For those who’ve never heard any Oz Hip-Hop before (or even had any idea that there was such a thing) I’ll post a couple of tracks here to introduce you to some of the better artists. Eventually I’d like to do a big ‘Introduction to Australian Hip-Hop’ post but for the moment this’ll suffice.
The key feature that sets the Oz Hip-Hop scene apart from regular Hip-Hop is the lack of commercialisation. There’s no songs for ‘ballers’, there’s no club tracks, there’s no tracks dedicated to ‘hoe’s or bitches’, there’s no ‘shoot’em up’ tracks or references to guns and – most importantly - there’s no references to swag. Yet it’s not like everyone makes conscious Hip-Hop either, there’s a good mix of battle rap, conscious, introspective and I guess what you’d call ‘summer’ music (the closest you’ll get to commercialised).
These guys are here are Australia’s biggest Hip-Hop act by FAR, their also clearly the best act imo. They’re on an independent label, have never had a top 5 single yet have sold the equivelant of over 4 million records from their last 2 releases. As far as I know, in this era of music downloads no other independent artist in the world has achieved that. Anyway, sales don’t mean shit, ill let the music talk for itself.
Hilltop Hoods – Chase That Feeling
Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road
Recommended Albums: Theirs not a single weak release in their catalogue so you can't go wrong no matter where you start. The Hard Road is probably the easiest to get into though.
Bliss N Eso
These guys are the second most popular Oz Hip-Hop act and have a pretty diverse style with production influences from various genres. They manage to craft music with a wide appeal while still incorporating complex lyricism, social commentary and at times an almost stream-of-consciousness style.
Bliss N Eso – Sea Is Rising
Bliss N Eso - This Is For You
Recommended Albums: Their latest release, Running On Air, is their best album imo, followed by Flying Colours. The only weak release is their second album, Day of the Dog.
Trem is apart of the group Lyrical Commission, and is the premier battle rapper in the country. Here’s why.
Lyrical Commission - Bounty Hunterz
M-Phazes is the countries premier producer (worked with Royce, Elzhi, Pharoahe Monche and others I’m forgetting right now) and his album, Good Gracious, is a great place to start if you’re new to the genre as it features a large variety of the scenes biggest artists.
M-Phazes - Walking On Clouds ft. Bliss N Eso
Royce Da 5'9", Elzhi & Supastition - Best To Do it (Prod. M-Phazes)
Well, I hope that was of some help. In the future i plan on doing a much more detailed post on the Aussie scene but this should be plnety to get any newcomer started.
Previously: Track Review: Trem - Omega Man