Melbourne’s Pegz has released a long-awaited new 9-track album with producer Silent Titan titled Equilibrium last week. The impressive 38-minute offering released on Brisbane’s legendary Hydrofunk Records (Resin Dogs, Blunted Stylus) features Jace XL, DJ Cost was long in the making and a somewhat unexpected release when it finally dropped. Silent Titan is a well-established, talented producer / DJ from Australia having worked with Thundamentals, Prince Po of Organized Konfusion while Pegz is one of the most important figures in hip-hop to emerge from Australia yet.
Coming up as a young graffiti artist before beginning to rap in the early 90’s, Pegz then known as Pegasus had an early track featured on a release from the hugely influential Melbourne hip-hop label Nuffsaid Recordings. Upon starting to work at a then-emerging hip hop shop/record label called “Obese Records”, Pegz released his debut self-titled EP Pegasus in 2001 that really kick-started a prolific next decade that had not been seen before on such a scale.
Before Pegz released his classic debut album Capricorn Cat back in 2003, he had purchased the Obese Records shop he was working at and had continued to significantly develop the release side of the emerging business. With landmark, early releases from the likes of Brad Strut (Lyrical Commission / Unkut Recordings), Hilltop Hoods, Reason, Funkoars, Bias B, Hunter & Dazastah as well as the Culture of Kings compilation releases, Obese Records had positioned itself nationally as having a significant market reach at the time. Local Australian-made hip-hop at the time was just beginning to find a larger market audience and commercial acceptance off the back of Resin Dogs, Downsyde and 1200 Techniques influential local releases / festival appearances, and the Obese Records releases of Culture of Kings Volume 2 compilation and especially Hilltop Hoods’ The Calling smashed through the glass ceiling that appeared to exist then.
With Obese Records now on fire throughout the mid-2000’s with a string of quality releases, Pegz released his own acclaimed albums in “Axis” (2005) and “Burn City” (2007) to great success. The 14-track Axis features Hilltop Hoods, Hyjak N Torcha, Oregon’s Debaser, was largely produced by Plutonic Lab and certainly cemented Pegz in the scene as a talented emcee. His latter Burn City released in late-2007 featured Vents, Drapht, The Funkoars, Illy, Muph and Cali’s Planet Asia and proved to be commercially more successful peaking at #70 on the ARIA Album Chart, #10 on the ARIA Urban Album Chart and #4 on the ARIA Hitseekers Albums chart as the audience widened.
Following Burn City, Pegz developed a trio group called “Gully Platoon” with Joe New and Dialectrix (both formerly of Down Under Beats Crew). They dropped a 14-track album in mid-2009 on Obese Records called “The Great Divide” featuring DJ 2 Buck, Plutonic Lab, future members of the current award-winning group Remi and reached #5 on the local independent Top 20 Album charts and #18 on the ARIA Top 40 Urban Album charts. This period continued a string of successful and critically acclaimed releases on his Obese Records including Drapht “Brothers Grimm” (2008), Muph & Plutonic “…And Then Tomorrow Came” (2008), M-Phazes “Good Gracious” (2010), Mantra “Power Of The Spoken (2010) and Bias B “Biaslife” (2011) amongst others.
By the time Pegz’s fourth solo album perfectly titled as “Drama” dropped in 2011, Obese Records in retrospect had somewhat hit a high watermark. The leading group from Obese Records in Hilltop Hoods had left and gone independent forming Golden Era Records, the physical record pressing arm of the business had closed down and his large influence had led to some concerns of Obese monopolizing the rapidly developing local hip-hop market. “Drama” largely marked Pegz exit from hip-hop as an active rapper, leading him to focus more on the label aspect, management and distribution arms of Obese Records.
Pegz legacy as both an emcee and through Obese Records is of incredible importance to hip hop’s development and wider embracement it now enjoys throughout Australia. This recent EP drop with Silent Titan was more than a welcomed surprise and re-opens the door to continuing the Pegz story – or closes it again. Time will tell, but the messages touched on throughout Equilibrium are timely in a musical landscape that has changed so much in recent years. Stay tuned to The Source for an upcoming article on Obese Records – Australia’s most influential hip-hop record label to date.
Pegz & Silent Titan’s new Equilibrium album out now.
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