Nuggy Gee is not trying to redo the game, nor is he trying to be the best MC. He is here for the love of the art, the therapy and of course the riches and the fame that comes from contributing to Brisbane’s Indie hip-hop scene. In 2013 he dropped his debut EP, Home Is Where The Art Is(HIWTAI) on independent label Gee Spot Recordings, representing the Four One fam on Brisbane’s southside. But don’t get it twisted, it’s in the DNA of Nuggy Gee to be a freestyle MC. The beast within is a battle rapper with the gift of gab to tear down a cypher and turn out the lights before last drinks. While he seems nice on record, he’s formidable in a freestyle.
For an MC who feels more comfortable getting in your face, when asked if his competitive spirit carried over into his records it was somewhat surprising to hear that he doesn’t see collaborators as opponents. Although, perhaps the cohesion nurtured in recent collaborations with Def Man Walking and Fundamental Elements proved to be the right call over throwing down verses at each other in competition. Nevertheless, Nuggy Gee strives, at all times, to bring his A-game to the booth and, whether he likes it or not, the lyrical venom stored from the battlefield does leak out into his records.
Rip Nicholson holds audience with the independent as f**k MC. Everything is covered, from what inspired Nuggy Gee to stomp his name into local hip-hop, to deconstructing HIWTAI, to the self-produced Crate Of Mind project and how he both manages and contains the freestyle MC from taking over his records.
If you didn’t know about Nuggy Gee… Now you do.
NUGGY GEE interviewed @ 10.45 AEST – Tuesday 3rd March 2015
For Ozhiphopshop.com & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Images courtesy of Dwayne Bridgland
Rip: I know you’re from Bris City’s Southside, you’re a battle MC competitor and in 2013 you released your first EP, Home Is Where The Art Is. I’ve left off so much. Why don’t you fill us in on Nuggy Gee?
Nuggy Gee: Correct, HIWTAI was released in early 2013 and was received much better than I ever could have hoped. Recorded and mostly produced by my homie Insideus at his studio “The Shire”, It was a great process making the EP and I learnt a lot along the way. I do like to get in the ring and battle from time to time, its the competitive side of me that I honestly never really knew existed until I first entered into the battle scene and my hunger has grown for it over time, I didnt think id achieve what I have through battling but worked hard to get where I am, its a big part of me as an MC, If I had to fill you in on Nuggy Gee I guess its me in the creative sense, through my love for hip hop, But at the same time it’s me everyday, not just an Alias.
Why did you become a rapper, aside from the riches and fame that being a Bris City MC brings of course?
Haha, definitely the riches. Its more like a lifestyle my love for hip hop goes way beyond me ever wanting to become a rapper, hip hop is almost therapeutic to me in the sense that it has always been there for me. I started messing around on jacked beats as a youngen and it just grew from there. I would freestyle over beats for hours and the novelty of this great culture just escalated for me and never wore off.
Going from recording a track to freestyling at a cypher, do you carry the same level of enthusiasm for each discipline?
Man, this is a strange one for me because I feel a lot more in my comfort zone freestyling then I do conforming to spitting words I’ve written, freestyle is almost a natural thing for me, its what I came from its how I learnt and is probably my strongest trait as an MC. I do try to bring my absolute best at all times behind the mic and if I’m going to lay down a verse for people to listen too I try to give them my outlook on my own situations, life struggles and experiences in life, I try to respect the listener through my music.
Recently you collabed with Def Man Walking (Carpe Diem) and Fundamental Elements (The Sickness), does it get competitive in that environment where you’re spitting verses with other hungry local MCs to the same track?
Hmmmm, not really. We are all trying to bring our A game to every track but I don’t treat another MCs verse on a track as a competition by any means.
Home Is Where The Art Is – the EP been out since 2013, looking back did it come out as you had envisioned?
It actually didn’t come out exactly as how I’d planned, but I am in no way disappointed on the end result of the EP. I have to be honest and say it was still received much better than I thought and appreciate everyone that helped out and supported the release.
It must be a labour of love for you and for everyone involved in the process?
It is, and if it isn’t, don’t do it. Its that simple. Hip hop doesn’t owe me a thing. Its a pure love for me.
‘Raw Joint From the Ball Point’ a very strong head nodder. Love the brass horns and how the big piano chops kept your bars at speed like a metronome. Dope touch. Definitely a very dusty ‘92 boom bap vintage. What came first the beat or the rhyme?
Yeah, a few people found that as a favourite off HIWTAI actually. That’s the only track I produced on the EP, and the beat came first, I have a real love for the boom bap sound its where its at I guess you could say for me in hip hop.
Lyrically, too, you’re strong in the art of braggadocious rap as demonstrated in several joints. No doubt a skill honed on the battle circuits?
I wouldn’t say overly braggadocious but I guess my battle traits play a part in that. I feel confident in this art form. I feel at home with it and am not shy to express that through my music.
Very few artists can harness message and poetry in a way that is both clever and insightful. Some rappers get wound up in such a mess of metaphors and loose wordplay that their message weakens. You rein that in nicely. Do you try to be very succinct with your raps so that there is no misinterpretation?
If I have a message I want to get across to the listener then yes, I love a good track with heavy word play but if it ends up just gibberish you’re not really doing your job as an MC, in my opinion.
Is it as important that fans pick up on the message behind each track as much they enjoy hearing a dope record, regardless?
I think so, yes.
You and Insideus seem to be on the right page with the soundscape. What is a conscious effort to stick with a tight team on the boards?
Beats wise, I was pretty much shown it all by Insideus, and can’t thank that dude enough for the time and effort he put into showing me how its done on the pads, I guess a bit of his style on beats rubbed off on me but am still learning everyday, I try to surround myself with like minded MCs that help each other out, it makes for a great working environment.
What can you tell us about the Crate Of Mind project? A snippet you had posted sounded like a very Premo-style beat.
Its a project I took on about 9 months ago, This project is actually fully self produced with scratches by me aside from one track “All Four Corners” produced by Sid with DJ Nikk-C on the cuts. It is my first release I had full creative control of with everything at my disposal. I’m very proud of it to be honest.
I read somewhere you were dabbling in Grime beats? Could we hear Nuggy Gee going “Souf London” on his raps?
Haha, I don’t think so, I make beats that reflect my moods really and wherever the drums n samples take me.
Is there anything I have left out that you would like to mention?
You have covered a lot, all I really want to say is it’s been an awesome experience and process up to this point and I hope it continues in my contribution to this culture, expect to hear much more out of “Gee Spot Recordings” in the future.