The Trans-Pacific Partnership is two things. One of those things is a international trade agreement with eleven asian and pacific rim nationals including New Zealand and the United States of America; there is no public access to these negotiations which are held in secret behind closed doors and potentially threatens the increase of the price of things like medicines, GM labeling being scraped, the banning of parallel imported goods, copyright laws being expanded, internet access being restricted and terms of the Treaty of Waitangi being overridden.
The other thing is the title that has been afforded to this compilation put together by New Zealand’s (unsung?) hero of political hip-hop, Trillion – coming from the space where hip-hop is the voice of the down-trodden under-dogs rising up to be heard; discussing the wrongs of the worlds and standing up for the rights – as opposed to the the spectrum of hip-hop that talks about how many Rolex’s and big cars they own.
One of those things is pretty bad. The other, the one with Trillion involved, is pretty good.
Turning to the inner-sleeve of this compilation, we’re informed that the CD’s pressing was made possible by donations via crowdfunding website pledgeme.co.nz. Also inside is the inscription that explains the CDs title much more eloquently that I have above.
By compilation; what it actually is is three EPs from three artists collected together – five tunes each and then an extra four bonus Trillion tracks for good measure. New English is teh new project from NZ’er Billy Wilson; Lewka is from Philidelpia and Subsketch, originates from Adelaide and is co-founder of the Sydney based DCZ Collective.
Part one is Neither You, Nor I by New English – five NZ conscious raps over tight and interesting sample-based hip hop beats – most interesting for me is the one called Brown Bread with it’s gypsy-beats – the rhymes and flows are smart and well delivered. Extra Ordinary has an all-together familiar party-vibe to it that’s bee re-filtered for their purposes to excellent effect.
Part two is Lewka & Trillion’s EP 2012 – Get A Job – and feels a bit more suitably pissed off – rhymes that bite over solid no-nosence beats. Bump In The Night resonates with me as the sound of NZ under John Keys National Government in 2012. But my favorite is Paranoia Boogie Ooogie – with smart rap lines and an awesome (and fully approved) Deerhoof sample (E.S.P) that’s a true stroke of genius over some brilliant funk/fucked-up beats. This is really smart hip hop.
Part Three presents the Alter Ego ep by Subsketch with a more melodic approach to the raps – almost half-sung in parts – highlights for me include Farewell My Lovely Creature – “you were the queen of small time socialites / a big fish in a small pond with open eyes” – but overall, at least for my ears, these five tracks pack less punch than the first two collections.
Coming up the rear – as bonus tracks is Trillions Remix of Spartacus R’s High View; Mirror Mirror single which is awesome; a rad as John Lennon tribute feature singer-songwriter (and good guy) Andy Gibson, Re-Imagine and the Joan As Police Woman Mashupped Tattered Joker by Trillion himself which just rules.
If you thought Homebrew were cool for calling John Key a dick at the VNZMA then wrap your ears around these slices of hip hop and think about why he and too many like him are dicks and how we can, together, stop people like him fucking us.
RATING : GREAT
I have always struggled with a numerical scale; it feels so finite and arbitrary.
So the CHEESE ON TOAST Scale looks like this :
FREAKIN’ AWESOME / JUST AWESOME / REALLY GREAT / GREAT / GOOD / PRETTY COOL / NOT BAD / COULD BE BETTER / PRETTY BAD, ACTUALLY / NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EARS
Check out this compilation digitally by clicking here