Hip-Hop Down Under

| 12/10/2007 1:23:54 PM

Pegz - 225by Brendan Mackie

The Australian accent seems fit to drawl Throw another shrimp on the barbie, mate, but not to spit sharp rhymes over fat hip-hop beats. The iconic image of an Australian bushman braving dank swamps and the desolate outback just doesn’t jibe with our pop-culture vision of gold-chained rappers flanked by buxom babes. Australia is the other side of the world, as far as rap goes. And what would an Australian rap about anyway? Wrestling crocodiles? Boomerangs? Kangaroos?

“Yeah, we rap about kangaroos,” jokes Australian rapper Pegz.

Pegz’s easy manner belies his position as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in Australia. As CEO of Obese Records, a pioneering independent Aussie hip-hop label, Pegz has nurtured the genre from fringe curiosity to local chart-topping success. As a recording artist, Pegz consistently pushes the boundaries of insightful, lyrical hip-hop.

Australian rap is more than American rap with an Australian accent. While 50 Cent might wax glamorous about the hustler life, Australian rappers like Pegz are more likely to drop rhymes about quotidian matters like paying the rent or cooking pasta. “In general, Aussie rap is just an honest perspective on life,” Pegz explains. Sure, there are plenty of verses and rhymes pumped full of the standard rap tropes of bombastic self-promotion. But Pegz spends a lot more time crafting lines like “Gotta work hard and not break the hearts that love you/The rest is all show like the Ali Shuffle” than he does bragging that he’s the greatest rapper alive.

Australian rap can trace its distinctive character to its long period of domestic unpopularity. Before Pegz released his first album in 2003 (Capricorn Cat) and Obese Records began pushing its homebred hip-hop onto the center stage of Aussie culture, Australian rappers languished in obscurity. Nobody outside of a cadre of devoted fans cared about any of the native acts. For a time, Australian rappers were so uncomfortable with their legitimacy that they rapped with American accents.

kim long
12/14/2007 2:40:11 AM

Stoked on the tunes, thanks so much for finding Pegz! Gonna see if we can use some of his music in an upcoming surf video... http://www.gromproject.org

12/13/2007 8:07:29 PM

Home of the brave and Land of the Free, America is much different then what you all see on TV. We do not all smoke crack, drive global warming cars, and show off. what you see is not all that there is, Hip-Hop in America is Hip-HOP everywhere, REAL HIP-HOP is not a clothing, a style, or a slang you speak, it is a raw form of the African American culture, that has reached even YOU

Phil Forrester
12/12/2007 4:14:42 PM

I like this more intellectual social commentary stuff. American rap has disintegrated into blustering,strutting, materialistic power tripping and pure arrogance with out much care for really critical issues facing them in the future, party on,drive your shiny global warming cars w/ big rims ,smoke your crack and show off!!! In short truly American values cultural props today .

Facebook Instagram Twitter