Western Australia, Australia
Western Australia, Australia
When you’re first ever official gig is opening for the legendary Grandmaster Flash at the tender age of 20 years old, it’s pretty clear you’re in the express-lane of hip hop’s superhighway, heading into an exciting future.
As the latest signing to DJ Peril’s prestigious Street Elite label, WA-born rapper Knowledge Bones aka Black Dundee is quickly making a name for himself as one of the country’s most promising MCs. With a deft skill for freestyling, he is becoming known for turning heads wherever and whenever he spits.
Growing up in a lower-middle class suburb in Western Australia, Knowledge was spellbound by music from an early age, embracing a diverse range of artists, from Cold Chisel, to Midnight Oil, Michael Jackson, UB40 and Bob Marley. It wasn’t however until the young man stumbled on a copy of N.W.A’s 1988 classic ‘Gangsta Gangsta’ that he found his true musical purpose, drawing empowerment from the group’s lay-it-on-the-line sense of attitude.
Coming from a mixed Aboriginal and Anglo-Saxon background, Knowledge never had it easy growing up and constantly struggled for acceptance from both sides because of his mixed-race bloodlines. As an outlet, he begin writing poetry at the age of 13, soon progressing to freestyling at 16. Such was his yearning for expression, his hand could barely keep up with his lightening quick mind, “every line would rush to my head so fast I’d have to freestyle into a tape recorder, then write them down later,” he remembers.
Buoyed on by the likes of West Coast heroes Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy E, Ras Kass and East Coast MCs such as Mos Def, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, The Beatnuts and The Notorious BIG, Knowledge Bones was inspired to put his rapidly developing rapping skills to the test and would make regular trips into the city to pit his flow against Perth’s best street MCs. In 2003, he entered his first battle Word War 1, advancing through to the finals in Melbourne where he battled it out against New Zealand’s finest, beating Con Psy, before losing to highly regarded Weapon X in the second round. Not long after he was booked to perform alongside Grandmaster Flash, for the hip hop pioneer’s Perth show on his first ever Australian tour.
From this point on, Knowledge Bones was on his way. His silky skills saw him go on to support Naughty By Nature later that year and experience arguably the biggest thrill of his young lifetime when Wu Tang Clan luminary RZA invited him and his crew onstage to drop some impromptu verses. With his reputation continuing to build within the Perth scene, Knowledge went on to support the impressive Chinese-American rapper Jin and play Beatfest in 2004, before joining the line-up for the Bugg’n festival alongside Method Man, Redman, DJ Premier and Rahzel, as well as playing support to Blackalicious in 2005. In 2006, the spoils continued to flow, with Knowledge scoring himself a performing slot alongside revered locals Weapon X ; Ken Hell on the WA-leg of their ‘More Better Tour’, as well as playing the Scribble Jam tour in Melbourne.
With his live performances continuing to garner him a loyal fan base, it’s little surprise Knowledge’s impressive skills were sought by groundbreaking female rapper Layla on her debut LP ‘Heretik’ in 2005, with the MC joining Ciecmate and Newsense to collaborate on the ‘Matador Crushes’ track. Later in 2005, Knowledge, together with DJ Complex, under the name ‘High Definition’, issued the highly-praised ‘City of Lights’ LP. This album was a significant release for Knowledge, particularly because of his collaboration with rising Street Elite’s star Surreal on the track ‘Feel the Pressure’. When the Melbourne rapper returned home and played the joint to Peril, the hip hop legend was so impressed that he signed the youngster up to his label and got him to drop a verse on one of the tracks featured on his massive debut ‘King of the Beats’ album mid 2006. High Definition are currently hard at work on a follow-up EP and Knowledge Bones is recording his solo album, both set for release through the Street Elite imprint.
As someone who is fiercely proud of his Aboriginal heritage, Knowledge also raps under the name Black Dundee – an ode to his indigenous roots, with the first volume in his series of mixtapes, which first circulated in February 06, exhibiting the true depth of the 23-year-old’s talent over twenty-seven dexterous cuts.
Aside from his musical endeavours, Knowledge has aspirations to run workshops for indigenous kids in various communities around Australia, with the aim of instilling in the youngsters the same strength of spirit he’s had to forge in his rise up the cutthroat hip hop ladder. Says Knowledge, “I express my anger in my music which might come across as cocky in some songs, but this is so people don’t get a chance to stand over me. If they do, I come back hard and I don’t quit for nothing.”
A man who’s will to succeed is just as strong has his impressive rapping style, Knowledge Bones is an MC destined for great things, and, if his achievements over the past three years are anything to go by, it won’t take him long to reach the hip hop sumit.
Knowledge Bones album Eyes On The Prize coming soon.
In the meantime you can check him out at
www.myspace.com/knowledgebones, www.facebook.com/knowledgebones, www.twitter.com/knowledge_bones, www.youtube.com/kbonestv
Played live set at Kings of Perth Rosemount hotel Perth
Host of PTAA Tattoo Carnivaal Perth
Played live set @ Good Vibrations Festival 2010
Played live at Urban Music Awards Sydney @ Luna Park
Played live set at Scribble Jam in Melbourne
Opening act for the Weapon X and Ken Hell ‘More Better Tour’ Western Australia
Played live at DJ Perils Bloc Party Melbourne
Opening act for Blackalicious @ Metro City Perth
Opening act for the Buggin’ tour (Method Man, Redman, DJ Premier, Rahzel) @ Metro City Perth
High Defenition album launch (local release)
Opening act at Beatfest (Beatnuts, Roc Raida, DJ Craze,) @ Metro City Perth
Opening act for Jin @ Metro City Perth
Performed live on stage with RZA @ Metro City Perth
Opening act for Naughty by Nature @ Metro City Perth
Battled at the Battle for Supremacy in Melbourne
Opening act for Grandmaster Flash @ Metro City Perth
Winner of Word War I at Globe Nightclub Perth
WA-born Knowledge Bones was spellbound by music from an early age, embracing a diverse range of artists. He also raps under the name Black Dundee – an ode to his Indigenous roots.
He is making a name for himself as one of the country’s most promising MCs.
With his live performances continuing to gain him a loyal fan base and excitement surrounding his album release, Knowledge finds himself in the class of Australian hip hop heavyweights.
Aside from his musical endeavours, Knowledge wants to run workshops for Indigenous children in various communities around Australia.
Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Lil Wayne, The Clipse, Jay-Z, Common, Linkin Park, Ice Cube, Nas, Big L, Big Punisher, Cuban Link, Notorious BIG, 2pac.