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Ethic (Battletowm MC)

Author: Chris Wheeldon
Tuesday, 12 August 2003
Hailing from the small town of Eugene, Oregon, Ethic has forged himself into a well respected and experienced MC. Ethic is a member of the Battletown crew, a crew and record label that calls Melbourne home but has ties throughout the world, "Battletown is more then just a record label, it's a crew of individuals that wish to further hip-hop."

Ethic began his Hip-Hop career as part of thriving local Christian Hip-Hop scene. Forming his first group, Mentors of the Aurora and releasing "The Unimportant Ones", in 1998. Since then Ethic has been part of numerous groups in both the United States and Australia, furthering himself as MC.

Ethic is now focusing on his solo career with the release of his debut EP, "Ethic is Anguish" and is currently working on a follow up album. Ethic is also working on projects with fellow Battletown MCs namely the upcoming Battletown: Kollab Mode 2 album. Although Ethic can not call Australia home he has firmly entrenched himself within the Australia scene and has become a vital member of one of Australia's premiere Hip-Hop labels.

Tranzfusion caught up with Ethic as he returned to Australia for a few shows throughout Melbourne.

Tranzfusion: Can you give me a bit of a run down on your background- Something that may not be in your bio-

Ethic: My background...that's probably the least interesting thing about me! I didn't start emceeing until mid-to-late '97, mostly because my friends did and were always trying to get me to freestyle with them. I wasn't much of a hip-hop head...mostly listened to old Metallica or AC/DC. As an emcee, I was pretty much on display from the beginning. I don't think it had been longer than two weeks after writing my first verse that I was on stage performing it. I was bad....real bad, and can't believe people were stupid enough to continue encouraging me to keep it up. When I started, I was in a Christian crew and mainly doing gigs at churches, which is where I think the blind support came from. I liken it to those people who are too caught up in "supporting local hip-hop" rather than supporting good hip-hop. So long that I conveyed a Christian theme to my lyrics, I received no criticism and I think it took me longer to develop actual skill on the microphone as a result. It wasn't until I met up with Braille and Illtripp and we formed Mentors of the Aurora that I was truly challenged as a lyricist. We all kind of fed off each other, and I feel our album "the unimportant ones" was a defining moment for me as an emcee. I started taking my music more seriously from that point on and now I'm focusing on releasing a solo album to follow up the "Ethic is Anguish" EP.

Tranzfusion: You're from Oregon originally. Is Oregon a hot bed of Hip Hop talent-

Ethic: Oregon is like most any other state in the US in terms of hip-hop talent. The biggest problem is that the Pacific Northwest in general gets overlooked by the rest of the country. There are a lot of groups releasing material locally, but only a few have managed to break-out to a bigger market. Right now there's a massive crew called Oldominion that is putting it down hard for both Portland and Seattle, and the group Lifesavas (from Portland) has just released an album on Quannum. I'm from a city called Eugene, Oregon which is about an hour-and-a-half south of Portland. We have a large scene for a city of only 200,000 people and the quality of emcee's there are improving quickly.

Tranzfusion: Why did you get into Hip-Hop-

Ethic: One of the main reasons I stuck with emceeing at first is a love for performing. I mean, It's great to be able to make a track that people want to listen to, or that people can relate to...in fact, I put far more work into creating a song than I do a concert set, but at the end of the day the ego in me just wants to be in front of as many people as possible. As for why hip-hop, honestly I wish I could say it was because I loved the musi
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