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

Words by Declan Whelan // Images via Golden Era [left] and Vanessa Swedérus [right]

A whole handful of Australian hip hop heaters.


South African-born, Perth-based emcee Shadow has been holding it down for WA with his aggressive and intricate brand of lyricism. His latest release, ‘My City’ combines incisive bars, grime slang and mischievous double entendres while also flexing his versatility, switching up from his signature grime flow for the second verse. Airtight production from Papertoy underpins the track which also gets bonus points for what could be Australia’s first Emile Heskey rap reference. Fans around the country can get a glimpse of Shadow on the upcoming Apocalypse tour, and/or on the road with the Hilltop Hoods this August.

Kobie Dee

A storyteller in the truest sense, Kobie Dee has earned plenty of admirers over the last few months. His delivery is raw and emotive, while his narratives seem to unfold effortlessly as evident in his latest track ‘Jody’. The song first appeared as a freestyle on Triple J’s ‘Bars of Steel’ segment, while the studio version was released last week along with an announcement that the Maroubra rapper has penned a deal with Briggs’ Bad Apples label. Stay tuned for more new music.

Lil Spacely

Lil Spacely has been building momentum since catching the attention of industry tastemaker Ebro Darden with his debut single ‘You Know It’ back in 2017. Since then, he’s turned heads locally, teaming up with Manu Crooks and B Wise on their collaborative 2018 single ‘Best Years’ before dropping another jewel in ‘Oh No!’ just last month. With each release, Lil Spacely is cementing himself as a fixture on the scene, and refining his futuristic and authentic trap sound. Keen to see Lil Spacely? You can catch him supporting Lucki at the Lansdowne on June 19.


Following eye-catching verses in the latest ‘Fully Gassed’ cypher from March of this year, Seru has been turning in a shift. “If you know what’s best, better start where I left off.” Check his file and you’ll find a single ‘Rapid Fire’ as well as a track with certified OG Fraksha that verify those credentials. Seru’s performance is typified by authoritative and articulate bars, at once thoughtful and hard-headed, and his latest single, (coincidentally sharing a title and release day with the aforementioned Shadow track) ‘My City’, is more of the same. Cold bars and expert delivery. Shout out to Comp$ who comes correct on this one too.

Phil Fresh

Fresh off the back of his charismatic new single ‘I’m The Man’ which dropped last Friday, Phil Fresh is back in the mix again already, handling the hook on Gibrillah’s vibe-heavy new single ‘Beamer’. That Mozaick x Bodega connection runs deep, and is the latest instalment in Phil Fresh’s growing collection of in-house collaborations. Stay tuned for more details of his forthcoming EP FRESHY and keep an eye out for any opportunity to catch him on stage. Phil Fresh has a live show to boot.

Words by Declan Whelan May 31, 2019
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