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Axe Aklins - Under The Axe

Author: 3D
Thursday, 10 January 2008
MC Axe Aklins got the ‘Axe’ part of his moniker from his hard-hitting style of tackling. That’s right: Axe made his start in the English Super League and in the NRL with the Canberra Raiders. It turns out that he’s just as hard-hitting behind the Mic. 3D got into the scrum with him.

So how did you go from being a Canberra Raider to being an MC-
My love for hip hop started in the late ’80s and took a complete grip on me in the golden era of the early ’90s. I would listen to mixed cassettes during bus trips as we travelled to play opposing teams around the country.
I co-wrote my first song in 1993 with Tuns-one called In4mation receivable – it was released in 1995 on the Stored In4formation EP Library...Take A Seat.
It wasn’t until I returned from my stint in the UK and suffered a double knee reconstruction in my first match back in the NRL that I took rapping a little more seriously. I was then faced with 12 months of rehab before I could even think about playing footy again, so I decided I would concentrate my energy and frustrations into something creative like writing songs.

When and how did you first hook up with Koolism and the KOA massive-
I first met Seth (co-founder along with Metro of the KOA crew) back in 1993 at Woden drains.
We all spoke of hip hop and he informed me of a group called Toolshed – I hit the local record stores attempting to find this group, I never succeeded. It wasn’t until 1997 when I came across a Koolism cassette which featured the cover art of Seth, so I purchased it and was immediately hooked. Hau (Fattybomsticks at the time) spoke of the things I was passionate about Sport and Hip Hop.

Seems like Koolism was instrumental in giving you your big break – what’s it like working with those guys-
Koolism was the first local hip hop I had seen live. I remember it was a cold Friday night in the nation’s capital: I had just finished playing a match against the Broncos.
To begin with I was a fan and still am one, I met Hau that night but it wasn’t until a few years later that I became friends with him and Daniel. I shared a similar background with Hau, as he also played sport and knew the feeling of being a pariah due to your musical tastes and not fitting in with the Rugby culture.
After hanging out for a few months, I was given the opportunity to feature on the track Control from the Random Thoughts album and from there was asked to tour the album as an unofficial third member. That opened doors for me and fuelled a fire that had already been lit. Without them I would safely say I would not be doing hip hop today and would most likely be still playing footy.

How long has Limb By Limb been in the works and what was the process like for you- Are you satisfied with the end result-
Happy yes, satisfied no. I love the album – don’t get me wrong but I have a personality which is always seeking improvement. Which can be a gift and a curse: on one hand it pushes me strive for improvement and on the other hand when I reach a higher standard everything I have done prior is not up to scratch – and with the album three years in the making I faced this dilemma many times.
The writing and recording took a matter of months, the mixdown and life’s constant obstacles would slowed and occasionally halted the process. It’s a difficult process to create music that has a summer vibe when you are in the middle of a cold Canberra winter, so rather than force it we would wait for summer to come around again, adding months onto the outcome but a process well worth doing to achieve the right result.
So are there any similarities between being on the football field and being onstage at the microphone- Do you put the same amount of sweat into it-
Ha ha, no, thankfully there aren’t many similarities. By that I mean the crowd are there generally to see myself, Koolism, good times and good music. When Rugby crowds will often yell abuse at you – never mind the abuse you receive from the opposition, your team mates and your coach… A lot of pressure.
As for the effort, I put my heart into it, that’s for sure, and when I perform live I go out there to put on a show and have a good time. As for the sweating – ha ha, yeah it happens, but nowhere near as much as the footy field. Which is a good thing when you are doing your best to come across as cool, calm and collected.

WHO: Axe Aklins
WHAT: Plays Good Vibrations, Centennial Park
WHEN: Saturday 16 February