I tell you this week I had a thought, “There is such thing as Australian rap?”, so messaged a mate who was obsessed with it and decided to check it out myself. Of course rapping as an art form traces it roots all the way back to West African and Caribbean musicians using rhythm and beat to tell stories, before emerging as a distinct genre within African-American communities in the late 1970s, but what was the genres are popular in the Australian music scene? So with the help of the internet I came across the rap group from Mount Druitt ONEFOUR


Australia’s first drill rap group


What is Drill?

Drill music is a form of trap music that first originated in the South Side of Chicago, as mostly “underground music”. The style is a prominent part of Chicago hip-hop and can be recognised by its violent, dark lyrical content. Drill music focuses on crime and the daily ordeals of life on the streets. The rapping style isn’t concerned with metaphors or punchlines and often has a very deadpan delivery.

This subgenre of rap, progressed into the American mainstream in mid-2012 following the success of rappers and producers like Young ChopChief Keef, who had many local fans and a significant online presence. Media attention and the signing of drill musicians to major labels followed. Artists within the genre have been noted for their style of lyricism and association with crime in Chicago.

A regional subgenre, UK drill, rose to prominence in London, particularly in the district of Brixton, beginning in 2012.

Why is it so controversial?

It’s been blamed for fuelling violent crime due to the lyrics.

Gang disputes and postcode wars often have played out in the music videos – rivals post footage of them mocking each other.

Senior figures – from MPs to police – have suggested threats made in the videos on social media have actually led to real-life crime.

Artists have denied this though, saying the lyrics are just a reflection of life rather than an influencer.

Often videos start with: “All characters and names are completely fictional and any similarity between any names or gang activity is false and completely coincidental.”

Leading to these common themes being present in ONEFOUR’S music as in the above interview they are inspired by UK Drill music, with bringing their own sound and thoughts to the genre, such as their use of slang and swears as well as a slight difference in content such as stabbings and fights instead of shootings due to Australian’s gun laws.




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