Jase Connection - Beatheadz Vol.01

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If there were ever any doubts about the quality of Australian hip hop, Jase’ Beathedz compilation will well and truly allay them. Featuring a who’s who of guest rappers doing their thing over the veteran Melbourne producer’s top-notch beats, this album is an early contender for album of the year, at least among the heads.

While he may be better known for his work as one third of electronic act Nubreed, Jase has been part of the hip hop scene since 1988, and has been making beats since 1994. Raph and BVA of Mnemonic Ascent kick off the album with the absolutely killer track “All Out”. Mnemonic Ascent’s album was a little patchy, but when it was hot it was hot, and this track is hot. Jase’s beat is solid, with a nice fat brass sound, and the effort put in to match beats to specific rapping styles is probably most evident on this track.

The Optimen team up with Robby Balboa on Chin Music, with the unforgettable: “the sort of mess and disaster that we create is sought after like a Jessica Alba sex tape”. If I have a complaint about this album, its that the majority of the tracks are brag raps, but when you’re as good as the rappers featured, I guess a little bragging is allowable. Muph and Obese Records head honcho Pegz team up on Sixteen, another killer track. I haven’t heard Pegz’ recent album, but his rapping on this track, as well as his contribution to the Hoods’ album has made me keen to check it out.

While many of the rappers featured hail from Victoria, New South Wales is represented by Hyjak and Torcha with Kye, and The Herd’s Urthboy. Urthboy contributes The Wash, a track about the inevitability of exposure of wack rappers, a track that Phrase and Daniel Merriwether would do well to listen to, as they contribute the only weak track on the album. Queensland is represented by a remix of Lazy Grey’s Gave ‘Em ‘An Inch. Jase speeds up the original a little and adds a “little doof in the beats”, with the result being better than the already quality original. West Australia is also represented by Drapht and Ciecmate, and the very skilful Layla, who’s Cerebral Germz is another standout.

The surprise of the album comes from Melbourne rapper Patto, who’s album Jase is producing. With a tight flow and Jase’ beats, his album will definitely be one to look out for. Also featured are Hau of Koolism and Art of War, among others. Jase also delivers two quality instrumentals, the first of which is a tribute to the late J. Dilla, while the second, called Competition Instrumental, is a beat over which MC’s are invited to rhyme and submit to Jase, with the prize being inclusion on volume 2.

Obese Records have established themselves as probably the best Australian hip hop label, and this album contributes to the excellent reputation of this label. Dope beats and tight rhymes – that’s what hip hop is about and that is what this album delivers.

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