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Last Time That I Checc'd (Nipsey Hussle Tribute)

Award-winning composer and anti-racism-activist Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra brings together L-FRESH The LION, Nardean, Mack Ridge, Blaq Carrie, Sachem & SOLCHLD to pay tribute to community leader and hip-hop luminary Nipsey Hussle.

Deeply influenced by Nipsey’s fierce independent spirit, work ethic and community advocacy, each artist shares lyrical insights exploring the depth of his impact — highlighting his global influence from Crenshaw to the culturally-complex neighbourhoods of Australia. With an all-star collection of revered Australian hip-hop icons alongside groundbreaking new voices, this track puts front-and-centre diverse artists of First Nations, Indigenous, Sikh, Egyptian, Greek and Taiwanese backgrounds.

This tribute is led by award winning composer and anti-racist activist Matt Hsu Obscure Orchestra, using his signature free-spirited ‘experimental orchestra’ sound to create a richly-layered take on 1500 or Nothin’s and Mike & Keys’ instrumental — with assists from Matt’s live ensemble members; flutist Hannah Reardon-Smith (cyberBanshee), taiko player Kaya Tominaga and dummer Katie Randall. Mixed and mastered by Matt Hsu and Peet Gardner of So Soap Studio. Directed by Matt Hsu and Rod Pilbeam.

All royalties and profit go to Nipsey Hussle’s estate and the 'Neighborhood Nip Foundation’.

Created on Turrbul, Jagera and Gadigal land. Sovereignty was never ceded.

  • Matthew Hsu
  • Rod Pilbeam
    Madison Marston
  • Matthew Hsu
    Key Cast
  • Nardean
    Key Cast
  • Mack Ridge
    Key Cast
  • Blaq Carrie
    Key Cast
    Key Cast
  • Sachém
    Key Cast
  • Matt Hsu
    Key Cast
    "Matt Hsu's Obscure Orchestra"
  • Project Type:
    Music Video
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 AUD
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Director Biography - Matthew Hsu, Rod Pilbeam

Welcome to the Obscure Orchestra, a curious world of intricately crafted experimental music, made with odd instruments and rethought everyday objects — the brainchild of nature-obsessed sound tinkerer Matt Hsu.

Matt is a 2020 Queensland Music Awards winning composer and multi-instrumentalist whose project 'Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra' is the exhaust valve of his offbeat musical sensibilities, shaped by a childhood stint as a Buddhist monk, touring with Japanese loop ninja Kenta Hayashi, co-founding folk-punk band The Mouldy Lovers, immersion into street jazz in New Orleans, and love of cinematic scores.

He draws on his Taiwanese-Australian roots to create otherworldly compositions that celebrate difference, inclusivity and the fuzzy spaces in-between cultures. Enamoured with natural sounds, Matt blends world and orchestral instruments with field recordings and everyday objects used to produce unique sounds (such as bicycle spokes, saws and kitchen utensils). As an advocate for the fair treatment of marginalised peoples, he often uses music projects to underscore First Nations, gender diverse, refugee and immigrant issues through artistic collaborations.

Matt has composed and performed for TEDx, Brisbane Festival, Bigsound, La Boite Theatre Company, and leads the 17-piece Obscure Orchestra ensemble comprising of gender and cultural diverse musicians.

As a filmmaker, Matt is a finalist for the Los Angeles Cinefest and The Monthly Film Festival.

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Director Statement

Growing up, soaking in racism as a young asian kid in Australia’s dominantly white culture, I gravitated to role models like Nipsey — his strength and pride in his own identity and advocacy for people of colour is an inspiration and helped me cherish my immigrant background. Through his successes and accomplishments, he never lost sight of supporting his community, advocating against gun violence and propping up businesses of colour. I have profound respect for his community activism. Nipsey's impact is immortalised, and I wanted to pay tribute to that legacy in my small patch, and show how wide his impact has been even here for people of colour in Australia.

I’m deeply inspired by Nipsey's DIY spirit and independence in music making, not following some cushy path laid out for him, but forging his own path, honing his sensibilities, trusting his instincts and building a community of artist around him. I look to how he took care of his community, nurturing the neighbourhood who nurtured him, as an inspiration in how I run my own orchestra and support diverse artist voices around me.

In bringing together collaborators for this tribute, I sought out bold voices in the Australian artist community, people who I feel carry the flame of Nipsey’s independent spirit and community-minded thinking. I honestly am so lucky with the absolute all-star lineup of artist I ended up co-creating with. My collaborators are some of my favourite artist-activists; hip-hop luminaries who I admired deeply like L-Fresh, Nardean and Mack Ridge, and upcoming future icons who I’m so grateful to have strong friendships with — Blaq Carrie, SOL CHLD and Sachém — each groundbreaking artists and renegade voices of Australia's rap community.