Who are SMACKTOWN you ask? How does one answer this question when the group in question belie definition or genre for that matter. Introducing Chico Cas and N3, the founders and members of SMACKTOWN, an impassioned and assertive blend of hip hop and electro fusion, are set to blaze the trail for a new legion of hip hop with edge.
Sitting favorably on the Triple J Unearthed radar, Sydney based SMACKTOWN have burst onto the Aussie hip hop scene and have been creating considerable buzz since their 2007 vocal assault. With their dual production and DJ combination skills gaining industry respect and intrigue, the duo have also gained the attention of concert and festival crowds, with a string of international touring acts giving them support act opportunity to shine. They have shared the stage with names such as Jarren Benton, Ajax, Jeff Turner and Steve Aoki to name a few and fronted thronging crowds at festivals like; We Love Sounds and Field Day after parties. Still a relatively new act in the industry , they are fast becoming one of the most talked about duos thanks to their sound, passion, ambition and above all hustle. Smacktown do not stop and their music discography proves their tenacity. With a successful EP release that has seated them #3 on the hip hop charts, #11 in Dubstep and #53 in the Top 100 Hip Hop releases on Beatport Charts, this is just the beginning for this elusive duo.
Making the rounds on the Sydney hip hop circuit the due have amassed a genuine and loyal fan base and with the representation of their Poetry Runs Deep / Fight Music collective gaining industry respect, SMACKTOWN are solidifying a secure stance for their message and sound with their current EP “Powerless / Chelsea Grin”. Both Chico and N3 have vocals that demand your attention, a sound that slaps you in the face and a presence that, well, makes you sit up and take notice. At the heart of it all are two fiercely talented, humble, hard-working and focused individuals that have created something unique and original in our hip hop community, bearing SMACKTOWN as their own. After all isn’t that what Hip Hop’s all about – creating something built up on the foundations of poetry and rhyme, making it your own and defying definition? I believe SMACKTOWN have crossed those ticks and are on their way to establishing a whole new movement in hip hop this community has never seen. Bring it on!
Hey guys, so glad to finally have a chance to connect with you again. What’s been happening in the world of SMACKTOWN?
Hey what’s up! Thanks for getting at us, we been real busy on the promotion side of things – doing radio interviews getting on blogs and preparing for some upcoming shows including PHFAT (South Africa) tour and Supporting Xzibits Sydney show plus working on future projects coming out on our label FIGHT MUSIC!, so u can say we got our hands full atm.
Now I first became aware of you on the radio show Sounds of the Zulu Nation during your interview with DJ MK-1 and Malikah Mirrah and I was blown away by your energy and sound ….. Eclectic and raw would be the words I would use to describe SMACKTOWN’s Hip Hop. Can you share with me how SMACKTOWN started and how you developed that killer sound?
Well we were raised on Hip Hop and that’s where we kinda started doing our thing, then we veered off to the electronic scene because we thought it would be fresh to drop some mean verses over really heavy fast electronic beats – that’s where we have been hiding for the last 6 years, and now we finally found the right balance of fusing electronic sounds and Hip Hop…. And now we’re ready to change the game like we did to the electro scene.
Hip Hop means different things to everybody – what does it mean to you and how has it contributed to your daily lives?
N3: Hip Hop to me is a true art form because it’s uncensored, culture at its purest form – where an artist can create art and express himself (or herself) on a personal level from his own home built garage, Street Art.
Chico: To me Hip Hop is my life. I grew up listening to rap and living the Hip Hop life. It’s a lifestyle. and even though I love music from all different genres, hip hop is my life.
How did you arrive at the name SMACKTOWN and what do you think your sound will bring to the Australian Hip Hop canvas in general?
SMACKTOWN is like a drug, we produce the same euphoria with our sound and words, we straight up more addictive than heroin and everyone is welcome to take a hit in our town.
How would you both describe each other and the strengths you both bring to the group? N3 on Chico Cas and Chico on N3?
N3: Chico is one of the finest MC’s I have ever worked with, we bounce off each other so naturally in the studio and on stage, he keeps such a high calibre in flow and lyrics that keeps me on my feet, we are always pushing each other to that next level and I can’t wait to see where this is going to take us, the man has raw talent, something I have yet to come across with many other MC’s.
Chico: – My homie N3 is simply a Viking. One look at the giant and you know what I mean hahaha.. He is one talented mofo. Not only does he have crazy flow which I am a fan of and knows how to ride a beat with some real crazy rhymes that hit you in the face but is a beast with producing beats. Not many may know, but he produces all the music behind all the SMACKTOWN tracks. So not only can the dude write some real dope lyrics and flow like a beast but he can produce his ass off too. A triple threat!
You have been on the Triple J Unearthed radar for a while now and your EP “Powerless / Chelsea Grin” is catching some strong industry attention …. What would you say is SMACKTOWN’s mission with its music?
We just want to shake the industry up, people have forgotten what music for the soul sounds like, we coming with raw energy passion touching worldly subjects that are being ignored in mainstream media, and over all just want to raise awareness and take the Hip Hop game back into the hands of real artist, that have something to actually say rather than say shit just to sell records.
Who would you say are you greatest motivators / inspirations and why?
Chico: – When it comes to motivators I would have to say (and N3 may agree) we motivate each other. We are constantly feeding off each other and motivate each other to take things to the next level every time we put work in a new project. As inspiration.. musically I would have to say Tech N9ne above all other artist. Not only to I think he is the best rapper alive but every time I hear one of his songs or when he drops his newest tracks, it always inspires me to step up my game. On a personal level, my inspiration would have to my family, being my mother, grandmother and auntie. Knowing all they have gone through to and able to bring us here to Australia so I could have the opportunity to live my dream which I probably wouldn’t have the chance back home, it inspires me to do all I can to able to one of these days support them.
N3: As Chico said 100% we push each other firstly, and having very similar taste in music and artist we see what caliber of artist we need to reach, and so many in the music scene that constantly push and motivate, the whole Strange Music INC movement is one for sure, I’m loving Wrekonize’s new album, the words, flow & production amazing. My father was a huge influence coming from generations of musicians…. growing up with him and his friends being an amazing Latin musician and singer, I was always surrounded in music, there was never a doubt in my mind who I was going to be like and what I was going to do when I grew up. Life itself is its own inspiration, one lives through experiences good/bad we just need to capture them all and express them thru music.
What’s the blueprint for SMACKTOWN and can you share your future projects with us?
Well we actually in the middle of organizing/filming our next video clip to “Chelsea Grin Remix” ft. Jarren Benton, Jeff Turner, Antimatter & Matuse. Along with constant promotion of the EP trying to reach new levels of exposer. Outside of SMACKTOWN we all work as a family with our label FIGHT MUSIC! Which is currently in over drive finalizing Jinz Moss’ EP “Lost & Deported: which is our next release along with preparing for our solo EP’s that we are looking to release hopefully at the end of the year. Also as of next month we’re going into hibernation by leaving Sydney, to focus solely on FIGHT MUSIC! Records and making its foundation stronger, and working 100% on music, mine and Chico’s solo projects, so there’s some really exciting things ahead from the Fight music HQ.
For more information on Smacktown visit:
Always Hip Hop,