COPYWRITE interviewed @ 14:00 AEST – Thursday 10th February, 2011
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press

Images courtesy of Phil Emerson


In the studio tapping out the early creases of a new MegaHertz album with producer RJD2, Jakki Da Motamouth and Tage Future, Copywrite’s Peter William Nelson rings into Drum to “give a little interview”, as he explains briefly to someone interrupting on the other end. His second album dropped at the close of 2010 and what unfolds on The Life And Times Of Peter Nelsonis an enduring trip through a tumultuous period in Nelson’s personal affairs of late. Here the cartoonish Copywrite is shredded back to reveal the Peter Nelson alter ego experiment. “When it’s time to write that ignorant shit, that ridiculous shit – my metaphors and all that – Copywrite is a character and Peter Nelson is the person,” he explains.

The angst rapper came up in 1998 in the midwestern scene of Columbus, Ohio with his crew MegaHertz (MHz) and released a string of underground hits before finding ground with his début LP, The High Exhaulted, in 2002 – a ‘battle on wax’ piece he refers to as “fascinating garbage”. With ill-minded punch lines and cocky white-boy rhymes spat in a dark and sickening tone – too dark for most – reviewers trashed the MC’s underground career. Eight years on and keeping himself mixtape-heavy until the drop of his second release, Nelson wishes to be defined and remembered on his open-book narrative LP.

“My whole thing is this – when I was doing my High Exhaulted stuff and I got burnt all those times, people would say shit about me as a person, which was unfair because they never got to know me in person. So I figured I’d give them an album which was basically like sitting in the room with me. Which, when you really get down to it, would be like listening to everything that happened to me.”

The life and times of Nelson have indeed been emotional for the man behind the character, as he discusses in the open-wounded tracks, ‘Forever And A Day’ – a tribute to the 2008 passing of MHz member Camu Tao (Tero Smith) – ‘Confessional’ and ‘Don’t Kill Me,’ the latter penned in prison.


“If it were my last album I’d rather go out with people having a better understanding of me rather than just being some misogynistic cartoon character running around like, ‘Hittin’ on hoes and suck my dick,’ you know?” Nelson jokes, with an obvious serious undertone to his voice. “I want them to see the real me and give them reason to have to listen to my album. Then you can go, if you don’t like me, you don’t wanna fuck with me, or listen to me as a human being after this album – cool. At least give me that chance.”

The critics don’t always get him, but hip-hop has always shown him love. During 2010, The Life And Times… found Nelson residing in California and trading verses with MCs Crooked I (Slaughterhouse), Planet Asia, Dilated Peoples, Sean Price, Motion Man and his original MHz crew. The end result was strong on lyrics, beats and originality.

“It was all good man, I got respect for everybody I worked with – I’m a fan of their craft. It was a pleasure to make some real classic hip hop with them,” says Nelson, who considers his track with Crooked I to be the best union he’s had on the mic.

“Me and Crooked I actually did ‘Crooked Cop’ in the same studio. I’m a battle MC first and I’m all about lyrics first; that’s how I take to every song. I’m an MC’s MC and working with Crook, he’s on point.” Ranking Crooked I under Jay-Z and Eminem, Nelson admits, “When I was up in the studio with Crook I felt that anything can happen – the fucking depths we take each other. He is a killer MC and that was my favourite collab, ever!”



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