HISTORY OF HIP HOP IN AUSTRALIA

Apologies for any errors, omissions or incomplete information, this is being updated regularly.


This page is an Interactive Time-Line – most sections will allow you to click on the ‘info’ button for more information, video & audio tracks as well as links to associated Artists


 

Introduction

Australian hip hop music began in the early 1980s; originally it was primarily influenced by hip hop music and culture imported via radio and television from the United States of America. However,since the 1990s,a distinctive local style has developed. Australian hip hop is an underground music scene with only a few commercial hits in the last decade. Albums and singles are released by mostly independent record labels,often owned and run by the artists themselves.

The first hip hop recording was the relatively mainstream 1980 pop release ‘Rapper’s delight’ by
the African-American Sugarhill Gang. This was followed by films such as the 1982 rap and graffiti documentary Wild style , the 1984 rap and breakdance feature film Beat street, among others), and hip hop music videos such as Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Buffalo gals’ .

These three key hip hop visual texts had a considerable impact in Australia, as elsewhere in the world, where fledgling and inspirational breakers and graffiti writers, and later rappers and turntablists, copied every move from the videos and began taking their newly acquired skills out onto the streets. Burwood Park in Sydney’s inner west was one of the earliest breakdancing sites
in Australia, and was not without the occasional violent encounter, as represented in multicultural crew Sound Unlimited’s 1992 track ‘Tales from the westside’ – Tony Mitchell

I’m glad to be the person who started it, to bridge the culture gap. You know, no black thing or white thing. It’s the we thing…… There was never no racism, music is the universal language. – Kool Herc

There’s no such thing as black and white hip-hop, just good and bad – Briggs

 Okay we may have heard Grandmaster Flash ; the Furious Fives “The Message” on the radio, we may even have seen Crazy Legs ; Frosty Freeze freaking it in Flashdance at the movies for a couple of seconds or seen some graff in Death Wish on TV, but to see all this in three minute music clip was kinda awesome. That was when the seeds to the current Australian Hip-Hop culture were germinated. We all started breaking, some of us then went out bombing, others became glued to the turntables while a select few started rhyming. If one had a Video-recorder, one could always rewind the breaking videos to work out the moves, if one wanted to practice graff one would run around at night with spray paint after perusing over a copy of Subway Art, or after watching a dubbed, dubbed, dubbed copy of Style Wars (which was aired on New Zealand television in 84). If someone else wanted to start deejaying, well then, they bought turntables and records from the import dance stores and stayed at home and practiced, but if one wanted to rhyme . . . well then.”  – BLAZE

1949

The first computer to ever play music was in Sydney

CSIRAC was Australia’s first digital computer,
It is the oldest surviving first-generation electronic computer  and was the first in the world to play digital music.

1979

The Fairlight was the first digital synthesizer and sampler. It was invented by two young Australians. 

 The Fairlight got its name from a hydrofoil (itself named after the Sydney suburb Fairlight) which Ryrie and Vogel saw pass by as they worked on their invention in Ryrie’s grandmother’s Point Piper garage. We take sampling technology for granted today, but at the time it was a revelation for a computer to be able to store (on floppy disc) and manipulate recorded natural sounds.

1982

 “Buffalo Gals“,was shown on a television music show called Sound Unlimited.

The show was staged in a Manhattan basketball court and featured images of graffiti and break dancers. 

It should go without saying that Hip Hop was fairly widespread ( although underground ) the first documented exposure of Hip Hop on National TV was the song and accompanying video “Buffalo Gals’  was shown on the Australian television music show Sound Unlimited.

The music show was broadcast on Network Seven. Buffalo Gals  peaked at 18 in the Australian ARIA Charts.

The show was staged in a Manhattan basketball court and featured images of graffiti and break dancers. This left an impression on many teenagers and many started attempting the dance moves they saw on the show.

While in New York City looking for a support act for Bow Wow Wow, McLaren got the idea for the song when he went to an outdoor concert (known as a “Block Party”) by Afrika Bambaataa and Universal Zulu Nation. This is where he was exposed to Hip-Hop for the first time and discovered the scratching technique he would use on this song. Most of the scratching and the beat of the song were composed by Trevor Horn.

In the liner notes for Duck Rock, McLaren wrote that this track was “recorded with the World’s Famous Supreme Team and Zulu singers backing them up with the words ‘she’s looking like a hobo.’ The performance by the Supreme Team may require some explaining, but suffice to say they are DJs from New York City who have developed a technique using record players like instruments, replacing the power chord of the guitar with the needle of a gramophone, moving it manually backwards and forwards across the surface of a record. We call it scratching.”

Charisma Records were not initially keen on releasing the song, but relented after a strong positive response to the first broadcast of the track by DJ Kid Jensen

” Hip-Hop culture also migrated here, but not by boat or by plane. It came via television, cinema ; radio, circa 1983/84. Like most other countries it came in a loosely held package. Strangely enough it manifested itself here via an Englishman`s version of New York. Yes it was Malcolm McLarens doing, moreso it was the filmclip to his “Buffalo Gals” track. Although the song isn`t all that, the visuals were. We heard the sounds of, The Worlds Famous Supreme Team scratching, the Rock Steady Crew breakdancing and . . . Dondi piecing up a Buffalo burner. Shit was too much at once.

Okay we may have heard Grandmaster Flash ; the Furious Fives “The Message” on the radio, we may even have seen Crazy Legs ; Frosty Freeze freaking it in Flashdance at the movies for a couple of seconds or seen some graff in Death Wish on TV, but to see all this in three minute music clip was kinda awesome.

That was when the seeds to the current Australian Hip-Hop culture were germinated. We all started breaking, some of us then went out bombing, others became glued to the turntables while a select few started rhyming.

If one had a Video-recorder, one could always rewind the breaking videos to work out the moves, if one wanted to practice graff one would run around at night with spray paint after perusing over a copy of Subway Art, or after watching a dubbed, dubbed, dubbed copy of Style Wars (which was aired on New Zealand television in 84). If someone else wanted to start deejaying, well then, they bought turntables and records from the import dance stores and stayed at home and practiced, but if one wanted to rhyme . . . well then.”  – BLAZE

Sounds, originally broadcast as Sound Unlimited, was a popular Australian television series featuring pop and rock music, live performances, music videos and interviews. It was broadcast on Saturday mornings, from 9 a.m. for three hours, on the Seven Network beginning in late 1974 to end in December 1987.

For most of its run it was hosted by former disc jockey, Donnie Sutherland. It is often credited as the first of its kind in the world, created because Australia was too far away for artists to travel to for live performances.

Sounds, originally broadcast as Sound Unlimited, was a popular Australian television series featuring pop and rock music, live performances, music videos and interviews. It was broadcast on Saturday mornings, from 9 a.m. for three hours, on the Seven Network beginning in late 1974 to end in December 1987. For most of its run it was hosted by former disc jockey, Donnie Sutherland. It is often credited as the first of its kind in the world, created because Australia was too far away for artists to travel to for live performances.
Sounds Unlimited (initially without the plural) was the first live studio programme broadcast in colour in Australia from 1 March 1975.[2] Many local and international music artists appeared on the show. By May 1978 it was screened on 21 stations across the country. According to Sutherland, “When colour was starting, families would be in the shopping centres on Saturday morning and they would see our show – and a lot of our material was in colour. Not only did that help sell sets, but it also established Sound Unlimited in people’s minds.”[3] It broadcast the final public appearance, on 30 September 1978, of Australian rock’n’roller, Johnny O’Keefe, who died a week later, on 6 October.

1983

The Novelty track “The Dub With No Beer” was released

This is not respected by the community or widely acknowledged as a true Hip Hop Release.

australian hip hop

Sydney entertainer Dave Mason-Cox participated in a novelty project in early 1983 with cohort Don Bruner the result was called “Aussie Rap” backed with an instrumental mix called “Aussie Rap – The Dub With No Beer”.


This song would have to be one of the first attempts at making a proper Oz rap track but it certainly doesn’t have the intenseness of its American counterparts and it is filled with ockerisms and lingo only a local would get…”mum likes Kamahl dad likes Slim”…and it makes me smile everytime I hear it…especially the continued use of the phrase “get down” which becomes obvious at the end…!

Composition by Don Bruner & Dave Mason-Cox
This track appeared on the ‘Rap Attack’ compilation in 1985 – https://www.discogs.com/Various-Rap-Attack/release/2852306

In compilation 15.OZ vinyl: 15 years of Australian hip-hop on vinyl by DJ Ransom, according to the album’s accompanying liner notes (written by various leading Australian MCs), the first Australian hip hop release appeared in 1983. A novelty record entitled ‘The Aussie rap’ by the Average Aussie Band, it appears to have sunk without a trace. However, Sydney hip hop luminary Blaze (1994) regards the 1988 independent release ‘Combined talent’/‘My destiny’ by Just Us as the first “true” Australian hip hop record.  – Tony Mitchell

Instrumental of the 12 has a full bboy breakdown with the meanest bassline that didnt appear on the telmak version – J Red

1984

The Novelty track “The Thong Clap” was released

This is not respected by the community or widely acknowledged as a true Hip Hop Release.
 
https://youtu.be/M6WX2rHSvHM

The Thong Clap rap, 1983. It was conceived as a piece of satire, intended to poke fun at the Australian obsession with thongs – not skimpy underwear, but rubber footwear (flip-flops).

It was performed by my brother Vyvyan and I, although the credit on the record went to Thong de Plume. The thong drum solo was performed on anything that made a noise that I found in the studio kitchen. The producer/engineer/mentor was Corey Fite, who also played keyboards on 2001 Thongs for Beginners.
http://www.45cat.com/artist/thong-de-plume

1985

North Sydney Basketball Courts – January,1985.

1985

One of Melbourne’s First Hip Hop Events

1985

The Novelty track “Itchin’ In The Kitchen” was released

This is not respected by the community or widely acknowledged as a true Hip Hop Release.

A song, a video, a legacy. With almost 20 copies sold worldwide Itchin’ in the Kitchen was probably one of the most unsuccessful records of the 1980’s. The lack of sales had probably to do with it only being available in five stores. ‘A video doesn’t a marketing plan make’. Ironically the video was in high rotation on the Australian music video television shows.  The video also won a couple of awards.

Side one has a female vocal rap while the B-Side is an instrumental electro version. Apparently it had a custom press run (300?) but the story goes that only 20 copies were actual sold. What happened to the rest of the copies is unknown

1987

Skippy The Butcher supported Run DMC on their ’88 Australian tour.

In 1987/1988 former punk band turned hip-hop act,”Skippy the Butcher” performed at venues around Melbourne,most notably a residence at The Razor club around the end of 1988. Allegedly one of the first ever gigging Australian Hip Hop groups. Following this they joined in the first tour of RUN-DMC,playing support at the Festival Hall and Metro concerts in November 1988. After recording one 5 track EP; “Full Blown Rap”  at the ABC studios in Elsternwick,Melbourne the group disbanded.

1987

The first Australian Rap record released was by Mighty Big Crime.

Although this is closer to Hip Hop than the previous Novelty releases, the group was considered more of a novelty project and not respected by the community or widely acknowledged as a true Hip Hop Release.

1987

Perth’s first Hip Hop radio station ”Scratch Fm” from 1987 to 1992 hosted by Dj Cut Nice

Dj Blaze

“Rhyming was the most neglected part of the four quarters of Hip-Hop. Because all the rap that anyone had ever heard was from African-Americans, most felt that they were the only ones who could do it properly and sound good.

The problem was in reality that no-one had ever heard a non-American accent rapping and when they did hear an Australian voice rapping they would turn off and prefer to hear someone with a fake accent. This stifled the development of rhyming in the early years, whereas breaking was everywhere, but then it started getting out of control with the media & advertising industry exploiting the fuck out of it. So to many b-boyin’ became just another passing fad, but to others it was more important and they stuck with it and channeled their drive for breaking into the world of bombing.

This is what became the most prolific part of Hip- Hop in Australia. Every suburb seemed to have it’s own bombing crew, one didnÕt need lino or cardboard and a boom box, all one needed was a pen. Because breaking was a physical activity not everyone could partake in it, whereas everybody could write. And because one was constantly writing one was also practising at the same time.

Shit became hectic and soon the major cities started changing in about 86-88, that was when it was at its peak.

A day wouldn`t go by without seeing another writer on the train in the standard uniform: runners with fat laces, tracksuits, backpack, etc. . . . Styles were being mastered and statewide correspondence had been initiated, friendly battles ensued, shit was happening.” – Blaze

1988

Discotek Nightclub, Brisbane

1988

Dj Wayne Mac played Ike and Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High one Sunday on 2UE Radio and it was immediately pulled from the playlist for being “too noisy and too black“.

1988

Down Under By Law, released in 1988, was the first ever Australian Hip Hop compilation

Featuring Westside Posse, Sharline, Mighty Big Crime, Swoop, Fly Girl 3, Pest-A-Side, Mike Scott & Drew Muirhead.

“Down Under by Law” was a compilation pieced together by Virgin and released in 1988 on vinyl. It was the first Australian hip hop compilation ever released but it seems tainted by the fact that it appeared that Virgin were trying to capitalise on the late-80s boom in hip hop around the world. Spice, West Side Posse and several other artists made appearances. – Mark Pollard

The very poor “Down Under By Law” compilation which was put together by dance music producers and DJs. It was a tub of lard with no redeeming features, although WEST SIDE POSSE`s track “Pull the Trigger” was the closest to what we wanted. – Blaze

The compilation was released  prior to ‘Combined Talent’ by Just Us

1988

The first true Australian Solo Hip Hop release

 “Combined Talent” / “My Destiny” by Just Us, released on vinyl. Members include Dj Case, Mentor later joined the group, later it was re-formed with Roamz.

It was pressed independently. Based in Sydney’s outer western suburbs, Just Us and their affiliates were rough, rugged and raw, and pushed an individual Australian identity through their music. Central Station Records then released the group’s “Voice of the Hunted” (with Mentor added to the group) vinyl in the early 90s. Case moved to Malta for a few years, returned and re-formed Just Us with Roamz, and performed at the mighty Contents Under Pressure gig with FWP. Since then Case has been working with Terminal Illness and has produced a track for the upcoming Def Wish Cast album. Roamz is working with the Ascendescents and Mentor moved into metal. – Mark Pollard

    Musically it relied on 808 beats, 303 bassline, heaps of impressive scratching and Aussie accents. Undoubtedly a classic and very indicative of the sound of the western suburbs in Sydney at that time. This was followed up a couple of years later with a 6-track EP “Voice of the Hunted” on CENTRAL STATION RECORDS which included their popular track “Stinging In The Rain”. Unfortunately DJ CASE left for Malta and MENTOR ventured into metal. – Blaze

1988

Sound Unlimited Posse was the first Australian hip hop group signed to a major label

A Postcard from the Edge of the Underside was the only Australian rap album to be released by a major label (Columbia Sony) in the 1990s.  This “breakthrough recording deal” was negotiated with the help of Public Enemy.

In the late 1980s, Sound Unlimited Posse became the first Australian hip hop group signed to a major record label (Sony BMG),releasing A Postcard from the Edge of the Under-side in 1992. The group initially received some criticism for their instrumental style and commercial success,particularly from other Sydney-based hip hop outfits.

 Burwood Park in Sydney’s inner west was one of the earliest breakdancing sites in Australia, and was not without the occasional violent encounter, as represented in multicultural crew Sound Unlimited’s 1992 track ‘Tales from the westside’

The release and label backing got them into the charts, played on 2DayFM and spots on all sorts of TV shows such as Vidiot (yeah, you remember that one ú Edan Gaha was the man). They even graced the cover of 3d World, something that few other local acts have achieved mainly because they don’t have Roger Sanchez as their DJ. They were mocked to some degree by the more underground crews, especially with samples such as from Men at Work and a lot of Americanisms. Their success was talked up by labels and media alike, but it is said that it took them almost ten years to pay back their advance to the record label. In this time, they made a name and lineup change (Renegade Funktrain), and seemed to be trying to do an acid-jazz-hip-hop thing five years too late. – Mark Pollard

1988

Munkimuk, known as The Grandfather of Indigenous Hip Hop has been performing since 1984 as a breakdancer and started emceeing in 1988.

He is known for his music production, MCíng, breakdancing, event hosting and radio broadcasting. In 2014 Mark Munk Ross was inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall Of Fame.

I was also getting a reputation as a freestyle rapper while I was doing all this music stuff. And then I got a few shows, by myself. I ended up just doing spoken word, like rapping. Then I worked out that I’d have my drum machine with me and have the presets that I programmed and just let the beat play. So I did that and it was pretty bodgie! [Laughs.] Most of the places that I’d do these gigs were all African American guys at these gigs, rapping. I was completely different because I was rapping in my own accent. They were like, ‘Woah man, what’s this? Hillbilly rap?!’ [Laughs.] So I thought, I’m gonna bring all my mates with me, which is how the whole South-West Syndicate thing came about. I thought I’m not gonna go out there by myself and be the laughing stock, that whole being laughed off stage, man – been there and done it. I thought, next time I’m gonna go and I’m gonna go with 30 of my mates and we’re all gonna for it – and see who laughs then! – Munkimuk

1988

The first ever DMC Australian event was in 1988.

DMC Australia was then ran by Sydney-based promoter and DJ Joe Coneeley (a.k.a Joe 90) who ran various dance parties and went on to found the `Vibes on a summers day’tour. His Sydney DJ comp events were huge and one in particular drew 5000 punters to the Horden pavilion. The event was hosted by a young Rodney Overblow the Third, now more reasonably known as MC Rodney O. That year it was Sydney-sider Drew Muirhead who triumphed at the nationals. ” – Stewart Hanna

DJ KC and ASK were two of the most influential and innovative Sydney turntablists/DJs through the late ’80s and into the ’90s. KC was the Australian DMC Champion three times and is renowned for his three turntables showcase. DJ ASK took out the National DMC twice, and was known for brewing up a storm everywhere he went – in many different ways. In 1994 he teamed up with the then-teen-aged DJ Bonez and formed the Cross Fader Raiders. Aside from cassette releases, they put out “Casting Spells on 12s” with Swamp and the battle record “Raiders of the Lost Crate” through DMC in Melbourne. ASK moved to the UK with Renegade Funktrain while KC now runs the United DJ School in Surry Hills. – Mark Pollard

1988

Vapors was one of the first Hip Hop magazines in the world.

Much as Hype was one of the first full colour graf mags in the world, Australia (despite what some may think) has been documenting, innovating and cultivating the culture as long as most.

Vaporz was established by Blaze with the first issue being printed in 1988. Initially boasting a cut and paste format, the magazine predates the empire-like The Source and HHC. It was strong with opinion and, despite coming out infrequently, had a grassroots following around the world. – Mark Pollard

Vapors was an independent, underground, Australian, Hip Hop magazine.  If there was a Hip Hop magazine that came out before it then I don’t know about it.  I knew the man behind the magazine as Blaze through the Loungeroom & Next Level Records.
I bought my first copy after school at Disco City in Parramatta.  It was issue 5, December 1989 – the NWA issue.  In the pre-internet era this thing was a goldmine of information.  To this day I still seek out songs that were favorably reviewed within it’s pages.
I went rummaging through boxes in my Mum’s garage looking for them the other day.  When I found them I was surprised to see they had deteriorated.  The paper seems to be disintegrating or maybe it has been eaten by some insect?  I thought I’d start to scan and share them before they perish beyond salvageability.
I don’t have all the issues.  If you have any copies of this awesome resource please get in touch.  I hope you will let me scan them and share them here.

Vaporz was the first hip hop magazine in the world. Much as Hype was one of the first full colour graf mags in the world, Australia (despite what some may think) has been documenting, innovating and cultivating the culture as long as most. Vaporz was established by Blaze with the first issue being printed in 1988. Initially boasting a cut and paste format, the magazine predates the empire-like The Source and HHC. It was strong with opinion and, despite coming out infrequently, had a grassroots following around the world. – Mark Pollard

1988

The first appearance of an Australian hip hop act on Australian Television was in November 1988 when Skippy The Butcher performed live on the ABC’s “The Factory” connected to the Run DMC tour.

1988

Jigzaw broadcast Brisbane’s first hip hop show ‘Jus 2 Def’ alongside his co-host Biz on Station 4ZZZ

 

1988

Canberra Times – 12 June 1988

1989

In Melbourne  the PARK BENCH ROYALS  released a 2-track 12″ single.

Although ironically, NEMO, dissed house music but then ventured into esoteric Hip-House a few years later.   Adelaidian DJ, K-JAY produced this as well as being a member of the famed AKA BROTHERS, who also released a 3-track 12″ single in 89 “Coming Out Large/Poetry In Motion/Tall Poppy Sundrome”.

 This is when Australian Hip Hop music was truly born.

It had crunchy breaks, funky scratching and the true aesthetics of Hip-Hop styles courtesy of RANSOM, CHOICE CUTS and PAC. Years later in 1990 they released another 12″ single “What Is It/On the T-Cozy Tip” also on STRAIT UP records. They also took this with them when they performed at the New Music Seminar “Standing On the Verge” gig in New York in 1990. Yeah, the Americans realised their skills before most Australian Hip-Hop fans had even heard of them. – Blaze

1989

Triple J was launched Nationally 

Although initially it was accused of ignoring the emerging hip hop scene and related genres, in favour of the more marketable rock-oriented grunge style that dominated music at the same time. It wasn’t until  1994 that Triple J expanded to most regional centres through-out Australia.

The station also exerted a noticeable effect on local record companies. For many years, local record labels would only import recordings that they knew would earn a good commercial return, and they were often unwilling to take risks on local releases of unknown acts. Much new music was routinely available only as expensive imports in specialist shops. 

In 1989, Triple J had been playing N.W.A’s protest song “Fuck tha Police” for up to six months, before catching the attention of ABC management who subsequently banned it. As a result, the staff went on strike and put the group’s song “Express Yourself” on continuous play for 24 hours, playing it roughly 360 times in a row.

1989

Australia saw the first issue of ‘Hype’ magazine hit the shelves, an all Australian color graffiti magazine that was dedicated to b-boying and graffiti

1989

Radio Therapy was on Sydney radio 2RRR, 88.5 FM and played hip-hop as well as hip-house and house music. It ran from late 1989 to late 1990.

https://hiphopradioarchive.org/show/428

1989

John Alsop wins the DMC Championships

1990

The Lounge Room was established by Blaze and JU in the early ’90s.

It was the first specialist hip hop store in Sydney and provided a daily meeting spot for people to network and satisfy vinyl appetites. The shop later moved to Crown St where it shared premises with X Large and, having been robbed twice and having most of their stock cleaned out, Blaze moved the shop into some spare space in a printer’s workshop just off William St. Next Level Records emerged out of the Lounge Room with Blaze having enough of it all. Dr Phibes set up his shop on Liverpool St where it has been for the past five years. He opened it with a box of records left over from the Lounge Room and a turntable. – Mark Pollard

Australia’s First Hip Hop Radio Shows

Various media types preceeded Miguel D’Souza (Tim Ritchie on Double J in the late 80s for instance – now the head of Radio National) but few were as vitriolic as the Barry White of Bhangarra Rap. In October 1990, he was involved with getting Sydney’s first hip hop show on air. It was called The Mothership Connection and aired on 2SER every Tuesday afternoon on Sydney community radio 2SER-FM. The show featured many, many MC’s, DJ’s and even graf writers and b-boys and b-girls of the Sydney hip hop scene as regular guests.

”2SER and shows like the Mothership Connection were the hub for hip-hop in Sydney,” says Levinson, stage name Urthboy. They were ”what hip-hop kids would listen to religiously … And now we are seeing massive growth in the hip-hop scene and they’re on commercial radio, and the horse has bolted.”

”Without 2SER, there’s a very good chance that the Herd would never have existed,” says Levinson, who wound up co-hosting a program on unreleased music and taking others to a wider audience. ”2SER was just instrumental in us being able to communicate with people.”

Sydney, Australia’s Funkin’ Lessons played all underground hip-hop on 102.5 FM (2MBS) from 1993 to 1996. The show was on from 12AM to 3AM and was hosted by DJs Blaze and Dr. Phibes.
2MBS played mostly classical and jazz music throughout the day but the 12AM to 3AM time slot was reserved for other styles of music.
– Robert Sacchinelli
 
https://hiphopradioarchive.org/browse/shows/Funkin%27+Lessons/

Madhouse aired on Sydney, Australia’s 2SER 107.3 FM and was hosted by DJ’s Blaze (of Funkin’ Lessons), Ming D and Mark Walton who took turns hosting the show.
It was 90 mins long mostly every fortnight playing underground hip-hop but occasionally someone else would host and play house or club music.
It ran from 1989 to 1991.
– Robert Sacchinelli
 
https://hiphopradioarchive.org/browse/shows/Madhouse/

DJS/HOSTS

DJ Blaze
Ming D
Mark Walton
Mick
Rich

Between October 6, 1990 and sometime around 1996, Miguel D’Souza hosted The Mothership Connection, a weekly hip-hop show on Sydney community radio 2SER-FM. The show featured many, many MC’s, DJ’s and even graf writers and b-boys and b-girls of the Sydney hip hop scene as regular guests.
Sydney’s first hip hop show started in October 1990. It was called The Mothership Connection and aired on 2SER every Tuesday afternoon.
Well before hip-hop took hold in mainstream Australia, Sydney’s aspiring MCs, breakdancers and others thirsty for its sound would tune in to the long-running Mothership Connection show on radio 2SER and hear freestyle rapping from Australians and interviews with overseas notables among the hip-hop treats.
Tim Levinson was among them, and what the Blue Mountains youngster heard in the 1990s on the community station – which turns 30 tomorrow – was a pivotal influence in becoming one of Australia’s leading rappers as frontman of the Herd.”2SER and shows like the Mothership Connection were the hub for hip-hop in Sydney,” says Levinson, stage name Urthboy. They were ”what hip-hop kids would listen to religiously … And now we are seeing massive growth in the hip-hop scene and they’re on commercial radio, and the horse has bolted.”The station’s airplay of the fledgling band when they struggled to get their music heard – far from their top-10 status today – is typical of its supportive relationship with home-grown music and a prime reason it is seen as indispensable to a vibrant music scene in Sydney.”Without 2SER, there’s a very good chance that the Herd would never have existed,” says Levinson, who wound up co-hosting a program on unreleased music and taking others to a wider audience. ”2SER was just instrumental in us being able to communicate with people.”
2SER is a community radio station in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, broadcasting on the frequency 107.3 FM
Archives can be downloaded at;  https://hiphopradioarchive.org/show/355

 
http://djstepone.blogspot.com/2018/05/straight-late-90s-jiggy-free.html
Robust Link for https://web.archive.org/web/20041126160406/http://www.mothershipconnection.org:80/
 
Miguel D’Souza, a prominent advocate of Australian hip hop in Sydney weekly street music paper 3D until 1998 and through his longstanding role as host of community  243 radio station 2SER’s hip hop radio program The mothership connection, claimed that Fenech’s documentary Basic equipment managed to “document what has happened to hip hop culture in the West, and re-emphasise the point that resistance still is at the core
of Western Suburbs hip hop” (1998, p.2). D’Souza also argued, with some justification, that Sydney hip hop had become “gentrified” in the mid-1990s, moving away from its western suburbs origins to a more inner-city base – Tony Mitchell
https://hiphopradioarchive.org/browse/shows/Mothership+Connection/




 

 


 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Radio Therapy was on Sydney radio 2RRR, 88.5 FM and played hip-hop as well as hip-house and house music. It ran from late 1989 to late 1990.
– Robert Sacchinelli
 
https://hiphopradioarchive.org/browse/shows/Radio+Therapy/

in Melbourne, radio station 106.7 3PBSFM featured the radio show Steppin’ 2 da A.M with DJ Krisy the show ran for over 5 years and featured almost the entire Australian hip hop scene including regular dj Spots by DJ Ransom,DJ FX and many more.
Also in Melbourne after Steppin 2 da A.M ended was a show called The Formula with hosts Stewbakka,Bias B and DJ FX that run for many years,when ‘The formula’ show ended the Hosts started a show at 3RRR Triple R called ‘Werdburner’ with Hosts Stewbakka and Bias B
– PBS 106.7FM (call sign: 3PBS), also known as the Progressive Broadcasting Service, is a co-operatively owned community radio station in MelbourneAustralia, that broadcasts on 106.7FM, Digital radio and online. PBS will celebrate its 40th year of broadcast in 2019.

“I djed for Krisy’s Steppin To The AM show on and off for a couple of years in the early 90s. I don’t have many tapes of it but this one is ok. Hip Hop was gold at that time and there’s lots of good tracks on here by all kinds of big names and also some others who have slipped into obscurity. The drill at PBS every Saturday was this. 5 minutes before the show a bunch of people carrying 1200s, mixer etc would be in the foyer with Krisy trying to regulate their behaviour in some way, then at 10pm she’d play a couple cds while we plugged in the decks and everything else. No one was paid enough to buy all the new releases at the time so we had a loan system from Central Station, when we returned the records they would very carefully examine each one for fingerprints, one smudge we had to buy it. Subsequently much of the djing was done very gingerly, with fingers on the edge style the flavor. Often the studio housed up to 20 people, many were drunk and some bought bongs in on the train and literally filled the station with smoke. Every now and then the management would crack down on the antics and the language / sentiment of some songs but Krisy always seemed to manage to appease them and keep the show on air, till she got sick of it that is. Apparently it was one of the highest rating shows of the time and most definitely influenced a generation of Melbourne Hip Hop.” – https://www.mixcloud.com/The_Late_Show/11-ransom-and-dj-krissy-steppin-to-the-am-pbs-fm-27393-part1-ransom-month-of-mixes/
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DJ Krisy, host of the incredible ‘Steppin To Da AM’ show on PBS in the early 1990s (pic by Raise)

in Melbourne after Steppin 2 da A.M ended was a show called The Formula with hosts Stewbakka,Bias B and DJ FX that run for many years,when ‘The formula’ show ended the Hosts started a show at 3RRR Triple R called ‘Werdburner’ with Hosts Stewbakka and Bias B.
– PBS 106.7FM (call sign: 3PBS), also known as the Progressive Broadcasting Service, is a co-operatively owned community radio station in MelbourneAustralia, that broadcasts on 106.7FM, Digital radio and online. PBS will celebrate its 40th year of broadcast in 2019.

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Released in 1999 as a tape only release on Wild Child Productions. Cover Design by DENS WCA. Featuring a collection of Australian MC’s performing live on the 3PBS Radio Show “The Formula” hosted by Bias B & Stewbakka.

1990

Def Wish Cast were the first to Tour Australia-wide

They were the only Australian underground act to tour all across Australia without the aid of anybody but themselves. Then they released a 3-track tape, which then turned up on their explosive album and medieval inspired “Knights of the Underground Table”. Unfortunately it came out on CD and cassette only. Much to the dismay of the European audience who heard them via Norwegian Hip Hop DJ and magazine publishing freak (Fatcap), Tommy Tee. He became an ardent fan and played their music on his radio show which was broadcast into several northern European countries. The Germans also went apeshit over them and they sold a few hundred copies there as well. They also managed to make a videoclip for the anthemic track “A.U.S.T.” which mangaged to get played on a few nationally broadcast music video shows. They have now changed their style from a somewhat British style to a more East coast flavour. – Blaze

Def Wish Cast are the quintessential Sydney hip hop crew. A lot of groups have made very valuable contributions to the culture but few crews have been as well-rounded and have made such a large impact as Die-C, Sereck and Def Wish. They released the “Mad As a Hatter” vinyl EP in 1992. Subsequently, they were the first group to tour nationally. They then released their album “Knights of the Underground Table” (CD and cassette), which became a manual for Australian hip hop. It was released through Western Sydney-based Random records, who, despite selling in the vicinity of six to eight thousand units, never paid the group. The clip for “A.U.S.T.” gave a face to Australian hip hop and was pivotal in shaping generations to come. Many can still remember seeing it for the first time on Video Hits or Rage. – Mark Pollard

1990

Joe 90 split with DMC in 1990 and it wasn’t until Chris Smith (DJ Chris Kross) took over in 1992 that the DJ comp recommenced.

That year the VIC heat took place at the Mega Bar and included some stellar names. Ransom took out first place, with DJ Kash second and Anthony Pappa in third. Ransom’s routine included the first `Beat Juggle’ in an Australian battle, but the judges at the Australian finals (including Future Entertainment head Honcho Mark James and old skool DJ Paul `Flex’ Taylor) gave the nod to NSW champ K.C (Kirren Way) who’s spectacular set included samplers, 4 decks and pyrotechnics. The live act in 1992 was Def Wish Cast.

1990

Rize & Tarkee release their debut single ‘Let Yourself Be Yourself’

This was a gem also and solidified the fact that Australians could hook up beats just like anyone else. Two years later they released another single on S.U., but this time they came with a name change. They were now to be known as Mama’s Funkistools

1990

Dj ASK wins the DMC Championships

 

1991

In 1991 a local Sydney Rap Solo Artist, KIC,only 16 years old was signed to Sony/COLUMBIA records becoming the youngest to sign to a major label & the first Australian Hip Hop Artist to reach the Top Ten Charts in Singapore and Hong Kong.

His first debut single ‘Bring Me On’ was an instant hit in Australia and reached the top ten charts in Singapore and Hong Kong in 1994.

1991

Brudas United As One were formed

1992

Def Wish Cast released  “Mad As A Hatter” featuring Brethren who released their demo cassette the same year.

Consisting of four songs which were also on the independent label Random Records released Def Wish Cast‘s album Knights of the Underground Table. After this there were a string of independent CDs and tapes released by various artists from the Western Suburbs of Sydney,an area traditionally regarded as working class,underprivileged,and crime-ridden,with a large population of immigrant inhabitants.

1992

Dj KC wins the DMC Championships

1992

Brad Strut released his first demo, Rock On.

1992

Slingshot Touring & Events was launched by Trent Roden.

Slingshot Touring & Events is the longest running hiphop concert promoter in Australia…. starting events in 1993 and then going national in 1995 Slingshot has been responsible for over100 international tours and shows across Australia.

1992

Finger Lickin Good released their debut EP

    Melbourne based ORGANIZED RHYME PRODUCTIONS also released a somewhat curious compilation EP which included a track each from RISING NOT RUNNING, DOO DAYZ, RHYME, BRUDAS UNITED AS ONE and ORGANIZED RYHM themselves. Very dark and old school sounding, which the younger audience found hard to appreciate, although it wasnÕt an altogether satisfying release. – Blaze

 

1993

Def Wish Cast released the single A.U.S.T.

1993

Dj KC wins the DMC Championships

“1993 was an interesting year for the DMC because it was the only year they allowed a DJ to enter with a musical instrument and a vocalist, or a couple of DJs together.” Eddie Robless

1994

Hilltop Hoods released their debut on cassette titled Highlanders

 

 Until the late 1990s, it was customary for new Australian hip-hop albums to be released on self produced cassettes 

“Blaze’s group Noble Savages produced an eight-track cassette album in 1994, and Capital punishment, a six-track tape, produced by DJ Vame.  Trey, Koolism, Noble Savage (featuring Blaze), Easybass and Fathom all produced first
cassette releases which are now collectors’ items.

 

As Pollard has noted, this ‘Tape Culture’ was another
defining aspects of Sydney’s Do-it-Yourself hip-hop underground: ‘Everybody dubbed tapes for each other
because more often than not the tapes would sell out due both to demand and small print runs …  Similarly, most Australian hip-hop CDs have been released on self-produced CDs (eg. Sleekism Records, Fuglemen, Illegal Records, Dope Runner Records) or small independent labels like Parallax View, Elefant Traks, Random Records (who reputedly never paid Def Wish Cast), or local
independent label Mushroom Records’ offshoot MDS/MXL.

 

The principal distributor of Australian hip-hop on CD is Creative Vibes, a small outfit run by Mother Tongues founder Heidi Pascal, which also distributes local and overseas dance music and electronica.

Other production companies like Trent Roden’s Slingshot Concepts and Mark Pollard’s Stealth combine production with radio DJing, concert and DJ battle competition promotions, and the Urban Xpressions and Stealth hip-hop festivals which have taken place in Sydney most years since 1998.

 

With the exception of the Triple J hip-hop show, most media outlets are also DIY: from the hip-hop shows on community radio stations like 2SER, Bondi FM and their equivalents in other cities, to the Vaporz graffiti fanzine (which was founded by Blaze in 1988 and which Pollard claims ‘was the first hip-hop magazine in the world’ 2001: 124) to Stealth and the regular hip-hop
columns and features in the free Sydney weekly music press 3D World, Revolver and Drum Media and their
equivalents in other cities.

One of the main disadvantages of all this DIY activity is that the production standards are often low and cheap and products are consequently rejected or criticised by mainstream
media outlets.” – Tony Mitchell 

 

1994

Dj KC wins the DMC Championships

1995

Starting as a hip hop record store in 1995, Melbourne-based Obese Records gained a high profile as a record label. 

Its roster featured local artists such as label founder Pegz, Reason, Bias B, Muph and Plutonic, Art of War, Hilltop Hoods, Sydney-based Hijack and Torcha, Brisbane-based Lazy Grey and the Perth Syllabolix Crew.

1995

Home Brews Volume 1 was released in 1995 on Mushroom Records and features 11 artists from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne & Adelaide

Through XXL/MDS came two local compilations in the mid-90s. “Homebrews” came at a time when larger independent events had started to happen and there was a real sense of momentum building, something that has really only kicked into tangible effect since 2000.

Volume 1 of “Homebrews” came out in 1995 with 11 tracks from the likes of Koolism, Groove Terminator, Raph and Ransom while the second installation came out in 1998. Womb-Mind-Speak (several of whom are now working with the Mother Tongues label), Sereck, Brethren, Fathom and DJ Ask made appearances. The majority of tracks were still fairly low-fi compared to what our producers are doing now. – Mark Pollard

The development of a national Australian hip hop scene was given some degree of ‘official’ recognition by the release by local label Mushroom in 1995 of Home Brews Volume 1, a compilation of eleven Australian rap tracks by mostly unrecorded and almost exclusively male ‘bedroom’ hip hop practitioners from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Robert Brailsford’s liner notes expressed the prevailing sense of fragility: apart from having a hip-hop history, it is a history being built on. The main problem being Australian hip-hop suffers the same fate as English or for that matter Zambian hip-hop.

The prevailing attitude is that only American hip-hop is real. …The main challenge for Australian hip-hop is to discover and consolidate what makes it unique. I don’t really think anyone knows what that is, but Home Brews should provide some clues. The album’s diversity of styles is immediately noticeable, with trip hop, ragga, acid jazz and funk influences predominating.

As a grouping together of exponents of a virtually invisible underground movement, the album is a valuable indicator of some of the developments in the national hip hop scene – Tony Mitchell

1995

Morganics directed a Hip Hop Theatre Show

a western Sydney community hip hop project directed by Morganics and Urban Theatre Projects in 1995. ‘Hip Hopera’ was a watershed for Sydney hip hop, and SWS subsequently won a Deadly Award in 2003, shortly before they broke up.
So when Guy Rundle asked Goldsworthy to write some songs for him for a cabaret show, Goldsworthy took up the challenge. The result includes a playful piece of hip-hop that includes the lines: “I have a plank for your chasm, I have plasm for your spasm, If you bring the eggs, I’ll supply the jism. If you brings the org, I’ve got the asm.” Chorus: “Sex ism sex isn’t, Sex ism, sex isn’t.” (From Hip Hopera.)
Featured Ebony Williams at age 15.
“One local attempt to combine rap and high culture was ‘Hip Hopera’, an Australia Council-funded community project run in 1996 by the theatre group Death Defying theatre with young people in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. This managed to unearth a number of new teenage and pre-teen rap posses, including some of mixed Aboriginal and Lebanese origin, whose work was showcased on an album entitled Danger. The result was then toured around schools and community centres in the Western Suburbs. This was in many ways a synthetic project based on workshopping rap music with suburban kids, and had a community theatre orientation which conflicts with some local rappers’ concept of hip hop. ” – Tony Mitchell
 

1995

Noble Savages released their debut cassette

1995

MC Que released a cassette produced by Dedlee & Prowla, which was the first by a female Emcee in Australia.

best aussie hip hop artists

1995

“Chris Smith parted with DMC in 95 I took over the national agency and ran my first national comp in 96. We held the finals at the Entech trade fair in Darling Harbour, which was a stress and a laugh at the same time. That year K.C, Skizo and Brian A.S.K entered as a 3-man team and won. ” – Stewart Hanna

1996

Resin Dogs were formed, releasing their Debut EP on their own label, Hydrofunk Records.

1996

Downsyde released a demo on cassette called Behind the Bucket

1996

Dj ASK, Dj KC & Dj Skizo win the DMC Championships

1997

DJ Peril formed the 1200 Techniques 

After Sound Unlimited split in 1994,there was little commercial activity within Australian hip hop. However,underground artists continued to play  plenty of small live shows and release independent recordings. 

1997

The first Australian hip hop documentary

It was made in 1996 by Paul Fenech (creator of SBS’ Pizza series). 

Basic Equipment was a documentary hosted by Sereck and produced by Paul Fenech. It focussed on a handful of groups mainly from Sydney (Trey, Sleek the Elite, FWP, Cross Fader Radiers and so on). It aired at 8.30pm on ABC during the Loud Festival in 1998 which was a government programme aimed at supporting cultural pursuits. It featured various interviews and footage from the Contents Under Pressure gig. Paul Fenech, of course, stars in and produces SBS’s hit series Pizza now which also stars Sleek, while Basic Equipment is the label/crew name under which Sereck does most of his work. – Mark Pollard

1997

Metabass ‘N Breath toured USA in 1997/1998 and was the first time Australian Hip Hop was ever mentioned in Billboard Magazine in 1999.

One of the most important fulcrums of Australian hip hop was Metabass ‘n’ Breath, a Sydney crew made up of three prominent MCs and beatboxers – Morganics, Baba and Elf Transporter (the latter two are both expatriate Americans) – and Austrian-Australian DJ Nick Toth. The group’s beats incorporated traditional music from Australia, Asia and South America, and they released a notable album of globally-inflected hip hop called Seek in 1997. Their line-up also included a drummer, a keyboardist and a bass player, and the album contained two tracks in Spanish – evidence that they were looking at global influences rather than exclusively US ones. The group toured the US twice and released their album The life and times of a beatboxer on the San Francisco label Bomb Hip-Hop Records in 2000 before breaking up later that year. – Tony Mitchell

In 2002 Morganics was awarded a special justice commendation by the New South Wales Government for his work with disadvantaged youth, and he continues to work as a facilitator on urban and rural youth hip hop projects throughout the country. His 2003 one-man show Crouching b-boy hidden dreadlocks detailed some of his work in prisons and community centres as well as outlining his hip hop philosophy. His second album Evolve (2003) contained the track ‘Multilingual MC’, which includes snippets of lyrics from 15 different languages, including Japanese, French, Spanish and Pitjantjatjara, which Morganics had to learn in order to communicate with young Aboriginals in Central Australia. – Tony Mitchell

1997

Cannibal Tribe was formed by Raw (R.I.P.)

MCs Raw, The Holy Sinner and Mr Karma

1997

Dj Dexta wins the DMC Championships

1998

Urban Xpressions Festival

In a way, the Urban Xpressions hip hop festival gave the community a sense of pride and, importantly, a way to bring together the vastly diverse threads of Sydney hip hop. The first one ran in March of 1998 under the Slingshot banner, with Baba from Meta Bass’n’Breath playing a prominent role. Panel discussions, graf exhibitions, breaking in Hyde Park and the first independent American tour (Mystik Journeymen) featured during the ten days of the inaugural festival. 1999 saw Blackalicious come out for the festival while Jzone and Air Force One came out in April 2000. – Mark Pollard

1998

Hip Hop for Palestine 

An event held by Sydney’s Lebanese community in Granville Town Hall in 1998, featuring performances by Lebanese/Aboriginal Rappers SouthWest Syndicate as well as graffiti by Sereck.

1998

Trem releases his debut EP Sheer Talent.

1998

Terminal Illness is formed

Case, Illergic & Dj Maniak

1998

Blunted Stylus release the first Hip Hop on Vinyl from Queensland

1998

Dj Dexta wins the DMC Championships and competes in the World Finals winning at #5

1999

The Formula compilation cassette was released

1999

Australia’s first All-women Hip Hop compilation released on Mother Tongues, the first label in the world dedicated to developing women in Hip Hop music.

 14 tracks as well as poetry, spoken word, instrumentals and skits featuring Beats R Us, Maya Jupiter, Trey, Ebony Williams, Shorti RV, Dana Diaz & Phoenix.

1999

Stealth Mag was launched by Mike Pollard and was the first full colour Hip Hop Magazine in the Southern Hemisphere, released 14 issues before ending in 2007

It  was distributed worldwide via Tower Records.

“What we’re about takes many forms – from raps about BBQs, drinking beer, smoking pot and painting trains, to political and social inspections about race, class inequality and gender issues. The content of Australian hip-hop is as varied as its practitioners ” (Pollard
2003).

1999

Boney & Stoney released their self titled Debut

1999

Dj Dexta wins the DMC Championships

2000

Bliss N Eso released their first EP

2000

Dj Dexta wins the DMC Championships & competes in the World Finals earning 2nd place

2001

Draino from the Puah Hedz crew released Oz Cella -a multimedia CD documenting artists active in the Australian hip hop scene. 

2001

1200 Techniques released the crossover hits Hard As Hell, in 2001 and Karma in 2002 which ” charted in the Australian top 40 and won ARIA awards for “best independent release” and “best video”.

 Their debut album was only the second Australian Hip Hop release on a Major Label.

There was much discussion within the Australian hip-hop scene about the hefty sum of money which 1200 Techniques had to pay to EMI to clear their use of a sample from US soul group Hot Chocolate’s track ‘Brother Louie’ – an extravagance that could only be permitted by a major label, and one which was seen a indicative of the `mainstream orientations of 1200 Techniques – Tony Mitchell

2001

Culture of Kings: Volume 1  was released by Obese Records featuring After Hours, Bias B, Celsius, Certified Wise, Cross Bred Mongrels, Downsyde, Hilltop Hoods, Kolaps, Koolism, Los Town Sophystz, Lyrical Commission, MC Thorn, Mass MC, Matty B, Mr P. Body, Reason, Suffa, Terra Firma, Torcha & Trauma

2001

Triple J created a national, weekly, three-hour hip-hop show.

Hosted by Maya Jupiter from 2004 until Hau from Koolism took over in 2008.

Triple J’s acknowledgement of local hip-hop artists has had several significant effects. A lot of teens who would have levitated towards punk or rock are now finding that Australian hip-hop provides a voice that is closer to home. It has also increased the interest of larger labels in getting involved with the scene. As Shazlek One from Melbourne’s Obese Records says, “If there’s money to be made off it they’re going to want to be involved.” – Mark Pollard

Ian Shedden’s 2001 Australian feature ‘Hip-hop to the Trip’ suggested that Triple J’s Australian hip-hop show and promotion of Mass MC’s track ‘The BBQ Song’, along with its 2001 national tour featuring MC Trey, Shin Ki Row and Reference Point, was giving Australian hip-hop a higher profile. Shedden claimed that ‘a growing number of artists are emerging from the underground with music that is more expertly recorded and produced’, and ‘the barrier preventing rap in an Aussie accent being taken seriously is starting to crumble. – Tony Mitchell

2001

Dj Samrai wins the DMC Championships & competed at the World Finals in London earning #14, making him the youngest DJ to ever represent Australia at just 20 years old.

2001 Team Champions

Dj J-Red & Dj Selekt wins the Team category

 

2002

Culture of Kings: Volume 2 was released 

“Culture of Kings” dominated 2002 in every way possible. Volume 2 was a Triple J feature CD, the launch events around the country were very well attended for the most part, and the project subsequently took on juggernaut proportions. The “Culture of Kings” series was responsible for giving a lot of artists their first chance to gain national exposure. It had this strong underdog ethos to it that people simply rallied behind. 2003 should see the third instalment released.

With “Culture of Kings 2” receiving so much airplay on Triple J it is probably the sound that most would be familiar with. However, artists such as Hilltop Hoods, Reason, Koolism, Morganics, Katalyst, Quro, Downsyde, Mass MC, The Herd, Trey and 1200 Techniques have all received their fair share of exposure.

2002

Mass Mc launched the forum OzHipHop.com

It was sold in 2004 and promptly experienced a sharp decline in patronage and support in response.

It provides a constant 24 hour medium which we have access to and is run by true heads of the scene – Mass MC is the CEO of ozhiphop.com. The site conveys a message of commentary, news, reviews for Australian scene and beyond. It’s the ultimate service for the net heads. – Reason

2002

Dj Selekt wins the DMC Championships

2002 Team Champions

Dj J-Red & Dj Selekt wins the Team category

2003

In 2003 the internationally respected Hip Hop Connection Magazine predicted of the Hilltop Hoods 

“When Australian Hip-Hop breaks out, these chaps will be spearheading the campaign. No sill! y gimmicks, no wack beats, no nonsense Hip-Hop”

2003

DJ Shan Frenzie started the Groove Therapy radio show in Sydney on 2SER FM

Celebrated its 15th Anniversary in 2017

2003

The Mothership Connection Radio Show

2003

Hilltop Hoods release The Calling

The success of the album was significant in the Australian hip hop scene because it demonstrated popular recognition for a genre previously supported by a comparatively small, “underground” fan base. 

On 26 July 2006, Obese Records announced that the album became the first Australian hip hop release to achieve a platinum certification

2003

Out4Fame presents 2003 MC Battle For Supremacy was the first (documented) national MC tournament and was responsible for kick starting the careers of many MC’s across Australia.

The following year MC’s were invited to enter the tournament for the chance to compete in New Zealand. MC’s who have competed in Battle For Supremacy tournaments include Weapon X,360,Anecdote,Nfa,Justice,Dragonfly,Robby Bal Boa,Kaos,Tyna,Surreal,Cyphanetics,Delta.

Oriel Guthrie also documented the 2004 and 2005 events and released them on DVDs. 

2003

The multi-language compilation Sonic Allsorts is released

A compilation of tracks by 17 Australian artists from around who perform in over 20 languages, with code switching (switching between different languages in the one song) a recurrent feature. Compiled by Brendan Palmer, producer of the SBS Radio program Alchemy and prominent local and international DJ and electronica artist, Sonic allsorts demonstrates the linguistic and cultural diversity evident in Australian hip hop.
Artists include Mr Zux, Creator, Ila Familia, Joel Castell, Prussia, Koolism & Curse Ov Dialect

2003

Curse Ov Dialect were the first Australian Hip Hop Group signed in the U.S

2003

The first book-length account of Australian hip hop was Ian Maxwell’s Phat beats, dope rhymes: Australian hip hop down under comin’ upper (2003), which focused on the Sydney scene in the mid-1990s.

2003

Downsyde released the first Hip Hop on vinyl from W.A.

2003

All The Ladies: Women in Australian Hip Hop Documentary was released

2003

ObeseCity Album Launch

2003

Dj Staen 1 wins the DMC Championships

2003 Team Champions

Dj J-Red & Dj Selekt wins the Team category

2004

Hip Hop was added to the ARIA Awards.

By the early 2000s,the Australian Record Industry Association began to recognise the growth of interest within Australia and then in 2004 introduced a new category in their annual awards,’Best Urban Release’ (artists working primarily within the urban genre,e.g.: R&B,hip hop,soul,funk,reggae and dancehall). The inaugural award was won by Koolism for their album,Random Thoughts. 

Kool Herc was in Sydney in 2004 to witness a key moment in Australian hip hop, when Canberra duo Koolism – whose name is a direct reference to Kool Herc himself – received
an ARIA Award for their album Random thoughts. Danielsan’s ARIA Award acceptance speech in 2004 caused a stir in music industry circles after he dedicated the Award, presented to Koolism by US commercial hip hop crew The Black Eyed Peas, to all the Australian hip hop artists who were “keeping it real” and refusing to be “fake wannabe Americans”.
The Australian DJ then turned to The Black Eyed Peas and said, “Oh, I didn’t mean you of course”. It was a nicely symbolic moment, illustrating how Australian hip hop had developed its own distinctively diverse identity, far from its supposed “origins” in US hip hop. Or, as Sereck of Def Wish Cast put it some years earlier when summing up the “indigenising” local dynamism of Sydney hip hop in defiance of any African-American prerogative: “They’ll tell you it’s a black thing, man, but it’s not. It’s our thing” (cited in Maxwell 2003, p.67).

Koolism later held a celebratory barbecue in Canberra, at which a highly supportive Kool Herc was invited to DJ. Their award was celebrated by most of the Australian hip hop community, as it was the first major mainstream Australian music industry acknowledgment of local hip hop – albeit under the rather meaningless rubric of Best Urban Release.

Koolism beat a number of mainstream R & B artists for the award, representing what had been by necessity an underground music scene for at least 15 years. – Tony Mitchell

While the introduction of  the “best urban release” category was undoubtedly a positive step for Aussie hip hop, eight years on the consensus remains to be that the recording industry has been slow on the uptake in recognising its importance.

2004

In 2004, Crookneck Records released the compilation 15.OZ vinyl: 15 years of Australian hip-hop on vinyl.

This compilation was mixed by DJ Ransom, a veteran from the AKA Brothers.

2004

Lazy Grey Releases Banned In QLD

2004

Australia’s first ever concept album was released by Brethren 

In 2004 Brethren released their first full-length album Beyond Underground. The album was produced by Wizdm, and included guest appearances by some Australian hip-hop artists; Morganics, Sereck, Sleeping Monk, Hoodsta, Mass Mc and DJs Nic Toth, Diggz, Flagrant and Nino Brown.
The album was the first ever Australian hip-hop concept album and took 3 years to complete. Each track on the album depicted a part of an original sci-fi story written by Brethren, with inspiration drawn from films such as Journey to the Center of the EarthWar of the Worlds, and Mad Max. The album was released with a limited edition full size comic book, with illustrations by Mistery, which depicted the story line from each track.

2004

Dj Staen 1 wins the DMC Championships

2003 Team Champions

Dj J-Red & Dj Selekt wins the Team category

 

2005

Tagging Like A King was released

Not since ‘We’re All In The Same Gang’ has a hip hop community
come together to produce something so beneficial and inspirational for the scene.  zHipHop.Com and AKTIFMAG have gotten some of Australia’s best graffiti writers and rappers to settle their beef and come together on screen for “TAGGING LIKE A KING”.

It’s the emotional story of a graffiti wrriter who was wak but he defied the odds and trained to be better, until he was the best. He was forced to tag the hard way-through dedication.

The music and the film will make you laugh, cry and be proud of this little thing we call hip-hop. Just listening to it makes me want to put on my tracksuit, a bandana, sweatband, grab my markers a few notepads and start practising until I am a king”- David Stratton AT THE MOVIES

2005

DJ J Red is officially the first Australian to win the World ITF DJ Championships.

The new X-Perimental category was launched this year at the Australian ITF DJ Championships (HOME Sydney) and J Red won the category hands down with his ‘word first’ VDJ Routine. The introduction of this category this year proved that with the help of technology, this category can take this artform to a level never imagined. On Saturday 17th December J Red made history and took out the ITF World DJ Championships in Prague. There was more than 30 DJs from 15 nations competing in 5 categories: Advancement, Beatjuggling, Scratching, Experimental Class, and Teams.

 

2005

Channel [V] search for the best MC

In addition to the Aussie Friggin Hop Hop heats happening in conjunction with Detour, Channel [V] will broadcast a 12 part series called ‘Aussie Friggin Hip Hop – Busted’ from March 28 – April 14

2005

Hip Hop All Stars Tour

2005

All Hip Hop Festival

Allegedly  the first festival dedicated purely to hip-hop. The all-ages event, hosted by MASS MC and BOY TOM. The event ran from 12 midday to 12 midnight featuring a line up of over 23 Australian and international hip-hop acts and DJs.

 

2005

Dj Staen 1 wins the DMC Championships

2006

Dj Perplex wins the DMC Championships

2007

Perth’s ‘Beat Down’ was launched

2007

Dj Perplex wins the DMC Championships

2008

Dj Perplex wins the DMC Championships

2009

Kings Way is released

 Beginning with the year 1983, this volume depicts the rapid changes in styles in these early years as Melbourne’s graffiti changed from simple scrawls to intricate murals of astonishing complexity

2010

In 2010, 360 started an online musical project in the Australian hip hop scene, called “Rapper Tag”, on YouTube. Rapper Tag involves one person recording a portion of rap over a looped beat, and then nominating (“tagging”) another person to add further rapping over the same loop. The process continued in accordance with the nomination of the next rapper.

 I think rappertag is one of the most positives things to happen to the Australian Hip Hop scene period. It sounds kind of corny to describe it like this, but its sort of unified the scene and brought everyone together. It wasn’t about one particular style of rapper sticking to their own, it was whoever. It’s been great we’ve had all extremes. I love it. – 360

2012

Dj B Two wins the DMC Championships

2013

Dj B Two wins the DMC Championships

2014

Dj B Two wins the DMC Championships

2015

Dj Broke wins the DMC Championships

 

2016

Dj Osyris wins the DMC Championships

2017

Dj Osyris wins the DMC Championships

2018

Dj Midsole wins the DMC Championships

2019

Dj Wallzee wins the DMC Championships