Australian_hip_hop by zzzmarcus


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Australian hip hop

Australian hip hop
Australian hip hop music began in the late 1980s; originally it was primarily influenced by hip hop music and culture imported via radio and television from the United States of America. However, since the late 1990s, a distinctive local style has developed. Australian hip hop is a part of the underground music scene with only a few successful commercial hits in the last decade. Albums and singles are released by mostly independent record labels, often owned and run by the artists themselves. [1] Western Suburbs of Sydney, an area traditionally regarded as working class, underprivileged, and crime-ridden, with a large population of immigrant inhabitants.[7] After Sound Unlimited split in 1994, there was little commercial activity within Australian hip hop. However, underground artists continued to play plenty of small live shows and release independent recordings. By the early 2000s, the Australian Record Industry Association began to recognise the growth of interest within Australia and then in 2004 introduced a new category in their annual awards, ’Best Urban Release’ (artists working primarily within the urban genre, eg: R&B, hip hop, soul, funk, reggae and dancehall). The inaugural award was won by Koolism for their album, Random Thoughts.[8] At the 2006 and 2007 Awards it was won by Hilltop Hoods for their albums The Hard Road and The Hard Road Restrung respectively.[9][10] The Hard Road also became the first Australian Hip Hop Album to take the No. 1 position in the ARIA Charts in 2006. In 2008 the ARIA Award was won by Bliss n Eso for their album Flying Colours.

In 1982, the video "Buffalo Gals", a novelty single from Malcolm McLaren, was shown on a television music show called Sound Unlimited. The show was staged in a Manhattan basketball court and featured images of graffiti and break dancers. This left an impression on the Australian youth, as after seeing the video, kids all over were attempting the dance moves they saw on the show.[2] The first Australian hip hop record released was "16 Tons" / "Humber Mania Time" by Mighty Big Crime released by Virgin Records and Criteria Productions in 1987 (Catalogue number VOZC 026).[3] The single was a Beastie Boys derivative[4] and the Melbourne based duo soon disbanded.[5] Although it is claimed by Gerry Bloustein in her book, Musical Visions, that that the first ’true hip hop’ release was, "Combined Talent" / "My Destiny" in 1988 by Just Us (consisting of Maltese DJ Case and Mentor). [6] In the late 1980s, Sound Unlimited Posse became the first Australian hip hop group signed to a major record label (Sony BMG), releasing A Postcard from the Edge of the Under-side in 1992, the first major-label Australian rap album.[6] The group initially received some criticism for their instrumental style and commercial success, particularly from other Sydney-based hip hop outfits. Also in 1992, the independent label Random Records released Def Wish Cast’s album Knights of the Underground Table. After this there were a string of independent CDs and tapes released by various artists from the

Australian hip hop, since its inception, has been very influenced by the urban AfricanAmerican styles.[1] Like many hip hop scenes outside the United States, some Australian hip hop artists were also heavily influenced by reggae as well.[11] One artist describes his own style has having been "influenced by London reggae rap rather than North American rap, conceding the Afro-Caribbean ’roots’ of that scene, but carefully distancing himself from charges of imitation or of subjection to a putative American cultural imperialism."[12] as general Australian hip hop is more similar to American hip hop as stylish, but the diversity of American hip hop is very different than Australian. In the United States hip hop artists are predominantly Black, and Latino American. Possibly due to demographic differences, this contrasts with Australian hip hop artists, a majority of whom are White or Lebanese. Though not at the


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forefront of Australian hip hop scene, Aboriginal rappers such as the duo Blackjustis produce songs that describe the plight of Indigenous Australians. [2] One of their musical influences is the American hip hop group Public Enemy. [13] Since the early 1980s, many crews have focused on their presentation in the eyes of their competitors, portraying their skills as better and their turf as tougher. In Australia, dance moves associated with hip hop, like locking and popping has been one of the main things that has drawn public interest in hip hop, and contributed to its popularity. [14] These dance moves that make Australian hip hop so intriguing to Australians, however, has being criticized as not original and another sign of proof that Australia suffers from not having a hip hop cultural identity of its own. [15] As a result, it is hard to pinpoint what in Australian hip hop makes the hip hop Australian. Some say that Australian hip hop is an example of how the country has been Americanized. However others argue that Australian hip hop has been localised with the use of Australian slang, political views, references to localities. This is demonstrated in the lyrics of early Western Sydney artists such as 046, Def Wish Cast and the White Boys. Additionally the non-Anglo immigrants of theses areas were attracted to hip hop because of it features in lyrics and content of racial opposition such as in African American hip hop.[7] The American influence in Australian music and film has actually made its biggest impact in the 21st century with the internet. The internet has made American film, music, language and fashion popular worldwide [16]. In the industry this debate is a sore point with many Australian hip hop artists denying any association with American hip hop. One way of asserting their authenticity is by making clear that, for them, hip hop is not about race. This distinguishes Australian rap, the performers and enthusiasts of which are mostly white males, from U.S rap, which is very much associated with African American culture and style. Although one cannot deny that hip hop originated in the U.S. and that U.S. hip hop has major influences on hip hop scenes around the globe, in emphasizing the lack of racial issues in Australian hip hop, Australian rappers imply that their hip hop scene developed separately from America’s and is its own entity. In the lyrics of Def Wish

Australian hip hop
Cast it is "down under, comin’ up."[2][17] But, despite the absence of a racial undertone Australian hip hop shares the same sexualization found in its U.S. equivalent. Maxwell believes that the teens of the area find it "exotic". [18] One problem is that Aussie hip hop does not play a large role in the grand scheme of things and many of the artists now it saying "once you leave our shores you realise how small a part we play". [19] This tends to create a problem for the style of Aussie music as they may not be able to create their own identity and have to follow the more traditional Western hip hop fads. As it progressed, Australian hip hop has taken on a greater diversity with influences from New Zealand and United Kingdom, but also by developing its own unique flavour with a focus on the Aussie battler, jovial, larrikin lyrics, the heavy use of samples and sound bites and in some instances the use of an exaggerated Australian accent. There are, however, many instances of artists and their works that use intelligent lyrics to analyse and discuss society, politics and how Australian suburbia interacts with the Australian culture. Emerging Hiphop talents have taken to expanding the diversity of the Australian hiphop blend, with bands such as Jumbledat and Rumpunch incorporating a live band as a powerful backdrop for the MCs. A jazz element has elucidated itself, multi instrumentation and improvisation providing a more spontaneous and alternative edge to the traditional, more structured forms of Australian hiphop.

Issues in Australian hip hop
The presence of hip hop in Australia brings the issue of race to the forefront of the genre, as a perennial black form of music is nearly divorced from its racial background in Australia[2]. However, ideas concerning race, minority status, and cultural background does crop up in the work of hip hop artists. Phillip Kalantzis-Cope asserts that hip hop in Australia is intimately tied to race, and that hip hop as an art form is more attractive to ethnic Australian youth than their “anglo” counterparts, although the demographics of Australian artists would seem counter to this. Kalantizis-Cope believes it is possible for all Australians to look beyond hip hop as a


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means of expression for disadvantaged African-American youth, and be appropriated for expression of issues pertinent to their lives as well[20]. Indeed, as Demonstrated by Ian Maxwell’s study, hip hop in Australia has transcended race, having travelled as an art form through mass media directly to all Australian youth. Due to a lack of the historical, cultural, economic and racial context of hip hop, Australian artists such as Sereck are able to declare hip hop is “their thing.”[21] Rather than embrace the race factor of hip hop, many Australian artists strive to illustrate that rap has nothing to do with race, and that hip hop is for everyone who loves hip hop and connects with the music. A statement that really captures the ideas of many Australian artists is the following, "...Above all, remember this: all other things being equal, here, in the far western suburbs of Sydney (but anywhere really), hip hop is not a black thing." "Hip hop is something that is felt in particular bodies, almost (and certainly in the accounts of those who have experienced this connection) as an irreducibly primary experience: either you get it, in which case you’re one of us, or you do not, in which case you’re not..."[22] In Australia it is interesting to study the mindset of the hip hop artists and supporters because it is one of the only places where a black population isn’t closely identified with the hip hop scene, yet the people there would say that that fact doesn’t matter and that hip hop is just as important and authentic as anywhere else. Furthermore, artists like differentiate themselves from bling-bling rappers like 50 Cent. In an interview, one of the most successful Australian rappers Pegz states, “In general, Aussie rap is just an honest perspective on life,”[23] and to the rappers in Australia, that is just what rap is, which has nothing to do with race.

Australian hip hop
Australia have had such a great impact on spreading hip hop, and one of the ways they do it is by adopting and incorporating new styles of music and dances they acquire from other countries or groups. The radio, internet radios and social network web pages are some of the sources or act as their libraries of information. According to some other sources such as [25] DJs in the hip hop scene of Australia find radio stations as a strong promoting tool for their music. Additionally, the Australian Government funds some projects/ organization with a major motive of promoting music nationwide. For example, among the above named sources, the later describes Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP), being a project funded by the federal government to promote music. Among the music promoted or among the genres of music aired on some of the federal Government funded radios is hip hop. The radio is additionally a crucial factor in the growth and spread of hip hop in Australia because it is easily accessed and affordable to have in Australia. Iconic Melbourne radio station Triple R featured the dedicated hip-hop program "Wordburner" for many years, replacing it in 2007 with Doc Felix & Sheriff Rosco’s program "Top Billin". Additionally Gavan Purdy’s long running program "Can You Dig It" features a substantial hip-hop component. Influential youth radio station Triple J introduced the Hip Hop Show, a weekly program initially hosted by Nicole Foote, then rapper Maya Jupiter and now (2008) by Hau from Koolism. The Edge (96.1 FM) in Sydney plays primarily hip hop and R&B, with a segment called "The Tasman Connector" showcasing Australian & New Zealand hip hop. 2SER (107.3FM) in Sydney has a weekly program, "Droppin Science", which features hip hop from 1979 to the present day.[26]. 2SER was also home to The Mothership Connection which lasted over a decade until 2003, initially hosted by Miguel D’Souza then Mark Pollard with Crazy Mike, Size 13 and Myme also contributing. 4ZZZ (102.1 FM) in Brisbane has a weekly program, "The Method", which features Australian hip hop. In 2006 the station the first annual 4ZzZ hip hop festival in Fortitude Valley featuring hip hop acts from around Australia.[27]

Media exposure
The Australian hip hop scene/industry has numerous ways of how it is promoted and how it grows. The radio, particularly community radio, plays a huge role in the spread of hip hop in Australia as this is all explained in further detail below. As aforementioned, and according to Henderson April, in his article, [24] he outlines the fact that youth in


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Three D Radio (93.7FM) in ADL, South Australia, currently runs two hip hop programs, "Best Kept Secret" Thursday nights from 11pm-1am & "Permanent Midnight" Fridays 4-5pm, both shows showcasing both classic and fresh out the box hip hop, from local and overseas artists. Recently the shows have featured live interviews and freestyles from the likes of Paris, T-Kash, DJ True Justice, K.E.V., Dialect, Social Change & CRayz Walz. Fresh FM (92.7FM) in Adelaide, "The Jump-Off" a weekly hip hop show is hosted by Dj Kronic, Kronic often features local rapper Six-Three. RTRFM (92.1FM) in Perth, has two weekly hip hop programs, "All City" Friday nights from 11pm-1am which covers hip hop and beats from around the world and "Down Underground" which features local and Australia hip hop.[28] Radio Adelaide (101.5FM) in Adelaide, also features a weekly Australian hip hop show, "Hip Hop Mania". Its is hosted by local rapper, MC Frost, who showcases many unsigned local talent on his shows as well as Australian signed talent.[29] Mixtape Mondays (105.7) in the Gold Coast, Queensland, is a weekly hip hop and R&B radio show hosted by local producers, The Architects, [30] that focuses on playing American urban music, as well as exposing Australian hip hop artists and DJ’s.

Australian hip hop
graffiti. It featured interviews from the then host of Triple J’s hip-hop show Maya Jupiter, the other half of the group Brethren: Wizdm and DJ Kool Herc.[32][33] In December, 2007 ABC Television aired the documentary Words from the City, which included interviews with a number of high profile Australian hip hop artists from around the country including: Hilltop Hoods, Koolism, Downsyde, TZU, MC Layla, Bliss n Eso, MC Trey, Wire MC and Maya Jupiter.[34]

In 2005, independent film-maker Oriel Guthrie debuted her documentary Skip Hop at the Melbourne International Film Festival. The film includes live footage of freestyle battles and prominent gigs around Australia, as well as interviews with Def Wish Cast, DJ Peril, Hilltop Hoods, Koolism, Maya Jupiter, The Herd and Wicked Force Breakers.[35] Out4Fame presents 2003 MC Battle For Supremacy was the first (documented) national MC tournament and was responsible for kick starting the careers of many MC’s across Australia. The following year MC’s were invited to enter the tournament for the chance to compete in New Zealand. MC’s whom have competed in Battle For Supremacy tournaments include Weapon X, 360, Anecdote, Nfa, Justice, Dragonfly, Bobby Bal Boa, Kaos, Tyna, Surreal, Cyphanetics, Delta.Oriel Guthrie also documented the the 2004 and 2005 events and released them on DVDs. MC Justice went on to win the 2005 Scribble Jam MC Battle, USA. The first Australian to win the competition

The first Australian hip hop documentary, Basic Equipment, was made in 1996 and released in 1997. It was narrated by Paul Westgate (aka Sereck) from Def Wish Cast and examined the Sydney hip hop culture. The documentary was made by Paul Fenech (creator of SBS’ Pizza series). It featured MC Trey, Def Wish Cast, DJ Bonez, DJ Ask and more.

Australia has an illustrious history with printed publications including one of the first hip hop magazines in the world, Vaporz (1988), put together by Blaze (who also established the first hip hop shop in Sydney). Other notable zines include Hype (a pre-eminent graffiti magazine with a worldwide following through the late 1980s and 1990s) it was the first full colour graffiti magazine in the world, Zest, Raptanite, Arfek, Damn Kids, Artillery, Blitzkrieg, Slingshot and others. The first full colour hip hop magazine in the Southern Hemisphere was Stealth Magazine. It debuted in 1999 and has published over 14 issues since, and was distributed worldwide via Tower Records.

In August, 2006 the ABC program Compass showed a documentary entitled The Mistery of Hip Hop which explored the cultural movement and popularity of hip hop in Australia. The film followed one of the "founding fathers" of the Sydney Hip-Hop scene Matthew "Mistery" Peet. Mistery works full time as graffiti artist and is also emcee/ rapper in the group Brethren. The 28 minute documentary looked at the "four elements of hip hop": breakdancing, DJing, rapping, and


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Following the popular Out4Fame: Battle For Supremacy tournaments, Out4Fame Magazine was launched as a free publication. Although the magazine achieved limited success within the local scene copies of the magazine soon became collectors items as the tournaments gained popularity. Out4Fame Magazine was later relaunched as Out4Fame presents ACCLAIM Magazine, later to simply become ACCLAIM Magazine. With Out4Fame being removed from the free publication market this created a gap for a new publication to be founded & Australia soon saw the release of the first Peak Street Magazine (Issue Zero). Peak Street Magazine has since release 2 further issues, generally 6 months apart, and held one art exhibition ’Sleep is the Cousin of Death’ in which artists were invited to paint on 12" records drawing inspiration from the famous Nas lyric. A limited release publication was produced for the exhibition showcasing the art within.

Australian hip hop

Notable artists
• • • • •

• • • • • • • •

Record labels

• Obese Records — Their CEO is MC Pegz; artists include Drapht, Downsyde, and Hyjak N Torcha • Basic Equipment — Co-run by Sereck of Def Wish Cast; artists include Def Wish Cast • Crookneck Records - Melbourne-based label; artists include A-Love, Mnemonic Ascent, Lazy Grey and DJ Ransom • Earshot Music - A South Australian label; artist roster includes 13th Son, Open Thought and Mynse • Elefant Traks — Run by members of The Herd; artists include Astronomy Class, Hermitude and The Herd • Golden Era Records - A label established by Hilltop Hoods in 2008 • Hydrofunk Records — Run by members of the Resin Dogs; artists include Resin Dogs, Def Wish Cast, and Downsyde • IF? Records — Originally Melbournebased, now in Tokyo; artists include Zen Paradox and Little Nobody. • Inavada Records - Established in Sydney in 2002; artists include Fdel, Koolism, 1200 • Downsyde • The Last • Phrase Katalyst and Flow Dynamics Techniques • Drapht Kinection • Illusive Sounds - Melbourne-based • Resin Dogs 13th • Funkoars • Local • Sound recording label formed in February 2003; Family[1] • The Herd Knowledge Unlimited artists include Bliss n Eso, Weapon X and 13th • Hermitude • MC Trey • Hell. Ken Spit Son[36][37] • Hilltop • MC Layla • Marlin Records - A Melbourne based Syndicate A-Love Hoods • Macromantics recording label; artists include Phrase and • Street A Devil • Horrorshow • Matty B Warriors Daniel Merriweather Amongst The • Hyjak N • Maya Jupiter Method Recordings - A Melbourne label, • • Tjimba and Tailors[38][39] Torcha • The Modern partthe the Shock Records group; artists of Yung Astronomy • Illzilla Day Poets Warriors include Illzilla, The Last Kinection, Elf Class • Jackson • Morganics • True Live Tranzporter, Hykoo, Infallible. Bliss n Eso Jackson • Mnemonic • Nurcha Records — Founded by Shrekk in • TZU [40][41] 2005 and based in Sydney; artist roster Brothablack • Justice & Ascent • Unkle Ho The Kaos • Muph & • Urthboy includes Last Credit, Coptic Soldier and Bumblebeez • Katalyst Plutonic • Vents[42][43] Natural Causes Butterfingers • Koolism • Pegz • The • Nuff Said Records - Melbourne based Christian • Pez Wilcannia label founded by Prowla & Menace. Artists Alexanda Mob incude Delta, Shawn Love, Prowla, MC Combat Que Wombat • Soulmate Records - Melbourne based label Def Wish with a roster consisting of emcee’s: 360, Cast Pez, Boltz, and producers: Stat D, and Ante Escobar • Unda K9 Records - Established in Sydney, founded by Lui in 2002; artists include Straight Up Records - which saw the Bukkcity, DJ Denno, Syntax (Trace release of the seminal Melbourne hip hop Elements), Tycotic and 13th Son. group AKA Brothers and Rise & Tarkee • Hurricane Global - Established in 2008, artists include Str8 Up T and Big Slang, also being an entertainment company.


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Australian hip hop

See also

[12] Maxwell, Ian. Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes: Hip Hop Down Under Comin’ Upper. • Australian music p. 203. • Hip hop [13] Shapiro, Michael J. 2004. "Methods and Nations: Cultural Governance and the Indigenous Subject." Routledge. [14] Henderson, April K. "Dancing Between [1] ^ Kalantzis-Cope, Phillip (2002-09-19). Islands: Hip-Hop and the Samoan "Hip Hop – a way of life". Diaspora" p.180-197 [15] Park, M. & G. Northwood. "Australian index.cfm?pageId=12,38,3,454. Dance Culture." Retrieved on 2008-04-10. texts/features/dancecult2.htm. Accessed [2] ^ Maxwell, Ian. "Sydney Stylee: Hip-Hop 18 Apr. 2008. Down Under Comin’ Up." In Global [16] "The American and British Influence on Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the Australian Music". Red Apple Education USA, ed. Tony Mitchell, 259-79. Ltd. Wesleyan University Press, c_s-14_u-189_t-510_c-1895/american2001. and-british-cultural-influence-1990s/nsw/ [3] ""16 Tons"". Music Stack. history/australia-s-social-and-cultural history-in-post-war-period/social-and1295726/mighty+big+crime/ cultural-features-of-the-1990s. Retrieved 16+tons_fsz_humber. Retrieved on on 2008-04-10. 2008-04-11. [17] Mitchell, Tony. "World Music and the [4] creepshow magazine CRINGEWORTHY Popular Music Industry: An Australian [5] "The Null Device". 2001-04-12. View." Ethnomusicology, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 309-338. mighty%20big%20crime. Retrieved on [18] Ibid 2008-03-27. [19] Australian Music Online :: Interviews :: [6] ^ Bloustein, Gerry (1999). "Musical Talking Aussie hip-hop with Urthboy Visions (ISBN 1862545006)". [20] CBOnline - Hip Hop – a way of life [21] Maxwell, Ian. "Sydney Stylee: Hip-Hop books?id=CYDNMtSGivcC&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=%22mighty+big+crime%22&source=web&ots Down Under Comin’ Up." Global Noise: Retrieved on 2008-03-27. Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA, ed. [7] ^ Mitchell, Tony (1998-03-18). Tony Mitchell, 259-79. Middletown: "Australian Hip Hop as a ‘global’ Wesleyan University Press, 2001 Subculture". [22] Mitchell, Tony. Global Noise. Wesleyan peril/youth/tonym2.pdf. Retrieved on University Press. 2001. 259-261 2008-04-10. [23] Mackie, Brendan. "Hip Hop Down [8] "2004: 18th Annual ARIA Awards". ARIA. Under". Retrieved on Hop-Down-Under.aspx. Retrieved on 2008-04-10. 2008-04-10. [9] "2006: 20th Annual ARIA Awards". ARIA. [24] Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and Samoan Diaspora.” In The Vinyl Ain’t by-year.php?year=2006. Retrieved on Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of 2008-04-10. Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita [10] "2007: 21st Annual ARIA Awards". ARIA. Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199.; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200 by-year.php?year=2007. Retrieved on [25] Amrap : Resources & Links 2008-04-10. [26] 2SER - Droppin Science [11] Marshall, Wayne (2005-12-29). [27] 4ZzZ Hip Hop Festival "downunder underground". [28] RTRFM - "Down Underground" [29] Radio Adelaide - Program Guide 12/downunder-underground.html. [30] < Retrieved on 2008-04-10. mixtapemondaynights Mixtape Mondays MySpace Page]



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Australian hip hop

[31] "Basic Equipment". Screen Australia. [37] 13th Son: worth the wait threedworld [38] A Devil Amongst the Tailors: MPCs are filmdbsearch.aspx?view=title&title=HIPHOP&keyword=film&area=all. rad Retrieved on 2008-09-15. [39] Coopers Alive - A Devil Amongst The [32] Compass program summary - ’The Tailors fasterlouder Mistery of Hip Hop’ [40] Mnemonic Ascent: Not judging the book [33] Compass program summary - ’The by its cover Mistery of Hip Hop’ on Youtube [41] Mnemonic Ascent - The Book’s Full [34] ABC TV guide December 2007 [35] Nation Library of Australia - listing ’Skip [42] Vents: Raising the bar Hop’ [43] Vents Sauce Sep 6th, 2007 [36] 13th Son - Our Lives

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