Last updated: 05/21/2012 12:00:00 PM
What's in a name? Ask musical maverick 360 ('three sixty') and you'll never get a straight answer. But that's all part of his charm.
As one of this country's most talked about up-and-coming artists, the Melbourne twenty-something numbers among a small handful of true to life, underground-reared emcees that can transcend the hip-hop genre and walk tall in a pop-dominated landscape.
One listen to his game-changing album Falling & Flying -- set for release on 30 September 2011 -- will confirm that, and then some.
In a genre replete with 'haters', Sixty has turned would-be tall poppy cutters from foes to fans through sheer social media genius and great music. He has endeared himself to fans both new and old, here in Australia and across the world, thanks to a completely open approach to fan-artist interaction and a constant stream of new, free, intensely listenable music.
It's no wonder then that he already has 56,000+ fans on Facebook without a new album in stores -- a number that's growing daily.
And as the father of the Rapper Tag phenomenon -- which has already accumulated 1 million+ collective views on YouTube and participation from the likes of Drapht, Bliss N Eso & the Hilltop Hoods -- it's clearly no fluke.
Falling & Flying continues the tradition of 360's free mixtape series (Please Be Seated 1, Please Be Seated 2 and Stand The F**k Up -- Google 'em!), in offering the listener a no-holds-barred cross-genre assault.
There's the Whitest Boy Alive-sampling first single 'Just Got Started'; the Josh Pyke-featured follow-up 'Throw It Away' (both cooked up by Melbourne buzz producer Styalz Fuego, the key musical contributor to F&F); and the anthemic third offering 'Killer' -- already receiving the remix treatment from some of clubland's finest.
But it's the hidden gems on Falling & Flying that really hit home. Indie darling Gossling shows up for two irresistible collaborations -- the sweaty dancehall-flavoured 'Boys Like You' and the heart-rending 'Miracle In A Costume' -- while hip-hop's "it" producer M-Phazes (fresh from working with the likes of Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch) drops a certified bomb on 'Hope You Don't Mind', allowing Sixty to vent in a way rarely heard in emotion-wary Australian hip-hop circles.
Elsewhere, the Melbourne Gospel Kids Choir shows up for a singalong on the Fender Rhodes-driven 'Child'; 360 experiments with dubstep and NSFW wordplay on 'Hammer Head'; and the ethereal genre collision of 'Run Alone' promises to be a must-hear for any music fan, regardless of persuasion.
It's truly game-changing music -- and what else would you expect from an artist on the cutting edge of the social media frontier? He might never give you a straight answer about his nom de plume, but straight answers are boring anyway. Falling & Flying isn't. And neither is 360.