record dropping this summer! Wrote the whole bloody thing! Took me a week. Nah I dabble but hate my voice unless I’m whispering. Smoggg.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up fellas!