Hip Hop

Three new Hip Hop playlists to help you explore the rich history of the culture

June 25, 2020

The AU Review has always been about connecting readers with the best of arts, entertainment and culture. From music and books to travel and food, for more than a decade now the website has been dedicated entirely to discovery and re-discovery, celebrating the best experiences from around the world. To further that, we continue to […]

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Track of the Day: Dos Dos “No Time” (2020)

June 3, 2020

In a climate where addressing one’s own identity has never felt more important, independent Australian rapper and producer Dos Dos has released his first major single of 2020, “No Time”. An unfettered reflection of an artist’s struggle with identity and depression, “No Time” – over a subtle base and hip-hop-inclined beat – comments on the […]

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Jaywop

Track of the Day: Jaywop “Big Bad” (2020)

April 23, 2020

There aren’t too many rising hip hop stars coming out of Arizona, but Phoenix artist Jaywop is set to wave the flag high for his city. Bubbling under the radar, the rapper turns in a single, “Big Bad”, touching on a hard-worker simply climbing his way to the top. And top is most definitely where […]

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Track of the Day: Dos Dos feat. Joey Legit “Some” (2019)

November 28, 2019

After twelve months of honing his craft and using his current base of Brisbane to test the waters on his new experimental sounds, New Zealand-born, self-produced rapper Dos Dos has signalled something of a career rebirthing with the release of his new single, “Some”. Raw, unfiltered lyrics – an ode to overcoming struggle – sit atop […]

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Track of the Day: Sampa the Great “Freedom” (2019)

August 23, 2019

After catching fire across the world with the “OMG” and “Final Form”, Sampa the Great prefaces new album The Return with yet another soul-stirring single in “Freedom”. The third clipping from this imminent project, Sampa syncs with a soulful backbeat, skipping across powerful vocal support to give us an R&B-flavoured ode to artistic expression. A […]

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Track of the Day: Common Feat. Swizz Beatz “Hercules” (2019)

July 15, 2019

Top-tier emcee Common is gearing up to release a brand new album next month, and for the latest single he’s hooked up with a surprising collaborator. Offering the mighty “Hercules” as the follow-up to soulful cut “HER Love”, the Chicago emcee linked up with veteran producer Swizz Beatz who turns in a beastly drum pattern […]

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Exclusive Single Premiere: No Label Necessary Feat. Kudzai “Like You” (2019)

April 1, 2019

Ahead of their forthcoming EP MIDN9T X, Sydney duo No Label Necessary – individually Creepah from Sydney and Thony Remy from Brooklyn – have gone straight for the clubs on new single “Like You”, a party-minded hip hop cut that seems destined to burn up radio both nationally and overseas. Slick and polished, the duo […]

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The 40 best hip hop and R&B tracks of 2018

December 20, 2018

2018 has been a very difficult year for ‘best of’ lists where hip hop and R&B is concerned. The often intertwined genres haven’t seen this much quality output for years, constant head-turning and critically acclaimed albums from artists both old and new have made the past 12 months the best in the scene since 2012. […]

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Interview: Royce Da 5’9 gets personal, talks beatmaking, and empathises with “mumble rap”

December 10, 2018

There are few figures in the industry as highly regarded and respected as Royce Da 5’9 when it comes to straight, no-bullshit, masterful hip hop. The Detroit emcee is often referred to as one of the greatest emcees alive, and that accolade hasn’t faded ever since Bad Meets Evil and Rock City were introduced over […]

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Track of the Day: Turquoise Prince “Eric Banas” (2018)

December 10, 2018

After a standout guest spot on Spit Syndicate’s Orbit earlier this year, as well as string of excellent singles like “Concussed” and “Lighter”, Canberra based artist emcee/singer Turquoise Prince is closing out a big 2018 with a devastating right hook on “Eric Banas”. The recently released single and video is best considered a statement of […]

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Live Review: Wu-Tang Clan prove unstoppable at celebratory Sydney Opera House show

December 10, 2018

Anyone who has seen the almighty Wu-Tang Clan live before would be forgiven for being a bit cynical about their sold out four-show run at the Sydney Opera House. As far back as I can remember, all nine living members of the Wu have never been on an Australian stage together. The closest we got […]

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Phantastic Ferniture and the Blue Mountains origin story

September 12, 2018

If you haven’t already rinsed Phantastic Ferniture‘s eponymous 2018 debut LP so much that you know the exact length of each song, you absolutely need to get onto that NOW. It’s without a doubt one of the best debut releases this year. Fresh from the Sydney underground music scene, the three-piece bring that raw flavour straight […]

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Lauryn Hill announces Australian tour with special guest Nas

September 5, 2018

It has been two decades since Ms Lauryn Hill branched out into a solo career, releasing her seminal The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and watching it become one of the most acclaimed, awarded and influential albums of its time. She’s been busy touring it around the world for the all important 20 year anniversary, and […]

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Album Review: Hermit and the Recluse – Orpheus vs the Sirens (2018 LP)

August 30, 2018

“Devestation laced in my presentation” Ka’s delivery of this line from Orpheus, part of a collaboration project with producer Animoss, is one of the best stylistic summations of an album written in recent memory. The duo, operating under the pseudonym Hermit and the Recluse have worked together on a beautifully dark piece of music, heavily […]

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Wu-Tang Clan will play two very special shows at the Sydney Opera House in December

July 17, 2018

Up from the 36 chambers the legendary Wu-Tang Clan have announced a triumphant return to Australia with two exclusive, very special shows celebrating the 25th anniversary of their iconic debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The 1993 classic will be performed in full by all nine surviving core members at none other than the Concert […]

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Review: Rap legends Slick Rick and Raekwon rock the mic in Sydney

June 5, 2018

Witnessing undisputed rap legends live on stage is somewhat of a rarity in Australia. We’ve (surprisingly) managed to get KRS-One, watched in awe as Big Daddy Kane rocked the mic, seen Masta Ace a few times, and we even got Biz Markie and Kurtis Blow once. Once big names through the late 80’s and early […]

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Interview: Austin’s Deezie Brown on Kanye West comparisons, Judith, and more

April 9, 2018

Every young rapper has to be the “next something”. The next Jay Z; the next Ice Cube; the next MC Lyte; the next Nas. Reference points are handy for upcoming artists, although they may be frustrating in the long term. It’d be no surprise if Deezie Brown has run into a far few of those […]

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Interview: Compton emcee Buddy talks “Black”, L.A. and putting a band together

April 4, 2018

When he released Idle Time back in 2014, Compton rapper Buddy immediately showed the world he was bound to be one of the next big names in hip hop. Keeping up with features from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and even pop star Miley Cyrus, the young emcee proved his penmanship was as sharp […]

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Vans hook up with A Tribe Called Quest for expansive sneaker collection

March 27, 2018

You on point Vans? The renowned sports and apparel brand have this week announced a special collaboration collection with none other than the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, hooking up with The Thread Shop – a merchandising company from ATCQ and Sony Music – for sneakers which celebrate, pay tribute and honour the style, art […]

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SXSW Interview: Rapsody on new Netflix docuseries Rapture and Laila’s Wisdom

March 23, 2018

With one of eight episodes from forthcoming Netflix docuseries Rapture dedicated to her story, we managed to grab a quick chat with North Carolina emcee Rapsody during a preview screening at SXSW Film Festival. The new series from Mass Appeal and Sacha Jenkins looks at the personal lives and individual contexts of various hip hop […]

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Lil’ Wayne, Wale, Tyga and more confirmed for new Australian festival

February 13, 2018

Renowned rapper artist Lil’ Wayne will be headlining a new hip-hop festival across Sydney and Melbourne this March as Jumanji Festival makes stops in Sydney and Melbourne. The inaugural event will be one of the only hip-hop focused festivals of its kind in Australia, and it’s looking like the line-up will keep growing right up […]

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Live Review: Vince Staples goes heavy on production for memorable Sydney show

January 8, 2018

I’ve never heard a Vince Staples song I didn’t like. The tough, nihilistic tone of his own brand of no-frills hip hop is perfectly placed over just about any contemporary production with even the slightest bounce to it, frantically transforming each beat with his elastic flow and nasal cadence whether it lean towards EDM or […]

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Live Review: YelaWolf proves he is one of hip hop’s most unique emcees with rousing Sydney show

December 21, 2017

Just hearing YelaWolf spit a verse live is a show in itself. The Alabama emcee has an innate talent for the kind of machine-gun rap very few can do so well, making it look easy as he confidently, and clearly, spins verse after verse with head-spinning proficiency, jumping from word to word without ever losing […]

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Live Review: J Cole and his Dreamville crew put on Australia’s hip hop tour of the year

December 6, 2017

Ari Lennox, EarthGang, J.I.D and Bas. North Carolina emcee J. Cole, now one of the most commanding names in hip hop, is certainly chiseling his Interscope imprint Dreamville Records into something truly impressive, and positioned to grow well beyond 2018. It’s nothing new for a successful rapper to start fielding and fostering their own roster […]

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Smizzy (Sydney) chats Triple J, social media, and his brilliant ‘Re-Rapped’ competition

May 17, 2017

And the Social Media campaign award of the year goes to: Martin Brown. The man formerly known as Smiles Again (one half of the now defunct Mind Over Matter), and now known as Smizzy, has been flying a bit under the radar for these past few years. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been hard […]

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Live Review: Pete Rock & CL Smooth bring the soul of hip hop to Sydney

March 11, 2017

Oh how I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when a young Pete Rock lifted that immortal saxophone sample from Tom Scott‘s version of “Today”. The peerless beatmaker used that second-long loop to create what is arguably the greatest rap production of all time, that which became “They Reminisce Over You […]

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Pete Rock & CL Smooth announce debut Australian tour

January 13, 2017

You hear that? That’s the sound of Hip Hop fans all across Australia counting their lucky stars. At the turn of the century it seemed like heads the world over would never see the legendary duo of Pete Rock & CL Smooth reunite, but fast forward to now and things done changed; one of the […]

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The 50 Best Hip Hop and R&B Songs of 2016

January 10, 2017

For Hip Hop, 2016 was the year of cosigning anything and everything. So called ‘mumble rap’ became a thing and there was a massive push back against the term ‘real Hip Hop’, championing newcomers like Lil’ Yachty and Lil’ Uzi Vert (who, like it or not, have been attached to the music and the culture) […]

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Grime heavy hitters Krept and Konan announce Australian shows for January

December 5, 2016

Get ready to welcome the new year with menacing grime beats and furious street-minded rhymes as UK duo Krept & Konan plan a visit down under. The underground South London heavy hitters will be charging into the first week of 2017 with a whirlwind visit that’ll see them play two shows: one in Sydney and […]

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Review: Method Man & Redman’s Sydney show proved that true legends will always be relevant in this game

November 3, 2016

“Relevance” is a confusing term when it’s applied to hip hop. Whenever I discuss the music I tend to switch off as soon as someone says “so and so isn’t relevant” – it’s the most overused word by those who lack the knowledge or familiarity with such a complex culture and art form (I’m not […]

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