When oneself thinks of “hip-hop”, oneself will probably think of the usual stereotypes. Pimps, hoes, money, African-Americans and of course some “bling-bling”. But when we shovel deeper into the culture that essentially is confronting society with its problems, we are soon to realise Hip-Hop is about a lot more. “The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable” Barack Obama.
From hip-hops very beginning in the Ghettos of the Bronx in the 70’s, it has been used as a method of political and social activism. The exportation of US movies such as Beat street and Fame (technoscapes) has helped facilitate the globalisation of hip-hop. This is very much evident with a number of Australian hip-hop artists such as Hilltop hoods, Bliss and Eso and Urthboy. Urthboy in particular is much more political with his music. He is signed by the record company ‘Elefants’ who have a reputation to be quite political “I always like to picture them as some kind of new-age socialist community where everyone has equal rights and where they are always picking each other up with their trunks and squeezing lovingly” (Galinovic, 2012) . Urthboy highlights social and political problems but in an “Australianised” sense. His song “knee high socks” highlights the controversial nightlight of the Kings Cross suburb of Sydney “Grab my skateboard from the cloak room, found Kings Cross with her legs wide open, what kind of trouble could a kid get his nose in, when the best of the is as part of Sydney blows in”.
The song 77% by ‘The Herd’ (including Urthboy) is “a song about racism, refugees, and the Tampa (“Wake up, this country needs a fucking shake up”). Not only do they criticise the political policies but are telling the Australian government and people of Australia to “wake-up”. They are using the art of Hip-hop to ‘represent’ the place they come from and informing the globe as a whole (through the help of technoscapes) what their society is all about. The influences of their music obviously comes from the roots of hip-hop which is African-American, but ‘Urthboy’ and the other Australian hip-hop artists are a true testament on how much hip-hop has evolved globally. They do however still hold the true meaning of hip-hop as a platform of representing your society. So no, hip-hop isn’t just all about them pimps and big-booty hoes.