If this doesn’t get you nodding your head within the first ten seconds, turn it off. You don’t deserve it.
This is the second offering from the ECB crew since they joined the Brisbane-based art collective No.One.Network. Their Instagram bio is a super hard and mysteriously concise introduction: “The crew stems from 4 Indigenous brothers between 17-24, who were handed the ECB legacy by their father.” Though there seems to be more in the ECB crew, the main trio is Chiggz, JK-47 and Nate G. They’re staunch Bundjalung men from the Tweed Heads area. ECB stands for ‘East Coast Brotherhood. They inherited the name from their father, who would paint Indigenous art all over the East Coast. When their father passed, they formalised the ECB movement to carry the torch.
On this track, Chiggz is the main artist and he is appropriately the main attraction. He’s got a natural rap voice – unique, husky and moulded by his geography – and he rides the beat effortlessly. Brisbane rapper Nerve is one of the hottest MCs in the country in his own right but he’s the other star solely for his beat here. So simple – this warped, super satisfying guitar(?) sample and a dope bassline – but it keeps you bopping the whole song. Chiggz & co. aren’t reinventing the wheel but have a playful skill to their rapping and sound really cool while doing it, partly cause they seem so sincere. In the middle of a fun, laid-back verse, Chiggz raps:
‘Eastside bang Far North Movement
Thinking bout my Pops but he’s dead and it’s useless’
Just a painfully blunt comment on death and grief. It reminds me of of when Waka buried a similar nugget of pain “When my lil brother died I said ‘Fuck school!’” on his era-defining banger ‘Hard In Da Paint’.
Nate G is a bit more gee’d up in his verse. He makes simple stuff like ‘Get older bruz’ sound great. He has the perfect similar-but-different level to be Chiggz’ rap partner. There’s no frontin’; they’re mostly talking about making dosh selling weed and chilling out smoking weed. The video is a perfect havin’ fun with ya homies and showin’ off the area rap video. You can see the brotherly love in the video, one of the building blocks of a truly great rap group (e.g. The LOX, Outkast, Migos). Bit confused by the decision to put Smak on the song and not JK-47 but JK looks likes he’s having the most fun out of all of them. Man’s gotta beautiful smile. He’s got two songs on streaming services but I think the best introduction to him is his YouTube freestyles and cypher verses.
I’m genuinely worried about how long we’ll have to wait for a full length ECB album. Right now they’ve got very little out. Not all rappers and not even all rap groups can carry a whole album but I just wanna hear these dudes rapping on as diverse an array of beats as possible.
I transcribed JK’s verse in the ILLEQWIP x No One Network cypher cause it deserves to be legendary. He starts at 1:33.
‘I ain’t in it for the fun
I ain’t in it for the funds
I don’t want none
All I wanna see in life is a better life for my son and I’mma get it done
Yes indeed that’s a definite
Plant a seed, put the effort in
They keep thinking that they’re better than me
That’s the main reason that they never been
Imma take it to where it ain’t never been
Cops kill us without hesitance
Lighter sentence for the white guy
Got Australia looking American
But we the original residents
They give us poisonous medicin
They cut off all of our water
Then they set fire to everything
I can never trust them lads
All they wanna do is set us back
They don’t even care bout what’s on the other side
Bout the loss of life or the genocide
I get on the mic trynna weaponise
We ain’t even really gettin by
They got it wrong and we don’t belong
And all I wanna do is set it right
I don’t think they understand me
I’m taking a stand for all of my family
They don’t care about the land
The government a bunch of bandits
We been abandoned
Strung along way too long for the crumbs
Now we coming for the whole cake
Taking no breaks till it’s done, what’
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