Straight out of the Northside of Melbourne, the self-described “Mr. Nobody” Maundz may be the angriest rapper I’ve heard come out of Australia in my entire time as a rap reviewer. Imagine if Muph & Plutonic met Onyx; imagine the Hilltop Hoods beefing with Eminem, 50 Cent and Ice Cube all at the same time; imagine clipping a taser to Urthboy and hitting the pulse button repeatedly – then imagine madder than all of that put together. Maundz is unapologetically pissed off at everything – rappers that stink lyrically, men that act too feminine, the music industry keeping artists in poverty, a lack of respect for Aussie rappers, all of that and then some.
“I check the people walkin ’round the streets of Melbourne
And I’m thinkin to myself, how the FUCK is fashion sellin?
I guess I missed that last bus to do your focus
Every dude that I see walking’s tellin me I need to go
But I’ma try and figure out where we lost our sensibility
We once were warriors but now it’s all sensitivity
Back before this whack rapport attacked the shore
The average bloke that you’d be brawlin with would actually have a sac of balls!
A liver full of liquor, stout lager, ain’t about
to pay them three figures for some jeans that’s been ripped up
I must be some shitcup that can’t see the light
I’m not about to speed up so I can get with the times
Cause times ain’t right, a nation built on convicts
Slept through revolution and awoke lookin like dogshit
You think that I’m an outcast, that I’m inferior
Because I don’t dunk my nuts in jars full of Perrier?
Well fuck that! Take a long walk to chapel
Then forget to moisturize your pasty ass so you crackle”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on “Pink Shirts,” as soon enough he’s attacking Paris Hilton and her fans, saying “your role model can’t suck a dick” and calling her “a prime example of a load her mother should’ve swallowed.” WOW. The palpable anger would in itself be entertaining, but producer Methodz gives the presentation a throwback 1990’s East coast funk that goes wa-wa-WAH, wa-wa-WAH underneath his vitriolic rhymes and is punctuated by an oddly beautiful flute loop on the chorus. If you’re easily offended by homophobic sentiments or politically incorrect language lines like “my whole city’s turning lesbian” and derisive attacks on fashionistas like “whatever the fuck you mongoloids wear” will send you running for the hills, but as un-PC as it may be when Maundz screams “FUCK THAT SHIT, YOU LOOK THE WORST” I can’t help but smile.
The rough and rugged male machismo that Maundz displays on “Mr. Nobody” is backed up by the kind of beats that Ice Cube, Chuck D or Mash Out Posse would be comfortable flowing over. Speaking of M.O.P., Wik throws samples of Brownsville’s finest over the all-star “Game Time” featuring Briggs and Verbal Kent that makes you want to scream ANTE UP! Bwiv’s “Keyboard Warriors” provides an eerie sense of menace, like Maundz might reach through the screen at any moment and choke out the troll flaming him. Conman’s beats and Arson’s cuts on “Milk Crates” could be mistaken for an underground rap track by PackFM or Immortal Technique were it not for Maundz’ accent. J Squared pounds the drums and bassline on the so-nasty-it’s-nice “No Concern” and the live trumpet by Nick Ryan Glenie hammers the whole thing home perfectly. The sound of this entire album is crafted by over half a dozen different beat maestros but they have a surprisingly unified rough-and-rugged sound that fits Maundz like a glove.
Maundz may legit be this angry 24-7, but even if he’s not, he portrays it in a very entertaining way throughout “Mr. Nobody.” This isn’t everybody’s pint of Guinness though – you’re going to have to take his slurs and insults with a grain of salt to get through the whole album. The quality of the production is like the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down though, as this is the kind of album you can play at full volume in your ride from start to finish, letting your trunk rattle non-stop without skipping a song once. Whether or not he can crossover on American shores full of pink shirts may be a question, but in Melbourne he’s the baddest on the block.