When you look at Australian hip-hop nowadays, it has increasingly become a mixed bag of artists. Varied styles and interpretations have begun to emerge as the genre finds it's foothold in the Australian music scene. The elusive hip-hop mecca of the USA seems closer than ever, and a handful of local artists are pushing a truly global sound to reach it. One of them is Brisbane based rapper Midas.Gold, who's first release '000000' garnered tens of thousands of listens. He's now back with a recently released single, 'Work It Out' and national tour. We sat down with him to chat money, how hip-hop has become more global and drug culture's influence on the rap scene.
Your first major tour was with Danny Brown earlier this year. Now you're about to do your first headline tour around Australia. What's the learning curve with that kind of thing?
I don't know really. The sets are going to be longer which means there's more importance to it. The vibe of my sets has always been energetic and punk, as I appreciate that a lot more. I feel like I make music that caters to both moshing and those that choose to sit back at venues. But I definitely want my live sets to be energetic.
A lot of rappers, including yourself, rap about getting money. Your recent singles reflect that, including 'Work It Out'. Is this a part of the theme you are trying to set throughout your music?
When I talk about hustle and getting money, I use it as a metaphor of self worth. Money is something global, everyone knows it. When I talk about hustling and getting money, I'm talking about working to be a better version of yourself. If you listen to the song, hear hustle, and that makes you want to get out and work hard to get a lot of money, by all means do that. But if you see it as a representation of improving yourself, then you've got to hustle in that way.
What's the creative process in terms of getting a song together?
The way that we approach music is consistent, but it also varies all the time. We're always trying to push ourselves to make something bigger and better, that has more of vibe and wants you to feel something more. Sometimes there'll be a track that is straight to the point, it is what it is. I don't feel that takes away from it. For example my recent single, 'Work. It. Out' we did in parts, some coming faster than others. It's a hard process to explain.
For the actual process itself, what I do is work solely with my in-house producer, James Angus, and a couple of other producers. We'll sit in the studio, and I'll tell them what I like. We do everything from scratch and build it. It's very organic and meticulous. I feel that my way of doing it makes sure the product that my camp releases is super polished and can compete on a world scale. That's the best route for me. However, other artists feel they can release constant material, so there's no right or wrong way to make a song.
In terms of a global view, do you think an Australian rapper could make it overseas?
I'm originally from the States, so American hip hop has been the lane I've always been drawn to. I've always wanted to do something on a global scale. The US for hip hop is the equivalent of Rome, everyone wants to be there. An Australian artists could make it over there and I don't feel crazy in saying that. You've got Iggy Azalea there with Allday and The Hilltop Hoods pushing for it.
Are there any particular artists you would like to collaborate with, realistically and unrealistically?
I think right now in terms of realistic Australian collaborations, I want to work on my own music first. I'd then like to make that step to work with someone with a tangible fan base. I want to know something will come out of it, so I can work on my own thing and use that to progress. That's what makes the most sense. I'm not here to waste time.
Unrealistically, probably American guys like Travis Scott, Kanye, Lil Wayne and Famous Dex. Lil Wayne can come out of retirement to help me (laughs).
Speaking of Lil Wayne, what's your thoughts on drug culture and hip hop?
Everyone's different. I do drugs, but that's just me though. My homie doesn't do anything, he still makes music and grinds everyday. Drug culture is really a reflection of the mainstream. People who are popping in hip hop reflect those values, but not everyone's like that. Drugs are what I do, not who I am.
What's the plans for the rest of the year and onward?
Right now we're on schedule to release a EP in October. My own tour is coming up and another tour with Tkay Maizda is coming as well, which I'm really excited about. Some more tours next year and then rinse repeat this whole cycle, put out more projects and hopefully it takes off.
Midas.Gold has just started his 'Work It Out' tour, which goes on throughout September/ October. Hit up his Facebook for details.