Reigning champion of the notorious Got Beef? battles, achieving a staggering million plus YouTube views and selling more than 3000 copies of his two mixtapes comes Sydney’s cocky, charismatic MC Kerser. Joining forces with freakish beat-banging producer Nebs, Kerser has put together The Nebulizer, his keenly anticipated first album.
You already know the story of a place like this – home invasions, drive-by shootings, stabbings, poverty, drugs, desperation, anger. It’s a place you turn your back on, a blight – a cancer on the otherwise smooth arse of the Emerald City. But while Sydney’s hip hop spotlight has been on the inner-city acts making a name for themselves such as Bingethinkers, Thundamentals and Horrorshow, Something has been happening out West: the development of a new sound. At the spearhead of this crisp modernism is producer Nebs, one half of hip hop/grime duo That’s Them.
Nebs’ hardcore club beats with their swirls of exotic tabla, gut wrenching bass and blood splatters of dirty disco collide with Kerser’s brazen, chemically enhanced cheek settling over grim urban stories and shits and giggles tales of getting wasted. Nebs’ production twists and somersaults, punches and swerves: he is an astonishing talent at full throttle on this album. The caustic club thumping beat nasties of Don’t Fuck With Kerser twitch through a condemnation of the cardboard cut-out sound of artists “only making boom-bap cos you can’t adapt” and the disarmingly sweet Gonna Get Hi Today with Anthony ‘Rats’ McCarthy slides through familiar poppy autotuned RnB hooks into a glitchy, defiant celebration of drug fuelled escapism.
Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. It’s a sentiment that echoes down through time to the birthplace of hip hop. Kerser shrugs his way through the same legacy of mindlessly violent streets and constant attempts at shivering off the clagging ooze of desperation. “’Member growin up, we’d lie ‘bout where we was from,” Kerser reminds Hyjak on Same Scenery, and Jak responds on the chorus “every time I take a step to where I need to be, they drag me back to the same fuckin scenery,” in a stunning return to form.
But it’s not all junkies, domestic violence and tragedy – although Battlefield paints this sadly familiar scenario painfully well. There’s something about Kerser – and something about the sound of this album – that evades description. Call it an ‘It’ factor. Call it charisma, magnetism, power. Call it a drug, call it hypnotic. Kerser and Nebs are the monsters we all want to be, the dark princes burrowed deep in our brains who whisper filthy, dangerous ideas – a devastatingly talented duo who suffocate the competition with dazzling, grinning style. The skulls beneath the flesh, starving you of breath. The only solution: The Nebulizer.