Obese Records

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Obese Records
Obese Records.jpg
Founded 2002 (2002)
Founder Tirren "Pegz" Staaf
Status Active
Genre Hip hop
Country of origin Australia
Location Melbourne
Official website obeserecords.com

Obese Records is a record label that releases music from the Australian hip hop genre. It is the largest Australian independent hip hop label,[1] including performers Pegz, Thundamentals and Dialectrix. Obese Records also operates two retail stores in Melbourne, a record distribution company, a soul imprint named Plethora Records,[2] and operates the artists' management and touring company Obese Records Artist Management.[3]

History[edit]

Founding as OB's record store[edit]

Obese Records was founded in 1995 as a small record store[4] called OB's by Ollie Bobbitt, in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran. Specialising in hip hop music,[5] the store changed its name to "Obese Records" after Bobbitt sold the business to Shazlek One. In mid-2002 the store was bought by Melbourne-based artist Tirren Staaf (a.k.a. Pegz) who transformed it into a record label.[6]

According to Pegz, there were few other labels specializing in Australian hip hop at the time, and none putting significant funds into marketing.>[7] Pegz "saw the opening and went for it. It was about giving the people around me the opportunity they deserved."[8] Pegz used the label to create a distribution network,[9] and also purchased the Zenith Records vinyl pressing plant, one of only two companies then still pressing vinyl records in Australia.[10] The pressing plant was subsequently sold in November 2007.[1]

Expansion[edit]

The first artist released on the label was MC Reason's EP Solid in 2000,[11][3] produced by Jolz with appearances from Brad Strut, Bias B and Pac D.[12]

Other early releases included compilation albums, Culture of Kings (which included songs by Koolism, Hilltop Hoods, Hunter, Terra Firma, Lyrical Commission and Downsyde)[12] and Obesecity, which Pegz describes as "key networking tools" for the growing Australian hip hop scene,[11] as well as formative releases from Bliss n Eso, Bias B, DJ Bonez, Downsyde, Brad Strut and Layla. The two-disc Culture of Kings Volume Two included tracks by Hilltop Hoods, Delta, Layla, TZU, Hospice, Brothers Stoney, Bliss N Eso and Funkoars. It was the first Australian hip hop album to be selected for the Triple J feature album spot on local radio.[12]

"Hilltop Hoods’ success can be seen as being set up by Obese, in a way. The Hoods have been doing the same thing for ten years, in an evolving way, but Obese were really critical in setting up the crews around the country who helped do the shows, getting the respect for Obese to be aspirational, and getting the Hoods to fit into that puzzle."
— Mark Pollard, founder of Stealth Magazine (2004)[13]

In 2003, Obese released the Hilltop Hoods album The Calling, which became the first Australian hip hop album to go gold.[14] Mark Pollard, founder of Stealth Magazine, commented during an interview with Tony Mitchell in 2004 that Hilltop Hoods’ success had been helped by Obese.[13]

In 2006 the Hilltops Hoods were nominated and won awards for Best Performing Independent Album (The Hard Road) and Best Independent Artist at that year's Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Chart Awards.

Two artists associated with the label were nominated for four AIR Chart Awards in 2007 (three for Hilltop Hoods and one for Muph & Plutonic).[15] At the 2007 ARIA Awards, the Hilltop Hoods won 'Best Urban Release' for their album The Hard Road: Restrung.[16] The Hilltop Hoods DVD, The City of Light, released by Obese Records in 2007, has also been classified gold. In 2008 two artists on the Obese label, Muph & Plutonic and Spit Syndicate, received nominations for 'Best Urban Album' at the ARIA Awards.[17] In 2010 M-Phazes' album, Good Gracious, was nominated for 'Best Urban Album' at the ARIA Awards.[18]

Recent years[edit]

Following Hilltops Hoods departure to start their own label with EMI,[19] Obese Records continued to focus on both established artists and underground locals.[11] Plethora Records was founded as Obese' Records subsidiary soul label in 2010.[19]

Obese was filming episodes for Obese TV, their web series, by 2012.[19] In 2013 Obese Records signed its first management contract with emcee Kerser, at that point having divisions for sales, publicity, marketing, accounts, and A&R.[3] The record store in Prahran at 4A Izett Street[20] continues to sell hip-hop merchandise as of 2013, and also hosts listening parties, radio marthons, and a segment on Obese TV.[3] Pegz expanded the company in 2013, opening a retail store in the Melbourne neighborhood of Frankston. It stocks music, merchandise, street apparel, spray paint, art supplies, DVDs, and street art magazines.[3]

Periscope Pictures announced on September 19, 2013, that Obese Records would be distributing its documentary Hunter: For The Record locally in Australia. The feature film chronicles hip hop artist Robert Hunter before his death from cancer in 2011. Hunter had released all his albums on Obese, and in conjunction with the DVD the label is releasing his final album, Bring it All Back, posthumously.[21]

Staff[edit]

  • Tirren Staaf (Pegz) – CEO
  • Fern Greig-Moore – Operations Manager & Artist Management[21]
  • Lindsey Martin – Publicity & Communications[3]
  • Terry Ho – Sales & Distribution [3]

Distribution[edit]

Obese Records Distribution provides distribution for the following labels, in addition to Obese Records:[22]

  • The Ayems
  • Born Fresh
  • Broken Tooth Entertainment
  • Crate Cartel
  • Fat Beats
  • Karsniogenics
  • Lookup
  • Myspherical
  • Nuff Said Records
  • Plethora Records
  • Uknowho Records
  • WordBurner Entertainment/Bias B

Artists[edit]

Current[edit]

The following artists are signed to Obese Records, as of September 2013:[23]

Alumni[edit]

A list of former artists:

Discography[edit]

Cat. # Title Artist Year
OBR001 Solid Reason[24] 2000
OBR002 Culture of Kings: Volume 1 (CD,[25] vinyl[26]) Various 2000
OBR003 Hip Hop Life Bias B 2001
OBR004-
OBR008
Culture of Kings: Volume 2[27] Various (Solomon Klepto, Pegz, Bob Balans, Hilltop Hoods, Hospice, Art of War, Layla, etc.) 2002
OBR009 The Courageous L.P. Matty B 2002
OBR010 The Authentic LP Brad Strut 2002
OBR013 ObeseCity[28] Various (Terra Firma, Brothers Stoney, Sol Klept, Chopper Read-Brad Stru -Bias B-Balans, The Hospice, Koolism, etc.) 2003
OBR015 Culture of Kings: Volume 3 Various 2004
OBR017 The Calling Hilltop Hoods 2003
OBR022 Capricorn Cat Pegz 2003
OBR026 When the Dust Settles Downsyde 2004
OBR034 Axis Pegz 2005
OBR047 The Hard Road Hilltop Hoods 2006
OBR0 The Hard Road: Restrung Hilltop Hoods 2007
OBR054 Burn City Pegz 2007
OBR049 "What a Great Night" Hilltop Hoods 2007
OBR050 Been There Done That Bias B 2007
OBR055 Don't Let Your Guard Down Chasm 2008
OBR063 Left To Write Skryptcha 2009
OBR065 Long Story Short Illy 2009
OBR071 Power of the Spoken Mantra 2010
OBR075 The Chase Illy 2011
OBR081 Window of Time Reason 2012
OBR084 ObeseCity 2[28] Various 2012
OBR086 Sunday Gentlemen Spit Syndicate 2013
OBR087 Diamond Cuts EP Chasm 2013
OBR088 The Cold Light of Day Dialectrix 2013
Source: Official Discography
Plethora Records (imprint)
Cat. # Title Artist Year
PLR001 Neon Heartache Jess Harlen 2010
PLR002 Park Yard Slang Jess Harlen 2012

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Walter, John. "Fatter Than Ya Mama". Melbourne Pixel magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Releases". Plethora Records. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Steps, Jim (March 8, 2013). "Obese Records – Frankston Store Opening". All Aussie Hip Hop. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Obese Records Interview by Writin' Exact". Scene Magazine. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  5. ^ "Australian Music Online - record label profile 'Obese Records'". Archived from the original on 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  6. ^ "Reason, Local Noise (02/10/2004)". Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  7. ^ Dennes, Caz (2008-05-01). "OBESE BLOCK PARTY - Block Rockin’ Beats". BMA Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  8. ^ Kuch, Jesse (24 September 2009). "The Don". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Colman, Tim (2005-12-09). "Milkbar Stars". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  10. ^ "New vinyl records donated to the NFSA". Australian Film Commission. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  11. ^ a b c "Tales of Obese City". Mag (Slattery Media Group). June 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "Obese Records interview". Scene Magazine. Retrieved 29 March 20-11.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ a b Mitchell, Tony. "Mark Pollard Interview". Local Noise. University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Tiptop hip-hop with an Aussie accent". Record Scout Music News. October 18, 2004. 
  15. ^ "Jagermeister AIR Award nominees". FasterLouder.com.au. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2007: 21st Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2008: 22nd Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  18. ^ Ferris, Rina; Brennan, Kristyn (28 September 2010). "2010 ARIA Awards Nominations & Artisan Award Winners Announced" (Portable Document Format (PDF)). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c "Chewing the fat with Obese Records – Red Bull website". RedBull. July 18, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  20. ^ "Obese Records". Acclaim Mag. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  21. ^ a b "Obese Records to Distibute Hunter: For The Record Documentary". if.com.au. September 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  22. ^ "Distribution". Obese Records. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  23. ^ "Artists". Obese Records. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  24. ^ "Releases". Obese Records. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  25. ^ "Various - Culture Of Kings Volume 1". Discogs. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Various - Culture Of Kings Volume 1 - vinyl". Discogs. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  27. ^ "Various - Culture Of Kings Volume 2". Discogs. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Various - Obesecity". Discogs. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°50′56″S 144°59′32″E / 37.849005°S 144.9920899999996°E / -37.849005; 144.9920899999996