• Rapper DOBBY's latest single 'My Mind' is a dedication to the hard work and resilience of his Aboriginal brothers and sisters' (Supplied)
EXCLUSIVE: The latest single from hip-hop artist DOBBY is a heartfelt acknowledgement of the everyday challenges and accomplishments of his family, friends and the wider Aboriginal community.
By
Emily Nicol

16 Jul 2018 - 9:53 AM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2018 - 3:57 PM

My Mind is the second single taken from DOBBY's (Rhyan Clapham) upcoming self-titled E.P. 

The young rapper spoke exclusively to NITV about the inspiration behind the track and the accompanying video clip, which features "12 dedicated and inspiring Aboriginal people".

The 24-year-old who proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician, and a member of the Murrawarri Republic in Brewarrina, NSW says that his new song and the lyrics shine a light on the everyday pressures, both internal and external,

"You’ve got a lot of people who are having to deal with meeting expectations as blackfellas and having to prove themselves all the time and prove their identity and prove their worth," the rapper explains.

"That's the whole idea behind it. The pressure that a lot of people put on mob to work hard. Look at NAIDOC week for example, we are working hard, we’re exhausted to the point where we can’t even see each other's gigs cause we are busy working at another NAIDOC day event."

For DOBBY, the song is his way of acknowledging everyone going through the struggle,

"I see the hard work you are putting in, for me it doesn’t go unacknowledged. I respect your work and your hard work," he says.

Touching on mental health, political activism, passion and dedication, family and community and identity, My Mind aims to raise awareness in many areas.

"We are still subject to thorough scrutiny when it comes to Aboriginality. Many of us often find ourselves having to justify our families and history if our skin doesn’t match their presumptions. It’s time to delve into conversations about all of our beautiful blak people, all shades of black and brown," DOBBY told NITV. 

The accompanying video clip was an important part of the single release and DOBBY brought on friend and close collaborator Benjamin Ling to create a clear vision of those who inspired him, and most importantly, in environments that they were comfortable in.

The clip features 12 Aboriginal people who are involved across multiple fields that inspire DOBBY with their dedication, fire and hard work despite the surrounding systems that continue to oppress.

The result is a compilation of close ups in different environment that mean something to the guests, with scenes being shot all across Sydney including Mt. Druitt, Como and Redfern, NSW.

DOBBY says, "I wanted the clip to be 'them just being them' because, firstly, this is close friends and family. They are all strong and staunch deadly blackfellas, no matter what they are doing. The whole idea is representation, it’s not about seeing blackfellas in their field at all times , the point is seeing them and recognising at all times that they are strong, hardworking and dedicated."

We are surviving and smiling and showing our best selves despite all these pressures internal and external. I see them working hard but also just being so deadly at it.

The rapper had a long list of people he wanted to feature in the film clip that inspired him with their spirit and tenacity, this included artist and musician Eric Avery, Arts director Lily Shearer and Environmental justice advocate Kaleesha Morris.

"Some are political activists, rappers, health care workers, they span across all fields but they all are striving and surviving and fighting all in the same way. So when I look at people like my cousin Lily Shearer, when I look at people like Lowanna Moran I see hard work and dedication and  fighting to have your voice heard. That’s why I chose those particular people," DOBBY says.

If there was just one take away from the song and the clip, for DOBBY, it is representation,

"Knowing what blackfellas are doing, what we look like and how strong we are and how resilient we are, cause we are all smiling in those shots. We are surviving and smiling and showing our best selves despite all these pressures internal and external. I see them working hard but also just being so deadly at it."

Watch the film clip for My Mind exclusively through NITV below:

 

FEATURED CAST (In order of video appearance)

RIANA TATANA:

Bundjalung, Widjibal, Maori performance artist & writer,

Awarded the UNSW Medal for Theatre and Performance Studies with 1st Class

Honours. Currently teaching at a Secondary School as a Teach For Australia Alum.

 

JENAVIVE WESTBURY: Wiradjuri woman. Law graduate, recipient of the

UNSW Law Judge Bob Bellear Memorial Scholarship.

 

ERIC AVERY:
Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr artist. Specialises

in Violin, composition and Dance. Works with Marrugeku and developing a solo for

Burrbgaja Yallirra performance.

 

SARA KHAN:

Ngiyampaa, Wailwan and Gamileroi woman, currently working as

Indigenous Education Presenter at Australian Museum.

GEORGIA MOKAK:

Djugun woman, and member of the Yawuru Nations from

the Kimberley region. Art curator, educator, facilitator and writer, Georgia is

currently working as the Program Assistant for Performance Space and Outreach

Project Officer for Solid Ground, Carriageworks.

LILLE MADDEN:
Gadigal woman, and also a member of the Bundjalung, Arrernte

and Kalkadoon clans. Actor, Musician and Environmentalist. Currently working as

the presenter for the Bird Show at Taronga Zoo.

LUKE CURRIE-RICHARDSON:

Descendant of the Kuku Yalanji and Djabugay

peoples, the Mununjali Clan of South East QLD and the Meriam people of the

Eastern Torres Strait Islands. Dancer for Bangarra Dance Theatre since 2012.

 

IZZY:

Kamilaroi Emcee. One half of Izzy n The Profit, Rap workshop facilitator and

host for Hip Hop cyphers across Redfern and Liverpool.

 

LOWANNA MORAN:

Strong Gamilaroi woman and proud educator.

 

KALEESHA MORRIS:

Gumbaynggirr & Kulkalgal woman, Indigenous &

Environmental justice advocate.

 

RILEY COURT BENNETT:

Member of the Barkindji and Dalabon nations.

Currently studying a double degree in Medicine/Arts at UNSW.

 

LILY SHEARER:

Member of the Murrawarri republic and Ngemba nation. CoFounder

and Co-Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts, Recipient of the

Australia Council for the Arts Ros Bower Award 2016.

  

MY MIND – SONG LYRICS

Coming from my mind...

Imma lose my mind...

My brother my brother been working so hard all

day ...

VERSE 1

Wall full of gold here, chillin’ in my old room

Bouncing to raps that I found in the past, I’mma

turn up the volume

Brain’s gonna go soon, but I never know when,

Educated guess, don’t have much time left

inevitable death, or I’m dumb, blind deaf.

Get it off my chest,

Passion the sign of a great mind live a great life

We can aim high at the same time

Can't shine, in the middle of the daylight

Livin in...

Grinding till I'm all run out of golden years

Writer's block recycled all my old ideas

Brain in the bind, unsettling, feel it rattling in my

skeleton

Travel all the way to my melanin, paranoid

Think you’re irrelevant, kick your melon in

Fingers in a million pies, trynna live a million

lives, everyone dies,

Think another window went by, guess I gotta

keep it in mind

Got a funny feeling inside, meaning I don’t

really feel right,

stuck in my thoughts,

I been really busy and tired, you can make the

video live, is it my time?

CHORUS

My brother my brother

my brother my brother

my tidda my tidda

my tidda my tidda

My Sistagirl

You Invincible

You against the world

My brother my brother, been workin so hard all

day

My tidda my tidda been working so hard all day

VERSE 2

Can I have a min of your time?

Why don't you come here and live in my mind?

I been having trouble sleeping at night

Second guessing always eat up my life

So ironic I don’t feel like I’m eating right

workin’ up late till the beat is right

till desire to boogie’s a piece of pie

till I satisfy every Bla Bi Bo Bi

Got my damn feet up

I can feel the pressure better get my Sangria

people tell me

listen to me DOBBY they been looking for

somebody that can bring us all together

Pangea.

But fella’s Storytelling, Aesop

Talk about my skin at NAIDOC

Cousin put away the face wash and get up and

dance

Nah shame job!

I got my nephew producing it ay

Wanted to check what he'd do with it ay

Everyone listening losin it, and I should

mention he new to it

Guapo Filipino photogenic

How you growin up and tall already?

Know yourself brother don't forget it if you

really got a dream then go and get it

cuz they get butthurt like Tabasco, I'm bout to

rip up the dance flo

I know my story I let it tell ‘em through my

dance moves and my cerebellum

through my voice box, and my focus, hopin’ all

of ‘em would notice

And I won't quit till my throat give, till my lungs

die, till there's no spit

CHORUS

 

Follow DOBBY @DOBBYau

READ THESE TOO
Women take centre stage and a powerful call to end family violence: all the moments from last night's NAIDOC Awards
June Oscar tells heartfelt story of her grandmother on the Frontier and Pat Anderson calls to end family violence; strong women accept top awards last night.
5 Indigenous women who didn't get the credit
Feminists have heard of Greer, but what about Moreton-Robinson?
Aboriginal Elders debate nuclear waste dump
The project has sparked bitter debates and divided Traditional Owners.