Listen: A.B. Original - YES feat. DJ Total Eclipse & Marlon
A little over a week away from the Voice referendum, A.B. Original deliver a powerful message on new single
With the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum set to be held on October 14 and surrounded by a sea of misinformation, Black activist group A.B. Original AKA Yorta Yorta man, Briggs and Ngarrindjeri man, trials, have teamed up with Tiwi Islander man, Marlon Motlop and world-renowned turntablist DJ Total Eclipse to deliver an important message with their new single YES.
A hard hitting cut of piano-led beats and in your face rhymes, YES takes aim at the rampant disinformation spread by interest groups on the opposite side of the vote, including the typically hypocritical politicians.
The single comes with statements from both Briggs and trials that put things into words better than we could dream of doing:
“It’s important that we continue to work towards better outcomes for Blackfullas. With this referendum we stand to make a gain towards those better outcomes. We won’t see the big effects of a YES vote the next day, but we’re going to see it in 5 years down the track. The alternative to voting Yes just reinforces racism, and puts us in a worse position than where we are now. It feels like the alternate to YES is extremely detrimental.”
“I was inspired by Paul Kelly to put out his track. We can’t let PK be the only fella doing it. We’re A.B Original. We’re the most important hip hop outfit in the country when it comes to this. If we’re not leading the way on this stuff, who is? If we’re not standing up and setting the standard, who is?“
“This is what we are supposed to do as hip hop artists. If we didn’t do this, there’s a big piece missing. Hip Hop is all about voice, and all about community rallying together. This is what Hip Hop is for. This is exactly what we’re meant to be doing.“
“A track like Yes is important at this stage of the referendum timeline because an understandable distrust of the government and the millions of dollars slush-funded into outrage algorithms has led to a large part of Australia that you can usually count on in progressive matters still being apathetic to this issue. Eighty per cent of Indigenous people are on record supporting it. Australia still saying, No, is the very definition of why our voice must be heard.”
“When the Yes / No pamphlet arrived in my family’s letterbox it was more than a voting guide, for me it was attack on my children's innocence. Explaining to a 7-years old who’s only care in the world is Pokemon that the entire country is currently having a conversation about you and whether or not you're allowed to be involved in conversations in the future is a claustrophobia I wish no parent ever again has to feel. I wanted to answer the No campaign’s attempt at making us feel ashamed of promoting the truth and ask them why are we, as the lucky, ‘fair go’ country, so keen to set the bar on equity so low?”
“A No vote sends the message that who we are as First Nations peoples and what we want, never did and still doesn’t matter. A No vote is the country agreeing to treat Aboriginal people speaking on behalf of ourselves for ourselves, as an annoyance. It gives the country permission to move further way from the appreciation we deserve and headfirst into angst. The No pamphlet points to ’not being able to shut it up’ once established. Well, they are saying the quiet part out loud, because the cruelty is and always has been the point. A Yes result is important because up until now all we have known is, No.”