Who are Aussie Sounds Favourite Homegrown Hip Hop Artists? 

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As the end of the year comes around the Aussie Sounds crew debated and discussed who are our favourite Hip Hop artists. Being a thorough democracy, these are our choices that we believe are the fundamental artists who have defined the genre over the past 12 months. This is purely subjective and is based on career achievements too. So, roll the drums and drop the beat like an OG, this is our selection. Feel free to argue, disagree and send in your own. 

#1 Hilltop Hoods

No surprise who comes top of our list having already featured on Aussie Sounds with their latest single More Than A Great Night. The Adelaide boys have been a permanent and enduring feature on Australia’s Hip Hop stages. Despite a more commercial sound on their collaboration with Montaigne and Tom Thum, their Aussie spirit and humour will always shine through.  

Inspired by American hip hop artists such as KRS-One, Gang Starr, and Pete Rock back in the day, they have stayed true to themselves. With not one but two eagerly anticipated albums in 2023, their longevity and dedication to the grind and effortless organic music is what gets our vote. They still remain one of Australian rap’s must-see acts, a group who consistently sell out shows across the country and internationally. Plus, they made one of our favourite tracks of all time… 

#2 Thundamentals

Despite Thundamentals going through a line-up change with the announcement that Tuka is ‘stepping back’ and will no longer be performing live with the group, the Blue Mountains collective still come in hot at number 2.  

With over a decade in the game, Thundamentals’ journey has been one of triumph and growth. From selling out shows in all corners of the country, racking up millions of streams worldwide and landing multiple platinum and gold singles, the trio consistently pushed boundaries and are rightly regarded as one of the best in the business 

The news of Tuka’s departure came ahead of the release of their new album, All This Life!, which follows on from 2018’s I Love Songs. It is clear that Thundamentals have a sense of confidence and maturity conveyed in All This Life that is derived from years of experience, and they are still at the top of their game. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop, then this album is definitely worth the price of entry. 

#3 Kid Laroi

The young Kamilaroi rapper has been blowing up in the states like no other. Dominating charts both in Australia and the US, he is the first Indigenous Australian to top Billboard’s Hot 100.  

He has built a loyal legion of fans, including ‘A’ listers Elton John and Justin Bieber earning a Grammy nomination with the latter. With so many awards already in the bag since becoming a finalist on Triple J’s Unearthed at the tender age of 14, his career is limitless. Influenced by rap, trap, 80s-inflected new wave, and pop punk, and now sitting very much in the pop space, his representation on the world stage is why he appears in our top 3 

#4 Baker Boy 

Arnhem Land is home to a thriving Hip-Hop scene, and Baker Boy is one of its proudest exponents. Born Danzal Baker, the 24-year-old has made significant waves with his raw and honest beats. Hip-Hop is all about self-expression and individuality, and Baker Boy is the perfect example of this. Whether he is breakin’, making graffiti art, or rapping, he brings his own unique style to everything he does.  

With his fresh sound and powerful lyrics, he is sure to impact the Australian music scene for years to come. Including traditional Yolngu language and instruments in his music gives it the authenticity of musicians such as his elders Yothu Yindi. His powerful lyrics build that social narrative which is an integral part of his upbringing and is something to be cherished. 

#5 Masked Wolf 

In 2021, Sydney rapper Masked Wolf topped charts around the world with his track Astronaut in the Ocean. It was a long time in the making and the result of a constant grind to get his music out there. 

He certainly has that tight lyrical flow expected of someone of his calibre. Inspired at a young age by the greats Eminem, Kanye, and Jay-Z, he originally started writing Christian Rap before migrating to the current space he occupies.  

Now strutting his stuff on the world stage on shows like Jimmy Kimmel, he is spreading his wings far and wide. 

#6 Sampa The Great 

Intoxicating and a shared protégé between her native Zambia and Sydney, we will adopt her anyway because of her global appearances at Coachella and Glastonbury. She had her ups and downs with the Australian recording industry, most notably at the 2019 Aria awards when she became the first woman of colour to win best Hip-Hop release. Her speech that spoke about diversity and female empowerment was cruelly cut by the broadcaster which ultimately led Sampa to relocate back to her homeland.  

That return has produced the glorious album As Above So Below that is unquestionably something to embrace on a national level.  

#7 Bliss N Eso  

Bliss n Eso are early pioneers of hip hop in Australia. Unique in their lyrical flow and unquestionably a dynamic trio, they have wrapped up a national tour this year. Long-time standouts in the Australian hip-hop scene, Bliss N Eso formed when some school friends decided to take their love of music to a new level.  

Composed of one American-born MC, one Australian rapper, and a DJ, the trio grew from grassroots beginnings to chart-topping success with albums debuting at number one in Australia and making waves throughout the rest of the world. Their hybrid of American and Australian roots makes them a no-brainer for us 

#8 1300 

Merging K Pop with Western Sydney, 1300 have taken off like a NASA rocket. Combining the raw energy of rap music with the highly polished images of Koreas hit factory, they are pulling no punches on the biggest of stages.  

1300 is made up of Rappers Rako, Goyo and Dali Hart, producer-singer Nerdie, and producer Pokari.Sweat, they create music that is truly unlike anything else out there right now. Check it, don’t wreck it. They are proper. 

#9 Kerser  

Since his convention-smashing debut album ‘The Nebulizer’ dropped back in 2011, Kerser has released an album a year and his star has risen steadily. His 9th album in as many years, ‘Roll The Dice’ was the pure definition of Kerser. His history and unrelenting determination to break down industry constructs regardless of the risks or consequences, is why he gets our vote. Listen to his latest single Telem How and you can understand why he is an artist of such significance. 

#10 ONEFOUR 

We thought long and hard before including these guys because of their controversial reputation. Drill Rappers, ONEFOUR is as real as it gets, depicting what they have seen and lived throughout their lives in all its shocking brutality. Targeted by NSW Police who actively prevented ONEFOUR from taking to stages across Australia, the group has none the less thrived and recently blew up the internet with their latest release Cruise Control. 

Honourable Mentions 

Undrovth 

Undrovth is a 14-member collective from Melbourne delivering authentic and organic songs that speak as much to the old school as they do to the new school. With skills and a mutual mindset that reflects Wu-Tung, their music is integrally woven into a rich fabric of cultural inclusivity. Their debut mixtape titled “The Burn City Tapes VOL.1” has been extremely well received is close to 20,000 streams.  

Often, we believe in the Hail Mary pass and if there was an act that speaks to the fluid dynamism of Aussie Hip Hop, then Undrovth will be in the main game before too long.  

A.Girl 

This girl is solid, ain’t no doubt. Flexing it from Sydney’s 2142, A.Girl is bringing some serious weight to the Rap game. AKA Hinenui-Terangi Tairua, or plain Angel, her flow and vocals are something to behold when she is full flight. Repping a generation of strong female MCs, she is taking on the patriarchy and frankly killing it.  

Barkaa 

Another female rocking out the Hip Hop groove and filled full of indigenous messaging, Barkaa has signed to Adam Briggs’ label Bad Apples. In September 2020, GQ Magazine dubbed “the new matriarch of Australian Rap’ and in 2020, Triple J listed her as one of the top 5 female rappers in Australia. 

A Malyangapa and Barkindji woman, she takes her name from the Barkindji word for the Darling River. Her fiery song about police violence, Our Lives Matter, became the unofficial soundtrack of the Black Lives Matter movement in Australia and she has our money every single time 

Are you interested in learning more about Australian bands and singers? Check out Australian Sounds! You can count on us to give Australian artists the most technologically sophisticated platform for delivering one-of-a-kind concert and live event experiences. Check out some of our other stories to learn more! 

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