Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aussie Hip-Hop

There are numerous reasons to visit Australia, also known as the land down under. Most people go for the sand, sun, and beaches but recently people have been checking for Hip-Hop.

I was fortunate enough to visit Perth, in Western Australia, several years ago. While I was there most days were filled with Bar-B-Q's on the beaches, surfing, and sun-bleached blondes. (try saying that sentence fast 5 times) I was only there for a short time and didn't see much urban culture. Most of the nightlife was rock bands and the clubs played a mix of pop and top 40 music. Some of my friends who were in Sidney at the time told me they were in the Hip-Hop hotspot.

The Aussie Hip-Hop scene has been independently developing since the late-eighties. Most of their early exposure to Hip-Hop came from television and radio programs. Before the music became popular, other elements of the culture (like break-dancing and graffiti) had already taken root. Their scene is grassroots and underground. Most of the early releases were done by indie labels usually run by the artists themselves. Their style is a blend of Reggae/American rap combined with European influences and local slang.

Just like everywhere else there is a division of wealth, community, and resources. These topics were brought to public attention by Aboriginal (Australian indigenous people) rappers like Brothablack, Local Knowledge, Native Ryme Sindicate and others who are considered conscious MC's.

Recently there has been an explosion of Aussie talent hitting the airwaves. Iggy Azalea made headlines when she signed with T.I.s southern imprint Grand Hustle. Bliss n Eso made a global impression with their album "Flying Colours," from 2008. I like those cats. The Hilltop Hoods, have a track "Nosebleed Section," that reminds me of "Paul Revere," by the Beastie Boys

Below are tracks from Iggy Azalea, Young Warriors Ft. OutLawz, Bliss n Eso, The Last Kinection, and The Hilltop Hoods showing that, there is a lot of talent rising from the land down under.

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