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Monday, 17 August 2015

Tkay Maidza and Australian Hip-Hop

This is something new I'm trying after a suggestion a friend made. I want to keep this an art blog, but sometimes there's stuff I want to talk about, so here's some art I did specifically so that I could talk about something I wanted to.

Tkay Maidza's someone I've learned about recently, who seems like a musician tailor-made for me. A singer / songwriter / rapper from here in Oz, with a distinctive style and flow, plus a penchant for cool anime-inspired music videos? Result.

So here's my response to her whole hip-hop afrofuturist thing she's got going on. I was especially inspired by her latest video, M.O.B., which I've stuck below. It's a great song even without the video, but with all this anime sci-fi space stuff going on, It's something else.

I'm going to be really interested if this is something that sparks a subgenre of Aussie hip hop. I love that Maidza's sound incorporates plenty of Electronic Dance Music, as that is something that represents a big part of Australia's music scene. I know Flume has done pretty well, and big EDM festivals like DEFQON show that it's a big deal here.

I love hip-hop first and foremost, but I think a country or region needs to find its distinctive voice for hip-hop to thrive. The UK had great rappers the whole time I was growing up, people like Roots Manuva, Ty, Estelle (nowadays maybe better know as Garnet on Steven Universe) and Blak Twang, but it was only when the UK hip-hop scene incorporated home-grown styles, like Grime and Dubstep, that it really took hold and started to break through like it has in the last decade with people like Tinie Tempah and of course Dizzee Rascal.

It was the same when hip-hop started to leave it's New York birthing ground: The West Coast took a while to really break out with NWA and Ice Cube, and really defined itself with G-Funk; The South needed acts like Outkast and Lil' Jon and the Crunk scene.

I loved watching these voices be found, and I'm excited to see if what Maidza's found is her voice, or the voice of something bigger. Either way, there's great music being created, so I'm happy to wait and see.
The original photo I based my picture off, from Sodwee.

©2015 James Mathurin