There are many parallels between hip-hop and Aboriginal culture. "Hip-hop has breakdancing, we have shake-a-leg," says Rival MC from Aboriginal hip-hop group Impossible Odds. "Hip-hop has a deejay, we've got a didge player; hip-hop has an emcee, we've got a songman; hip-hop has graffiti, we've got the oldest graffiti in the whole world with our artwork. So it's only natural that we just pick hip-hop up, gel with it, and be able to use it as a tool to voice our opinions today." Unlike many rappers, Indigenous emcees also use hip-hop as it was originally intended - as a tool against black oppression.
This book aims to be an introduction to some of the Aboriginal hip-hop artists out there. All have stories that demand to be heard, from the better-known players like The Last Kinection, Jimblah and Sky’high, to those who are probably too radical for the establishment to handle - such as Provocalz, whose interview ends with the interviewer and interviewee both being questioned by police.
The book is by no means comprehensive - there are about 50 Aboriginal hip-hop artists pumping out quality tracks at the moment, and it speaks to only half of them. But it aims to be a live document, updated at the start of each year. Hopefully it will become more comprehensive as the years tick by. At any rate, readers are encouraged to seek out the artists and follow them in their own, unedited, words.
"A must-read." - I Am Hip-Hop magazine, UK. "A hell of a read - with rappers holding forth on everything from politics to family, books, poetry, activism, homophobia, police brutality... and just about anything else you can think of." - The Koori Mail. "I was blown away by the book in that these aren't just straight up interviews, there are so many geographical points and histories. Incredible book. Can't big it up enough. Everyone should go out and get this book." - Hardcore Classic radio show host Tommy Rock of Def Wish Cast. "Want to read all about me and my thoughts? This is the one right now!" - Briggs. "Amazing interview with Impossible Odds. Everyone should read that interview." - Ozi Batla. "Incredible read." - Jimblah, on the Impossible Odds interview. "The most articulate and well-researched article on the band I've ever read." - Fred Leone, Impossible Odds. "Of all the interviews we've done - and we've done a hell of a lot - this was, without a doubt, by far the the best." - Kings Konekted. "Best interview I've done. Props." - Provocalz. "Mat always does a good job with the interviews." - Indij hip-hop show founder Munk. The author, Mat Ward, is a journalist who lives in Sydney. He is not Indigenous. Read more about why he wrote the book here. For more information contact RealTalkTheBook@gmail.com.
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