[4 August 2006]
Unless you’re an established fan of Aussie hip-hop, the name Jase Connection may not ring a bell. He’s a member of Global Underground electro-beatmakers Nubreed, too, but he’s been producing on the (small) Aussie hip-hop scene for 12 years, now. Beathedz features a wide variety of A-hop who’s who, from Kau from Koolism to Muph & Pegz to Urthboy from the Herd. Jase provides a consistent sound, at least; lush and electro-tinged, reminiscent of NZ hip-hop heavyweight Scribe. Jase’s style is not so much unique as uniquely combinatory: from the Kanye-like sped-up soul sample of “All Out” to the drum-n-bass influenced “The Unborn Child’s Theme”. The female raps don’t work so well (reedy, thin voice), but when’s the last time you heard someone rhyming about Warnie’s famous leg break to take out Gatting in the cricket? “Sixteen” is the standout; Muph and Pegz are veterans, and it shows—they have more character in their voice, and more intelligence: “Stuck behind a laptop writing raps in caps lock / it’s not going to make your raps stand out”. In the end, though Beathedz may be a good, unifying force for some of the pre-eminent names on the Aussie hip-hop scene, I just wish their contribution had been more memorable: the producer, and the produced, are better than this compilation might indicate.