Forming in 1996, Hospice Crew took the Canberra hip-hop scene by storm and have been writing and recording hip hop music around Australia ever since. With key members relocating to Melbourne and Perth, Hospice became a truly national institution. 2003 saw the release of their long awaited debut album Stormwater, a well received full length that set the stage for things to come.
The Hospice is spearheaded by MC/producers Ciecmate and Newsense. Responsible for the much sought after “Speaking As One” twelve-inch, the duo have worked with a long list of Australian hip-hop royalty, including Jase, Layla, Reason, Bias B, Chopper Read and appeared on the ground breaking Culture of Kings 2 compilation. The Hospice crew is rounded out by MCs Rhys, Mr Phat, Aire Tight, Para, Bryndoe & DJ/MC Mexi.
Over the last five years, members of Hospice have toured the country extensively and built friendships with local artists everywhere they’ve performed. Naturally, creative relationships ensued and many songs were recorded. This wealth of collaborative gold gave birth to Australia’s first ever Posse Cut album, Visiting Hours.
Sure, most hip-hop artists drag in their extended fam for a jam or two on their full lengths, but the Hospice crew have taken this approach to the proverbial next level, with the eight members of the massive drafting 43 of Australia’s most respected microphone and turntable talents to bless tracks.
Brisbane’s Brothers Stoney and Melbourne’s Bias B (joining forces as Boney Stoney once again) sign in on “Doctor’s Orders”, Perth’s Downsyde manifest on “Too Fresh For Them”, Reason goes walkabout on “Wanderers” and Sesta and Trials of the Funkoars get fierce on “Stitch Ya Lips Up”. And that’s just the first four cuts! Later on, we’re treated to guest shots from Obese main man Pegz, the best from the west in the form of Clandestein, Drapht, Hunter and Layla and the rough and ready rhymes of Hired Goons.
From the battle raps of “Too Fresh For Them” to the contemplative “Wanderers” and the bouncing “Don’t Point The Finger at me”, the Hospice Crew show their adaptability, switching up their styles to complement the verses of their honoured guests. Spitting about the deteriorating state of the world on “The Wrong Place” and “Misfits”, the crew also shows a willingness to face harsh realities.
With 12 songs produced by Ciecmate and one each from Newsense and Rhys the overall sound is broad, banging and consistent with Hospice Crew’s style established style of tough drums, obscure samples and intricate, visual lyrics. Each beat suits the flows of the MCs and the subject matter, and shows a great progression on the part of primary producer Ciecmate. The songs on Visiting Hours vary from conscious and fun, to dark and aggressive.
In addition to the Hospice line-up, the full guest list on Visiting Hours reads like a Who’s Who of the Australia’s finest:
VIC: Autism, Bias B, Brand, Fatty Phew, Joey Gargoyle, Hired Goons (Bigfoot, Billy Bunks, Fletchrock & Tornts), Kilo, Lost Soulz (Budsa, Dj Perplex and Raven), Pegz and Reason.
QLD: Brothers Stoney (Lazy Grey and Len 1), Dj Dce, Ken Oath, Town Drunxxx (Dj Lopsided, Jake Biz & Overproof Pete) and Robbie Balboa.