WHEN IT COMES TO AUSTRALIAN RAPPER KERSER, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY NEED FOR HYPERBOLE. HIS RAGS-TO-RICHES SUCCESS STORY, AND THE STATS AROUND HIM SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
In his early twenties, Kerser cut his teeth in the warzone that is Sydney’s outer-west battle-rap scene. Already having experienced a life ridden with hardship, Kerser had a thicker skin than most. As he defeated opponent after opponent, the emcee found himself opposite ARIA Award winning pop rapper 360. The footage from the battle went viral via YouTube, and new fans were won over by the rebellious emcee.
Joining forces with local producer Nebs, the two injected epic club beats into a unique brand of hip hop. Inspired by long players including Fabolous, The Game, 2pac, Eminem, TI, Little Wayne and Dr. Dre.
Accumulating over 135,000 fans on Facebook with no marketing assistance or radio play, the brazen emcee initially opted only to self-promote via a monthly video upload to YouTube, some of which received up to 100,000 views in 48 hours.
With his overall YouTube views now exceeding 55 million (Kerser now holds most viewed Australian Rapper on Youtube) and his Facebook following 260,000+ and with over 86.7K Instagram followers, Kerser still holds the highest hit rate over any other oz hip hop artist. Still releasing monthly videos, Kerser continues to generously share his uncensored personal stories through his music, and his fiercely loyal fan-base continues to grow.
Kerser’s debut effort The Nebulizer ran down the gates of convention in 2011. Second album No Rest for the Sickest, was released Nov 2012 (Kerser N Nebs Records, Obese Distribution) taking business to a whole new level. Kerser had created an honest, raw and ruthless sophomore album, his notorious conviction still intact. In the weeks surrounding the release, No Rest for the Sickest charted at #1 on the national ARIA Urban charts, #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts, and #14 on the overall iTunes charts (not to mention the lesser known accolade of ‘Most Stolen Album From JB HiFi’).
At 2012’s Sprung Hip Hop Festival Kerser joined the cream of the crop, his set receiving a huge response. In early 2013, Kerser acquired new management through Obese Records, and set off on his national tour. With his infamous cohort of Campbelltown crew in tow, Kerser’s high-energy stage shows successfully packed out venues all around the country. The emcee also played to a massive audience at the Breath of Life Festival in Tasmania festival alongside 360, Illy, Seth Sentry and other notable hip hop heavyweights and international electronic acts.
His profile rising steadily, Kerser was approached by acclaimed fashion labels Familia brands (Dissizit), Algierz and Burn. In March of 2013 Kerser and brother Rates released hit single ‘We Here Now’. The single’s popularity spurred a whirlwind national We Here Now Regional Tour.
In August of 2013 Kerser released his first live tour DVD which debuted at #1 on the National ARIA Charts above P!nk. With footage recorded during his No Rest for the Sickest National Tour, the DVD (produced by Full Clip) included show highlights from his Melbourne and Sydney shows.
Third album S.C.O.T was released in October 2013, and triggered chart results that shocked and confused critics nationally. S.C.O.T maintained a strong position at #2 on the overall iTunes charts, second only to international pop superstar Katy Perry. A week later it was announced that S.C.O.T had secured #5 on the main ARIA Charts and #1 on the ARIA Urban Charts.
After his evident popularity, and his social media following fast accumulating, media and industry could not help but recognise the hard working emcee. For the first time his tracks were played by not only local radio, but triple j’s Hip Hop Show as well. In January of 2014 Kerser was asked to appear on Channel 10’s morning program Studio 10 speaking in defence of rap lyrics taken out of context.
As well as embarking on his own national tour selling out venues around the country, Kerser went on to release a second tour DVD for his S.C.O.T national tour. The DVD was released in September of 2014, and reached #2 on the National ARIA Charts.
As part of the 2014 festival bills for Big Day Out and Good Life (Future Music’s underage festival), Kerser toured nationally with the likes of Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg AKA Snoop Lion, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Major Laser, Flume, and many more.
Kerser’s fourth LP King was released in November 2014, and shot straight to #1 on the ARIA Urban Charts, #9 on the main ARIA Charts, #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts, and #4 on the main iTunes Charts.
2015 dawned a new era for the unlikely C-Town hero. Signing a distribution deal with ADA (Warner Music Australia), 5th LP ‘Next Step’ which peaked at #1 on the Australian ARIA Album charts, was released via the launching of Kerser’s very own label and much-anticipated ABK Records, and was followed closely by the release of brother and hypeman, Rates, LP ‘Untold’.
Musically, Kerser also evolved, partnering up with new US based producer Sinima on ‘Next Step’ and the recently released ‘Tradition’, which smashed the charts holding #1 Australian and Urban ARIA charts and #1 iTunes Hip-hop chart.
Kerser admits to feeling “blessed” to be six albums in, releasing music on his own imprint to a rabid, loyal and swelling fanbase. “I had the dream that I would make it... I always hoped and prayed, but I didn’t think it would actually take off like it has.”
True of many rappers, Kerser uses his art form as catharsis. Despite his ability to project a staunch, sometimes cocky persona, one can safely assume this is a case of necessity rather than preference. One of, if not the most humble artists in the game, Kerser continues to attract attention from media, industry peers and new fans alike.