To outsiders, rap and hip-hop have a certain reputation, one based on egotistical tough guy attitudes, the glorification of crime and explicit lyrics featuring descriptions of violence, sex and drugs.
But anyone who has followed the journey of much-loved Aussie rapper 360, aka Matt Colwell, over the past decade knows there is much more to the man than that.
Like many rappers, Colwell uses his own experiences to fuel his lyrics, from the highs of stardom and the resultant revelry and wealth to the lows of addiction, depression and isolation.
Colwell shot to stardom in 2011 with the release of his second album Falling & Flying and its fourth single, Boys like You, which peaked at number three on the Aussie charts.
He made waves in 2014 when he spoke out against racism on ABC’s Q & A, receiving praise from many quarters but also copping plenty of backlash, including threats of violence.
Colwell said in recent years he’s adopted a “post and ghost” strategy to avoid such online negativity and the potential effects on his mental health.
“I could read 20 really positive, lovely comments and the one that I’ll take in will be the one negative one that says something really personal or really savage to me. Then that will start playing in my head… and it’s just not good,” he said.
Colwell returned to touring in June 2023 for the first time in six years with a triumphant run of sold-out performances.
He now follows that up in November with his Back To Life regional tour, consisting of 12 east coast shows.
Colwell will come to Geelong for the third show of the Back To Life tour, saying his set here would have something for everyone.
“I love (Geelong), I absolutely love it,” he said.
“We used to play the Nash, it used to attract some amazing people, it was just wild.
“This time I’ll be doing all the classics and crowd favourites, all the new songs I’ve released this year, and a bunch of unheard songs too. So there’s a whole mixed bag for everyone.”
360 is at Lamby’s Tavern on Monday, November 6 (Melbourne Cup Eve).