‘Even if they’re sleeping on your style like a sedative / develop it, don’t take it as a negative / that should never be effecting it / just trying to take it to a place where it’s never been.’
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
And so go the words from the title track released from the Thundamentals’ recently released début album which describes best how the young Obese crew who feel although their brand of hip-hop may not be the rugged style of old, its taking our thing down the right path. Sleeping On Your Style makes an attempt at forging Aussie hip-hop into new arenas of acceptance as we step toward the twenty-teens.
“Yeah man I definitely feel like we’re on the right path.” Jeswon agrees with words expressed by Jungle Brothers’ Mike Gee when he copped their EP – (then demo tape) thrown to him on stage, remarking that the Sydney-Blue Mountain four piece was heading Australian hip-hop into the right direction. “Sleeping On Your Style is quite an eclectic album I feel. Our goal going into making Sleeping was just to try and create as balanced a piece of art as we could that encompasses a lot of the sounds that we enjoy listening to. So I really feel like we nailed that. It’s quite a listen-able album and one of the nicest bits of feedback we’ve had from people coming up to us is, ‘look we don’t even really like Australian hip-hop but I’ve been really enjoying your album.’ Which is a rarity I think for Aussie hip-hop. I guess for a long time our hip-hop was a hard-hitting, rugged kinda sound.” Jeswon confides, “we’re not super-staunch tough guys, we’re just making music so people can forget about their worries for the time being. I think the hardcore fans can get into it and recognise our hip-hop and at the same time be accessible to people who are not die-hards.”
Despite the confidence they’ve gained over touring several times nationally in 2009, MC, Jeswon explains the album title and how it’s really become the band’s locker room slogan. Sleeping On Your Style was released last September and is widely heralded domestically as one of ‘09’s hottest hip-hop records.
“It’s kinda an affirmation, it’s like saying no matter what you do, whatever your craft is or whatever your passion is, there is always gonna be people who are sleeping on your style. Even if they are it doesn’t matter. You should take criticism as a motivating factor and keep pushing with your own style,” Jeswon enthuses. “There are gonna be people who love it, and that’s the important thing. So just develop your own style and own flavour and people get it or they don’t, it doesn’t matter. So long as you are enthusiastic about what you’re doing then that’s the important thing, you know.
“I kinda feel that way with the album, traditionally Aus’ hip-hop dudes are not gonna be too into what we’re doing and where we’re trying to take it. But we’re not doing it for them, we’re doing it for in a lot of ways just ourselves. That’s all you can do, you can’t cater to everyone or you’ll end up diluting the essence of what you’re trying to do. If your motivation for doing your art is to gain recognition and fame, it’s kinda false. Your motivation should come from the process of creating the art itself. That is the reward. It should be intrinsic, getting the satisfaction from creating something you believe in and has the stamp of your style.”
Stamping up and down the east coast, Thundamentals roll out with their homeboy Dialectrix and Sydney crew, Daily Meds before recoiling back to write their next album, which at present is a tightly lips-sealed deal.
“We’re just tryin’ to knuckle down and get the new album out in 2011 but the main goal right now is song-writing. We’ve had a monster tour since the last album came out, so we thought it’s about time to get back into creative writing mode to make the next album more banging than the last.”