What the fuck is it all about? Well it’s the sum of its parts and pretty self-explanatory when you think about it. You know rappers yeah? And you know how to play ‘tag’ yeah? Well imagine…wait for it…..rappers playing tag! That’s it, you got it – kind of! Throw in the amazing communication opportunities offered by YouTube and the interweb and we have a new game that has been spreading through Aussie hip hop faster than herpes in a whore house.
It started off with Melbourne based rapper 360 aka Matt Colwell who saw the idea being done in the states and nicked it for an Australian version. So, here is the tech spec – no bullshit. 1 rapper records themself doing a short rap over some beats (written by Staylz Fuego), at the end of the rap they ‘tag’ another rapper by naming them, which means that person has to go next and record their own rap before ‘tagging’ someone else and so on and so forth The videos are then posted on YouTube and the website – www.rappertag.com – for our viewing pleasure. At the time of going to press and only 1 month after Colwell started it off, we’re already at number 12. “I guess it’s a bit of fun really.” says the originator himself. ‘’It’s good to see everyone getting involved in it and I guess it’s a good bit of promo for everyone that does it. It’s been a pretty crazy response, heaps of people are getting into it and loving it.”
There are few rules to follow which is always good. The rappers can rap about anything they want, from the slick comedic rhymes of # 4 Fraksha claiming that he keeps it ‘smooth like a girl with no vagina hair’ and #6 Newsense who delivers his performance while taking a shit on the dunny, to more emotional topics including #8 Hunter and #9 The Master who reveal their personal battles with ill health. The same ‘take it as it come’ approach extends to the plan for where the concept will go next- basically there isn’t one “I wouldn’t mind getting tagged back in and doing it again but I guess its up to whoever’s turns it is.” says Colwell. “I wouldn’t mind seeing someone tagging a group so its more than one person doing the verse at once, if you could get a duo or something like that where they go back and forth for a bit that would be sick. I like that it’s gone from every extreme through all kind of rappers from every kind of back ground not just specific to one style or anything. It’s just going everywhere, so I just want to keep going.”
As well as being fun, it’s also an example of how the current generation of musicians and performers are finding new ways of getting themselves into the spaces where the audiences are. “The whole industry has changed with infinite downloads and shit like that.” Says Colwell. “Album sales have dropped, so it’s really about finding other ways you can get your shit out there and promote the shit out of your stuff and make little ideas like this work in your benefit. You’ve got be really on point with that shit. If you’re just doing gigs and releasing CDs you sort of get overlooked.”
So is there any scope for this underground project to poke its head a little more into the mainstream? “I reckon it definitely could.” Colwell concludes. “I would love to see maybe one the Bliss n Esso dudes or one of the Hilltop Hoods dudes get down with it. That would be crazy” Sounds like the gauntlet has been thrown down, someone tag them in quick!