That there is Melbourne hip-hop foursome TZU
. Just recently they have released their debut album, Position Correction
It shits on most of the other stuff that passes for Australian hip-hop.
Let me begin explaining why by addressing the rest of this paragraph to the vast bulk of Australian hip-hop artists. Just because you have some stupid middle-class, white-boy political agenda to push in your lyrics doesnt make you any better then the idiots that don't know how to rhyme about more then their ganster exploits. When you replace petty battle rhymes with "I hate George Bush, you love him, im cool, your gay" your not really pushing the bounds of the genre. It's not that hip-hop can't be about politics, because it can, god only knows that if hip-hop is not the music of social progress then nothing is. I'm just sick of hearing hip-hop lyricists who think that the burden of writing meaningful lyrics is an excuse for lyrics that don't rhyme. Or worse, lyricists who think that the burden of rhyme is an excuse for lyrics that do not mean anything.
Maybe I am being unfair. No doubt Australian hip-hop cops a fair bit of criticism it doesnt deserve. Australians have a tendancy towards cultural cringe where hip-hop is concerned. We can't help but look at Australian hip-hop through the distorting prism of its America counterpart. Which is not fair. Australia doesn't have the significant gun culture that America does, which puts the kibosh on rapping about gangster antics. Australia does not have the engrained apathy for politics that America does, which means we (Australians) are more inclinded to rap about politics. Perhaps most tellingly, while in America hip-hop was (is?) the domain of the poor and disenfranchised in Australia it seems to have been taken up mostly by well educated, middle class, white kids. So Australian hip-hop ends up being the music of childhood nostalgia, left wing politics, and clever word play.
And what is so wrong with that? It is unrealistic to expect that the hip-hop that took off in America would be the same species of hip-hop music that is now taking off in Australia.
Now. Here is the nub. People are starting to realise that Australian hip-hop doesn't have to sound like American hip-hop in order to be good music and in an effort to make amends for past injustices have invented the closest we have political correctness in the music industry. Suddenly Australian hip-hop is the flavour of the month and any criticism of Aussie hip-hop is made to look like cultural insensitivity.
Where once criticism failed to see the
effect of cultural differences, now it sees
differences in culture where there is naught but bad hip-hop. But soon we will reach equilibrium. That happy place where we understand that while Australian hip-hop can't really be compared to American hip-hop, ALL music has to stand
up to the scrutiny of being compared to its peers.
So yeah. TZU. Good stuff.
"Like Moses, I'm going to part MC's"
TZU - Dam Busters 192kbps, 3.48mb
TZU - Summer Days 192kbps, 5.35mb
TZU - Good Dog 192kbps, 4.9mb