Brisbane is home to many a good musician, with a scene that is well developed. Its on the streets of Brisbane that Hip Hop artist MC Wheels experiences his life, putting his voice behind ‘ Dark side of Happiness’
The album opens with ‘ Been Awhile’ to remind listeners that the MC is back behind the mic and ready to go. It starts the album off with pomp and a killer horn section to announce his arrival. He’s back and ready to let you know his passion and fire are back with a vengeance.
With the track ‘ Love Story’ we see a softer side to the rapper, a love song of sorts and an ode to a beautiful girl. Its the only time on the album he visits the theme of love and he does it with fun and honesty.
In ‘ Letter from Heaven’ he raps about the difficult topic of bullying and depression. Its a candid view into the soul of a man whose faced pain and troubles. He opens up with brutal honesty about the dark effects that bullying had on his soul, the sorrow palpable.
‘ Negative Thoughts’ carries on with the dark theme, the opening drum beat ominous and dark in its tone. These are darker themes, however when listening one feels as though these are confessions from a young man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet with the creative outlet that is music he is able to express himself so poininatly.
The overall themes of the album are darker and reflective in their nature, and with ‘ The Real World’ MC Wheels reflects on the harm we inflict on each other and the pain we cause. He laments about how the human species is wiping ourselves out. The lyrics are thoughtful, provoking and evocative, showing he is clearly a deep thinker.
When MC Wheels puts pen to paper he writes about issues that matter to him. Whether its his personal pain and struggles or the softer topic of love he articulates his views on life through his music. He doesn’t posture about bitches and money, like other hip hop artists tend to do, instead he keeps it real and relevant. His music is enjoyable, yet attainable and he’s not pretending to be someone he’s not. He’s a young man on the streets of Brisbane, living life the best he can and that is what comes across in his music. The authenticity is refreshing and real.
Its his authenticity is what makes this album so brilliant. Its relevant and idenifiable whilst managing to retain credibiltiy. Whilst some hip hop artists might not have made the change to more modern Australian hip hop, MC Wheels proves that you can write about what you connect with and do a darn good job of it.
This is hip hop how it should be.
Words by Amanda Lee Starkey