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Sit-down with BRL

Sharmaine Spencer, 1st July 2020
Serving you up some of the coldest bars and sickest beats, BRL [Beats, Rhymes & Life] Is the home of Oz Hip-Hop across the nation...

We recently caught up with the presenter and producer of BRL, Gav, who lives and breaths all things hip-hop! 

We asked him about his favourite artists, best interviews and classic moments of BRL before it hit the Community Radio Network.  
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What is your favourite part about making BRL?

The research, my favourite part is having and excuse to get dusty fingers, in my boxes of CDs, sit in the coldest part of the house (because it’s most quiet and jump on the mixer, while reading Google searches, then ignoring most of that to talk about my experience with the artist or the song…. That’s essentially the making of a BRL program.

I’ll often have guests, because it’s more interesting than hear myself wax on about Oz Hip Hop albums from 15 years ago. Even if that’s the Golden Era of the genre. One for them, one for me. Hopefully the shows for me are interesting too.

Why did you start BRL? 

I was a Hip Hop fan since I heard Ice Cube in the early 90’s at the Padbury Bini Shell (look it up) and 6TCR didn’t have anything remotely close to a Rap Music show in 2001.

Because BRL has been around since November 2001. Through the awkward first months, spats with the management (I was a nightmare at 17) and having the dig deep and search high and low for radio edits back then, due to the strict language policy at the time.

I fought through internal resistance, and external from a scene that was young, but a tight group. Also I just had no idea back then. No people skills at all, a little bit of machismo and it took YEARS to earn the respect of the scene. I’d say that only been the case since the 2014 return after it’s abrupt departure (best way I can put that) in 2004.

Long answer, short. Passion, discovery, and persistence. That is only a very small part of the story.

BRL - 2019 CBAA Award FinalistGavin - BRL Host

Introduce us to the team behind the scenes, who's voices will be hearing on the show? 

Me. Just me. I’ve had plenty of help out of studio walls (and now bedroom or coldest room in the house) on promotions, the artists, labels and the listeners though. It’s not just the 56 minutes you hear each week. The show is a constant stream of social media promotion and emails and messages about or for content on the show.

What are the teams' top 5 Oz Hip Hop Releases of 2020 so far?

In no particular order: Ziggy Ramo – Black Thoughts, Posseshot – PS2, Nelson Dialect & Delicasteez – Isolation Papers, Sever - Like I Give A F**k, St.Bedlam – Midnight Matinee.

What releases are you most looking forward to in 2020?

I’m hoping we get some classics emerging from COVID-19. Although there have been about 2 songs about the Isolation that have been any good. It will either be a very uneven year, or the second half is going to be unbelievable.

Who has been your favourite MC to interview over the span of the show? 

Graphic from Clandestien is my favourite interview ever from an Aussie artist. International was Slug from Atmosphere. Both interviews couldn’t be any more different in tone. But both great in their own way.

And What’s been your funniest anecdote/memory? (again from producing the show).

All the fun stuff is from the very early days in the Wanneroo studios of 6TCR. 

Like the “final show” in 2003  which was Semi-unhinged party at in the studio, which involved drunk rappers, a smashed cake and freestyles all night. Then I slapped in rap music much

The kind of show that should have got me removed from air forever. But I cleaned up pretty well and I’m glad there was no security cameras back then. 

The Funkoars episode in 2004 with the late great Robert Hunter was also a show that did actually get BRL pulled from air for what was going to be a decade. That decade is a story in itself.

BRL Guests and Host

What makes you most excited about joining the CRN? 

The tag of a National Oz Hip Hop show, we are a super niche show, with an edge and BRL is not for everyone, we go hard in the paint. Especially it seems the Community Radio Sector does skew older (although I’m not young anymore), playing song from yesteryear. And I LOVE some nostalgia, half of BRL is looking back to when music was better and made me excited for releases.

18 years of broadcasting beats that out of you, and it’s all about the show now rather than “CLANDESTIEN IS DROPPING AN ALBUM OMFG”….

Anyway, if the Community Radio Network gets around this show and I knew a few stations over East have already jumped aboard, it means I’m doing the job for a scene, that needs a show like this.

What is the importance of Oz Hip Hop and getting BRL out there for the Community Radio?

There are some good shows on CRN who play Hip Hop/Urban Music, from Deadly Beats to Definition Radio. BRL is show PURELY about the genre, that I love. A genre that’s now 30+ years old, but nobody is covering it like BRL does.

Narrowing the scope like we did when joined CRN has invigorated the show for me, because I love Hip-Hop but my wheelhouse is Aussie Hip-Hop, from all angles from the traditional, “okka” BBQ raps of the past, the to emergence into mainstream culture of Indigenous Hip-Hop and the general and much welcomed diversification of the scene.

The scene, the industry and the music is an interesting place right now, I’m glad i’m around to ask the artists the questions, and offer my oddball view from a place that was one of the strongest backbones of a catalogue in country (Perth, Western Australia).

So every week, I’ll bring you Australia’s Hip Hop show. BRL, son.

For CRN subscribers:

  • Program runs 55'50 minutes
  • BRL will distribute on Saturday at 22:00 AEST
  • Available for on-demand broadcast by stations via DDN capture and download
  • Presented for a national audience
  • For more information contact CRN staff on 02 9310 2999 or email [email protected]

Not a CRN subscriber, but want to find out more about getting content like this for your station? Read more here.

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The Community Radio Network (CRN) is a subscription service available to all community radio stations in Australia. 
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A guide to the programs currently being broadcast/distributed via the CBAA's Community Radio Network to community radio stations all over Australia.

One of the guiding principles of the community broadcasting sector is our commitment to support and develop local music.

Community Radio Network logo

A guide to the programs currently being broadcast/distributed via the CBAA's Community Radio Network to community radio stations all over Australia.



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