As I approached Mik and Larry from Reverse Polarities they were sitting on bar stools in a dark corner of Copacabana. I was compelled by their name, so I asked whether that had any effect on their music.
“It’s the undermining philosophy of the whole thing. With the music, it’s just trying to get a style that isn’t heard by the general people out there. Get it heard by them, make it more accessible and open a few minds up and it’ll get our point across.”
Their stage presence is renowned for its sheer size, with upwards of ten members. I wondered whether that was a key to their delivery.
“Well it could be twenty or thirty really, but our main crew is six of us. Five MCs and a DJ.”
All those voices must take some concentration to coordinate on stage, but they tell me the group still has time to drop in freestyles over that.
“Yeah definitely, we do freestyling. We try to keep it open ended, at the major slots we just bang it out. For the first few years it was all up in the air. When we did our first set it was only four weeks after we’d written our first tracks. We’d been playing around Sydney for two years but we love our freestyle, for sure. Now we constantly freestyle with each other, whether on or off stage.”
Hip hop allows for quite a broad spectrum of influence when it comes to making tracks, a sentiment that Mik embraces.
“My sister and I grew up in a record store in Newtown, so we encountered many different styles. We try not to categorize music, we love everything and the best thing about hip hop is that we can use anything.”
Many hip hop artists are known for the fickleness of their lyrics, but the pair assure me there are some specific messages they try to get across.
“I want people to know about the situation home and abroad, the third world, racism, sexism, the whole fucking thing. Music isn’t just social commentary, it’s also a progress.”
“It’s such a big thing, especially trying to get this message out to the youth. Hip hop is a fad at the moment, which is not helping us to get the message across. When the pretenders get knocked off, the real poets will be left behind.”
Reverse Polarities are definitely on the right track to wherever it may be they are heading. Everything they have done so far has helped in sky rocketing them high above the fads, the false accusations attached to hip hop set down by the media and maybe even above some of the larger names in Australia’s hip hop industry. They are strong believers in their generation and I’d like to think they will be even stronger pioneers of the generations to follow in their footsteps.
Their next set is at the Annandale on the 14th of this month. Be sure to check them out.’
Photo By Evgeny Zem