Aussie Hip Hop Vol. 1
(Bevan Beats #8) by Dylan Blight
Welcome to Bevan Beats! This is a fortnightly article and accompanying playlist from us at the Explosion Network. It aims to enable us the ability to share the music we love, discuss a certain theme, or share what we are simply listening to in our everyday lives. You'll be able to find the playlist on Youtube and on Spotify.
The Australian Hip Hop scene is still relevantly new, especially when compared to the deep history in the states. But it’s inarguable the Aussie scene is rich, varied and has reached a stage of international success.
For ‘Aussie Hip Hop Vol. 1’ I’ve gathered a collection of artists that represent some of the different sounds and areas of the Australian hip-hop scene I enjoy the most at the moment.
1.) January 26 - A.B Original
The duo of Briggs and Trials have released one album so far as A.B Original, 2016’s Reclaim Australia and "January 26" is the opening track that sets the tone for their angry, political and 80’s rap sounding album. Its message isn’t hidden, it’s a call to change the date of Australia Day and a loud one that I have played every Australia since release. It's an anthem track off one of the best Aussie hip-hop albums of all time.
2.) Cloud 9 - Baker Boy
In 2017 Danzal Baker aka Baker Boy won the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards and went on to release several singles, one of which was "Cloud 9". With the majority of the song rapped in Yolngu Matha, it’s a unique sound in the Australian rap scene. No one else is rapping in the Indigenous language of the Australians and Baker Boy is doing something no one else is.
3.) Woman’s World 2.0 - Okenyo, Miss Blanks, Jesswar
Zindzi Okenyo is a talent, pure and simple. She has worked for the Sydney Theatre Company and hosts the Australian classic children’s show Play School, but also performs simply as Okenyo. Although the original "Woman's World" track was fantastic, it’s this 2.0 version with Miss Blanks and Jesswar, two other Australian MC's, that hits harder with the female force.
4.) Yesterday - 360, Hein Cooper
Melbourne based MC, 360 has crafted a track for anyone that’s had to let a friendship end or had a mate dog em. It’s a story of being the better person and being willing to say goodbye with "Yesterday". With a soulful chorus from Hein Cooper leading into 360's verses and an acoustic guitar leading the track, it's an easy song to love off 360's last album.
5.) Dumb Things (triple J Like A Version) - A.B Original w/ Paul Bartlett, Dan Sultan & Paul Kelly
A.B Original brought an all-star team to the Triple J radio station the morning they recorded their live ‘Like A Version’ of Paul Kelly’s 1989 classic song "Dumb Things". It’s amazing how well the whole track comes together and both Briggs and Trials verses work magically around Kelly’s amazing voice singing his classic song.
6.) Blue Boss - Sampa the Great
Sampa the Great is one of the deepest most soulful artists you can be listening to right now and "Blue Boss" is a great example of this. Sampa’s deep and insightful lyrics here over a latin inspired deep bass track are mesmerising and Sampa proves why she is one of the most lyrically interesting hip-hop artists around the world at the moment.
7.) Girl in the Sun - Allday, Brady James
A great example of the genre-bending hip-hop that we are getting a lot of these days is Allday. "Girl in the Sun" is one of Allday’s most chill songs and easy to vibe with. It’s a summer beach track and has a cute music video to go with it as Brady James sings the fun and cherry chorus before Allday tells a story.
8.) Get Down - Jess Kent
In 2015 I was singing ‘when they’re screaming get out, get out’ a lot as I pumped this track. Jess Kent recently released two new tracks and ‘No Love Songs’ shows a slowly more pop-vibe from her, but "Get Down" is still my favourite of her songs and fun to pump.
9.) Click Clack (Front N Back) - Coda Conduct
The duo of Erica and Sally originally from Canberra perform as Coda Conduct with a fun, humorous energy. Their style is easily most prominent in this track, "Click Clack", a track all about guys shaking their asses (cause it’s only fair.) The music video for this one is worth checking out as well as it features Australian comedian Matt Okine.
10.) Friend Like You - Bliss n Eso feat. Lee Fields
Bliss n Eso are my favourite Australian rap group and I may do a list solely of my favourite Bliss N Eso songs one day, but for this list, I’ve picked "Friend Like You" off their most recent album Off the Grid released last year. I like every track on this album and it was my most listened to album of last year. I honestly just rolled a die for which track to pick because I knew I wanted to feature one from Off the Grid. The track has a sad history to it as a stuntman died when he was accidentally shot on the set of the original music video they were filming. The music video accompanying the song now is a sad one with footage Bliss n Eso did at a charity gig to raise money for the stuntman's daughter, and features friends and family talking about their lost loved one.
11.) Day Ones - Manu Crook$
If Manu Crook$ doesn’t become Australia's next big intentional hip-hop success I’ll be shocked. His style is perfect for the American audience and tendencies. This is seen easily with Day Ones and its very Southern, trap-inspired sound. The beat goes hard and it’s easy to vibe with Manu. The music video too is straight fire and worth checking out.
12.) Flexin’ - Tkay Maidza ft Duckwrth
In 2013 I couldn’t stop playing "Brontosaurus" by Tkay. I even had the track as my alarm song to get me pumped in the morning. Tkay released that track at age 17. "Flexin’" is her most recent track and makes you wanna stomp your feet, especially thanks to the addition of Duckwrths verse. Tkay Maidza has been one of my favourite up and coming artists to follow in recent years and she has a project coming up soon and I can’t wait to see what it is.
13.) The Nosebleed Section - Hilltop Hoods
I asked myself one simple question for the final track on this playlist. I had 12 tracks, I wanted one final track to answer this: ‘what is the quintessential Aussie hip hop track?’ The answer is, of course, "The Nosebleed Section".
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