A talented new generation of rappers have been taking hip hop to new heights locally and we are all lucky enough to be treated to a front row seat. One distinct group are representing a more popular international sound, heavily influenced by their contemporaries found in the US. If you combine this fact with the booming interest in services such as Spotify, access and music discovery for fans has never been easier. The benefits to artists, if the game is played correctly, include huge play numbers, new revenue streams, and access to audiences that just didn’t exist 5 years ago.
Manu Crooks is one of that artists who is starting to make some considerable noise with his internationally styled hip hop. His breakout single “Everyday” was immediately added to national radio, while his follow up release “Blowin’ Up” was organically picked up by Zane Lowe for his Beats One program. Having recently released his debut EP titled mood forever, there’s no slow up in sight for this young artist. Over this past weekend, ASAP Ferg who was performing in Sydney brought the young emcee out on stage to perform. This was a signalling moment for hip hop in this country.
Another set of rappers are taking cues from a more traditional style of hip hip which echoes back to it’s origins. Their music reflects the important role hip hop has played in empowering and giving people of colour, a voice in a society that may not be willing or ready to hear their message. Throughout the early-mid naughties, hip hop of this style saw a strong commercial decline in America. With the meteoric rise of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, we’ve started to see a return to mainstream success for artists who are willing to put important issues on the table with their art.
In Australia, we’ve also started to see this change. There has been massive support from not only online sources, but also national radio, programs such as Unearthed, the wider music industry as a whole and of course the fans… and there’s a ton of fans.
This brings us to Kobie Dee, an impressive new talent who has stepped on to the scene with blazing force. His track, titled The Prelude has already generated a resounding response on social media for not only his honest and authentic approach but also the conscious message that it speaks to. Kobie Dee represents a new breed of young artists that are keen to leave their mark and are not satisfied with the status quo.
It’s important that we continue to support and encourage growth in all aspects of our local hip hop community. As styles evolve and progress, the pathways for success must be available. Currently it’s in amazing shape, but we can’t become complacent. It’s can be an uphill battle for aspiring hip hop artists in Australia, but over the years with a lot of blood, sweat and tears the opportunities have never been greater. Hip Hop in Australia is still defining it’s mainstream image and we must continue to work together to put our best foot forward.