Bigger and better cyphers with Prophet Rayza

Prophet Rayza is an MC that emphasises longevity is better than being a one hit wonder. He originates from Brisbane Australia, and has been ruling the game for over a decade. He's opened for the likes of De La Soul, Talib Kweli, KRS-1 and many more. Prophet Rayza is a game changer for the Aussie hip hop scene, he resonates that hard work pays off, and his determination, style and flow will make the rest of the world stand up and pay attention. He is due to debut his forthcoming LP ”Year Of The Rayza” which will drop on the 4th of April, and we can expect a no gimmicks, no bullshit LP.

We chat to Rayza about what we can expect on his upcoming LP, what KRS-1 taught him, and why the Australian hip hop scene has grown due to awareness. Margaret Tra writes.  

You are in Brisbane, how are you finding the hip hop scene there? Has it grown?

The scene here is like family. It’s small in size compared to other cities so everyone knows everyone else up here. I’ve been involved in the scene for about 15 years now and I think it’s grown in sense of awareness, and the number of supporters who turn out to gigs now has definitely grown, but it terms of artists it’s stayed relatively the same. Some older artists fade into obscurity and some new hungry artists seem to fill the void they’ve left. I think we’re pretty lucky up here because we have a really grass roots organic scene that hasn’t been infiltrated by artists who make corny pop music and call it hip hop. Brisbane has some of the best talent in the country in every element, for example: Skill at Will crew, virtually the whole Australian Ironlak team, DJ Butcher, DJ DCE, Tommy Illfigga, Lazy Grey and myself... (laughs) Can I say that? We work hard up here!

Having been in hip hop for a while now what do you think Australia needs to do to grow the hip hop scene?

The Australian scene is flourishing right now! It’s phenomenal the level of talent and dedication artists' in this country are displaying. The people that have worked hard at their craft for years are getting the recognition they deserve, and the public is well aware how amazing hip hop is and are really supporting it more than ever before. I think it needs to keep doing what it’s doing now because it’s working and it’s only getting bigger and better.

You are dropping “Year of the Rayza” next month, what can we expect? Is there a particular track you are proud of? If so why?

You can expect honesty, passion and music with integrity. No gimmicks, no bullshit, real emceeing over some nasty screw your face up like you sucked on a lemon beats! If you like that authentic shit, I got you covered. I’m proud of all the tracks, every single one. My writing process was to write 20 tracks and cut it back to the best 15 so you only get the best of the best! It’s very hard to single out one track because when I make an album like “Year of the Rayza” (or an EP like Six Books) I’m creating a whole package. Every piece fits and belongs together from the artwork, to beat selection to content right down to the track order. Every aspect is of utmost importance and no track would be the same without the others, so I can’t just pick one because one track is only a part of the whole picture that belongs together.

You have performed with a lot of great musicians when they have toured here in town such as KRS1, De La Soul Talib Kweli and many more. Is there one show or artist that stands out that taught you something about being a performer?

It’s very hard to narrow it down to just one artist or show. I learn from every artist I perform with and every single artist I watch perform. If I had to think of one thing that really stands out to me though, it would have to be KRS One speaking during his set in Canberra that I played support for. He said you have to be ready for when your moment comes, be prepared because you never know when the moment is ‘gonna’ come when all your hard work pays off. That really resonated with me and I make sure I always give my all when I perform.

If you could share a stage with anyone, who would it be?

Nas. No questions. This will happen.

If you were having a hip hop party, who would you invite? 

Every party we have is a hip hop party! This is a dope question though! If I could invite anyone I wanted I would invite Nas, Rakim, all of Wu tang Clan, KRS One, Eminem, Slick Rick, Dr. Dre, Mos Def, Preemo (DJ Premier), Alchemist, Pete Rock, 9th wonder, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Redman, Snoop, DJ Kool Herc, Grand Master Flash and Rock Steady Crew. It would be the greatest hip hop party of all time! And ‘oowweeeee’ would we have the greatest cypher in the history of the universe! Damn there are so many people I would want to invite! Way too many to list!

What Stimulates Your Soul?

My family, nature and music,they are the 3 most pure and wonderful things in my life. Family is what keeps me grounded and makes me strive to be the best I can be in every aspect of life. Nature centres my soul and reminds me of my connection to mother earth and how important balance is. Music is my outlet, my freedom, my passion. I need all 3 all the time.