For those unfamiliar to Australian hip hop, there’s a few things to point out. First, yes our accents do sound weird when we rap (we hear it as well, but you get used to these things).
Secondly and more importantly, the majority of rappers and MCs in Australia are white. But there’s one artist who is saying loud, that he’s black and he’s proud, and changing the face of the Australian political landscape.
Hailing from Shepparton in rural Victoria, rapper, actor, activist and comedian Briggs is a trailblazer in the Australian Music scene.To an outside observer, it would be easy to dismiss him as an Australian Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, but there is much more to him than that.
A proud Yorta Yorta man, Briggs is well regarded for his passion and outspoken attitude towards the support and treatment of Australia’s local indigenous people. As one half of the duo A.B. Original, he released the critically acclaimed album Reclaim Australia, covering issues such as police brutality, the treatment of Aboriginal people and changing the national holiday of Australia Day.
Unapologetically political, it would be safe to say that Briggs is one of the strongest voices for Aboriginal rights in Australia today. His lyrics convey the hundreds of years of hurt and suffering of his people, with the passion and enthusiasm for change which is infectious.
With an uncanny ability to make you laugh but also make you think, he’s achieved great cut through in these dark political times. His skills haven’t gone unnoticed either – he’s supported Ice Cube, KRS-One and Ghostface Killah on their Australian tours.
If you don’t think Australia has any political hip hop along the lines of N.W.A, Public Enemy or Ice T, then I’d encourage you to give Briggs a listen.