Five Local Hip Hop Acts You Should Already Be Listening To
All fire, no bbq.
Music 1y

Images via Only Odd (left) and Jackie Dixon (right) // words by Declan Whelan

A whole handful of Australian hip hop heaters.

Nerve

Brisbane rapper/producer/mix and mastering engineer/don Nerve is one of the hottest names in domestic hip hop. Having earned a reputation among the country’s sharpest MCs via countless cyphers alongside underground grime and hip hop heavyweights, Nerve is also making his presence known on the main stage. His new track ‘Big Switch’ offers typically mischievous – and at times menacing – wordplay over flawless production as the NO1NETWORK artist effortlessly glides over the beat, switching flows and stacking punchlines. There’s every chance Nerve is your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper right now.

HP BOYZ

Representing Hampton Park in Melbourne’s South-East, HP Boyz are back with their new track ‘Blueprint’. The song kicks off with an appropriate and ultra-quotable Michael Schofield shoutout which sets the tone for the rest of the song. “Tell em I’m faded, tell em I’m off my nut, tell em I’m too straight up.” It’s honest and playful at times in contrast to the jarring delivery of hard-hitting bars spit through broad smiles. It’s a combination that works though as their punchlines bounce off the infectious beat and add to the track’s (and group’s) charm. The clip, which has already racked up 130,000+ views on Youtube, is reminiscent of UK grime and drill visuals as the rap group rolls deep. See it for yourself below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_JTBKpjSAQ&list=RDy_JTBKpjSAQ&index=1

 Sophiegrophy

After earning high praise from Beats 1’s very own Ebro Darden for her 2018 single ‘Caution’, Melbourne-based, Nigerian-born and New Zealand-raised rapper Sophiegrophy returns with a new banger, ‘Rolls Royce’. Featuring 808 snares and woozy chords which lace the outro, production comes courtesy of Kwame who finesses a beat Skepta or Avelino might step to. And Sophiegrophy more than steps up, barring up and adopting her signature alter-ego swelling with rap bravado. Keep em coming.

Wombat

Wombat’s back better know. And this time he’s back from the dead. His new single ‘Zombie’ is another breathless lyrical onslaught. In between dizzying spells of rapid-fire bars, Wombat is constantly keeping listeners on their toes. Blink and you’ll miss bars like: “If you think I’m after the dosh, you got it backwards like Bin Laden disarming a bomb.” The beat itself is unsettling while the haunting clip adds further depth to Wombat’s relentless assault on the mic. Regular collaborators Chillinit and Flylacine also star in the video; peep the full clip below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOv9lnW1L1s

Birdz

Celebrating the release of his new 7-track EP Place Of Dreams a fortnight ago, Birdz is an artist commanding attention with thoughtful and conscious raps. The video for ‘Black Child’ is the latest in a line of well thought out concepts and depicts his future visions of excellence. This execution in itself is a testament to the type of uplifting message Birdz consistently champions and perfectly complements the underlying tones of this track. A lyricist at heart his subject matter leans into the political while he speaks from the heart and blends hip hop of the last few decades with elements from the current rap soundscape. Don’t sleep on Birdz and watch the video for ‘Black Child’ below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULOUPX1eXxY

Til next time.

Words by Declan Whelan May 16, 2019
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