Australian hip-hop has been around since the 1980s but in the last decade it has exploded into a much bigger scene, especially with acts like the Hilltop Hoods and The Herd achieving considerable popularity. Aussie rappers are now coming out of every state to show their skills and styles. Here’s my top 10:
10 – Pegz
Pegz (real name Tirren Staaf and sometimes known as MC Pegasus) is from Melbourne and has been active since 1992. He is the CEO for Australian rap label Obese Records. He is also part of the Aussie hip-hop supergroup Milk Bar Stars with Muph & Plutonic and Bonez. He has released five albums and six singles to date.
9 – Illy
Illy represents the city of Melbourne and was a previous member of Crooked Eye. He is signed to Obese Records and released his first album, Long Story Short, in 2009 which reached #24 on the ARIA Top 40 Urban Albums charts. He also won the Best Urban Album for Bring it Back at the 2013 ARIA Music Awards.
8 – Urthboy
Urthboy (real name Tim Levinson) is from Sydney and has been performing since 1998. He is signed to the label Elefant Traks and is part of the hip-hop group The Herd. He has been part of six albums with The Herd and released four of his own albums. He has also guest starred on countless tracks with other Australian rappers.
7 – Muph & Plutonic
Muph & Plutonic are from Melbourne and have been around since 2004. They are signed to Obese Records and are part of the Aussie hip-hop supergroup Milk Bar Stars which consists of themselves, Pegz and Bonez. Both MC Muphin and Plutonic Lab, who make the duo, have released solo works.
6 – Pez
Pez, real name Perry Chapman, is a rapper from Melbourne, Victoria. He grew up in the eastern suburbs and released his first hip-hop album in 2008 titled A Mind of My Own. It peaked at #19 on the ARIA Urban album chart and #8 on the AIR albums chart. His track The Festival Song was received well, topping the charts on the AIR singles chart.
5 – The Herd
The Herd are a rap group from the suburbs of Sydney and have been active since 2001. They are signed to the label Elefant Traks and consist of members Traksewt, Rok Poshtya, Ozi Batla, Urthboy, Unkle Ho, Toe-Fu, Sulo and Jane Tyrrell. Previous members are Bezerkatron and Flatmax. The group consists of a full band (piano, clarinet, guitar and bass) which gives them a unique sound and style. They remain one of Australia’s most popular hip-hop groups.
4 – Drapht
Drapht (real name Paul Ridge) comes from Mount Hawthorn in Western Australia and has been performing since 1998, currently with Obese Records. He is a member of the rap group Skyllaboliks and released his last album, Brothers Grimm, in 2008. He has performed with other major Aussie hip-hop acts such as the Hilltop Hoods, Pegz and M-Phazes.
3 – 360
360 is currently one of the most popular rappers in the Australian hip-hop scene. He comes out of Melbourne, Victoria and grew up in the eastern suburbs. He released his first album in 2008 titled What You See Is What You Get. Aside from his music, he is also involved in many causes including factory farming of companion animals and depression and suicide awareness.
2 – Bliss n Eso
Bliss n Eso are from Sydney, New South Wales and have been performing since the year 2000. They were previously signed to Obese Records and are now signed to Illusive Sounds. The group consists of MC Bliss, MC Eso and DJ Izm. From their five album releases, two have reached Gold status (Flying Colours and Circus in the Sky) and one has reached Platinum status (Running on Air).
1 – Hilltop Hoods
The Hilltop Hoods are one of the most popular hip-hop groups in Australia. They come out of Adelaide and have been performing since 1991. They were originally signed to Obese Records but now are signed to Golden Era Records. The group consists of members Suffa, MC Pressure and DJ Debris. They have won countless awards with the latest being the Best Urban Album for Drinking from the Sun at the 2012 ARIA Awards.
What are your favourite Aussie hip-hop artists? Share them in the comments below!