Rize Design Canberra

The Rize Up! Vol 2 – Context

At Rize we are passionate about the arts in all it forms. Over the years we have met an array of talented and creative individuals and would like to introduce you to some of them. Amongst this ingenious group are painters, street artists, musicians and tattoo artists. Our second interview in the series is with Aussie hip-hop artist Context. It’s been a big couple of years for Context with a number of releases and supporting UK hip hop label High Focus and underground hip hop icon R.A the Rugged Man. Click here to get the low down….

When did you first pick up a mic?

It would’ve been back when I was about 13 or 14… A mate and I formed this little duo called ‘Verbal Transfusion’ and we used to sell CDs outside the tuck-shop at school. “Mr Mazer. Don’t think I don’t know what you think about me. When you look at me a drunk stoner is what you see”… It wasn’t exactly lyrical genius but for a 14 year old I had a pretty good hustle going on. I kinda drifted away from it after that but got serious with it about 3 years ago. Since then it has pretty well taken over and I’ve definitely enjoyed the journey so far.

Who are your favorite fellow artists, locally and more broadly? 

For me I really dig that UK sound so I’ve always followed artists and groups like Chester P, Dr. Syntax and Phi Life Cypher. More recently I’ve been listening to a lot of High Focus stuff and also some early 90’s US tunes. Locally, I like what Pang Productions are doing in Melbourne and of course I’m down with what’s been happening in Canberra.


What’s the scene like in Canberra and has it changed since you began? 

When I was growing up and in school I had always heard about ‘Territory Sessions” and other things that were happening in the scene… Back then I was pretty young so I couldn’t really be a part of it. Based on the last 3 years though, I think it’s definitely a lot more connected and everyone is pretty supportive of each other. A lot of hip-hop nights are happening and the battle scene has returned – it’s all exciting stuff. We’ve also started our own collective called ‘The Capslock Collective’, which launched late last year. We’ve got Coda Conduct, Krumb, Nix, Semantix, Stateovmind, Toddla and myself all under the one banner. It’s all happening in the capital.

Where at the best places to spit/hang/listen to hip hop?

It’s gotta be either Transit Bar or La De Da… Transit Bar in particular have always been great supporters of live music in Canberra so they always make sure everything is set up professionally for us. La De Da has also been great with hosting events like The Next Movement and CD launches.

What are the main themes in your tunes?

It always varies… On one tape I might be doing mainly comical light hearted kinda tunes and on the next I’ll do some darker style stuff. I guess the themes always come from the beat… I’ll listen to the beat and draw inspiration from that. Common themes would be standing up for yourself, not being a dickhead and having fun. I also like to do a bit of story telling style stuff from time to time.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

For our next release we’re going to be featuring a rapper from the UK and also a rapper from Sydney.. We can’t name any names just yet, but it’s going to be good. Generally, I like to keep most of my features local, but it’s good to make music with people from different circles. Especially if their style matches and the end result is a good song.     

You supported RA The Rugged Man and High Focus recently… How was it meeting those guys?

Being a big fan of High Focus it was really great to meet some of the crew. They were all really nice and put on a mad show – It was also cool hearing about their future projects and collaborations.  R.A. The Rugged Man also killed it (even with a broken foot) – it was definitely a great experience. I think you can learn a lot by watching rappers like R.A. put on a show… He’s definitely been in the industry a long time and knows what he’s doing. His energy was amazing.

What’s next on your agenda? Any projects coming up and/or gigs?

Jimmy Flipshyt and I have been working on our next EP and it should be ready for release mid year… Jimmy is a Cairns based beat maker and we both work really well together. The EP will be a bit bigger this time around and we’re going to have a few more rappers on board for guest verses. It’s all going to be standard Context & Flipshyt boom bap, but we’re looking to make it all a little heavier and deeper. Gig wise I have nothing planned until our launch and am happy to lay low for a bit so I can finish off the project.

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