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the AU playlist: Ranking the BET Awards 2014 Hip Hop Cyphers

The BET Awards have become an apex event in the hip hop community over in the U.S, with more and more people around the world tuning in to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be.

the AU playlist: Homecooked Soul Food - 6 Australian artists you need to see at Soulfest

We are now at this point where we no longer have to pinch ourselves when we look at the line up for the inaugural Soulfest. D' Angelo, Maxwell, Common, Mos Def, Angie Stone, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild - they're all here, and they're all playing the same stage. We're the envy of hip-hop, R&B, and soul fans the world over right now, but the day isn't - and should not be - just about the big names. To complement the dizzying amount of talent at this festival, the promoters have done well to recruit Australian artists who fit seamlessly with the ethos of Soulfest. Some of these locals are exclusive to just one city only, but some are travelling with the entire festival across all three of the Australian dates. Here are six Australian artists you shouldn't be overlooking when you head along to Soulfest in your city.

Six bands not to miss at The Blurst of Times Festival!

The Blurst of Times Festival is just days from kicking off, with the first date landing this weekend in Brisbane. With a strong line up of Australian talent set to perform, Blurst is going around the Sydney and Melbourne for the first time to truly bring some exciting and ultimately party-ruined times to more live music fans. We've taken a look at the line up and have listed just some of the bands you can't be missing.

Editor's Picks: 5 Aussies Not to Miss at CMJ - Chris Singh gives his top 5 artists ahead of the NYC music marathon!

The yearly CMJ Marathon is approaching fast, and this year will see 50+ Australian artists head over the New York for a series of showcases, bringing global attention to how rich and diverse the Australian music scene has been lately.

the AU playlist: Maxwell - 10 songs we can't wait to hear at Soulfest and his Sydney sideshow

In just over a week there is a festival touring four cities across Australia and NZ which has been attracting attention from all over the world. There's usually a scenario where we see this kind of line-up drop for an American festival and then wipe away tears of jealousy (or book a flight); but Soulfest has flipped that script and made Australia the centre of envy from soul, hip-hop, and R&B fans worldwide.

the AU playlist: From "Come Close" to "Resurrection" - 10 songs we can't wait to hear Common perform at Soulfest

In just over a week there is a festival touring four cities across Australia and NZ which has been attracting attention from all over the world. There's usually a scenario where we see this kind of line-up drop for an American festival and then wipe away tears of jealousy (or book a flight); but Soulfest has flipped that script and made Australia the centre of envy from soul, hip-hop, and R&B fans worldwide.

Watch our six favourite "Like a Versions" from Volume 10!

Released last Friday, Like a Version returned for a tenth CD set, looking back at some of the best covers performed as part of triple j's much loved weekly feature. Today, we're counting down our six favourite performances from the new compilation which you can purchase HERE!

Editor's Picks: 5 Aussies not to miss at CMJ - Sosefina Fuamoli gives her Top 5 artists ahead of the NYC music marathon!

The CMJ Marathon is coming up in a matter of weeks now, with hundreds of bands from around the world converging on New York City for five days and nights of live music. A sheer show of diversity within industries around the globe, the CMJ Marathon has seen some now-major touring bands unearthed, while some new discoveries have also been made over the course of the event. The Australian contingent of artists headed to New York for CMJ is strong again for another year and below, I've listed just five of them who are going to be having eyes turned on them for sure.

the AU playlist: Anthony Hamilton - 10 songs we can't wait to hear at Soulfest

In just over a week there is a festival touring four cities across Australia and NZ which has been attracting attention from all over the world. There's usually a scenario where we see this kind of line-up drop for an American festival and then wipe away tears of jealousy (or book a flight); but Soulfest has flipped that script and made Australia the centre of envy from soul, hip-hop, and R&B fans worldwide. How did they do this? I'm still trying to figure out how they managed to put together such a dream line-up, and admit that I was pretty skeptic that this festival would even happen.

the AU playlist: D'Angelo - 10 songs we can't wait to hear at Soulfest

In just over a week there is a festival touring four cities across Australia and NZ which has been attracting attention from all over the world. There's usually a scenario where we see this kind of line-up drop for an American festival and then wipe away tears of jealousy (or book a flight); but Soulfest has flipped that script and made Australia the centre of envy from soul, hip-hop, and R&B fans worldwide. How did they do this? I'm still trying to figure out how they managed to put together such a dream line-up, and admit that I was pretty skeptic that this festival would even happen. But here were are, just over a week out from the first stop for Soulfest, which will give us a chance to see the legendary Maxwell, the iconic D' Angelo, the consistently excellent Common, and more - all on the same day. In the lead-up we're bringing you a few playlists of some of the artists which we are most excited about, starting with the incomparable voice of D' Angelo. These are 10 songs from his rich body of work which we hope to hear live.

the AU playlist: The Notorious B.I.G - 10 tracks we love

Today (U.S time) marks 20 years since one of the most celebrated hip hop albums of all time was unleashed onto the world. Ready to Die, the seminal debut by The Notorious B.I.G has stood the test of the time, remaining a reference point for the artistic value of street-focused hip-hop and it's ability to transpose the listener into a world that is often far removed from their own, doing so via brutal wordplay and dark, atmospheric production. Biggie's beautifully twisted way of storytelling has frequently seen him cited as the greatest rapper to ever live; his style is fully realised on each and every track on Ready to Die and so we dive back into the classic album, along with the rest of his catalogue, to fish out 8 of our favourite Biggie tracks.

the AU playlist: Beyoncé - 8 unreleased songs and guest appearances we love

Peerless pop megastar Beyoncé celebrates her 33rd birthday today, so we thought it best to dig up some of the lesser known tracks and guest spots from Bey's consistently successful career in reflection of how far she has come to sit atop the industry as the most dominant living pop star in the world. Here are a few of our favourites from both her solo career and Destiny's Child days.

the AU playlist: Aaliyah - 8 songs we love from the late R&B icon

Today (U.S) time marks the day that the world lost one of the most consistently excellent contemporary R&B artists to have ever done it. Always playfully sliding over top notch production with her silky smooth voice and unfailing wit, the acclaimed 'princess of R&B' stands as one of the top 30 most successful R&B artists in history, winning fans from all over the globe with memorable songs like "Back & Forth" and "Try Again". Not only worshiped by her many fans, Aaliyah was and is well loved amongst the industry, evidenced by all the dedication songs and general outpouring of grief following her tragic death, which resulted from an aviation disaster in The Bahamas following the filming of the video for her single "Rock the Boat."

Ten Shows not to miss at the 2014 Brisbane Festival (Part One)

It's not long now until three weeks of arts, music and culture takes over the city of Brisbane in the form of the annual Brisbane Festival. With hundreds of performances taking place, we're cutting through the list and bringing you our ten picks of live performances not to miss... here are our first five, in no particular order:

The Creases (Brisbane) Playlist: Our Nine Favourite Tracks

This time last week, Brisbane's The Creases were kicking off their weekend at Splendour in the Grass, and now, for the weekend that follows, they have delivered everyone a playlist of their favourite tracks for you to enjoy... From Har Mar Superstar all the way to Mr. Blobby, this list is an eclectic mix, and exclusive to the AU... enjoy!