Hoodsta Bio:

One of the most talented emerging artists in the Australian hip-hop industry today is a Wollongong local with the tag of “Hoodsta”…

Here is his story:

A long time ago in the city of Sydney, Juan R. Gonzalez 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.
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 90’s” era that gave him his hip-hop foundation, with groups like 3rd Bass, Public Enemy, Gangstarr, Souls of Mischief, KRS-One and A Tribe Called Quest shaping his musical tastes.
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 wack 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. 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.
Two years later Juan hooked up with a hot local DJ and producer; Diego Biancullo. Together they shared a passion for hip-hop and performing, so along with Juan’s best mate Jai, they formed a new crew “2 Jacks & a King”. Juan altered his MC name to just “Styles”, Diego called himself “King D” and Jai was “Chill G”. 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 that time like Kulture, Boys In Black, etc 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 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-Hop.
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 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 an edgy Hip-Hop sound and played many festivals and countless local gigs.
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.
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.

However, feeling that Soulkeepers had run it’s course, Hoodsta 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.

Since the break-up Hoodsta has kept himself busy playing live around Australia, sharing the stage with local artists Trey, Celsius, Brethren, Def Wish Cast, Mia Jupiter & Reason to name a few. He has recorded guest spots for the Brethren album “Beyond Underground” and was a part of the Beyond Unerground Australian tour featuring U.S. guest emcee, Playdough. He has also featured on The Argonauts album “The Journey”, Triple J’s Hip Hop Show compilation and his solo tracks have featured on In Da Midst Vol 1, and the Head-Cleaner MixTape’s 01 and 02. Hoodsta is also set to feature on upcoming new releases from Australian emcees Wizdm and Oakbridge.
Now he is knuckling down and writing tracks for the long awaited debut Hoodsta album that will be released in 2010. The album has a stellar line up of local and international production that is sure to cause a stir with hip hop lovers globally. When asked about any guest emcees that might be featuring on the album Hoodsta replies; “The guest spots are slammin! There’s just been one rule: don’t burn me on my own joint!”
Questioned about the content and vibe of the album, Hoodsta states, “These days keepin’ it real is a cliche. So I’m not gonna say that. What I can say is what you’re gonna hear are honest lyrics, void of any pretense, that will hopefully give you a bit of insight into who I am and what I feel is important.” He pauses, looks around and continues; “I’ve got the time to make it the album I’ve always wanted to do, I feel like i’ve paid my dues in this scene and I want my album to be slammin’, one that people can connect with and one you’ll wanna keep on heavy rotation!”

We are already eagerly paying attention to what this under rated emcee will deliver!