Like anything in life, the comparatively lax immigration laws in Australia have attracted their fair share of critics. Like toddlers snatching their sibling’s toy, the finders keepers – losers weepers philosophy has underpinned many nation’s patriotic beliefs, with some forgetting White Australians were the very first ‘boat people’. Thanks to our history of importing human potential, Western Sydney – cultural hotspot and one of the first ports of migration Down Under – is now exploding with talent and putting Australia on the map in the world of Hip Hop.
Australia has had a steady supply of rappers launching verbal assaults and political barrages since the 90’s. Bliss n Eso, Drapht and the Thundamentals paint the typical image of the Aussie Hip hop Artist: white with an unapologetically thick Australian accent. While skilful rappers in their own right, the sound doesn’t fit with the Drake‘s and A$AP‘s of the world getting spun in clubs. International success seems to favour those with a global sound. They don’t sound like Hip Hop, they sound like Aussie Hip Hop.
With the eruption of a new era of Hip Hop coming from cultural epicentres like Western Sydney there is no doubt about the huge impact diversity can make on a music scene and global culture.
Manu Crook$ grew up in Ghana and moved to Western Sydney when he was 12. At the forefront of the New Wave of Hip Hop with his 2017 EP release Mood Forever, he is rapidly becoming a worldwide sensation headlining international tours with his flush version of the gritty New Wave soundscape. His loyalties lie with his lifeblood rather than tradition, the way creative expression should be – free from constraints or labels, and we can hear that diversity in his music which merges ethereal melodies with silky vocals and crushing bass.
“I just get in the studio to make music. Simple! I don’t really focus on just making a ‘hip-hop’ record, you know? In terms of not sounding or not fitting into the so called ‘Australian hip-hop’ sound, it’s probably because of what I actually listen to and my influences. I don’t feel like music should be a certain way. You’re supposed to express your art the way you wanna express it!”
Intentional or not, as artists like Manu Crook$, Midas.Gold, Kwame, Anfa Rose, Carmouflage Rose, BLESSED, Yung Dready Mane and many many more inject the melange of their influence into our shared culture, the sound of Hip Hop in Australia will be forever changed and will continue to evolve and blaze through our shores before taking the world by storm.
Don’t just rely on us, hear these guys for yourself!
Manu Crook$ is playing at Splendour in the Grass on the 20th July. Tickets go on sale on the 19th of April at 9:00am through moshtix and 1300 GETTIX (438 849).
Kwame will be performing at Maitland’s Groovin’ The Moo (SOLD OUT) on the 28th of April and is also playing a show at Mr Wolf in Canberra on the 27th ($10 on the door!).
Midas.Gold is playing Groovin’ The Moo Canberra on the 29th of April. Tickets are still available @ moshtix
Tickets to Carmouflage Rose’s WILDFLOWERS tour in Aus can be had here for just over $10! Dates are as follows: