Weekly updates:

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Weekly updates

We don’t cover a whole lot of Australian hip-hop on the blog. No conspiracy here. We’re not ‘anti-Aussie’. We routinely cover local producers and beat makers. We post on music we listen to ourselves, it would be disingenuous not to. But is an interesting scene, that’s for sure. One of the best known and probably most eloquent figures within the local scene would be the MC and label owner Urthboy. Dig his music or not, he does have some interesting and informed things to say about the scene, being active in it so long. He also comes from an interesting standpoint being someone who is obviously very liberal-minded but involved in a scene that can be staunchly anti-outsider.

He recently penned an interesting response on his blog in regards to that unspoken issue of white privilege (and guilt) in the Australian hip-hop scene. Titled Surface Level or Level Surface, the post was in response to a series of posts from Aamer Rahman (Fear of a Brown Planet) entitled White Rapper FAQ and Part 2. Now to be honest I didn’t necessarily agree with some of what Rahman had to say (and unless you’re the kind of person who likes their rap with a double dose of Brother Ali, you may feel the same), but in the rhetoric there are some thought provoking points regarding ‘white privilege’, which led Urthboy to reflect….

“Having it pointed out that you have white privilege touches a raw nerve, especially for us white hip hop heads – we’re like the kid who covers his head and becomes convinced no one can see him,” He reflects and then goes on to point out something fairly obvious but at the same time, not often discussed…

“I’m speaking from my perspective here but let’s cut to the chase – the majority of successful Australian hip hop artists share two features. We’re male and white.” While he acknowledges there isn’t much racism in Aussie hip-hop songs themselves, there is this aspect of the scene that is definitely present. “Racism has become an ugly characteristic of the local hip hop experience – whether it be the subtle forms “I like your music cos it’s not about bling and bitches” (barely anyone doesn’t say that) to the more overt “I only like Aussie hip hop, fuck that n***er shit” (the comments section). There’s little to no overt racism in local hip hop ‘songs’ but there’s no shortage of straight-up boneheaded racism in our audiences. Why is that? Is it because our hip-hop songs are for the most part indifferent to other people’s struggle? We care, but it’s not a problem we face when we walk out of the house, so it doesn’t become an integral part of what we communicate.”

Anyway, I won’t repost the whole thing here but he does speak on how the scene can (and needs to) diversify and raises some solid points. Go ahead and read the post/s yourself. It’s definitely an interesting discourse about the scene locally and makes you think about where you might sit within it.