64 Bars is bars for bar's sake. Stripping away everything extracurricular, it’s about rappers, their rhymes, and nothing else. For its third season, the format remains the same. An MC, a microphone, a studio. Handpicked by New Zealand hip-hop lynchpin David Dallas, three local MCs entered Red Bull Studios to record 64 barebones bars. Free from song structure, hooks, and bridges, this is carpark cypher rhyming at its finest, and the punchlines are uppercuts.
Since 2015, 64 Bars has become one of the most important online platforms for exposing underground New Zealand talent to an appreciative audience.
Since the platform is there, I try to think who will actually benefit from it,” explains David. “It’s about who will get the most value out of it, opposed to just having the same people on who already have a massive profile and get to do everything
Hailing from different backgrounds, each rhymer shares a common hunger and passion behind the microphone. David admits -
64 Bars is meant to be a platform that represents our scene, but up until now, we haven’t had any female representation
That all changes this season, with the first of several women scheduled to participate in the project over coming seasons.
Season three kicks off with a strong showing from Kaleb Hill, the Masterton-raised rapper formally known for his chart-topping work with the Illegal Muzik team as K.One. After a couple of years away from the industry, he’s back with renewed vigour, this time operating as an independent artist.
64 Bars has been responsible for the exposure of a lot of new dudes and given established guys a chance to flex their skill in a way they don’t often get to,” Kaleb enthuses. “In my case, I get to showcase a side of myself that isn’t that well known. I love to rap, and any day I get to spit 64 bars and not have to come up with a hook is a good day
Kaleb is a grown dude with a life and a real good head on his shoulders,” David says. “I’m friends with him on social media, and I noticed a disconnect between the music he was releasing and his actual taste. I wanted to give him a shot to do something different and thought he could really surprise people. He has a job and a family, and I didn’t give him very long to prepare for this, but when I asked him, he told me he’d make time. That’s what you want to hear
Past participants in 64 Bars include Talib Kweli (US), PNC, Lukan Raisey, Josh Lane, Abdul Kay, INF, Rizván, DIRTY, Raiza Biza and Kid$eb. Season three kicks off with Kaleb Hill, and next week a fresh resident steps up to the plate.