People find it astonishing when they learn I’m active in Aussie hip hop and that I went through a heartbreaking battle with addiction.
Even more so when they discover I’ve been sober 5.5 years.
The next questions they ask are:
- What my songs are about and
- What inspires me to write Aussie hip hop music
Let me share some of my story with you.
For those of you that don’t know – I’m a recovering drug addict and an alcoholic. I’m also a compulsive gambler. I got clean and sober 5 and a half years ago through 12 step programs which I still attend regularly.
A lot of my lyrics are about the pain and heartbreaking insanity of addiction. And ultimately my journey getting clean and sober.
I STARTED SERIOUSLY WRITING Aussie HIP HOP ABOUT 7 YEARS AGO
I was doing a lot of party drugs and had a bit of a meltdown. I felt like I had fried the circuitry in my brain permanently. I lived in a constant state of fear and paranoia with peaking anxiety. Not ideal.
I knew something had to change.
I communicated this to my girlfriend at the time who told me about a 12 step program she knew about. I went to a meeting and sobered up.
All the emotions, pain and trauma I’d been suppressing since I 1st picked up drugs as a teenager bubbled to the surface and erupted into reality. I had to vent somehow. The pad and pen became my best friends. That was the beginning of my serious writing as an Aussie rapper but unfortunately it wasn’t the beginning of any long-term sobriety.
I picked up drugs again 6 weeks later and all my fear, madness and paranoia returned. My old friends. I drank and drugged for another 12 months after that and in that time my girlfriend left me and I had a rock-bottom. That 12 months took me to some low places.
I remember I was living on my girlfriends couch with a bong, ashtray and some bottles of wine. I thought I was doing ok.
After she left me she offered for me to live on the couch until I got my shit together and saved bond. I lived there for 6 months and didn’t save a cent, gambling my rent and going on benders.
I kept writing aussie hip hop
Throughout this period my lyrics were dark and morbid, though at the time I thought they were insightful and deep. I’d get smashed by myself on the couch, believe I was a skilled Aussie rapper and rap out loud to nobody.
I’d hear people walk by on the street occasionally and I had a fantasy that a major label producer was going to walk by and discover my talents from the couch and take me to the bigtime. Talk about a pipe dream.
12 step program
Eventually I had a rock bottom and came back to twelve step recovery. I had lost control and there was no one left to blame. I was finally ready to get clean and sober. Getting sober was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
In those early days I really just hung on. It was truly just a day at a time. Just for today: I won’t drink. Work, meetings and MANY phone calls to people in 12 step programs that had been through what I was going through. Rinse and repeat.
Once I started to string some sober time together – an Aussie rapper was beginning to emerge from the rubble. I had the ability to draw from the pain and struggle of addiction PLUS the hope of getting sober.
Hip hop has been instrumental in my sobriety.
I’m so grateful that I made it into 12 step recovery and have remained sober – a day at a time – for 5 and a half years now. I’m also grateful for the places addiction took me. It gives me plenty of inspiration to draw from.
Like my friend Gordon said to me one night:
“Good music comes from pain.”
As an aussie rapper I’m constantly on the look-out for inspiration for lyrics.
A few years ago I went through my books I wrote in addiction looking for inspiration for hip hop lyrics. It was heartbreaking to find there was nothing there but pain and misery. It was actually quite triggering to read that shit. I burnt those books out the back of my old pad in Newtown. Lit them up and watched the wind carry away the ashes. It was nice.
So when people ask me what my songs are about, what inspires me to write and why I’m an Aussie rapper, I usually just say my battle with addiction and getting sober. It’s so much deeper though. Music helped me and continues to help me stay clean and sober – one day at a time.
Until next time, peace fam.