[MUSIC: Interview] Kerser
Do The Kers
By Marissa Demetriou
Having slowly emerged from the underbelly of the Aussie hip hop scene, the name Kerser has crept into the vocabulary of hip hop fans across the country thanks to the young Sydney MC’s brand of brash, in-your-face raps that drip with unashamed swagger (see the self-explanatory ‘Kerser Is The Sickest’). His recent sold-out battle with Oz hip hop juggernaut 360 has drawn further attention to his ability to spit freestyle bars at speeds you could only dream about, with a wickedly funny edge – but he remains unfazed by all the fuss, and is solidly focused on creating the music he loves for the fans that follow him with an almost clannish devotion.
Starting out as an eleven-year-old copying down Tupac lyrics, it wasn’t long before Kerser realised he could write his own rhymes; his fascination with hip hop flourished from that point on. “I was influenced by a lot of late-‘90s American hip hop,” he tells me. He began recording his own tracks at the age of 18.
Since then, Kerser has honed to a fine edge his style of brutally honest, no-holds-barred hip hop, where no topic is too controversial – so it’s no surprise Aussie hip hop fans went into overdrive when it was finally announced he would battle 360. It sent forums, Facebook and Twitter into meltdown when it was announced a rematch would be held, after the first battle went un-adjudicated. “That battle was talked about for a long time, fans were demanding it for ages – and because it wasn’t judged, I’m just looking forward to a rematch. It’s locked in, we’re just setting a date… Since the first one was in Melbourne, I think it should be in Sydney – I’m hoping this one is in Sydney,” he laughs.
When I ask how he prepares himself for battles, he explains, “Everyone has their rhymes in their heads – you have to be prepared – but of course it comes out differently on the night… I prefer making music to battles of course, but I do enjoy battling.”
Working closely with producer Nebs – which led to collaborating with fellow underground Aussie hip hop outfit That’s Them – Kerser seems keen to keep his collaborations ‘in the family’ for now. “Without wanting to sound arrogant, I’m happy working with Nebs and I’m happy with the beats that he makes – [but] I got to where I am by myself, and I want to try and keep it that way.”
He hints his new album, due for release at the end of the year, will show a different side of him, a “more mature side of my music”. He tells me that he’ll be “quietly” releasing something for his fans every couple of weeks.
Having been born and raised in the South West suburb of Campbelltown has obviously brought a wealth of inspiration to Kerser’s sound, although he says “it doesn’t matter where you’re from, as long as it’s real. But [my background] brings a different twist to the music, rapping about stuff straight off the street and making something out of it,” he explains. “I want to make something real, something that hasn’t been done in this country.”
With: Rates, Skeamo, Nter, Fortay, UBD, That’s Them, Skae, Anecdote, Tycotic, Doel
Where: The Metro Theatre (lic./all-ages)
When: Saturday May 12