Nick "41" Maclaren is the real OG

You keep it pretty low key, and there’s not much public info circulating on the web about the man behind the beats (beyond that Twitter account, of course). Could you give us the ol’ quick clarification that you are in fact not a robot?

Yeah I’m pretty shit at social media and self promotion in general!  I try to stay off Facebook and am bad at Twitter, but I use Instagram quite a bit.


You’ve been in the game for a minute now. To reminisce for a moment, could you tell us a little about your come-up, and what it was like in the New Zealand music scene circa early 2000s, back when you and David Dallas were Frontline?

I came up through the local DJ battles, I used to be a pretty die hard battle dude and used to compete with all the local crew, P Money, CXL, Manchoo, etc. That was a pretty fun time. People (mostly dudes) used to actually come to watch straight up DJ battles, they would pack out. FUBU was one of the main sponsors, which was pretty funny looking back on it. Here’s a clip of me wearing a XXXL FUBU shirt at the NZ ITF final: 

After a while I started trying to make beats, but didn’t really have an outlet for them until I ran into David. I first met Dave at a skate shop I used to work at, One Project, which was on High St. He used to come in a talk shit, we liked the same kind of hip-hop: Diplomats, Cam’ron, etc. We both thought the Jay-Z 'Dynasty Intro' song was the best beat out.

He didn’t really rap in a public sense yet, more of a bedroom rapper using other people’s beats. I can’t remember the exact sequence of events, but he gave me his demo CD, it was good, I had some spare beats, and eventually we made a few songs. From there, we started making a ton of music and eventually had enough for a mixtape.


You guys also won the Best Hip Hop Album Award at the 2006 New Zealand music awards - what happened to the project after that?

Fuck, that was 10 years ago. That makes me feel pretty old. We didn’t want to make an album full of massive commercial hits. Borrowed Time was a pretty deep album, pretty dark at times, but people seemed to like it.

After the album and all the promo, video shoots, interviews etc. I essentially wanted out. I hated that part of it. I just wanted to make beats and sit on the sidelines, Dave wanted to pursue it as a career. Me and Dave remained good friends, but I just didn’t want to be an artist, didn’t want to deal with the music industry. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I continued to make beats for Dave and other rappers, and Dave was able to really flourish as an individual artist.

Where does the ‘41:30’ often referenced in your name come from? What does it mean?

It comes from my BMX days. 4130 is a type of steel that’s commonly used to make BMXs and other bike frames. I haven’t ridden BMX in a while but have been thinking about getting one again actually.


'You’ve also been overseas a fair bit, your work’s been played across the US and UK, and you’ve even found your home base in Japan for a while. How do the international music scenes compare to what we’ve got here in New Zealand?'

One thing that still amazed me is how connected things can be across the world. One little spark can set shit off. When I was in Japan I started listening to a lot more instrumental stuff, trap, future beats, what ever you want to call it these days and decided to make a few little arrangement changes to some beats I was working on. I was listening to Plastician’s show all the time and thought, “You know what? He could totally play these songs on his show.” I said fuck it, and sent him this song as a sound cloud message: 

Next thing you know he played it on his show, and I was so stoked. I had the same feeling I had when I first heard a Frontline song on bFM.  I kept sending him songs, and then things started spreading. Soulection somehow picked up on some tracks, I saw a video of Sango playing my shit at SXSW, Diplo played my Dave Dallas “Wire” remix etc. It’s crazy how stuff gets around.

I think ultimately, no matter your level of success, the music scenes around the world are really just a bunch of people on laptops, and all it takes is a good song or two to make connections.



A photo posted by N💥I💥C💥K (@41beats) on

What can folks expect from your set at Bassment this coming Friday night?

I’ve got a few new tracks to play which I’m looking forward to hearing loud. Some hip hop of course. I also just DJed a wedding last weekend so have a fresh crate of Celine Dion, Ronan Keating and Meatloaf ready to go.