ABOUT TO RETIRE FROM THE HIP HOP WORLD, REASON CAN WALK AWAY A CONTENDED MAN AS HE REFLECTS WITH RIP NICHOLSON.
REASON interviewed @ 19.30 AEST – Tuesday 20th October 2011
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Before he leaves us for good, the path that Jason ‘Reason’ Shulman has blazed becomes ever more apparent with every new hip hop joint stamped into the history of Australian music. Fifteen years ago one MC lead an assault of Aussie rap and gave us an American franchise reared strictly on home soil, representing our own struggles and poetic renaissance of expression. On his final exit, new album, Window Of Time, pieces together one man’s legacy and the inward paths to furthering hip hop on our own home turf, for our own identity.
Shulman created a distinction from the trend of rap music that infiltrated the early development of Australian hip hop. He persevered against the grain and nurtured a new wave of local dialect, cutting the umbilical from the American-accent and covenants that was ready-laid in uniform. From the once-dubbed ‘Occa-rap’ to the strength of real talk rap that is widely acknowledged and celebrated on a mainstream level currently, this was an issue that once tortured the plight of pioneering artists like Shulman. But today, the way the art has blossomed, he is at peace with all dialects and enunciation that permeates within our culture.
“It’s something that frustrates me, particularly for the last five years. The very core of Australian hip hop scene still stands true to it’s value, but that concept of making music to the masses has evolved now to where some people are taking it to a place where i don’t believe is not worthy of Australian hip hop.
“Fifteen years ago there was a group of us who were staunch and totally against this concept of rapping with an American accent. We thought this was a place where we could truly develop a sound that is Australian. We tried our hardest in so many different ways to ensure that these people would eventually disappear. And they didn’t. So, we have learned to coexist. We accepted that there are other types of hip hop from this country and ‘nuff respect to those who have stuck with it. I haven’t got any issues with it now. Fifteen years ago, i found it hard to deal with.”
“I remember taking Bias B on his first across-state tour, Pegasus on his first back up show. I’m blessed to have been a part of this development. They could have chosen other paths but they chose to blaze further into hip-hop and I’m proud to be involved in that history.”
New album, Window Of Time features a who’s who of Australian hip hop, purists of our scene. “It’s a closed shop, throw away the key. For my final episode to get Bias, Lazy Grey, Hau and my man Hunter R.I.P.” He completes the cycle of life by collaborating with an MC whom Shulman regards as being this generation’s next best thing. “From an MC’s perspective, he is the best up-n-coming artist to will hold the mantle for the next ten years,” says Shulman of Obese labelmate Dialectrix, who would be too young to remember when both these MCs came to fruition.
As one of the oldest in the culture, Shulman leaves to pursue his career, family life and the workshops of which he remains dedicated. “I wanna walk out on a high. All the time and effort that i have invested into this scene, all the passion that I’ve shown, that that’s still in my heart and proud of my achievements and the achievements of my peers across the country.
“All the people that i can comfortably say i gave a first break to, who are now not only my contemporaries, but stand strong as icons of Australian hip hop. I remember taking Bias B on his first across-state tour, Pegasus on his first back up show. I’m blessed to have been a part of this development. They could have chosen other paths but chose to blaze further into hip hop and i’m proud to be involved with that history.”
Behind him, the Australian hip hop scene stands in A1 health and Shulman, a forefather of this movement and much more than an MC, can now walk away, content with his life’s work and contribution.
“Its been so worth it,” confides Shulman. “Sometimes in my own quiet little world i think about how far Australian hip hop has come to right now and if there was a hidden camera in the ceiling it would see this old fella sitting in the corner with a massive smile on his face. He hasn’t lost his marbles, he’s just really proud of where we’re at.”