Interview: Hau & DJ Izm – A Decade of Australian Hip-Hop – Part 3
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 3 briefly talks about the accessibility of hip-hop from a performer’s perspective before. Hau discusses the hardships encountered by Koolism as they tried to book a gig in the early to mid 90s. At a time when Australian hip-hop was sneered at, Koolism would ride a bus for hours just to play before a handful of people.
The conversation then turns to the increasing popularity of Australian hip-hop, with an ability to relate to local artists and increased quality credited as the factors that have led to wider audiences coming to accept and appreciate homegrown hip-hop acts.
When asked if Bliss n Eso wrote 2008’s Flying Colours with the progression of Australian hip-hop in mind, DJ Izm explains the group’s mindset going into the record and the work environment that allowed the album to unfold.