In a degenerating world of hip hop driven by sex, guns and bling, one who chooses the name Ethical has a few stereotypes to erase and a great many to live up to. Described as “honest”, “real”, “straight up”, Ash Hughes – Ethical - chose this MC name to reflect his personality and the beliefs and values he holds dear. An Oddball, he has that group’s inherent “distinctive” status, and a cheek that -with a penchant for speaking the sometimes offensive truth- can land him in trouble. It makes his talent and focus that much more important. He really is the label’s best kept secret.
Ethical’s mastering of tone and delivery is enough to put some of the best MC’s to shame. His level of clarity is even better. Anyone who has recorded with him has been privy to this talent, but limited releases mean these abilities have not been exposed as they should. There is something in the water at Breakin Wreckwordz, to create MC’s of this calibre on such a regular basis.
Ethical’s humble approach to his music is reminiscent of his general demeanour - he never set out for pop star status. His attachment to pioneer label BWW indicates his professed “realness” is no showtime stint. His raps often cover eminent topics – a socially conscious MC who has never been scared to speak on injustice. He has a keen interest in helping the youth and believes music can touch everyone. As Oddballz producer Exile describes, “He’s on some musical shit, not just some rap shit.”
Its not all serious though - Ethical’s talents have explored various recordings and wide subject matter especially in his time with resident BWW’ers, Oddballz. In a scene inundated with MC’s and producers, the hardest thing to achieve is that description of “original” but for the Oddballz, no other title would suffice. These guys have actually realised their eccentricity in their music. Ethical is currently working on tracks with Oddballz producer Exile as Cyphanetik gears up to his album release.
Ethical’s hip hop background has extended to include (successful) MC battles – he was Taranaki champ - as well as live performances for various big names as Dizzee Rascal and Sage Francis. Appearing on his forearm in steady weekly chunks is a large BWW tattoo, and he considers his loyalty to this collective a huge part of his life. Currently in the works is an Oddballz album which should introduce him in full effect. We can only anticipate his ritual tearing of mics will eventually lead the mainstream to salvation. Stay tuned.
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