There are scores of musical acts containing the word ‘nine’, but I’d take a punt and say none of the others have been inspire by a dingy mini cab shopfront in the backstreets of London. But what would you expect? Nine High are not like other artists. Like a weapon of mass destruction, they have been making an impact on the live circuit here in Oz for years with their frank and unapologetic brand of Hip Hop.
Having recorded two mix tapes and toured Australia and the UK multiple times, Nine High are set to unleash their much anticipated debut self titled album. Comprising three like-minded British lads Scotty Hinds, Byron Chadwick (Felony) and Oliver Tewkesbury (Fraksha), Nine High have been a very busy trio of globe trotters with two thirds of the British crew now located in Melbourne and a third still calling the UK home. They have been carving their names onto the Hip Hop scene both here and in the UK on a range of projects and collaborations with artists such as Flagrant, Mphazes, 76, Austism, Phrase, Mantra and Ciecmante to name a few.
Dropping their first mixed tape ‘First Take’ in 2005, and later ‘Take Two’ in 2006, these were both downloaded in their tens of thousands by die hard Hip Hop fans the world over – testament to their popularity and the quality of their rhymes. This success was followed by a spot supporting Bliss n Eso on their ‘Get Loose’ tour of Australia. Having assembled and bunkered down in Melbourne’s Stronghorn Studios, Nine High are now in possession of a debut album that is English to the core and representative of three very unique personalities. It is fun, intelligent, passionate, skilful and undeniably heavy!
When they begun the recording process, Nine High’s mission was to produce a solid album where each track would stand out on its own merits. Not wanting a release full of ‘battle’ type tracks, nor an album that tried too hard to be different for the sake of it, they aimed to showcase and evoke a variety of feelings - all underpinned with world class beats and the varying styles of the three MCs.Featuring. Production credits range across Australian and international Hip Hop icons M-Phazes (Superstition, Royce 5’’9), Ghost Town (Dubbledge, Skrein), Jase (Pegz, Phrase) and Driff (Mikey T, Lumes), the result is a classic sounding Hip Hop album of banging production and high class lyricism, complete with honest expression and high quality beats.
The first single ‘Fugs Needs Hugs’ speaks for itself– a song about how even the tough nuts amongst us need a little lovin’ sometimes. With a catchy hook, it’s one for the crowds to sing back with their drinks held high. In contrast, ‘What You In It For?’ is an intelligent track that expresses the band’s collective frustration for fake rappers, wannabes and others that insult the name of all talented, passionate, authentic MC’s. And if you want proof that these guys have come from the old mother England, pay attention to “What Bothers Me”. A track that could only have been conceived on a cold English winter day, it is basically good old fashioned pommy complaining about topics as varied as being short changed in a shop to the state of international politics.
While it’s been a steady build towards the release of Nine High, these guys have been creating a loyal fan base with their energetic live shows and the popularity of their mix tapes. Nine High sound like no other crew out there with their “blood, sweat, and” tears dedication to the art of MCing. This “British to the core” Hip Hop release will stand out for all the right reasons.