POWER RANKINGS: THE LEADING ARTISTS OF JUN ’24

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Like outlets covering the NBA or NFLPower Rankings is a monthly opportunity to measure the momentum of artists within our scene. Artists are assessed against five key selection criteria; activity, impact, quality, metrics, and originality. From this, the list of Top 10 artists each month will be made public.

This is an internal, subjective measure by the AUD’$ editorial team intended to highlight recent success and significant achievements by artists in the AU. As we have done since day one, AUD’$ will continue to provide a platform and innovate new ways to generate discussion amongst our community and to share in the richness of artistic talent.

10. IVAN OOZE

From underground heavyweight to the internet’s favourite new cook, Ivan Ooze’s career has been beautiful to watch. The Naarm/Melbourne rapper might be one of the only artists outside of Wu-Tang and affiliates to have a Ghostface Killah feature on their second single. Fast forward almost a decade, Ooze’s journey has been driven by authenticity, and a love for tongue-in-cheek lyricism and fat basslines. His latest single ‘Snack’ is no different. As his most radio-friendly hit to date, the new track coincides with his newfound cooking fame alongside his partner Coco Allen. Yes that’s right, your favourite rapper just become your favourite chef too. 

9. BLESSED

This one is long overdue – Eora/Sydney OG BLESSED has entered the Power Rankings. As one of the country’s most understated and prolific songwriters, singers and producers, BLESSED has been influential in moulding the scene into what it is today. That impact is felt worldwide, evident in Tobi from the Sidemen connecting with him and Day1 earlier this year on ‘Where We Go’ while down under. His latest single ‘DON’T BOTHER, I’M GONE’ marks BLESSED’s 100th release since debuting in 2016. While it’s an achievement few can hang their hat on, it’s emblematic of the versatility in his artistry and perseverance in his character. 

8. YNG MARTYR

Australia’s favourite gillie-suit goblin continues to dominate 2024. In any other country, a lispy Call of Duty player with an affinity for Tax Evasion would probably not be considered one of the nation’s most impressive independent rappers – but Australia has come to love YNG Martyr over the last 6 years. Most notably his link-up with American speed-rapper Token, ‘Melancholy Dreams’ – a fever dream of comedic rap fans – made even more trippy with the Fractrd-designed music video featuring 3D-rendered video game versions of them. His latest single ‘GUAPANESE’ exemplifies one of Martyr’s best attributes: his understanding and consistency with viral content. He’s produced some of the best marketing Tik Toks and Reels that’ll ensure you know about his music and get it stuck in your head for weeks.

7. KOBIE DEE

Gomeroi/Wodi Wodi rapper Kobie Dee is the definition of a lyrical warrior and storyteller. Speaking from the shoes of a successful First Nations artist, he draws parallels to what that means compared to a successful white artist, breaking down his views on the generational oppression of his people while upbringing them and everyone around him. His recent track ‘Warriors and Storytellers’ speaks volumes on this balance he juggles effortlessly, a swinging display of “showing the world what it’s meant to be.” The single received a huge spotlight through Kobie’s involvement in the AFL and NRL’s Indigenous round. He also secured support slots for Erick the Architect and Illa J’s EU tour, and performed at The Great Escape in London. 

6. ONEFOUR

Despite being silenced for almost the entirety of their career, ONEFOUR remains the loudest in Australia. Last year’s documentary highlighted their struggles with performing live, and since then, they’ve shown that no obstacle is too big for the Mt Druitt group. Performing their debut international show in Bali earlier this year, ONEFOUR more recently headlined Melbourne for the first time as part of RISING. With members J Emz, Spenny and Lekks in attendance, they were supported by fellow Sydneysiders Miss Kannina, RFA17 and LF70. This comes off the back of their 2024 debut ‘Natural Habitat’, paired with visuals “all smoothly edited together into a crisp, high-budget production because as audiences are increasingly aware, ONEFOUR do everything well, or not at all.”

5. MOSES

Remember this debut in the Power Rankings because Moses is only just getting started. Coming up along New Wave members TAKTiX and KiD LaZE, Moses’ last solo release ‘3am in Melbourne’ dismantles any remaining doubts of his ability to hold it down on his own. It could genuinely be his best track yet. ‘WOT?’ alongside TAKTIX arrived shortly after, providing the duo with a well deserved victory lap and paired with visuals of their interstate travels, live shows, and JD sponsorship. As the cherry on top of his achievements, the Melbourne rapper also scored himself the title of first returning guest on Sky Sessions. Following his D12 freestyle remix with TAKTiX last year, Moses came for round 2 with a timely and ferocious freestyle over Metro Boomin’, Future, and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Like That’.

4. 3%

Performing at some of the biggest events in the country, First Nations supergroup 3% make their return to the Power Rankings. Comprised of Nooky, Dallas Woods and Angus Fields, the trio have performed at the MCG for the AFL Dreamtime round and announced a set at Sydney Vivid this year – huge leaps for artists only releasing music as a group for just over 6 months. 3% have made a massive impact with their focus on Indigenous storytelling and injustices, all while scratching that itch for a hard-hitting unapologetic rap group. Having been seen working with Jess Mauboy, AUD’$ predicts this link-up will be their best track yet.

3. ELSY WAMEYO

Elsy Wameyo is the best rapper in Australia. I’ll say it again, Elsy Wameyo is the best rapper in Australia. The Adelaide-raised artist remained relatively quiet last year, and there’s a very good reason why – her upcoming second project Saint Sinner. Following her 2018 debut Nilotic, Wameyo has spent 2024 sharing powerful highlights from what’s expected to be her best work yet. Currently based in Nairobi, she released ‘Sinner’ in January, ‘Piny Lara’ in March, and most recently, ‘Umva’. Over smooth self-production with booming bass and a drum beat that you can’t help but nod your head to, Elsy slides on the track with a veteran swagger, sounding polished as she moves between different flows.

2. KAIIT

Kaiit exudes the essence of timeless music. Via her newly-established label, Big Sis Energy Records, the neo-soul singer released her first single in four years ‘Space’ along with an ethereal music video that pays homage to her PNG heritage. In the live space, the Melbourne artist debuted at the Sydney Opera Houee with her own headline show, and supported Snoh Aalegra for her sold-out performances in Australia. It’s clear how Kaiit makes so much of a wave with only eight solo singles released – she takes her time and she does it well, earning herself the reputation as one of the country’s best vocalists. Now with more creative control than ever, as an artist and label founder, it’s the best time to be a Kaiit fan.

1. LITHE

High off his meteoric and unbelievably understated rise, Lithe hits the undisputed #1 spot. The Melbourne-based creative has one of the most successful stories of an independent Australian artist in the last five years. The dark hip-hop artist debuted in 2018 but the last few years have seen him cultivate his signature sound of moody, beat-driven trap and R&B. Earlier this year, Lithe climbed up the ARIA charts with ‘Fall Back’ and became the first Australian artist to collaborate with Roy Woods (or any OVO member) – all before a headline national tour. Like his placement in the Power Rankings, Lithe’s consistency and mastery of style are second to none.

Written by Frank Tremain and Aidan Knight.

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