One Day Are Your New Fave Aussie Hip Hop Crew
Good dudes making good tunes and having a bloody good time doing it.
Aussie rap has become a dirty word. In a country where rock and EDM reign supreme it’s often seen as the bastard brother. Perceived to be represented only by the likes of 360, Hilltop Hoods and Bliss N Eso if you look at the front page of street press with no regard to the groups below. It’s a bleak toss-up between old-school hip hop or a newer, aggressive flow against a big-room beat (360). However, the Inner West rap crew, One Day, are at the forefront of a changing soundscape populated by heads like Thundamentals, Baro and Allday.
One Day has existed since 2008, a crew that rap-battled other crews all over Sydney. It formed out of a desire to make something one day, so it seemed only fitting to make that dream into a group. Made up of Horrorshow, Joyride, Spit Syndicate and Jackie Onassis, you don’t just hear one sound but a medley of their influences that actually mean something. Solo, lead singer of Horrorshow, makes his mark as he spits his introspective cyphers compared to Joyride’s deep, booming but surprisingly versatile vocals that ooze confidence. Spit Syndicate (Jimmy Nice and Nick Lupi), with their growling raps are a powerful counter-weight to the brutal but featherweight delivery of Solo. Then there is Kai Tan, lead singer of Jackie Onassis, who brings zany raps that add the necessary dash of zest backed by the beat maestro Raph Dixon.
In America, groups like Odd Future have produced such artists as Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler The Creator and Hodgy Beats. The Pro Era crew has produced Joey Bada$$ and then there is the A$AP Mob with A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky. The majority of which have come to Australia and have proved their worth. One Day is different, they didn’t form, release music and then follow their own careers, but instead the reverse saw them bring their own clearly-defined styles together to make an album titled Mainline. But One Day, like any decent crew show a love of where they come from and when they played at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney it was all for the Inner West. Furthermore, when each act was warming up; Jackie Onassis, Spit Syndicate and Horrorshow all covered tracks by Sticky Fingers, one of the hottest Inner West exports of the moment.
Now this isn’t to say that these aspiring hip hop gods that make up One Day can sweep aside the problems faced by hip hop and the wider music industry. Indeed, a lack of gender balance and racial diversity is the major problem. For example, this article was written by an anglo-saxon male about other anglo-saxon males and that shouldn’t be all there is to write about. People of different race and gender can contribute so much more than one group can on their own. Just look at L-Fresh The Lion’s, Like A Version on Triple J recently, a large demographic of young Australians was exposed to a young Punjabi rapper - something that hasn’t really happened before on the station. And without bringing this to tokenism by saying, ‘Oh one different rapper makes us multicultural', it does highlight that there is far more to music than just the predominate anglo-saxon viewpoint.
The status quo of hip hop was also challenged recently when Eso posted a series of photos on Instagram, of which one featured a wax mannequin of Rihanna and him referencing her physical assault by Chris Brown as a joke. It acted as a watershed moment for criticism from outside the hip hop community and inside it with statements from Urthboy:
One of Eso's lyrics is 'hitting that bitch like Chris Brown' and no one made a deal. Can't remember a single mention. We are complicit.— Urthboy (@urthboy) September 3, 2014
Sexism gets a free pass in hip hop. Look no further than the imbalance of gender on stages. Not opening up that can for debate.— Urthboy (@urthboy) September 3, 2014
But what can be said is that One Day, representing the Inner West, have issued a statement that the power hip hop of isn’t held amongst a few MCs but it’s in constant flux and that rap crews offer a new sound that hasn’t truly been explored in Australia. And the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind - hopefully you’ll hear it.