Conseps: commitment, and connection to a time and place
Conseps is an emcee and producer from Adelaide, SA. He has released an album and two EPs with crew Adroit Effusive, a much-loved mixtape alongside Patti and DJ Kansel, and an EP with group Certain Doubt. Conseps makes classic boom bap Hip Hop music, with a focus on wordplay, tight bars, nasty loops, heavy drums, and, well, concepts. Now, after almost a decade on hiatus, Conseps is due to release his debut solo album. So what has he been up to, why the return now, and what is it like having an NBA celebrity in the family? Conseps talks to BEAT CONTEXT.
Adelaide Hip Hop Circa 2005
‘...it's really hard for me to separate the music from that time and place…’
I never intended for my album to sound from a particular era (circa 2005 Adelaide Hip Hop). Subconsciously I may have been drawn that production style. One things for sure, I was never in the head space back in the day to write the album I've just written...It's really hard for me to separate the music from that time and place. Adelaide circa 2005 I was in my early twenties, living in my own pad with a home studio set up. Everything I did revolved around music. My home was 'the spot' for a while, just a place to chill, hang out and talk shit with the boys. I remember when I first met Motion, he asked me to buy him a pack of smokes at the local shops. He was in year 11 I think and I was on the dole living with Beats at the time. I knew he was into Hip Hop (I think the Nike trackies and Air max 90s were the give away) Anyway I brought him those darts and we started talking hip hop and struck upon a friendship. Next minute he was coming over during school hours and hanging out at the pad every second day! We ended up making a few songs and what not. He always had dope records and that new shit. I was always impressed by his talent as a freestyler and emcee.
'...everyone pushed each other for the greater of the team...'
That's when Adroit Effusive really started to take off. Around that time me and Beats talked about dropping a release featuring local emcees over our production. I had worked with Patti and Bornski a fair bit before that, then Motion and Fuad came into the mix, plus Blockade was making moves at the time and we had a posse track recorded with Biz on it too. That's when we started doing shows. Soda Room, Jimmy Rowes, The old Night Train, HQ, Rhino Room, lots of hazy memories and drunk performances lol. But yeah we rehearsed and partied after shows back at my pad. If these walls could talk man! It was good to have that network around me too. It was like playing footy, everyone pushed each other for the greater of the team. That's what I loved most I guess.
'... Adelaide was the epicentre of Hip Hop in Australia at the time ...'
A lot of dudes were hungry to get their name out there. Doing shows was a big part of it. There were a lot more things happening around that time, freestyle battles, local supports, international gigs, just shit popping off left right and centre. I remember going to shows and copping samplers off different cats. I used to love that. I discovered a lot of dope local shit like that. It was just a good time to come up in Adelaide. I thought and still think Adelaide was the epicentre of Hip Hop in Australia at the time. We had such dope acts, It was inspiring as an up n comers to see this talent every weekend.
'...I was all about that rap life...'
When I was younger I put all my energy into my music. If it meant me half-assing a job by rocking up late to work, having regular sickies, quitting a job then not really looking for anything for six months, and basically being a bad employee because I was all about that rap life, then so be it. Or if it meant me missing family shit because I was up all hours, I put music first every time. Nowadays it’s the complete opposite, I need a job to support my family and need money to put out a record. Music is something I have to fit around my family time. Now I’m a ‘proper’ grown up with a wife, kids and a mortgage I have less time to be involved in music and the time I do commit to it has to be used wisely.
'...momentum is very hard to get back if you’ve lost it...'
I’ve worked on music for so long on and off but I never actually committed myself to finish anything solo. I knew if it never happened, I’d regret it later in life. With that in mind I started over again. This time though, I had different approach. I learnt to write in the moment - for me that meant adlibbing on the road at work, taking that home, working it all out then recording while things were fresh. I started knocking out tracks pretty consistently. If a track had momentum, I committed to finishing it 100%. One thing I’ve learnt with music- momentum is very hard to get back if you’ve lost it. If a track feels like it gaining momentum jump on and ride it to the finish line.
Celebrity in the family
It’s really cool having a celebrity brother-in-law (Joe Ingles). I’m a huge sports fan and have been a basketball junkie since the 90’s. Seeing Joe do what’s he’s done is huge and the family cannot be more proud. I’ve watched him play since his days at the Noarlunga Tigers to where he’s at now in the NBA, it’s been unreal. Watching him run around for the Jazz up close is an awesome experience and hopefully next year he’ll help bring home the ultimate success, a medal for Australia.
'...he had moments in year one and two with Utah. It was clear the coaches loved him, and he was reliable enough early on. No one expected to see him do what he did is year 3...'
To be honest, I never thought he’d make it to begin with. Coming off a Euro league title with Maccabi Tel aviv - a team coached by David Blatt - where he didn’t really get many minutes and was in the coach’s dog house - it was a long shot when he got an invite to the Clippers summer league camp. After that he got cut and was picked up by Utah via the waiver wire. He had moments in year one and two with Utah. It was clear the coaches loved him, and he was reliable enough early on. No one expected to see him do what he did is year 3. That was a crazy jump. Then last year, high in the league in three-point percentage and this year taking on a bigger role as a ball handler/playmaker, it’s been a crazy journey no doubt. I love watching him play… it’s a spin out for sure!
Trusting your instincts
When I was younger, I’d let people opinions on my art effect my thought process. There were people I was keen to impress. People I looked up to. Sometimes I’d let ‘em get into my head. A bit of rap politics, a bit of self-doubt. I ended up having a lot of unfinished music. Nowadays I generally go with my gut feel. If I find I’m forcing myself to create something, then it’s probably not something I’d be proud of. If something is flowing naturally, the words are flowing effortlessly, and I’m buzzing and excited… that’s the place I want to be creatively. and I’ve learnt to use the momentum in the creation process to finish lyrics, hooks, collabs, songs, albums etc. So, believe in yourself and trust your instincts!
Fun Fact: the chef from the Spirit Kitchen
Most people that know of me, know I have a passion for music, but not everyone knows I have a similar passion for food. Cooking in particular. I just love getting in the kitchen, its inspiring! I find its similar to getting in the studio, especially when you need that creative outlet. I just love jumping on a road rocking trip to flavour town. Shout outs to Triple D.
Conseps has kindly provided BEAT CONTEXT with his flip on an old classic. Enjoy!