• Yuin rapper, Nooky from Nowra joins big brothers A. B. Original live on stage at Subsonic Music Festival. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Indigenous Australian rapper Nooky joins A. B. Original on stage to showcase culture, pride and community inspired music.
Laura Morelli

9 Jan 2018 - 1:44 PM  UPDATED 9 Jan 2018 - 3:16 PM

Nooky from Nowra has been busy and not just being ‘the bag carrier’ for A. B. Original - as the Yuin man puts it bluntly.

“I’m the little brother… the bag carrier," he laughed.

“Nah, that’s the big braz [A. B. Original] you know what I mean, they hit me up and told me they were going to Subsonic so they picked me up and now I’m carrying their bags."

Corey Webster, better known by his rap name Nooky made a guest appearance for A. B. Original at Subsonic - one of Australia’s most rapidly growing music festivals.

The annual event on Worimi Country in Barrington Tops, north of Sydney, sees the finest ambient, reggae, acoustic, world, techno, house, bass, hip-hop and electro-punk music created and collated by local and international talent.

“My music is just a reflection of my community and who I am."

With some of the most influential Indigenous artists performing at the 'Bush-Doof' there’s no wonder why Nookie was asked to be involved in Briggs and Trials set.

“My music is just a reflection of my community and who I am," Nooky explained.

"When you see me on the stage and when you hear me on a song you’re looking at Nowra, you’re listening to Nowra from a Yuin man. My community informs my music and that’s all it is.”

Not just lugging the luggage, Nookie has been helping push for change and help Australia set the agenda for changing the date and educating others about the Nations black past through controversial lyrics and confronting beats.

“They’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve seen Trials with the Funkoars and listening to early Briggs stuff like Homemade Bombs.”

“The boys got in the door and opened up a window for us. Now it’s a black out in there. Cleaned out the fridge, no more food left.”

Like many aspiring artists, Briggs has been a massive influence for Nookie’s music and he believes they’re the ‘big dogs’ showing young ones the right way.  

“I met Briggs at Koori radio, he came in for a workshop once and that’s the first time I’d ever seen Briggs. We had a chat and that and they’ve been killing it for a long time,” he explained. 

“The boys [A.B. Original] they got in the door and they opened up a window for us and now it’s a black out in there. Cleaned out the fridge, eh, no more food left.”

When it comes to deadly, strong, black, positive role models, Nooky says there’s a lot of people out there but it’s all thanks to one rapper in particular.

“My absolute biggest inspiration in music would be my big cousin, Ryan Selway who passed away a few weeks ago,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be rapping if it wasn’t for him, when I was a kid this guy was my idol he was a rapper and that’s the only reason I started rapping because my big cousin done it so yeah my biggest inspiration is my cousin Selway.”

Nooky’s success has sky rocketed. From recording tracks with some of the world’s biggest international artists like Black Eyed Peas’ member Taboo, and winning prestigious awards such as the Dreaming Prize for young Indigenous artists... And even being part of a project to #ChangeTheDate - Nooky has become an established member of mainstream Australia’s music scene.

“Go hard and don’t listen to people who put limits on you. Keep doing your thing and prove them all wrong.”

Last year he became part of a 360 project to start the conversation about Jan 26 where he said his lyrics reflected how his people have been screaming for justice and equality for years, but still aren’t being heard clearly.

"I feel like the majority are not listening. It’s a lot easier to go about life pretending like this shit isn’t rife within society - like we’re not still dying, like our kids aren’t still being taken," he said.

"I then took it further by referencing the Like a Version I did with The Herd back in 2012. We said 'A Change is Gonna Come' - but when?"

But this year he is part of the change. And it’s bigger than just a date.

“Australia can move the date if they want but I still won't celebrate it. I'm Yuin, not Australian. Moving the date is just a step forward but until I feel equal I won't be BBQ'n any lamb.”

Joining the growing list of Indigenous hip hop artists who use hip hop music as a platform to make a political point, Nooky says his focus is to release ‘big bangers’ with even bigger meanings.

“I’m working on an album that’s coming out next year and also working on Tasman Keith’s new project which is going to be pretty big.”

And speaking of big and Tasman Keith – Nooky’s certain who will become the next A. B. Original.

“My little cousin Tasman Keith 100 per cent. He is the gun so yeah look out!”

For all the kids trying to do their thing on the stage Nooki says to go hard.

“Keep doing it, go hard and don’t listen to people who put limits on you and say you can’t do this or can’t do that, just keep doing your thing and prove them all wrong.”

Email laura.morelli@sbs.com.au to share your story

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