MARKED FOR SUCCESS
VENTS is Australian hip-hop’s aggressive gravel voiced rapper, who doesn’t so much rap over a track as he does yell at it until it cowers into submission.
His intelligent critique of the current political climate and society as has landed him in the proverbial pantheon of Australia’s finest MCs.
His 2007 effort Hard to Kill was strongly entrenched in the consciousness of the Australian hip-hop scene, with his single Love Song appropriately thrashed all over triple j.
Now he is back with Marked for Death - another intense, sometimes humorous socio-political analysis delivered with his trademark guttural stylings and set to the oft heavy rock production by Trials.
After saying all that, it was a surprise to find that Vents himself is a mumbler, to the point where it was hard to understand him over the ol’ fellytone.
“I tried to fit as many thoughts and ideas into [Marked for Death] as possible. A lot of the issues on the album, I really wanted to explore. Like, the economy, society… life and death, y’know? Our approach to sampling changed – we’re getting a lot of heat for sampling now. We try to avoid loops and sampling now, because it’s really expensive and all that noise.”
Vents pauses, as he does with every other sentence, drifting off into silence before suddenly offering up other bits and bobs of information.
“A lot of the guys I know have been a big influence. Like, when I first started, it was Funkoars… I got a lot from my peer group, and everyone wanting to be better than the average. It was the calibre of those people that really set their goals high. I always sort of wanted their respect.
“We used to cipher for fun, all the time. That’s what we did for fun. We haven’t really done that for years. If we ciphered again, I’d probably say again I’d want my mates and my peer group, like Funkoars and the Hilltop Hoods, and Terra Firma and that. I think that’d be kinda cool if we hooked back up and did a big cipher! I sort of saw them as a competition. Other people probably wouldn’t admit it, but I’m very, very competitive and I always want to be the best.”
Vents sounds genuinely enthusiastic when he starts talking about ciphers and his peers. I asked him why.
“That’s something that attracted me to hip-hop, like, a lot. The competitive nature of it. When I was younger, I was really aggressive and really angry, and I think that gave me a good angle to channel it into and it still does. I like to feel it. I’m one of those dudes who really, really got into hip-hop, y’know? I’ve been doing this shit for a long time.
“Hip-hop is a career for us now. Now it’s something that you’re on the clock for.”
Vents will be playing Transit Bar on Thursday July 14. Tickets will set you back $15 + BF from Landspeed Records, or Moshtix.