NJE IS A SYDNEYSIDER, RHYME BUSSIN’ MC ON THE PUSH OF HIS SECOND ALBUM, FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN DUE OUT IN A MINUTE.
NJE interviewed @25th March, 2010
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Before this, the solo MC has held it down before for the likes of the incredible Public Enemy, Xzibit, D-12, The Outlawz and some our home-grown best. This ain’t nothing new, but for those who slept on this real MC, meet the man behind the artist and the rap will fill in the rest.
Across the pond where the life of hiphop is lived in an American tone. This however, has had no bearings on how NJE delivers his rap. Born in New Zealand but raised in inner-Sydney’s Campbelltown, the artist insists his style is all rapped local, just a shade off the dialect voiced across our domestic scene.
“In some ways it’s hard because in Australian hiphop they like that Aussie accent. A lot of people believe that unless you sound that way you’re not really accepted, and at the start of my career I wasn’t really accepted. Doing shows with Hyjak N Torcha makes me believe in what I’m doing and I feel like I’m not gonna give up. This is what I do, I’m not just some guy who came out yesterday and is gonna leave tomorrow. I do this for the love and to express myself. I’m not just one of those guys that’s here to milk the game, I’m here to give back.”
And putting back into the game, NJE takes his latest album, From the Outside Looking In on the road and allows the billing to include the local acts wherever he travels the sounds of NJE.
“What I try to do is help out young people as well. If I hear someone trying their best in Australian hiphop, I’ll be like well come and open for my show. I like to give them a bit of a leg up. When I was coming up a lot of people wouldn’t do that for me, so I try to open doors for them,” he confesses. Stopping through Melbourne for his opening show, NJE invites the likes of 27 Politics, Ryan Egan, Beat Theory, Mystorri and J. Watersto join him at Miss Libertine.
“You see the names with you on the bill, you try to give some love back to the local scene. It’s always a lot of fun to do it this way.”
From the Outside Looking In comes two years after The Independent Hustler’s Mixtape with DJ D-KUTZ releasing his breakthrough hit, ‘Broke Man’s Bounce’ which saw airplay from Adelaide’s NOVA to Triple J. Also five years after his initial LP, Life Skriptures, which wasreleased off his own hustle – no label. Now under his own Soul Connect Records, NJE’s latest output is being heavily pushed online with no real need for major label promotions.
“I’m getting people daily saying to me they wanna copy of the album. It’s really working online,” he professes. “You really don’t need the stores these days as people more and more are pushing it online.”
The new LP has spread globally. NJE claims fans from Finland, Canada, New Zealand and across Europe as he tries to tap into where the Hilltop Hoods left impressions internationally. The LP features Torcha, Mind Over Matter, Phatchance, ex Death Row inmate Danny Boy and some far-off production by Finnish producer, Paul Andreas who laid out beautiful pan-pipeinstrumentation over ‘Sign Of The Times.’
“That’s how I got my Finnish fan base. He’s doing three tracks on the album and he’s one of those guys that messes with samples, flips it backwards and stretches it. We link up when we can.
“And that’s what you wanna do, come differently in your approach musically wherever possible. That’s what we tried to do with ‘Appetiser (Entrée)’ which is a taste before you get the main meal. It’s something different again and sort of sounds like a clown beat. We’re just trying to offer a taste for something different. Rage is playing us hard so we’re obviously doing something right.”