TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES ON THE HORN WITH ONE OF THE MOST REALIST MCS IN AUSTRALIAN HIP-HOP SEES DELTA GO OFF TRACK INTO THE HEART AND SOUL OF HIP HOP WHEN TALKING ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM THE SECOND STORY.
DELTA interviewed @ 15:00 AEST – Friday 12th June, 2009
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
A purist of the hip hop art and student of the four elements, Delta lived 188 & Webster in South Bronx and sniffed first-hand the vapours of hip hop ether. From one of the most isolated cities in the world, the Perth MC has developed into one of Australia’s premier and oldest serving hip hop vets, and Delta delivers his second story with the promise of a classically-studied artist who started as a breaker.
“I started breaking when I was young,” Delta opens from the first chapter of two kid brothers in Perth grooming their hip hop posture. “He called me into B-boying when I was eight years old. I remember the first time I heard ‘Mosh It Up’ on a mixtape, Just Ice & KRS One from the Bronx and all of them big joints. But, even before that – when we were taping ‘Twilight 22’, ‘Electric Kingdom’ all of the Arthur Baker production of the 80s. We were always B-boying and doing graf. It was all about that stuff. When the 90s was in the full swing that was the energy.
“Anywhere from ‘88 through to ‘94. Me and my DJ were very ‘88 heads and went to his house and listened to every album from ‘88 and ‘89. All the Low Profile, Stetsasonic, that’s what I am about. That is what I was trying to do, just make that type of music. The MC was such an imposing figure, not because he was selling a million dollars worth of crack or because he had a gun with a barrel that was so big that he couldn’t fit it through the door. It’s because his head was in another universe unto himself,” he continues. “My grandma bought [Eric B. & Rakim’s] Paid In Full in 1987 for Christmas. Ever since I’ve heard him say ‘It ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at’, I can do this and don’t have to be anything but myself. And if I had something to say and I loved hip hop, that was enough.”
Delta drops some Wu-Tang ethos to sell the oldest parable in the testament of hip hop. “It doesn’t matter if you are wearing Target clothes, as long as long as your shit is official. The World According To Ghostface Killa – ‘You are bringing the steez to the clothes, instead of the clothes bringing the steez to you’. The hip hop is exactly the same. Because you can have $30,000 worth of studio equipment and if you are not using it right, you’re butt naked in the breeze. That is what we are trying to do with this.”
An international hot stepper and crate-digger, as a freestyle MC Delta has worked himself into a reckoning force. His debut album The Lostralian dropped to local and international acclaim in 2006. Since then, he has performed over 100 shows to awestruck crowds, always with triple DMC champ DJ Staen1 backing him up on the ones and twos. In 2009 he’s bringing a newfound wealth of experience and a grip of fresh international connections to the table, crafting a worldly gem with The Second Story.
Delta brings on board the amazing trumpeter and guitarist from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Milano from New York’s legendary D.I.T.C. Crew (who worked with the befallen Big Pun on career hit ‘Where Ya At’) spits a venomous rhyme on ‘Mean’, and he also collaborates with Psycho Les from the Beatnuts, who came to Australia to get in the booth for ‘T&A’ playing advocate to Delta’s thoughts.
From the true-skool of thought, Delta remains the man he’s been for so long, uncompromising and real. Just as well he’s succeeding in his art because there lies no ultimatum. “Hip hop or death! I got up on stage one night and said ‘hip-hop or death!’ Cause without hip hop I’m not living man. I’m just surviving.”