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The Tongue - Gift Of The Gab

Author: Daniel Crichton-Rouse
Monday, 23 June 2008
The Tongue is a man with lofty ambitions – namely to create the hip hop mixtape to end all others with Redux. 3D’s Daniel Crichton-Rouse found out what else is on his agenda.

So what was the idea behind the Redux: The Mixtape-

To release the best mixtape in the history of Australian hip hop.

You ‘cover’ a few tracks by guys like Jay-Z and Ice Cube. Are these influences or just tracks you dig- What other treasures can we find on the tape-
I'd say both artists have been a positive influence on me, musically speaking. All those big US artists - Ice Cube, Jay-Z, Snoop etc - really are amazing; they are the definition of 'professional MCs.’ They are 'career MCs' and that’s inspirational. Anyone who can create an empire and make millions from rhyming... those are people I'm in awe of. Those are people who have taken the art-form to new heights.
With that said - Redux also features beats from some of my favourite underground producers – like Madlib and J.Dilla – guys who never made chart hits but totally redefined what hip hop sounds like. Redux has something for everyone and you can download it for free at  

Creating a mixtape is one of the best things you can do with music. How did you find the production process, compared to creating an album-
Creating an album is stressful for a variety of reasons; you have to organise musicians and producers; keep people motivated and focused; check everything with your label; spend three weeks mixing it and so on. The mixtape was much easier to create because the beats were finished, and they were classics... all I had to do was write the rhymes.   
It’s a split release with Nikkita – tell us a little about her…
She is a 23 year-old MC from East Sydney... her flow is really impressive, she sings and she writes great songs. I did the mixtape with her because I think Australian hip hop needs someone like Nikkita. She'll challenge the status quo and definitely make some fans in the process.  

It’s been some time since the release of your album, Shock & Awe, and obviously you’ve been keeping busy touring and creating this mixtape, but have you started working on a second LP yet-

Well yeah, because I consider the mixtape a warm-up for the album. Doing Redux was great because I fell back in love with the writing process – it has sharpened up my skills and I feel like I'm a better rapper now than I've ever been. The next album will be crazy though. I can guarantee that. I'll be setting out to create a classic.

So what’s the live show going to be like on this tour- Is it different to your normal routine-
The usual madness really – two time NSW DMC champ DJ Skoob on the turntables, a few freestyle sessions, crowd favourites like The Punch, Real Thing and Bad Education, plus a few tracks from Redux. It’s a party man!

WHO: The Tongue
WHAT: Redux: The Mixtape through Elefantraks / plays Spectrum / Fanny’s, Newcastle
WHEN: Out now / Friday 27 June / Friday 4 July