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.


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Oscar is Backchat‘s digital producer.

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