The recent MYBattles event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was supposed to be the biggest Battle Rap event yet to happen in the country; International acts Flex Digits, Rebo Orange, Chase and King of The Dot’s Loe Pesci flew in for a close look at the battle scene in Malaysia. But with sponsors backing out, the lack of funds and more importantly lack of experience, MYBattles ‘The International Standard’ failed to live up to the hype.
Though his battle with Malaysia’s Bawss went off without much fanfare, we took the opportunity to talk to Johnny Trash, one of 1Outs Australia’s best, about battle rap, hard work, and his next opponent at 1Outs Avalanche event against King of the Dot’s highly rated 100 Bulletz.
HQ: First of all, thank you for doing this interview and the support you've shown rapgrid.com man, we appreciate it.
JohnnyT: Yeah I’ve claimed my profile and the sites dope!
HQ: Thanks man! Ok, let’s start with the recent MYBattles event. The whole event and its shortcomings are now pretty well documented online, what was your take on the event?
JohnnyT: Well basically in the leading up to the event, all the details were quite loose and shady, myself, Flex (Flex Digits) and Chase all had discussed our concerns in the days leading up to leaving for MY, I myself hadn't put much prep in or anything because we had no idea what was going on from the beginning. I truly think that Zain believed it would all work out for us though, against all odds.
HQ: Was this your first event in Malaysia?
JohnnyT: This was the first time I had been out of Australia/New Zealand, I had previously battled in Auckland for 1Outs New Zealand, so had no idea what to expect from an event in Malaysia. I had seen previous MY events on YouTube, and from what I saw, it all looked legit.
HQ: What did u think of your opponent on the night?
JohnnyT: Bawss Hogg? Wow he was good. I expected him to step up, but the performance he put on was on a seriously high level, A few performance tweaks and it would have been on a high international level.
HQ: What was your take on the other matchups?
JohnnyT: I think the circumstances of the night and days even weeks leading up, took away from the international guests, Flex had been one of my favorites in Don't Flop since his battle with Sensa at least 2 years ago. Flex did good, it wasn't bad, just not the Flex you would see without all the bullshit happening behind the scenes.
Soul Ash had a strong performance, definitely had some unexpected charisma, I feel that the local battlers clearly had a home court advantage and not effected by the matters at hand. It's battlers like Baws Hogg and Soul Ash that makes me think there is a positive future for battling in Malaysia.
HQ: And what about Loco Spitta, who, I thought had nice intricate bars, and Rebo Orange, who didn’t have the best of nights..
JohnnyT: Loco Spitta had a nice clear delivery about him this performance, he has a thick Somalian accent, so it is hard for me to pick up what he is saying, but I could tell he really worked on having more accessible delivery. Rebo Orange, great dude, just wasn't prepared nerves wise more than anything, when things weren't going 100 percent for him; he lost sight of the bigger picture and struggled. It is a common thing for a first time battler.
HQ: Ash definitely stepped up to represent man, and Bawss is definitely someone to watch out for. So who are your favorite battlers out in Malaysia?
JohnnyT: No question, Bawss Hogg and Soul Ash, I would like to see them somehow battle in Melbourne someday, the home of 1Outs Australia. I know there are a few others like MC Stiff and Tactmatic, but by the sounds of it they are moving on from battles, making way for these new guys who are really hungry, and with the right guidance and development, have so much time and room to improve and reach their potential. I would include Loco Spitta in that as well after a couple more solid battles.
HQ: The way u guys handled yourselves were very professional on the night.
JohnnyT: That’s the thing about battle rap, i feel a lot of the fans think we just roll out of bed, say some shit that rhymes, and think it's a career, I look at battle rap as a career in the sense it's an important part of what i want to make of my life, where I want to go. You need to look at yourself and conduct yourself like a professional and you need to put in the hard work that any professional would in their chosen field.
The proof is there, if you watch my first battle with Mr. Virus from 3 years ago, back to when this style of battling was a new concept to me, and compare it to now with my last battle against Zain Azrai, you would think you were watching two different rappers from my performances, that is all hard work, countless hours of it.
HQ: I think the whole culture itself has developed because of hard work and dedication
JohnnyT: Yeah, it’s crazy what it has become in a few short years, I like to think sometimes 5 years from now, who knows what the buzz will be.
HQ: What would you like to see done different in the next MYBattle event?
JohnnyT: For MY battles to have life again, Zain needs to build a team around him to have input and actions to making an event a success, like with any successful league out there, there needs to be a team, not just one man doing everything. More care with timing and location needs to be considered also.
HQ: Is there anything u want to air out or say about the event?
JohnnyT: My firm stance on it... the event should have never gone ahead, it should have been cancelled or at the least postponed when the original sponsors pulled out, I’m glad I went and had the experience, but it should not have and did not need to happen like it did. But I believe Zain has started to compensate Loe Pesci, Flex Digits and myself for the whole thing, I have said for me to be reimbursed last, because well that’s just the status quo, I respect that and am cool with it.
HQ: Who are your favorite battlers worldwide?
JohnnyT : I started out really favoring performances from Carter Deems, Fresco, The Saurus, Mr Biscuit, now that I have a vast knowledge of battle rap, I would say my favorites are Conceited, QP, 100 Bulletz, Arsonal, the Smack style rappers, really anyone with crazy wordplay or crazy pop culture references, either one of those, and I'm a fan, shout outs to Tantrum and Madness as well though, two respectable vets, always got time to chop it up with me on Facebook, and I'm always following their work.
HQ: If you had the pick of anyone in the world, who would be your dream matchup?
JohnnyT: Now I feel very lucky because I think the answer to that is 100 Bulletz, the history and the clash of wordplay, just too good to pass up, not many battlers get their dream match ups, so I'm feeling lucky. But if i could duke it out with anyone else, either Pat Stay or Arsonal, I don’t know why, just those two names are the two I can’t choose between. Actually Pat Stay, Arsonal, Bender or Illmaculate, in no particular order, but those 4 are all dead even to me.
HQ: What can we expect in your battle with 100 bulletz?
JohnnyT: This battle with 100 Bulletz, I intend on putting more work than I ever have into a battle. On some level there will be a story to this battle that people will want to know. If I live up to my own hype, I feel this battle will be bar for bar, scheme for scheme and a crazy wordplay fest.
Headlining that same "Avalanche' card, is 1Outs is Charron vs Ilyak, both accomplished freestyle MCs. looking forward to that one, and I’m sure the rest of the card will be dope also.
HQ: Dope man, Avalanche is gonna be one hell of an event. Any shoutouts?
JohnnyT: Yeah, shout outs to 1Outs Battle League, for giving me the opportunity to do something I love. And the Hit The Fan family who I am working on my debut EP with, out sometime before I die, cheers!
View Johnny Trash's previous battles on his Rapgrid.com Rapper Profile.
Haz Riq is a RapGrid.com staff member located in Malaysia and carries a personal conviction to contribute to the battle rap scene worldwide as well as help the local scene in Malaysia every chance he gets. He can be reached on his Twitter handle: @HazriqZ
1Outs AVALANCHE event details can be found here, and RapGrid.com will continue to update the page as more information is released.