New Single ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ + Clip + Tour

 Blues Mountains via Newtown hip hop trio Thundamentals continue to flip the concepts of what ‘Oz hip hop’ is supposed to be with new single ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ from their upcoming, as-yet-untitled, third album, proudly announcing their first and only headline tour for 2013 – taking in Sprung Festival and FBi’s 10th Birthday celebrations – to bring the new music to fans. Already added to rotation on triple j, debuting at #5 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts, and an unashamed love letter, ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ would not have been an obvious single choice for the boys – MCs Tuka and Jeswon and DJ Morgs – a year ago.

Though Jeswon had remarked earlier last year that Thundamentals material is, “pretty eclectic, and very musical; a reflection of our willingness to experiment with different genres,” the huge response to a more sensitive Thundas on their triple j Like A Version of Matt Corby’s ‘Brother’ reminded them that the template of hip hop isn’t set in stone for them: as long as the music and meaning is there, a connection can be made. As Tuka points out, “I felt that it would be good to honour our new found sound and following before unveiling the rest of what is by far our most experimental record to date.”

Says Jeswon, “For me, ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ is a nostalgic, heartfelt song which celebrates many of the things I appreciate about the fairer sex, and my girlfriend in particular. I feel like the song really captures that daydream-like quality of yearning for a loved one when you aren’t in their presence. My motivation for writing this song is that it is a great opportunity to express my respect, admiration and love for my partner who has always been so supportive of my music. I can imagine her driving to work and hearing this song come on the radio and seeing a big smile break out across her face, knowing that she is the inspiration behind my lyrics. To be able to elicit an honest reaction of joy in the person I love the most as a result of something I have made would be an amazing feeling. I just want to make her, and hopefully the rest of Australia, feel good as a result of this song.”

It was following the response from their sophomore record Forevolution and, in particular, the enormously popular recording they made of ‘Brother’ that the band realised that their music was speaking to people outside the tried and successful Thunda’s paths.

‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ follows on from what has been a wildly successful few years for the Newtown trio. Moving backwards through the past twelve months, Thundamentals could commit to only one serious tour the aptly-titled ‘Get Busy’ tour between the scheduled writing and recording breaks set aside for the upcoming album.

Tuka had also been racing round in the wake of his second LP Feedback Loop, which saw him taking on a serious amount of solo shows, as well as support slots for everyone from Seth Sentry to Kendrick Lamar. Similarly, DJ Morgs and Ev Jones (‘Brother’ collaborator) have embarked on a side project called JONES Jnr whose soul drenched neo-gospel beats have attracted the attention of international blogs and seen them just announced to tour with – firstly – NZ Legends Fat Freddy’s Drop, followed by shows with soul troubadour Cody ChestnuTT.  This adds to a resume that boast shows with everyone from soul royalty Bettye Lavette to Blue Note singer Jose James, neo-soul hero Bilal and underground trendsetters Oddissee & Olivier Daysoul.

2011 saw the release of Thundamentals’ second album Foreverlution which saw their first inclusion in both the ARIA and AIR Charts [debuting at #19 on ARIA Australian Charts, #17 on ARIA Urban Charts and #3 on the AIR Charts], not to mention the first two singles [‘Paint The Town Red’ and ‘How You Been?’] sliding into rotation on triple j.

Sleeping On Your Style [2009] had previously produced singles that leapt onto high rotation on the J’s [‘Move It Up’ and ‘The Mash’] with the release proper garnishing the band spots on 2010’s Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘Acts To Watch’ list and Sydney Morning Heralds ‘Next Big Things’ list and fourth single  T.H.U.N.D.A achieving MTV Rotation.

With a touring history includes A Tribe Called Quest, Big Boi (Outkast), MF Doom, Lyrics Born, Drapht, Bone Thugs N Harmony Thundamentals have grown into one of Australia’s most accomplished and energetic live acts, raising roofs and causing hangovers wherever they go, but as well invoking thoughtfulness and delivering new sounds to a genre scene that is seriously, and finally, beginning to spread its wings in this country. The last tour sold out fast…you know what to do.


Niche Productions & Nathan Farrell Entertainment proudly presents…

Thundamentals ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ Tour
Sunday 8th September – FBi 10th Bday @ Carriageworks – Sydney, NSW

Saturday 21st September – Sprung Festival – Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday 25th September – Beach Road Hotel – Bondi, NSW
Free Entry

Thursday 3rd October – Small Ballroom – Newcastle, NSW

Friday 4th October – Carmens – Miranda, NSW
Sunday 6th October – Splashes – Wollongong, NSW

Thursday 10th October – Flyrite – Perth, WA

Friday 11th October – Mojo’s – Fremantle, WA

Saturday 12th October – Studio 146 – Albany, WA

Saturday 19th October – Sprung Festival – Melbourne, VIC

Saturday 26th October – Rocket – Adelaide, SA

Thursday 31st October – Entrance Leagues Club – Gosford, NSW

Friday 1st November – Baroque Room – Katoomba, NSW



New Single ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ Out Now through Obese Records


It’s no secret that Melbourne boutique hip hop label Crate Cartel have been putting out some of the purist hip hop music in Australia for years now. Having the deepest respect for the genre’s roots, the Cartel is conscientiously on point when adhering to age-old principals and legacies.

None demonstrates this dedication to the movement more than Fluent Form, possessing all the background knowledge, experience and sensitivity required. Flu is the A-grade emcee, and what he has produced with new album Flu Season is no less than top-shelf hip hop.


As Fluent Form has matured, so too has his music. With a certain bravery, his new material contains more sensitivity both tonally and lyrically than displayed on previous albums Word Merchant (2011) and The Furnace (2009). Known in the past for his aggressive execution, the Melbourne emcee has redefined his stylistic approach in the hope that “it gives the listener an opportunity to digest everything I’m saying.” 

Ever the contrarian, upon every listen Flu’s cryptic word play uncovers truth after truth for those who choose to hear it. Lyrical themes range from braggadocio tracks, displaying wordplay at its very best, to highly creative conceptual tracks, which seek to examine the world outside of first person.

Guests on the album include Geko, Pang Production’s 1/6, Mata & Must, as well as American cohorts One Be Lo and Has-Lo, while production credits go to Must Volkoff, Geko, Discourse and L’Orange.


Second track on the album ‘Ironclad’ epitomises Flu’s new formula for writing with its laid back production by Must Volkoff paired with abstract lyricism. The layers of metaphor and double entendre designed to reward ‘true’ Flu fans.


With production by Crate Cartel’s Discourse, ‘Synthetic Love’ is a conceptual gem. Taking on the persona of ‘addiction’ in the first verse, Flu explores the subject and its effects often drawing on his own experiences. The second verse sees Fluent Form as himself, changing his thought patterns, using honest reflection as a way of ultimately defeating his nemesis.


Perhaps the most personally generous track on the album, ‘Fan Mail’ is written from the perspective of Flu’s inner critic. Melancholic piano samples trademark the production by Geko, perfectly indicative of the desolate subject matter. “You fought the good fight, but it’s time to leave”.

An album for those who appreciate a philosophical outlook and a cryptic unravelling, Flu Season is a masterful piece of work from start to finish.

“My style isn’t exactly the most accessible to the average listener. But I don’t write for them, I write for me firstly, and for the people who know.”Fluent Form
Watch clip for ‘A Grade’ below:

Release Date: 02.08.2013
Released By: Crate Cartel
Distributed By: Obese Records Distribution

Pre-order Flu Season from JB Hi-Fi here.


After evolving from the former Kade MC to the more matured Mr. Ruckman in the new year of 2013. This insightful rapper has been on hiatus from gigging in preparation of his new record The Born-Again Humanist, a concept album seeing release July 26th through Obese Records Distribution. Mr. Ruckman is a provocative Sydney emcee who’s been toiling away in the underground for over a decade, generating interest and insight through his passionate music and lively performances.

Mr. Ruckman presents lyrics of a skillful caliber, complimenting the raw production of local musicians to acclaimed hip-hop producers Simplex and Jacob Giles.

Listen to ‘Dark Poet’ on soundcloud below:

Release Date:26.07.2013
Released By: Obese Records Distribution

Purchase The Born Again Humanist from JB Hi-Fi here

Force: Force, out 26.07.2013

Melbourne born and bred and raised on a diet of traditional hip hop both local and abroad, Force has been steadily building as an artist since his 2009 debut album Clouded, which featured Maundz, Hunter (RIP), A-diction and more. From there it was evident that a respect for the art form reigned true.

It’s now 2013 and whilst nothing has changed in the respect for the pioneers, the sound Force is bringing certainly has. After forming Down For The Count Records and releasing a slew of crew products, Force has now teamed up with Jacki Onassisproducer Zarkov (Raph) to release a genre bending album that takes listeners on a journey of effortlessly blended hip hop with an aggressive electronic driven edge. All whilst maintaining the gritty, raw, flow driven style Force has become known for.

Alongside Force the album features some of Australia’s best hip hop artists from the stables of Born Fresh, Crate Cartel, Obese Records, Broken Tooth Entertainment and Down for The Count Records.

Tommy Illfigga, Sparts, Fluent Form, Fraksha, Dialectrix, Sinks, Muph, Mol One, Baptist, Pompei and Deece all join in to deliver a truly unique listening experience.

Listen to ‘Inner Dark’ from Force below:

Release Date:
Released By: Down For The Count Records
Distributed By: Obese Records

Artwork: Chad Mann of Third Half Design
Produced by: Zarkov
Format: Compact Disc and digital (itunes & bandcamp)

Purchase Force now from Soul Clap Records here 
Purchase Force now from JB Hi-Fi here 


Hyjak has returned in 2013, this time with his first solo studio album entitled The Light at the End of the Tunnel.

Not having released anything since 2009 in the form of Hyjak N Torcha‘s UnregrettableHyjak has been feeling the pressure of standing on his own two feet as a solo artist. Nevertheless, he returns to the fold more focused and lyrically articulate than ever.

Only a few seconds into the album Hyjak has already laid his cards on the table, dissecting his own faults while simultaneously rising above them. Hyjak‘s most honest autobiographical work to date; The Light at the End of the Tunnel is an emotional roller-coaster ride. With lyrics which paint vivid and evocative pictures, Hyjak recreates past experiences through his lyrics.

With production from a vast assortment of producers, the impressive list includes Ciecmate (Broken Tooth Entertainment), Pokerbeats (Germany), and Jolistics (TZU).

Guest vocalists featured on the album such as P. Smurf (Daily Meds), Hau (Koolism), and Brooklyn native Rock from Heltah Skeltah (Bootcamp Click), emphasize the widespread respect Hyjak has earned over the course of his rap career.

With an excessive amount of music being released in the current industry climate, due to the accessibility of producing software and the rise of the DIY ‘bedroom studio’, Hyjakwanted to give his fans an album which stands out from the rest. With that aim, The Light at the End of the TunnelThe LP was carefully engineered and crafted a large format console, using nothing but world-class analogue and digital gear to create a timeless sound.

Check out the clip for ‘All I Need’ below:

Release Date: 12.07.2013
Released By: Obese Records Distribution

Purchase The Light at the End of the Tunnel now from iTunes here

Purchase The Light at the End of the Tunnel now from JB HI-FI here

Frankston In-store: RATES

Rates will be appearing in-store at our Frankston shop on Thursday the 25th of July, between 4-5pm! Save the date.

Don’t forget to grab a copy of his debut album Destroy & Rebuild to get signed up!

Kimence: One View, out 05.07.2013

Kimence has been writing for most of her life. As a young person, writing poetry aided her to rationalize and evolve through troubled times. Since then, Kimence’s relationship with the pen has not only become rewarding, but empowering.

Testament to Kimence’s knack for networking, One View includes production mastery from some of our country’s best. Including Simplex of Terra Firma, Suffa from Hilltop Hoods, Trials of Funkoars, Admin, Psycho Les of NYC group The Beatnuts. Among the hand-picked vocal contributors are K21, Simplex, Alerts, Psycho Les, Raph A.L., Mnops, Monsta Ganjah, Tana Kingi & Jayde Lowther.

Title track, ‘One View’ sees Kimence team up with long-time collaborators Simplex and Alerts for a fast paced exchange. Bold horn loops, crashing symbols, and sparkling piano lines together with premium scratching make ’One View’ one of the most hard hitting tracks on the album.

Retrospective track ‘The Quest’ is set around Kim’s struggles during the making of her album, and the journey of “a female trying to make it in a man’s world”.

The haunting Simplex production is driven by heavy beats, and minor guitar loops, emphasizing the stoicism of Kimence’s words.

Showing her thematic versitility ‘Hooked Baby’ is a comical number characterized by 70’s guitar loops. The beat, supplied by Admin, came with the key sample which motivated the track’s gold digger theme.

A big advocate for her local scene, Kimence’s reverence for hip hop music and its positive impact on the community is what drives her. Being a female emcee is widely regarded as a tough gig, but Kimence has earned, and continues to earn the support of industry heavyweights with her tenacity and conviction.

“I would love to not only see my music enjoyed by others, but to see this album inspire other females who have a passion for Hip Hop to step up and make it happen.” – Kimence

One View will be released digitally through Obese Records Distribution, and in stores through Butterthief.
Check out Kimence’s new music video for ‘Descending’ below





‘Like’ Kimence’s Facbook Here

Release date: 05.07.2013
Released by: Obese Distribution (digitally only)


M-Phazes will be releasing a compilation album featuring some of his all-time favourite collaborative moments from his back catalogue. This sort after collection of production mastery is aptly entitled The Works.

Back in twenty-ten M-Phazes released his ARIA award winning album Good Gracious, which featured an all-star lineup of Australian Hip-Hop artists.  With the release of  The Works in 2013, M-Phazes will be displaying his international connections, featuring some of Hip Hop’s most elite, and sort after vocalists over his now world famous beats.

Boasting pre-released tracks from Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch ft. Jill ScottSlaughterhouse and CL Smooth and more, The Works is an insight to Phazes‘ remarkable knack for networking and establishing musical connections.
Watch ‘Still Standing’ with Pharoahe Monch ft. Jill Scott music video:

Release Date: 28.06.2013
Released By: Obese Records

Pre-order limited signed copies of M-Phazes’ The Works from JB Hi-Fi here.



After a very successful 2012 centred around his widely revered album This is How We Never Die, Chasm has returned in 2013 with a fresh approach to releasing his music.

The Chasm EP series, the second of which will be released on June 14th, comprises of four separate digital releases, each featuring a different vocal artist. The collaborations, in true Chasm style, will spotlight artists from his international network including Guilty Simpson (USA), Blak Twang (UK), and our very own Monchichi (AUS), Skryptcha & Rachael Berry (AUS).

Entitled Smoking Aces, the second instalment from the EP series features rising star and triple j Unearthed feature artist Monchichi. With a mish-mash of production styles on offer, Smoking Aces switches between reggae samples, synth leads, and boom bap beats.

Chasm first encountered the Sydney-based emcee when Monchichi supported the legendary Smoke DZA live. Impressed, Chasm checked out Chi’s work with Coloured Noyz, before inviting him to join forces on what would become the second instalment in the EP series, Smoking Aces.

Watch Smoking Aces mini doco:

Release Date: 14.06.2013
Released By: Obese Records

Purchase Chasm’s first EP Diamond Cuts from iTunes here.


Destroy and Rebuild is the debut album from one of Sydney’s most thought provoking lyricist. 

Providing an insight into a dark world constructed within the walls of a racing mind. The album boasts solid features including Sydney’s king Kerser, crazily talented Jay (uf), and Geelong’s very own Fatty Phew, all bringing  their own flavour to this crazy album. With great production from DiscourseTorntsNebsElliot WaiteGeko and Seven Six. Destroy and Rebuild truly is a journey from start to finish.

Watch ‘Ferocious’ promo clip:

Release Date: 14.06.2013

Released By: Rates & Obese Distribution

Pre-order  Destroy and Rebuild from Soul Clap Records here.

Keep up to date with Rates on facebook here