National Urthboy Supports & Praise For “Bigger Pictures”
It’s been a massive few months for Rainman since the release of his sophomore album ‘Bigger Pictures’, but following on from his own national album launch shows he’s just announced that he’ll be joining Urthboy for shows on his ‘Naïve Bravado’ Tour. Including a four star album review in The Australian, the announcement follows on from a string of critical acclaim for ‘Bigger Pictures’, and praise across the board:
“Rainman’s calm, measured tones work well in both chorus and verse. The beats on Bigger Pictures’s 15 tracks are uniformly excellent … an impressive album” – The Australian (4 stars)
“a dizzyingly diverse collection of beats and lyrical feats accompanied by guests galore. Essentially, it’s everything a good hip hop album should be” – Rave Magazine (4 stars)
“It’s no doubt Rainman has nailed it with Bigger Pictures. I feel he easily deserves the same rank as some of the bigger Australian Hip Hop artists as he executes each song on Bigger Pictures to perfection” – Australian Musicians Network
“Sometimes serious, always sublime this is an album not to be missed” –
Sydneysiders can catch Rainman this Friday 27th July @ FBI Social, Kings Cross. Brissie, Byron and Melbourne can catch Rainman:
Friday August 31st @ Evelyn, Melbourne
w/ Yung Warriors
Friday September 14th @ the Northern, Byron Bay
w/ The Last Kinection
Saturday September 15th @ The Zoo, Brisbane
w/ The Last Kinection
With w/ Daily Meds
Daily Meds Album Launch (Brisbane)
Saturday 11th August @ Coniston Lane
Supported by a special one-off Rainman + Calski set featuring guest vocalist pear & live visuals from VJ Simulcast.
He’s been a feature artist on triple j’s Hip Hop Show and played alongside everyone from Grandmaster Flash (USA), Ice Cube (USA) and Jungle Brothers (USA) through to The Herd, Hilltop Hoods, Urthboy, Muph n Plutonic, Pegz, TZU, Thundamentals, Astronomy Class, Tom Thum / Tommy Illfigga and many more. Mention Rainman amongst the initiated and the respect attributed to his name is palatable. Recognised nationally as one of Queensland’s finest, his list of collaborations, support slots and guest appearances reads like a who’s who of Oz hip hop.
The Herd’s Urthboy said it well: “destined to become a positive and very listenable force… with laidback but self assured flows and a gift for hooks and phrases. One of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets”. Australia’s ‘hip hop central’ OzHipHop.Com dubbed him Queensland’s “best-kept secret – with an eloquence for song-writing rarely seen in Hip hop”.
Friday May 4th sees Rainman drop his second album “Bigger Pictures” through the freshly minted Born Fresh Records and via Obese Records Distribution. “Bigger Pictures” sees the collaborative partnership of Rainman and Sammsonite (The Optimen) return for the lion’s share of the production but also features some of Australia’s finest beat- smiths including the APRA and AIR Award winning, ARIA nominated Count Bounce (TZU/Urthboy), DJ Bonez, Mangohig (Sietta), Chasm (Astronomy Class), Cam Bluff (Vegas Aces) and Calski.
Guest MCs on the record include Muph (Muph n Plutonic), Tommy Illfigga, Yuin Huzami (The Coalition Crew), Seven (triple j Unearthed winner) & 4TH (Vegas Aces), while Laneous (Laneous & The Family Yah), Kel on Earth (Bankrupt Billionaires) and Youka (Killbot Kindergarten) all lend soulful vocals across the album, mixed with a drop of folk courtesy of pear (Pear & the Awkward Orchestra).
The actual title of the album says a lot about the record itself. Rainman explains: “Midway through making the album I realised how often I found myself saying ‘look at the bigger picture’ in conversations and in my own lyrics. There seemed to be this recurring theme for me about remembering to keep things in perspective and seeing that my own worries were pretty small in the grand scheme of things. As I started to use it as a working title I realised how the tracks are like zooming in and creating a bigger picture of a topic or a moment or a state of mind or even a place, and often is about revealing something that may have been missed. So then it was settled, the album was actually a whole bunch of ‘bigger pictures’.
Lyrics-wise Rainman is rarely comfortable with speaking generally, preferring to dive into topics, swim in the details and indeed – paint the bigger pictures. Themes across the album range from poor eyesight to marketing; the creative process to ‘duck faces’; the love of music to the love of a lady. This is an Australian hip hop album that can take the piss and have a laugh, but still hold an intelligent conversation and tell a story.
It’s an album that swings from the bombasticism of tracks like ‘Valley’ to the refined storytelling soul drop of ‘Muse Sick (feat. Laneous)’. It’s an album from a laidback hip hop head who grew up on dope rhymes and banging beats but doesn’t aspire to purity of the form. Hip hop that people who don’t listen to hip hop can still get into. Humorous, emotive and reflective, it doesn’t always scream at you that it’s hip hop, it just is.
It’s all best said in the man’s own words:“again, it’s quite obviously reflected in the title, but to me this album is about perspectives. This is both my personal stories (trying to paint bigger pictures of where I’m coming from), but also my take on the world and with a broader encouragement for people to look around them at what’s going on with a wider perspective.
I think there’s also a kind of ‘call to action’ theme that creeps up throughout the album as well. From the more brooding ‘things suck, get active about it’ feel (‘Too much’), to the cynical take on marketing saturating out lives (‘WTF’), to just getting on with life despite the ups and downs (‘Count Blessings’) to a more direct ‘make a move’ anthem (‘Move’).
Musically we’ve stretched things a bit. It’s definitely still coming from a straight up hip hop perspective, but this time around there’s more synths and live instrumentation in the mix. With lyrics, I think there’s a bit more soul searching and storytelling. It gets heavy at times but there’s actually a lot more humour in there too. I think I stayed away from the humour side of things on the last album and that felt like a big chunk of who I am was missing. It’s also possible I’ve been watching too many Lonely Island and Flight of the Concords’ episodes too though.
Lastly – tuning in with the different perspectives theme, there’s a few tracks that are the flip sides of each other and tracks that flip perspectives within the one song. ‘Darlin’ flips things in the third verse to speak from lady hip hop’s view, ‘The Buzz’ flips from the intense moments at the start of a relationship to a time in the future when it’s all over. With ‘Big Night’ we’re all heading out for drinks and yet ‘The Valley’ is about just seeing that whole ’big night’ scenario through a sober lens of an onlooker. ‘Everything Ain’t’ is me getting bogged down but it’s then followed by the reality check of ‘Count Blessings’, that picks up from those same tensions but takes a step back. It’s a reminder that I’m actually pretty damn lucky to only have the worries I do have – things could always be better but they could definitely be a whole lot worse y’know….”
Catch Rainman live, officially launching “Bigger Pictures” up and down the east coast:
Saturday 16th June @ The Born Fresh Block Party, Coniston Lane (ex Woodlands), Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 6th July @ Laundry Bar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 27th July @ FBI Social, Kings Cross, Sydney, NSW
Rainman – painting “Bigger Pictures”. In Stores Friday 4 May through Born Fresh / Obese.