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|The duo Soulkeepers are Diggz and Hoodsta of Australia.
Diego Biancullo also known as Diggz is the beatmaker and DJ.
Juan R. Gonzalez also known as Hoodsta is the MC.
It was way back in 1975 in the city of Sydney, Juan was
born. He and his family soon moved south to the coastal city
of Wollongong, where he grew up and where he and his wife
still call home.
In 1989 at the age of 14 a young Juan was introduced to
hip-hop by a friend of his who was an up and coming graffiti
writer with the Sydney crew Rock City Funk. Cassettes of
Public Enemy, Ice T, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince began
to have heavy rotation in his portable tape player, and from
this little beginning, the dam was broken. Young Juan soon
got into as much hip-hop as he could, and it was the classic
“early 1990’s” era that gave him his hip-hop foundation,
with groups like 3rd Bass, Madkap, Gangstarr, Souls of
Mischief, KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions shaping his
Realizing a great affinity with this hip hop culture Juan
began to mess around with graffiti, spending hours drawing
designs in notebooks and paying attention to pieces on urban
walls. But, his graff career never took off because as he
simply puts it; “I was no good with a spraycan!”
It was this door closing that lead Juan to stop designing
graff pieces in his note books and to start writing rhymes
in them in 1991. It was also the time when he gave himself
his first hip-hop moniker “MC Styles” [not incredibly
original, but he was only 16] and formed a crew with some
mates at school, they dubbed themselves 3DMC. They
rehearsed, recorded a demo, and then broke up. RIP 3DMC.
DJ & Producer
Two years later in 1993 Juan hooked up with a hot local DJ
and producer; Diego Biancullo. Together they shared a
passion for hip-hop and performing, so they got in and
additional MC and formed a new crew “2 Jacks & a King”. Juan
altered his MC name to just “Styles”, Diego called himself
“King D” and the other MC was “Chill G”.
2 Jacks & a King
Together they began to make a name for themselves locally in
“the ‘Gong” taking every opportunity to play live and get
industry experience. The reputation of “2 Jacks & a King”
was for a tight hip-hop show that had a big funky party
vibe. They played with the then ground breaking “Sound
Unlimited” and many popular R&B acts of the early 1990’s
like Kulture, Boys In Black, etc.
Looking back on that time now Hoodsta laughs at some of the
gigs they managed to play at, and the artists they were
excited to share the stage with at the time.
After recording a tight demo with the group in 1994 Juan had
a spiritual awakening and started to look into the Bible and
visit local churches. This lead him to a decision that left
a lot of fans, not to mention the other 2 members of his
crew, scratching their heads. He left the group and left hip
He started going to church and becoming involved in working
with youth. Over the next two years his friendship Diego
grew as they would talk about his decisions and discuss his
new found faith. Soon Diego found himself in the same place
spiritually, and was frequenting the church with Juan.
It was in 1995 that with this new mindset they formed a new
crew together; “Next Disciples” which soon became
“Soulkeepers”. Realizing that this was a new beginning Juan
re-christened himself as “Hoodsta” and Diego gave himself
the name of “DJ Diggz”.
Soulkeepers started off with the classic set up of the DJ
and the Emcee, but the boys were looking to experiment with
the hip hop sound and change the live shows. They added a
talented local guitarist and bassist, back before the rock
rap thing was cool. And Soulkeepers began to gain a
reputation for a huge hard hip hop sound and played many
festivals and countless local gigs.
In 1998 Juan and the Soulkeepers crew recorded a few well
received demos. In 1999 Juan married his long time
sweetheart Tammy, but also found the time to begin a popular
gathering of all the elements of Wollongong’s hip hop
community called Quadraments.
DJ & MC
Musically Hoodsta kept working hard with Soulkeepers,
playing live, recording and evolving their sound. Eventually
they shed the live instruments and stripped it back to the
original 2 man team. It was around this time that they got
the attention of the indy record label Mustard Records and
released a 10 track EP called “Infiltration”.
They got to tour the CD with special U.S. guest Vex Da
Vortex from Boogiemonsters and to date this independently
done CD has sold well over 800 copies, due to their live
shows and word of mouth.
2002 was a big year for Hoodsta, he and Diggz decided that
it was time for Soulkeepers to call it a day and both go
solo. They both remain close friends and still work together
on different projects.
The Soulkeepers released only one album entitled
"Infiltration" on Mustard Records in 2000.
|Production by Soulkeepers.
All vocals by Hoodsta, except "Time Crisis" featuring
All cuts, cratches and beats by DJ Diggz.
All tracks recorded and mixed by Soulkeepers at The Dig,
Mastered by Soulkeepers and Robert Specogna at Main Street
Studios, Wollongong, Australia.
Art by Japan.
Design and layout by Carl vander Noord.
- Tim "Dog" Delahunty: 2, 5, 6, 9
- John Woolley: 4, 6
- Ken "Daddy K" Wrench: 2, 9
- Stuart "Stubo" Cruickshank: 4, 5, 6
- Hoodsta: 1, 10
2. The Manifesto
3. Killakut - Uppacutt 2
5. Time Crisis - featuring Brethren
7. Real G'z
8. Warriors Revenge
9. South Coast
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