It’s an almost impossible task, but a number of industry insiders and hip-hop experts have come together to name the 50 best Australian hip-hop songs of all time.
Ask anyone in Australia about their favourite local hip-hop track and you’ll likely get some mixed results. Sure, some folks might love the Hilltop Hoods and Bliss N Eso, while others would chime in with artists such as the Down Under Beats Crew, Sound Unlimited Posse, or Mighty Big Crime.
For a genre whose history spans across a number different decades, it feels almost impossible to be able to curate a list full of the genre’s highlights.
However, that’s exactly what Tone Deaf have done, consulting with a number of artists, record labels, managers, and key figures in the Australian hip-hop scene spanning the last three decades to create a list of the 50 greatest songs in the genre.
The resulting list is a diverse collection of tracks that encompasses the early days of Aussie hip-hop to recent years, featuring testimonials from those who know the songs inside and out, and introduced by a history of the genre which outlines its growth as a genre independent from its US ancestors, to its temporary stagnation, and now onto its powerful blossoming as a totally unique musical style.
Whether it’s cuts from labels such as Obese Records or Elefant Traks, tunes that bloomed during the “Support Australian Hip-Hop” movement, or classics that have sprung up in the Soundcloud era, the list is a broad representation of the music that makes the local hip-hop scene great.
Kicking things off with the hard-to-find “So Bad” by Class A, the full 50 features tracks by the likes of Def Wish Cast, Sampa the Great, Kwame, Adrian Eagle, A.B. Original, Iggy Azalea, and both an original and now-iconic cover by The Herd.
For the full list and testimonials, be sure to check it all out over on Tone Deaf. In the meantime, check out a Spotify playlist of the top 50 below.