Interview: Hau & DJ Izm – A Decade of Australian Hip-Hop – Part 1
DJ Flagrant’s new label It’s Official Music recently released Official – The Best of Australian Hip-Hop Vol 1, a compilation showcasing the past 10 years of Australian hip-hop. Having grown from a niche genre to a national culture, local hip-hop continues to improve and to be accepted as a legitimate form of music.
Two of the acts featured on the impressive compilation are Australian hip-hop pioneers Koolism and the platinum-selling, genre-defining Bliss n Eso. Koolism member Hau Latukefu and Bliss n Eso turn-tablist Tarik Ejjamai, aka DJ Izm, stopped by the studio to discuss the evolution of local hip-hop over the last decade.
Part 1 touches on the stigmas Australian hip-hop had to overcome to be accepted as a legitimate musical culture. Overcoming an initial distaste for the Australian accent, local hip-hop artists worked to achieve its own identity separate from international scenes. Spurred on by cultural and class dissatisfaction, similar to their American counterparts, Aus hip-hop was forged on the backs of those with a desire to be heard.