With another year come and gone full of great releases, we take a quick look back at the year for hip-hop down under in Australia. It proved to be an exceptionally strong one and perhaps the year that hip hop from Australia truly broke out to significant mainstream recognition internationally. Below are ten of the biggest film clips from ten artists who left their mark on hip hop from Australia in 2019.
Hip-hop’s definitely reach around the world and back in the last four decades, birthing variations bound by culture. For South African-born, Australian-raised artist Bmike, studying the greats of the 90s and early 00s gave him the blueprint and the hustle to build a loyal fanbase.
After 13 million views on YouTube for his latest single “Anxiety,” Bmike has found himself thriving in a fanbase without the press and returning with his latest single, “No Fakes,” alongside Dax.
Born and raised in South Africa, reared by Australia and flexing his skills to American audiences. Bmike is displaying what has taken him across the world several times and partnered him with all audiences. His work has displayed storytelling, an understanding of culture, and being able to tap into the world while representing Black Heart Gang. Black Heart Gang is a theme that his music fits into while doubling as a platform for other artists.
Mike grew up in South Africa and studied The Source, using it as a blueprint for his own releases. His latest is “No Fakes,” detailing that he can do it on his own, without a machine and being the point guard of his own situation. The release partners him with Dax, providing a cinematic experience you can experience from a Netflix production.
You can see the video for the Tunna Beatz produced track below.
Legendary Hip-Hop trio Digable Planets make their way down to Australia and New Zealand for the very time next month for a string of highly anticipated shows.
Consisting of Butter Fly, Ladybug Mecca, and Doodlebug, Digable Planets are of course most notable for the two classic albums they released in the 90s – the successful crossover debut Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) in early 1993 on Pendulum/Elektra Records and Blowout Comb in late 1994. Their heavily jazz inspired debut album was initially self-produced in-house by Butter Fly clocking in just shy of an hour. It featured no guest appearances and their debut single “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” released in late 1992 would go on to win a Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
Both the album and lead single charted well internationally, and both went Gold in America. The group went on a hiatus the year after, with all going on to work on various projects individually.
Digable Planets followed up their successful debut with the critically acclaimed yet ultimately not as commercially successful “Blowout Comb”. The release featured notable appearances from the late Guru of Gang Starr, Jeru The Damaja and DJ Jazzy Joyce amongst significant original music credits. While the album both the singles from the album “9th Wonder (Blackitolism)” and “Dial 7 (Axioms of Creamy Spies)” failed to attract widespread mainstream success at the time, the release has go on to be a widely considered classic and seminal mid-90s album which captured a certain vibe of Brooklyn at the time.
The group reformed in 2005 and released the compilation album Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles, a remastered best-of album largely with the notable addition of two new tracks and remixes. Creative differences led to a break in late 2012 for the group, before again reforming in 2015 and embarking on a series of tours and releasing a live album in 2017. Now 25 years since the release of Blowout Comb, Australian and New Zealand fans have the opportunity to witness the Digable Planets experience live and direct with a full band as they take in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland just before Christmas.
For the previous ten years, THE AUSSIE BBQ event has been bringing the cream of new Australian music to new international and American audiences, with this year’s free marque showcase event to be held at SummerStage in NYC for the very first time. Among the acts this year include the Zimbabwean-born Tkay Maidza (worked with Killer Mike of Run The Jewels, Duckwrth, French super-producer Martin Solveig), rap duo A. B. Original (first US show) as well as production duo Hermitude and will be the first time this signature event is held in NYC since 2015.
The electric Tkay Maidza was born in Zimbabwe before moving to Australia with her family when she was 5-years- old. Living throughout Western Australian and South Australia before settling in Adelaide, she graduated from high school two years early at 16 and like a young Ice Cube, studied architecture at university before concentrating full-time on music.
Tkay Maidza story is an intriguing one and one that demonstrates just how much she has achieved already and most certainly has a very bright future ahead of her. She recently scored a BET Awards nomination for Best New International Act, catapulting the 23-year-old further onto the world stage and capping off an impressive and rapid rise over the last couple of years. Tkay was the second Australian to be nominated for a BET award after Iggy Azalea, and received a hearty glowing endorsement from a then stranger in Killer Mike last year during a lecture at MIT, in reference to Tkay being the female rapper that Americans should know about instead of Iggy.
A. B. Original sound has been described as rough and tough around the edges, deliberately brash and aggressive somewhat in the spirit of N.W.A. and Westside Connection, providing a much needed honest account of race relations in Australia today as well as delving into Australia’s dark colonial past through a traditional sound away from the fashion of today. The ironic title of the album, Reclaim Australia, strikes a strong accord locally in Australia as there is a small, misinformed group protesting immigration to Australia also called Reclaim Australia (a group fearful that “their” country is being taken away from them which is satirical, to say the least when understanding British colonialization history of Indigenous Australia).
A.B. Original provide a very much needed refreshing, traditional hip hop sound in Australia that has largely been missing from recent years within a more commercially geared hip hop market of today. Their live show with DJ Total Eclipse of The X-Ecutioners has taken the all-around package to another level nationwide.
Head on down to Central Park this Saturday to catch a glimpse of what hip hop from Australia has to offer from 2 pm.
Seventeen-year-old rapper Lil Mosey has announced a tour of Australia and New Zealand to finish off his extensive Northsbest World Tour, which will continue to spread across America before venturing back to Canada and then off to Europe.
It represents a whirlwind nine months since his major breakthrough of his single “Noticed” directed by Cole Bennet on Lyrical Lemonade. Lil Mosey made his initial breakthrough in November 2016 in his home town of Seattle as a then 14-year old and releasing his first music to significant success via Soundcloud and YouTube, quickly amassing tens of millions of plays.
He has since released his debut 11-track studio album “Northsbest” last October on Interscope Records featuring Memphis’s BlocBoy JB and features the hit singles “Noticed” and “Yoppa” – both produced by Royce David. The album which charted strongly in America as well as widely throughout Europe acted as a follow up to his 2017 mixtape NorthsBest. Lil Mosey has toured with the likes of Smooky MarGielaa, Lil Tjay, Juice Wrld, YBN Cordae and Smokepurpp as well as the festival circuit.
Founder of the YBN collective YBN Nahmir makes his way down to Australia and New Zealand next month for the very first time to play a string of headline shows after a whirlwind 18 months. Performing across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and then Auckland represents another major international move for the still teenage superstar from Alabama who has already managed two Platinum-selling singles, as well as a Top 20 charting mixtape with fellow YBN core members YBN Almighty Jay and YBN Cordae.
Influenced by West Coast legends including E-40, Eazy-E, Tupac, and Bone Thugs N Harmony, YBN Nahmir come up was unique in that he largely developed the early stages of his music career through online video games and social media. Currently signed to Atlantic Records, YBN Nahmir has since collaborated with the likes of Yo Gotti, G-Eazy, Wiz Khalifa, G Herbo, Blac Youngsta, Wifisfuneral, Chris Brown, Gucci Mane, Machine Gun Kelly and Cuban Doll amongst many others.
Currently, on tour with the infamous Bhad Bhabie throughout America before heading down for his Australasian tour, YBN Nahmir then turns back home to America and has a Canadian tour already scheduled for later this year. Eager to prove he is more than just a one or two hit wonder.
Award-winning, Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott has announced that his Astroworld: Wish You Were Here tour will make its way down to Australia in November for five shows across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with Interscope Records labelmate Sheck Wes and Virgil Abloh.
It has been a standout previous year for Travis Scott, earning his first Hot 100 number one single in one of the anthems of late 2018 in “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake as well as his 17-track Astroworld album also going number 1 in a dozen countries and top four in a further dozen. The hour-long release went platinum or better in numerous countries, performing particularly well in Australia and New Zealand in addition to America, Canada, and the UK. Australian fans don’t miss out on one of the biggest shows from one of hip hop true current superstar – watch below to see what you can expect live.
Internet sensation Yung Gravy is set to make bring the Gravy Train Down Under for its maiden voyage this April. Splash!
Following on from multiple sell-out tours across North America, millions of streams, topping the Indify chart, collaborating with DRAM, UGLY GOD and LIL BABY, and acquiring a loyal following of Gravy faithful, Yung Gravy aka “Lil Steamer” aka “Mr. Butter” aka “The Young Steve Harvey” is set to hit Australia and New Zealand playing a string of clubs for what will be an up close and personal affair with Gravy himself.
The artist behind the viral songs ‘Karen’, ‘Mr. Clean’, ‘1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot’ and so many more will be arriving on Australian shores this April, fresh from wrapping up his biggest North American tour yet. 2018 saw Yung Gravy release his highly-anticipated Snow Cougar record which went onto to amass millions of streams and thousands of downloads, showing that the man can really rap with some hilarious lines floating over smooth production, deep bass lines and jazzy flourishes.
Shaping up to be some unforgettable shows, Yung Gravy delivers an unpredictable and wild show that he’s spent the last three years finessing. Proving to be an unstoppable force, the Gravy Train is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon, with Australia and New Zealand about to be all aboard. Find tickets here.
Having sold out his debut Australian headline show in just a matter of hours the East Atlanta rapper J.I.D has confirmed a second and final show at Melbourne’s Max Watts on Friday, March 1 due to overwhelming demand!
Final tickets go on sale at 12pm Friday, January 18. For complete tour and ticket information, visit: livenation.com.au.
Growing up on a mix of his parents’ collection of classic funk and soul LPs, J.I.D first appeared on the Atlanta hip-hop scene with his debut EP “Dicaprio” in 2015. After a stint at Hampton University playing football, J.I.D hooked up with fellow MCs as part of the Spillage Village collective – eventually making the move to drop out of college and focus solely on music. In 2014 he set off on tour with EarthGang, Bas, and Ab-Soul – this allowed J.I.D to craft his skills, and a year later he recorded and dropped the “DiCaprio” EP, which saw him team up with a host of producers, as well as EarthGang.
Following up as a sequel to his 2015 SoundCloud EP, J.I.D’s sophomore album “Dicaprio 2” features a star-studded list of collaborators and producers, including 6LACK, A$AP Ferg, Joey Bada$$, Ella Mai, J.Cole and even features one of the last tracks ever produced by Mac Miller – out now on J. Cole’s label, Dreamville. Bringing back the three-verse structure, the mixtape structured album is a sheer skill-display – showing off how far his songwriting skill has grown since his debut album, “The Never Story” in 2017.
Last seen touring Australia in 2017 on J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only tour, this will be your only chance to catch a glimpse of J.I.D’s dexterous, fired-up flow while on tour for Perth’s recently expanded rap and bass-heavy Hidden festival.
Catch Me If You Can Tour – Australia Max Watts, Melbourne Wednesday February 27 – Sold Out
Friday March 1 – New Show!
TICKETS ON SALE 12PM FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
For complete tour and ticket information, visit: jidsv.com & livenation.com.au
Cardi B is set to take off to Australia and New Zealand for the first time for a string of festival shows on either side of New Year’s Eve. With the Migos recently canceling their related Australian festival tour appearances earlier this month, Cardi B now herself headlines the Origin Fields out west in Perth, Australia with Denzel Curry, Smokepurpp, AJ Tracey and Khalid also on the bill. Cardi then heads to Sydney for her sold-out New Year’s Day Festival headline, continuing her whirlwind tour.
Cardi B then heads down to New Zealand for the very first time to headline the both 20,000+ sold-out North and South Bay Dreams festival shows the very next day – proving New Zealand has a very strong appetite for large hip hop festivals.