5 AUS ARTISTS WITH UNDERRATED PEN GAMES
There’s so much dope music coming out of Australia recently it’s hard to keep up. Weekly we’re blessed with releases on a world class level. Here’s five artists with killer pen games you might have missed amongst the crowd though. These artists really rap. About a wide range of things. They each draw on a wide range of techniques and speak from a wide range of experiences. Something for every type of hip-hop lover. Check their tracks. Follow their socials. And hopefully we’ll get to see what magic they could work in the AUD’$ Vault one day…
“How you in our government if you don’t really govern it…?”
TITAN is an artist we’ve barely scratched the surface of and yet everything is dope and catchy. On Cheques and Balances he sits in a tight buttery 90’s pocket only truly comfortable for a natural born rapper. All while portraying real life experiences from the perspective of a young African-Australian. Run back his second verse a few times, they’ll probably be studying it in schools one day.
IMBI THE GIRL
“How can I say? Try not to care what you think. No I don’t drink. Yes I been thinkin a lil bout that clique…”
Imbi reminds me of Noname in that I can often get so lost in the warm melodies and gentle poetic nature they deliver in that I forget that I’m rapping along to some really deep, vulnerable, heartbreaking shit. The recent linkup with Genesis Owusu is a must listen both musically and poetically. It’s just beautiful music.
“I get stuck in my mind so much that my landlord thinks he should make my rent low…”
Talakai is a rapper’s rapper. A top tier Oz emcee even if not yet recognised as such; Tala’s got multis on multis, powerful storytelling and a consistent yet varied delivery as seen on AntiSocial with Hazy. Often exploring themes like mental health and struggle, he’ll have you hitting rewind plenty of times to catch those double entendres.
“Always thought the cure to poverty was immigration, but suss out my situation; fresh off the boat selling cigarettes at Ringwood Station…”
South African turned Melbourne driller Kush Mink has a unique take on the booming sub-genre delivering ice-cold tales from the street with nuanced local vernacular. While he has bigger records, Quiet is Kush at his rawest and one to get familiar with if you’re diving into the Oz drill scene.
“What’s truth when the soul ain’t vocal? Where’s home when you’re going never local…?
U.S born emcee Buddy Ryan has got grown man bars. Introspective thoughts on his life and broader reflections on society which he delivers with class. Check Oliver Lane from his recent EP May Eleven for a polished, moody vibe to sit and think on.