Real Rap Cats: Loose Change talk Listening Party + Competition
Loose Change is a Sydney based hip-hop outfit made up of MCs Ellesquire and Rapaport, beatmaker P Major. The group is signed to Big Village, a record label that was started as a collective between 12 current members. Both Big Village and Loose Change are killing it, and Young Henry’s Brewery has even started the process to create a Big Village Beer to be kept on tap! We spoke to the boys about how Loose Change began, and where it all started.
“Ellesquire and I went to the same school, we started doing music a couple of years after we finished”, says Rapaport, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Rapaport was ¾ of the way through his solo album the two decided to collaborate on writing. “Until that point Ellesquire was this dude I would just bump into once a year at every international hip-hop show”.
The two began writing around the same time Rapaport got into contact with producer P Major, a classically trained saxophonist who has worked on Rapaport’s album. “I thought he was just a sax player and then he gave me a CD with one of his beats and I listened to it and I was like ‘Holy fuck, this guys is such a better producer than me’, I felt so embarrassed that I had had him just playing sax on my record”.
The pieces fell into place from there, “as soon as I heard P Major’s beats things started to gel” says Ellesquire, “we both had this love for the same sort of music… like 90’s Boom Bap”. This led the boys to create Loose Change, and begin writing their self-titled debut album. Loose Change was influenced by mutual experiences of both Ellesquire and Rapaport, who had both come out of serious relationships, “we were both in the same zone, a lot of the writing came quickly” says Rapaport. “We were both in pretty much the exact same situation, so it was almost like we were one person writing the same thing”, adds Ellesquire.
From that album a chain of events followed, which included the launching of Big Village records and a solo album for Ellesquire, making it difficult for the group to re-collaborate immediately. Once they finally did find time, the boys went all-out to get the record finished, “We’ve all been doing our own solo things so it’s been patchy, but intensive when we can all get together, we’ve put a lot of work in that’s for sure, we’ve all pushed ourselves creatively”.
There are a lot of differences fans can expect from the new album, starting with a different writing process. “P-Major has hundreds and hundreds of beats so we’re flooded all the time, but for this album we picked the beats we wanted and then took them back to him to reconstruct” says Ellesquire, “as opposed to the first album where we just rapped over the top of what was already there”. The boys ended up creating 30 songs, which had to be cut down and selected for the album. “It was good because if everyone didn’t like the song then we could just cull it”.
The first single off the album “Shoosh” is already doing the rounds, picked up for airtime on Triple J just in time for the album’s release. “It’s not the most single-y song in terms of a radio friendly single sound, but we wanted to go at it from that angle and not do the obvious thing” says Ellesquire, “and its got a theme, its got a little tongue and cheek sort of vibe so we’re hoping that will capture people’s attention”.
The song is about encouraging some people to shut the fuck up for once, which is certainly a theme most of us can relate to, and the accompanying music video is a single take shot of the boys rapping the song on a Sydney train. “That was fun, but it was hard… we got a bunch of train tickets between Central and Sydenham return, we did it like ten times and things kept fucking up”, says Ellesquire.
Things are doing great for the Sydney boys whose careers are set to hit new heights, but they attribute a lot of their success to their Sydney base. “Sydney’s a great city, in terms of musical community, the amount of people and friends is amazing, there’s a crazy scene which is really strong” says Ellesquire. “It’s a tough scene for musicians to build audiences but it is supportive, there are certainly a lot of hip-hop heads out there” adds Rapaport.
Backyard Opera got to preview the record and we are happy to announce that this album is full of fresh flows, lyrical dexterity and perspective – it’s not just about hooks. We’re totally excited to get our hands on the new album as soon as it comes out tomorrow! Pick up Listening Party by Loose Change on iTunes or at your local (good) record store.
ENTER THE COMPETITION *
To celebrate the release of Listening Party, the Loose Change legends have provided us with an awesome pack to give away which includes the new Loose Change album and a fresh T-shirt. All you’ve got to do to be in the draw is fill out the form below. Easy as that… The winner will be announced Wednesday 9th.