It’s nice to find an MC that doesn’t take himself to seriously, and no better example than our homie Con. Don’t get us wrong, he still has the serious side of putting out quality music, but it’s made for him and he doesn’t shy away from pulling the piss out others, but more importantly, himself. We chat to Con off the back of releasing his album Conquest which is available completely free for download.
Tell us a little about who you are and your music style… ?
I’m Con. Conrad is the real name, but I find that a completely different moniker makes it easier to take the shape of a rap hero by night. Just moved to Carlton and loving being in walking distance from the shabby night spots that give way to some great gigs and more.
It’s hard to pinpoint where my music style comes from. It actually wasn’t that huge in my friendship groups or school, but I’ve always been obsessed with lyricism and (impatiently) making beats from whatever I can lay my hands on. I’d say my style is smart-ass cleverness first that happens to meet content and insight at a close second. My flow and form has been getting more cultivated with each track, and I always, always do it for me.
You’ve just released your solo album “Conquest”, how long have you been working on this, what does putting out an LP mean to you, and how do you feel now it’s finally out?!
Most of Conquest has been written and recorded in the last year or so, with the exception of a few oldies that I couldn’t leave out; Did Someone Say Con?, Epic Adventures, Coming For You and Mixed Messages are all a few years old, I just updated them more recently. Most of the beats are mine but made ‘unrecognisably good’ by Chrislabs. He studies full time, so it’s taken him a good 8 months to get finalised (and yes, we’re still talking).
Feels awesome that I’ve finally put something out that means something to me, really happy with the result and can’t stop listening to it! Now to make that effort worth it and get off my ass to organise some more gigs!
How did you and producer Chris Labs guys link for this project?
Chrislabs I hooked up with through the ozhiphop beat battles that he beat me in a few years back (thaaank youuuu LLLLJJJJJJ) and he helped P44 and I with “Con-P-Lation” a very drunken yet very fun mixtape about 20 tracks deep. I was an instant fan of his chill and very advanced handle of beatmaking.
Chris Labs lives in Perth though, how did it go working long distance and what’s the deal with working with one producer for the whole project?
Yeah it’s always an interesting challenge working on a sequence of different tracks with any long distance setup. You pretty much have to trust that they’ll bring out your voice in the right spaces and compliment your beat if they haven’t made it themselves. There was one time where the draft had the beat go too fast against the lyrics (needed about 6 redrafts and nitpicking to get it there) or the bass going a little crazy, but for the most part I was definitely gobsmacked at the outcomes, that guy is a Perthian genius.
Do you think the Melbourne scene allows the opportunity for new artists to come up and get exposure locally or is it dominated by the artists that already had a foothold?
Ooooo that’s a tricky one. I think the opportunities and the potential fanbase is there but you definitely need to put a lot of time in and be prepared to either pay or kiss ass to get somewhere. Artists with a foothold definitely seem to get more fed to them but more often than not they’re allowing others onto the same bill. Did a ‘up and comers’ gig with Maundz headlining last year for example. So it’s a bit give and take, but seriously I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
What’s your favourite track of your own? Tracks aren’t kids, you’re allowed to have favourites!
Yet another tricky question! It’s a toss up between Held Captivated, Dark of the Night and Processed, but I might go with Processed. I actually wrote each of the 3 verses (without really meaning to) before, during, and after getting made redundant from my first real full time job under some pretty shitty circumstances. I still work for the man, yet I also become the man (cheers Nietzshe) and that track gives me some good perspective, has a real / unreal story, some cool lines… fun for all the family!
Who’s a few artists you are feeling at the moment?
Right now Mantra and Seth are still up there with their recent drops. Always got time for Golden Era, and whatever Mata and Must, Brad Strut and Maundz are up to. Internationally I tend to wind back a few years, pick up on some of the greats I missed out on, and always bump Rhyme Asylum from time to time.
What’s next now the albums out, holiday?! Rolling in the cash from your free album?! ha.
Yeah gimme some of the internet money! I need to try and organise some more gigs, not that I’m in a rush but gotta stay on it y’know, recently moved and working full time so got a lot on. Going to keep writing, recording, and beat making. Already got some new ammo so woopah look out! Me and P44 have some bangers in the trunk, and HOPEFULLY something will happen with those (even though he moved to Europe) soon.
Thanks for your time, anything further you want to add?
Thank YOU! Yeah I want to leave with a text version of my ‘rapper signature’ I’m working on, I was thinking of a kind of disgruntled yet cool kind of “woof” but it didn’t make it past my PR manager. I think I’ll go with “Peas out” instead of “Peace out”… y’nar?
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