South Australian Indigenous hip hop artist Jimblah has urged other MC's and producers to join him in taking a stand against racism by providing contributions to a Reconciliation Mix Tape.
Craig Quartermaine

5 Nov 2013 - 5:11 PM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2013 - 8:30 PM

The hip hop community has been blamed for encouraging violent and misogynistic attitudes among its listeners for decades.
Artists like N.W.A, Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur were blamed for provoking upheaval among African-American listeners in the states, and Jimblah believes Australian hip hop music still includes similar messages of misguided patriotism.

"We're starting to see a lot of young kids come through and getting really confused about being patriotic towards Australian hip hop," says Jimblah.

Hau Latukefu is the front man of Koolism, one of the most politically aware groups in Australian hip hop, and also hosts the Triple J Hip Hop Show where he scouts upcoming talent in the hip hop scene.

He says the mentalities emerging from the hip hop culture originate from the artist, not the fans.

"The problem is not with the actual artist with this redneck mentality that seems to have been growing, it’s mostly the fans and that's the interesting part,” says Mr Latukefu.

“The fans look at group Bliss n Eso and Hilltop Hoods, white Australians can relate to these guys more, but what they don't realise is that these guys have grown up on Black and Hispanic rappers and that’s where hip hop and the culture comes from.”

Mr Latukefu believes there is a responsibility to carry on the political messages of artists from the past.

"In my perspective, in my opinion, the top hip hop artist in the tier should address racism, you know what I mean, sexism,” says Mr Latukefu.

“I always feel it's a responsibility on that platform to say something worthwhile but not everyone is like that, some people want to make records about drinking and partying.”

But the faults of a minority should not overshadow the art form itself, he says.

"Hip hop has always been about expressing yourself, that’s why I feel that a lot of these people use hip hop as a vehicle to say whatever they want.

“In some ways it’s fair enough, hip hop can be used by anyone really, but it’s about uniting cultures. How can you be racist and listen to this music?”