For the last three years, this music artist has creatively utilised airways, TV screens and social media platforms to drive necessary public discourse on a topic the Australians too often ignore, neglect and forget – Indigenous affairs.
The Yorta Yorta rapper uses music and lyrics as weapons to fight the long battle of equality for Indigenous people and white Australians.
On accepting the prestigious award, Briggs didn’t shy away from urging all Australians to look at the Indigenous community in their own backyard when dishing out equality.
“This agenda is not really one I set, it’s one I inherited. As an Indigenous man, it’s 80 thousand years of agenda,” he said.
“Everyone’s thinking of equality, and while you’re thinking of equality, throw some back to us - just a bit! Until we have true equality on all levels, in all facets of society, we’re not going to embrace what this country truly could be.”
"Don’t forget who’s land everyones gettin married on," he reminded people on twitter.
Since his first album Sheplife dropped in 2014, the founder of Aboriginal hip-hop label, Bad Apples Music, has been driving powerful conversations about systemic racism, police brutality and change the date, to empower, educate and remind the country about Australia’s black history.
“If The Blacklist was the punch in the face, ShepLife is why I punched you in the face,” Briggs said.
Briggs has challenged the small presence of Indigenous Australians in the media and worked to give Indigenous people a voice, urging Australians to think beyond the tokenistic and embrace a sharing culture.
By spitting out brutally honest, aggressively powerful, 'no bullshit' lyrics about complex issues First Nations Australians face, Briggs has become a beacon for justice, Aboriginal pride and Indigenous rights. Be it about incarceration and Closing the Gap, or change the date of Australia day, the deadly MC uses music to spark change not only within the country, but for all First Nations people who have been disadvantaged across the world.
Two years ago he and Ngarrindjeri MC, Daniel “Trials” Rankine set out to join forces as A.B Original to release Reclaim Australia, which took Australian hip-hop to the next level and became a piece of Australian music history.
Last year award winning Wiradjuri broadcaster and journalist, Stan Grant received the GQ Agenda Setter Of The Year award for his powerful push to call out racism and question the so-called Australian dream in a divisive nation.
Winners of the 2017 GQ Men of the Year awards presented by Audi:
1. Solo Artist of the Year Flume
2. International Icon Jeff Goldblum
3. Man of Style A$AP Rocky
4. Woman of the Year in association with Bvlgari Amber Heard
5. International Sensation in association with Audi Ansel Elgort
6. Model of the Year Jon Kortajarena
7. The GQ Legacy Award in association with Bvglari Heath Ledger Scholarship
8. Sportsman of the Year Jeff Horn
9. Man of Innovation in association with Audi Hayden Cox
10. Business Leader of the Year in association with Audi Alan Joyce
11. Actor of the Year in association with QANTAS Travis Fimmel
12. Breakthrough Actor of the Year in association with Patrón KJ Apa
13. International Designer of the Year in association with Patrón Virgil Abloh
14. Australian Designer of the Year Lukas Vincent
15. Band of the Year Client Liaison
16. Director of the Year Taika Waititi
17. Creative Force in association with The Star Luke Davies
18. Agenda Setter in association with Patrón Adam Briggs