A.B. Original on Aussie rap fans, internet trolls & the politics of Australia Day

December 6th 2016

a.b. original

“Australia Day is a political day. Sooner or later it’s bound to move. We’re trying to start that conversation.”

Having just released their earth-shattering debut album Reclaim Australia, A.B. Original’s Trials joined Backchat to discuss the state of Australian Indigenous politics and music’s role in Aboriginal advocacy.

Reclaim Australia is a new but pivotal entry in the long conversation about race in Australia. 

A Ngarrindjeri man and one half of the hip hop duo (along with Briggs), Trials talked to Oz and Heidi about how he hoped the album could inspire listeners to delve deeper into exploring the torrid history of racism in Australia.

The band has battled its fair share of internet trolls, but Trials was optimistic about the discussions that the album has provoked. He hopes it will lead people to a better understanding of the perspective of growing up Aboriginal in the 21st Century.

“The best comments that we get are the outright trolls…The majority of people’s ‘gripes’ with the record are things that we grew up with. Like being told, ‘if you’re so proud of Aboriginal culture why don’t you live in the bush’ and ‘why are you making rap music, why don’t you bang sticks together?’

“If you’re hitting us on Facebook, which is the melting pot for a lot of the unpopular opinions against our record, open another browser tab and just do a little research and you might see things from a different perspective.”

Trials also touched on the politics of Australia Day and moves to change the date of celebrations and citizenship ceremonies.

“Listeners of Aussie rap music are ready now for more complex songs than who is the best rapper & who can drink the most beer.

“Australia Day is a political day. Sooner or later it’s bound to move. We’re trying to start that conversation.”

With many obstinate over moving Australia Day traditions, it seems like the discussion has a long way to go. Either way, A.B. Original is a crucial new voice articulating a viewpoint that many Australians have been sheltered from.

Listen to A.B. Original’s ‘January 26th’ below.


Want more Backchat? Subscribe to the podcast.



Oscar is Backchat‘s digital producer.

Read more from Oscar Coleman
Oscar Coleman

Backchat Reporters Wanted!

Do you keep up to date with the news? Are you a politics buff? Do you want to develop your reporting skills? Backchat is […]

Backchat Discusses: What to think about Finkel

The Finkel Review into Australia’s clean energy policy is not likely to make our climate that much Fin-cooler. Backchat spoke to clean energy analytics & communications consultant Ketan Joshi, about why this topic is at a gridlock.

Backchat Investigates: Humans of Men’s Rights Activism

Contentious documentary ‘The Red Pill’ was directed and produced by “reformed feminist” Cassie Jaye and was met with protest last week.

Backchat Discusses: Civic society strikes out as Fairfax journalists are bowled over

Thirty million dollars could buy you a lot of investments: 30 million Snickers bars when they’re on sale for $1 at Coles, […]

Backchat Explains: Why are students scared of the “trimonster”?

At some universities, semesters are getting shorter, but your HECS is staying the same.

Backchat discusses: Renewable Energy and Electricity Cost In Remote Communities w/ Murrawarri elder Fred Hooper

The nation’s energy debate has given us the world’s most awkward press conference and million dollar promises from proto Iron Man Elon Musk. It’s time we hear from people facing the nation’s highest electricity prices.

Are Universities Adequately Addressing Sexual Assault? Backchat Discusses

With recent reports of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour at some of Australia’s most prestigious residential colleges, Backchat looks at how universities are dealing with the issue of rape on campus.

Women filmmakers call for end to the AACTAs sausage party

The 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards played host to an unexpected sausage-based red carpet surprise.