Australian Hip Hop history on display at the MAAS

Autographed letterman jacket, worn by Spice

Made in AustraliaOceania, c.1986-1989.

This jacket is part of a collection of material representing the career of Sharline ‘Spice’ Bezzina, a B Girl, MC and grafitti writer who has been involved in the Sydney Hip Hop scene since the mid 1980s. This jacket was worn by Spice when she toured with the American rapper Ice T in 1989 and is signed by him, as well as the late Jam Master J from ‘Run DMC’. The jacket is a typical example of clothing worn by early adopters of American Hip Hop style in Australia. 

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Sharline ‘Spice’ Bezzina has been involved in the Sydney, Australia Hip Hop scene since the mid 1980s when the movement was very much an underground subculture. Her involvement has spanned major aspects of the genre: breakdancing, MCing and grafitti writing. Spice was one of the few female breakdancers in a male dominated subculture but she is most known for her grafitti work and her MCing.

Her song ‘Hard-Core Love’ was included on the first commercially produced compilation of Australian Hip Hop, ‘Down Under by Law’ in 1988 and she was the support act for the American Hip Hop artist Ice T when he toured Australia in 1989. Spice was the Australian representative at an all women’s Hip Hop festival in Berlin, and is a chapter leader of the universal Zulu nation. She is still actively involved in the grafitti scene and teaches street art to Western Sydney disadvantaged youth.

You can view the whole collection on display here.

Rebecca Bower, June 2012. Source: https://collection.maas.museum/object/428773
Image credit: Copyright for the above images is held by MAAS