• Rapper Tasman Keith's latest track 'My Pelopolees' is an homage to his family and hometown of Bowraville and a contender in this years Triple J Hottest 100 (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Bowraville rapper Tasman Keith has fans across the country chanting his hometown slang in his latest track, an ode to his grandfather, uncle and community.
By
Emily Nicol

31 Jul 2018 - 8:06 PM  UPDATED 1 Aug 2018 - 9:10 AM

Filmed in his hometown of Bowraville over two days, the video for Tasman Keith's latest track 'My Pelopolees' is a family affair.

The track was produced by fellow rapper Nooky and James Minge and is an early release from Keith’s upcoming EP.

Featuring scenes with family, cousins and framed photographs of his uncle, who recently passed away, the strong and assured track sees the young rapper reflect on heritage and overcoming adversity, while staying true to your history.

Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and uncle, all of whom had strong roots in the music scene, for Keith music was a natural choice, but not always an easy one.

Growing up in a small town, he's overcome his fair share of distractions and unhealthy temptations to get to where he is today and says he feels fortunate to be on the path that music has provided.

"Growing up in small town, I found it easy to fall in the trap of drinking and doing drugs, just doing all the things that people expect a young black man to do. Being able to overcome that stereotype, by writing by myself in my room for hours on end, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do, seeing now where I am and overcoming odds through music is the best outcome of it all," Keith says.

Keith's Uncle Spits coined the term 'pelopelees', meaning peoples, and his grandfather wrote the original song. The artist hoped to carry their legacy on by putting his own spin on it, but not first without the blessing of his community.

"I had to make sure all the family were good with me using the word and making sure no-one had a problem with it. That was the main thing I was worried about writing the song was what Uncle Spits would think about it if he was still around," he explains.

Aside from being an ode to his family, the track is also speaking to Indigenous youth and battles they may be facing.

"It’s speaking about personal triumph of overcoming odds and really showing my people that it’s possible, and being a voice for them,” he says.

“Even though the odds are stacked against us, they want us dead, we still overcome so many things."

Keith reflects on the lack of opportunities in small towns such as Bowraville and how that can impact heavily on youth – he hopes his voice can be an inspiration for others.

"I performed it live at the Blue Mountains festival when I jumped up during Briggs’ set. I told the crowd about the word before we got in to the track so they knew it. I’m not sure they knew what they were saying but they were all singing it back… It was crazy to see and hear a whole audience yelling back at me slang from Bowraville, it’s a spinout,” he says.