During Australia’s early western history, Australia was a collection of British colonies, which had a knock on effect on their culture. Contemporary Australian music ranges across a broad spectrum with trends that are often taken from the U.S and the U.K.
The early music scene was mostly Australia’s take on American rock and country but after World War One taste diversified with multicultural migration into the country, paving a way for hip-hop to emerge.
Aussie hip-hop was born in the 80s as a direct result of influence from the other side of the world. The formula of a beat, a synth, some samples and plenty of scratches was taken from the likes of Public Enemy, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys in the USA. The first Aussie hip-hop song is thought to be ‘Just Us’ by Combined Talent where you can directly hear their influences:
The scene remained underground until the early 2000s when Australian character started to become integrated into the genre.
As a result of the commercial success of the genre, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards added ‘best urban album’ to the awards categories in 2014 and two years later, The Hilltop Hoods became the first Aussie hip-hop group to get a number one album with ‘The Hard Road’. Since, artists such as Bliss n eso, Illy, Drapht, Urthboy and Thundamentals have engraved the genre in Australian music.
Formed in 1991 from Adelaide, South Australia their name refers to Hilltop Road in Blackwood, an Adelaide suburb in which they lived as children. They were inspired by American hip hop artists such as KRS-One and Gang Starr who encouraged them to spread their style of music in Australia.
BLISS N ESO
A hip hop trio based in Sydney who released their first album ‘Up Jumped the Boogie’ in 2006. Bliss n Eso represent the development of the Aussie hip-hop scene between 2000 and 2010 when it started to become its own genre as opposed to just replicating America.
Although he isn’t one of the biggest, REMI defies the representation issue that plagues Australian hip-hop and is Motive’s top pick for Aussie rappers. REMI and musical collaborator Sensible J have shared the stage with Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown and De La Soul and have created their own chilled stoner style that sounds amazing, go check REMI out.