Al Young - Mad Skillz
3D fields some questions to Good Buddha frontman Al Young, who’s performing at the Platform 2 Hip Hop Festival as well as putting himself in the firing line in its battle competition.
Good Buddha are providing the live accompaniment to the Freak the Technique breaking battle – how do you tackle something like that- Will you just be jamming over classic Apache breaks-
No! Well, we might have to put in Apache for tradition, but we are going to put together a massive bouncin' rifferama with a few well-known beats, and a lot of energy. I want to see them all going nuts on the floor.
What else can you tell us about the Freak the Technique battle-
Well, it's the brainchild of the one and only Nick Power, who we've known since early days playing up in Brisbane, and he has an uncanny ability to bring lots of talent together in a cohesive and exciting format, organise everything, make everyone feel welcome, and still jump around like a madman! CarriageWorks is an awesome space, where the elements are used in a fantastic fresh new way – I love it.
What else have Good Buddha been up to recently- Working on any new material-
Well, we are currently just sitting back and counting the wads of cash, whilst each member has made their own porno... nah, joking. We don't have wads of cash.
Always working on new material! It's imperative to overall sanity in this crazy broke-arse world!
You’ll also be participating in the Flexing Skillz freestyle battle – have you been battling for a long time-
Actually, no. I was never much of a battler – I was always too slow on the up and up! I am in awe of them, and probably could rock it if I practised that side of MCing. I am good at writtens, and know my skill lies there. BUT, in this instance, I’m a singer in a team with a randomly chosen DJ, MC, vocalist, and a breaker. I rule. Completely. The master...
Who are the standout battlers in Australia, in your opinion, both current and retired-
For me, currently, I'd say the Tongue. He blows me away. But, having said that, I haven't been out much recently, so my opinion might be challenged! And the past master can only be one: Ozi Battla, champion of the arena!
Do you dabble in any of the other four elements - breaking, DJing or graffiti-
I am stuck in 1985 with my breakin'. I can do the caterpillar, the scorpion, and occasionally the moonwalk. I am one of those dudes that DJs hate, coz I am crap but I get the odd gig... and my graffiti- Awful.
Which part of the Platform 2 Fest are you looking forward to the most-
I'd have to say the Breaking Final, Freak the Technique. I love the Flexing Skillz battle, because it's great fun. Most of all, I love the venue, I wish they would do more hip hop at the CarriageWorks - the people are lovely, it’s an amazing space, and it's down the road from me. Sweet!
Finally, do you find workshops and festivals like Platform 2 really do make a difference in stimulating the grassroots growth of hip hop in Australia-
Absolutely. It gets into a more mainstream market, and a lot of people will go and check out some local acts, if they feel that it's not this 'scary' underground scene where we're all smashing longnecks and tagging the local kindergarten. Now, where's my beer and Texta, you little brat-
WHO: Al Young
WHAT: Platform 2 Hip Hop Festival at CarriageWorks
WHEN: Friday 27 – Saturday 28 March