'Keller Helens' - Jay Knight 

Wellington based beatmaker/producer Jay Knight  was inspired by the elements of avant-garde experimentation in Kanye West's GOOD Music compilation Cruel Summer when he was building the vividly dystopian backing beat to 'Keller Helens'. He was also looking to, as he puts it, "create something spacey and atmospheric." Crafting the instrumental on FL Studio in early February - when he was in the midst of "one of those creative zones"  - he also, "...wanted to bring together some of the dopest hip-hop artists in New Zealand and put them on one track."

Building the beat around a metaphor-heavy verse from Hamilton based rapper Raiza Biza, Jay Knight called in former theaudience Wildcard winner Louie Knuxx to add some struggle bars to the song as well. To complete things he let another rising Hamilton talent, Diaz Grimm, tie it all together by contributing a chorus. Making reference to remarkable deafblind American author, political activist and lecturer Helen Keller (1880-1968), the chorus is arguably some of the best work Diaz Grimm has done yet. Set against Knight's production and Raiza Biza and Louie Knuxx's verses, the outcome is a song which recalls the densely coded street narratives present in early nineties Wu-Tang Clan records, while also pushing the associated sense of rap formalism into a darkly futuristic space.

Following 'Keller Helens', Jay Knight plans to release an EP titled E+M in May. "I've got a ton of features from up and comers from around the local scene, and also a couple of widely known people," he concludes.

Martyn Pepperell