Hailing from Port Lincoln, South Australia, Manaz Ill is both an internationally renowned battle MC And one half of award winning duo MDMA. Born with a degenerative eye condition which progressively left him blind, Manaz started rapping at high school in 2003, then began recording in 2007.
Having relocated to Adelaide in early 2010, Manaz hit the freestyle battle scene to build his name as a solo MC, clashing with established veterans and taking out first place in multiple tournaments locally, including the $10,000 ‘Word Adelaide’ freestyle competition. Since then he’s gone on to become one of Australia’s most reputable battle MCs, having represented Australia at KOTD’s World Domination 3 event in Toronto and continued to compete on an international level against the likes of Illmaculate; Dizaster and Daylyt, just to name a few.
As well as maintaining an active presence in the battle scene, Manaz has shared stages with international legends including the likes of Hopsin; Dizzy Wright; Jarren Benton and Louis Logic, alongside a host of other local heavyweights such as Kerser; Dazasta and Layla; Mr. Grevis; Lazy Grey; Brad Strut and many more.
In 2012 Manaz joined forces with renowned Tasmanian producer Mdusu to form MDMA. The duo wasted no time going to work on their debut album ‘What It Look Like’, which was released late 2013. After relocating to Melbourne in early 2013, both members of the duo were recognised in the 10th annual ‘ozhiphop.com’ awards, with Manaz voted ‘Best Battle MC’ and MD taking out ‘Best Beat’.
A combination of intelligent wordplay and honest emotion, Manaz’s musical versatility spans the spectrum, ranging seamlessly from up tempo anthems and hilarious parity’s to introspective slow jams and thought provoking critiques. ‘What It Look Like’ offers an insight into the daily struggles faced in modern society, covering topics such as drug abuse, lost love, social awareness and knowledge of self, all the meanwhile showcasing Manaz’s versatility over a wide variety of production styles.
Featuring collaborations with Tommy Illfigga, Prime, Cortext and Dunn D, the album has something for everyone, highlighting the group’s varying influences. For those who haven’t heard of either MD or Manaz through their solo projects, the album serves as a solid introduction to the pair, complete with a well-rounded and refined sound set to leave listeners with no doubt as to exactly ‘What It Look Like’.
Now, not even a year after the album’s release, Manaz is preparing to drop his solo mixtape ‘No Plan B’ which is set to be hosted by Perth’s DJ L$TREET. Stay tuned for news on the mixtape’s release in the coming months.