Australian Rap ¿

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.


Review of The Lion King

I recently watched The Lion King (2019) at the local cinema in the northern beaches, Sydney with my long time mate.

Image result for the lion king gif 2019

The Lion King (2019) is a photorealistic computer-animated remake of the 1994 classic Disney movie. The new film stars the voices of Doland Glover, Seth Rogen, Beyonce Knowles-Carter and more, as well as James Earl Jones who was also in the original.

The film has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide since its release in the United States on the 19th of July this year, making it the highest-grossest animated film of all time.

The Lion King (2019) has received mixed reviews – praise for its stunning visual effects, but criticism for the lack of character and charm. I agree with both of these statements!

After seeing the 2019 movie left myself thinking that the movie was more of a David Attenborough documentary the original had more character connection and emotional depth to the character.

Soon after the release of the film, deep fake artist jumped on remaking key character’s faces emerged online and came up as a post on my facebook page and in my opinion makes the keen scenes significantly better and more emotional depth is displayed.

Despite the superstar talent of the cast and the stunning presentation, it misses some of the heart that placed the original securely in the pop culture canon.

From Rotten Tomatoes

Aynne Kokas 2017 book, ‘Hollywood’s China’ can relate closely to the study of the global reception of The Lion King where she delves into Walt Disney as a pioneer for the ‘experience economy’ such as theme parks and entertainment centers including the Disneyland in Shanghai – where a mandarin live production of The Lion King has been performed. “In bringing China and Hollywood together via media brands that specialize in combining content with experience”, China and Hollywood are further intertwined in global media industries (Kokas 2017).

I believe the 2019 films audience was shifted from young children towards an older generation who already know the original. I definitely think young children (and myself) would prefer the bubbliness of the original.

Have you seen The Lion King (2019)? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments


Global Television

As I am not an avid Tv watcher/ binger, I found it hard to look at what I watch as most of it comes from mostly Australian, American.

As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, I am an avid viewer of Australian reality television shows. The Bachelor and Big Brother are a handful of Australian shows that I have actively engaged with and enjoyed watching. However, these shows are adapted internationally, with shows such as The Bachelor US being one of the most watched finales with over 8 million viewers (Thorne, 2019), but for me, they just aren’t as enjoyable as watching our fellow Aussie’s on screen. 

“In order for content to best resonate with the cultural dispositions of viewers, the content and the viewer must exist in the same ‘‘cultural linguistic’’ space” (Ksiazek and Webster, 2008).

Television shows, such as The Bachelor, can be appealing due to the local Australian slang and overall lifestyle, which is familiar and easy to resonate with, drawing a more intimate relationship with viewers and contestants.

However, I do have an account with FoxtelGo which are international, online, on-demand, subscription streaming service. I only recently completed watching four seasons of “Breaking Bad”, which is an American drama series.

With common themes that are present around the world such as:

  • sin.
  • the importance of family.
  • power and its corrupting influence.
  • envy and regret.

Allows for transnational success and for viewers to appreciate this story.

In Joseph Straubhaar’s Rethinking Cultural Proximity…he states that “The U.S. position in television builds on Hollywood‘s strength in film, globally dominated by the U.S. since the 1920s” (Straubhaar, 2008).

I also spend a-lot of time watching youtube series and channels such as Joe Rogan’s podcasts, comedian Pewdiepie and travelers such as Jay Alvarrez due to daily /regular uploads and topics and interests similar to my self allowing for me to connect to the content they create.

With increasingly advanced technology, the feasibility to watch the shows you enjoy are becoming more and more accessible. However, it then begs the question – with the ability to dub shows produced in foreign languages and add accurate subtitles, will the world become progressively more homogenised, or will people prefer to watch shows that relate directly to their cultural propensity?