Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hip Hop: Australia

What time is it Australia?
If you’ve read this blog at all you know that we hate hip hop that is not from North America (not including Canada). Why? It’s terrible. It sounds bad. It’s full of posing and fronting. It’s just bad. Apparently nobody on our giant planet knows how to make proper hip hop music.

So we had a company meeting and I understand that we are being awfully shallow and narrow about this, so we’ll go ahead and give international hip hop another chance. I’m open to the possibility that somewhere out there someone is making good music. So let’s start by taking a look at a country that is kind of like America: Australia. I’ve already encountered one rapper from the ‘Stralia: RAED. He is easily the worst rapper that I have ever heard, but I understand that everyone knows he stinks. Let’s see some real hip hop. What does Australia really have to offer?

So how do we see what Australia is producing in terms of hip hop. Well, they have a music award called the ARIA Awards (which somehow stands for Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards). This is the largest award that an Australian artist can receive. Plus, it is voted on by the people of the country, so the people of Australia will tell me who the best Australian rappers are in their “Urban Music” category! Perfect! Let’s go…

So here are the nominees:

  • Drapht “The Life Of Riley”
  • Illy “The Chase”
  • Koolism “The Umu”
  • Phrase “Babylon”
  • Vents “Marked For Death”
I haven't heard of any of these. Drapht won (if you were wondering), but we'll go ahead and look at everyone. Let’s get to it and get our feet wet with the Vents and their hit song “Marked for Death” from the album of the same name.

The Vents “Marked for Death” 

The track starts with some samples of Rakim and Biggie. Why not? Aren’t there any Australian rappers you could sample (nope). Then a really dumb beat kicks in, but it has nothing on the terrible rapping. Wow. Look how political the Vents are. Look how subversive the Vents are. Please keep opening our eyes to the injustice of the world Vents. This is the most straightforward conscious rap that I’ve ever heard. The vents directly tackle sweatshops (opposed to), uh, colonization (opposed), child labor (opposed), pollution (opposed), making “jamming” records (in favor of), tobacco (opposed), Israel (opposed), crack (opposed, I guess), police (opposed), oppression of women (in favor of), uh, religion (opposed, I guess). So that was fun and very subtle! I love lyrics that are so simple that I can just be hit over the head with them. You’re doing this exactly right! Another party jam? The Vents: YOU’RE THE WORST.

Phrase “Apart” from the album Babylon

OH BROTHER. You’ll know this song is the worst from the first “Yeeeeaaaahahhhh!!!!”. Actually, you’ll probably be tipped off by the awful music that sounds like something Beck would barf up. This isn’t rap. It’s like when Bono or someone decides to do a rap during a live performance of “With or Without You”. How is this in the “Urban” music category? This should be in the “Waste of bandwidth” category. And it should win that.

Koolism “Jam Hot” from The Umu

Well I think we’ve found the Australian version of  LMFAO. I’ll tell you what, that first song on this list (that I hated) is looking better and better. The beat sounds like a Casio Keyboard set to “Bass Breakdown” and the rapping sounds like if a class of middle schoolers got together and made a rap for an economics class. “But they don’t mention economics!” – you. Of course they don’t and neither would middle schoolers, they would just talk about afterparties and whatever other inane nonsense popped into their heads. This song is another turkey….SHOOT IT.

Illy “The Chase”

Two songs left. This one can’t be any worse than the last three, right? That’s what I thought, and then I heard the unsurprising piano beat. It sounds like a zany soap commercial. I want to quit this post, I should just walk away. But I can get through it, right? I mean this song might have more to offer...the rapping might be good. Sigh. Nope. It sounds like the Black Eyed Peas without Fergie. What a disappointment. Is this seriously the best you have to offer Australia? If so, this is not very good. Your country should retire from rap. Just throw in the towel. Start collecting retirement. You didn’t earn it with this trash, but we can’t let you just live in poverty eating stale bread or whatever the impoverished and untalented elderly do. I don’t know. Just stop with the rap.

Well folks, this is our last chance. Australia’s last chance to impress a first-rate American hip hop blog. Good luck. Fortunately you’re putting up your “Urban Music” champion for me to evaluate. You established that this is the best of the best you have to offer, and in doing so you also established that the other songs I’ve looked at here aren’t as good. This is Jay-Z level for Australia. WE CAN’T WAIT.

Drapht “Sing It (The Life of Riley)" from The Life of Riley
Latest tracks by Drapht

I have a big red button on my desk. If I push it I get ejected through the ceiling and into space or into the parking lot or something. It’s very powerful. I had it installed just in case I came across a post that was so hopeless that I couldn’t finish.  Music so bad that I couldn’t take it. Deep despair and hopelessness……So I know you’re wondering if I’m going to press that MFer. I didn’t. It got automatically engaged by my computer when five horrible songs were played in a row. It’s a failsafe to make sure that I don’t suffer any kind of brain injury from terrible music. I’m writing this sentence as I float safely to earth in a silent ejection pod. All I can say is that Drapht must have been really bad for the safety to kick in.

In summary: Australia is terrible at rap. I mean worse than Europe (probably), and definitely worse than Canada. I would go so far as to say that Austraila has the worst at rap on Earth. So avoid Austrailan hip hop at all costs. You won’t be missing anything at all.

Australia Score 0/10