Does Australian Hip Hop Have a Problem With Ladies?

Ok ok.  

The question, does Australian hip hop have a problem with racism? has been getting extra attention lately. Grand, very grand.  (Oh yeah, perfect final bit for the thesis …)  No, but it is confirmation of what many artists and scholars have been noticing.

I enjoyed hearing these voices together in one place.  Of this (yeah, subjective …) list of the top in Australian hip hop, one, one was a lady (the force herself, Nay from The Last Kinection).  

What’s the problem?  Top artists doesn’t have to be numbers of units moved.  I guess they vaguely meant biggest profile.  Guess how profiles get bigger?  Articles like this are a part of it.  Sky High, Macromantics, Layla?  Hello?

The old ‘affirmative action’ debate, essentially.  More inclusion does need to happen.  This is partly on the gate keepers of music press/web and record labels (yes, some of whom have included ladies.  Still more room. More).

Meanwhile, ladies are just doing it, calling it out:


I recommend following @BustyBeats and @AustralianBooty on the twoosh to help amplify the call.


Your Day is Done

Ah, Mr James Brown.  We’ve had this chat before. I’m a swaying, even got a bit of a chug and a bounce.  Head-nodding and shoulders rolling.  But my brain and brow are not happy.  

It’s ‘A Brand New Day’.  As if the title will roll back that pesky second wave feminism.

“Fellas, things have got too far gone.  We got to let the girls know what they got to do for us!  It’s got to be a drag, man, a man can’t do nothin’ no more”.

(Er, an early masculinist?  Yeah, sure feminism has obviously achieved way too much.  Yeah, one in three men are sexually assaulted, yeah.  Way too far).

“Never get so confident, it’s nothin’ you want to know

Cos after time you lose your thing, then you got to go

You know what we got (tell em)

You got to use it carefully, can’t be a total loss”

What I do with ‘it’ or my ‘mess’, ‘thing’, or ‘business’, ain’t nothing to do with you. (Ooh it’s rubbing off on me).

(Nodding head, shuffling around.  A bop, a bouncy roll.)

“Walk away and twist your hips, make sure you keep him weak”

Yeah.  Sure.  Fun.  Also.  That’s not all.  Sexual power can keep men weak, but what else?

“Don’t let nobody take ‘care ‘your business better than you do

Do what he want, give him what he wants, and respect will come to you”

But, we know this, it doesn’t.  Disrespect does.  ‘Cos when you lose your thing, then that’s it. Look, I love sexy dancing funk soul gender play.  Calling out and shaking it up. But there’s underlying shit here that rubs counter-current against my soul joy, the anger friction getting tighter and tighter.

Whoa inter-generational crossing-times retrospective imaginary argument.  Fun fun.

Go Anna Rose

Anna Rose photo from AYCCI went and listened to Anna Rose speak today.  She is a young climate activist who co-founded and chairs the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).  She was also featured in the documentary/reality show that was produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation titled I Can Change Your Mind About Climate.  She and former Finance Minister Nick Minchin, on opposite sides of the ‘climate debate’, took each other to their pick of sources for their side of the argument, to see if they could convince each other of their perspective.

What an inspiring young woman (the AYCC actually strikingly shows considerable young female leadership).  I also find her to be a lovely, committed, a great listener and speaker, a clear presenter and obviously (together with others in the AYCC) as pretty damn good at organising a political movement and campaigns.  THIS is where hope lies.  And pragmatism, as Anna said today, “I have to have hope, people won’t join a movement without hope”.  Pragmatic hope, strategic optimism.

The tutorials that I taught today were coincidentally on coverage of global crises such as climate change in the media.  We discussed the idea of ‘false balance’, where the journalistic norm of balance actually means that those who support a minority view from a scientific perspective are given a disproportionate amount of airtime.

The premise of I Can Change Your Mind About Climate has been criticised as itself providing a false balance, which I think stands.  However, this is where the AYCC wants to step in and educate people about the science, and how to talk to others about the science.  Anna’s talk today is a part of a three-month tour to promote her book and present on this topic.  The book is called Madlands and is about her experience of doing the documentary.  You can get it from the AYCC site.

In a broader sense this connects with thoughts and feelings about hope, depression, choices, and work.  Those thoughts are a little more embryonic.  And maybe there is no one right approach, maybe humans just do get hopeful, depressed, overwhelmed, alarmed at different moments, particularly in response to global crises.  In the meantime, it’s about making chocies and doing work, and being occasionally peppered with a little hope.

Feminist MCA

This will be my post on MCA. I am sad, and the Beasties have definitely featured in my life (connecting over Ill Communication with the one other person I found who listened to hip hop at Anzac Park in Tamworth); and it’s tricky to figure out how to contribute when a topic is ‘trending’. However, this chain of links, from Feminist Ryan Gosling actually impressed me.  I can cringe when men are celebrated for being feminist but, you know what, fuck yeah, let’s celebrate.