Australia and New Zealand have firmly taken their place in the global hip-hop story. The scene was on a slow burn in the ’90s, fueled only by small underground artists catching fire locally. Then in the 2000’s, pioneering artists like Hilltop Hoods and Thundamentals brought the genre onto the global stage. Thanks to that base, today’s talents have kept pace with shifts in hip-hop around the world while also surfacing themes and sounds that are unique to Australia and New Zealand.
You can get to know this growing movement on Spotify with our flagship playlist, A1 Hip-Hop, as well as through The Drip, Beats n Bars, All Aussie Hip-Hop and Mellow Styles. Plus, join in on the celebration of the Australian and New Zealand hip-hop scene in person with our landmark A1 Hip-Hop live event on November 7 at the Metro Theatre in Sydney.
Live the Playlist IRL
The A1 Live concert will showcase the two countries’ top breakthrough hip-hop talent, bringing Spotify’s A1 Hip-Hop playlist to the stage for the first time.The free 18+ event is inspired by the hottest beats from Australian, New Zealand and International artists and brings the sound to more than 280,000 followers. Some of the local luminaries slated to perform are Manu Crooks, Triple One, Kwame, JessB, Sophiegrophy, and Hooligan Hefs. Register to win tickets here.
“To be able to bring an off-platform experience that heroes and celebrates the importance of homegrown talent is something we are beyond excited about,” says Peter Stevens, Senior Music Editor at Spotify Australia & New Zealand. “With world-class artists breaking through locally and stepping up to show they have their place in the global hip-hop story, hip-hop in Australia and New Zealand has never been healthier. A1 has become a home for local audiences to hear these artists sitting among fellow luminaries from the US, UK, and beyond.”
Here’s a closer look at the live line-up of rising stars performing at A1 Live.
Four-member Sydney rap crew Triple One displays a defiant blend of brash bars and melodic hooks. With followers from the Harbour City all the way to Chicago, the Inner West supergroup racked up more than 5 million streams with its recent track “Butter.”
Manu Crooks, a Ghanaian-Australian rapper from the western suburbs of Sydney brings a futuristic global sound that matches his international hip-hop style. Thanks to his popular B Wise collab “Throw It Back,” and hit “Fuego,” he’s amassed 10 million streams.
Kwame is a versatile MC who shared the same church pew as Manu Crooks when they were kids in Sydney. He burst onto the global hip-hop scene with his summer anthem “WOW” from a second EP Endless Conversations, which has more than 6 million streams so far. The rapper and producer has a huge following at home in Australia, and he’s now catching on in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Also heating up the A1 Live stage is rapper JessB. Debuting out of Auckland, New Zealand, in 2017, the recent commercial and alternative radio favorite made quick work of accumulating nearly 2 million streams. Her EP Bloom was released to acclaim in 2018, followed by her second album, New Views, which has more than 1.5 million streams.
Rounding out the A1 line-up is Hooligan Hefs, a Southwest Sydney-based Samoan-Chinese emcee whose genre-melting sounds mashup EDM, dubstep, techno and rap. The Doonside native clocked more than 2 million streams right from the get-go with the release of his debut single “The Party.”
Nigerian-born, New Zealand-raised rapper Sophiegrophy rocketed into the spotlight in 2017 with the debut of her no-holds-barred DIY indie mix tape. With catchy cuts like “Rolls Royce” and “Fa$t Life” and “Bag,” the Brisbane-based artist is attracting fans far from Down Under in American hip-hop hotbeds like Los Angeles and Chicago.
For your chance to win tickets to A1 Live, register your details here and tell us who your favorite A1 Live artist is—and why—in 25 words or less. And for all the latest essentials in hip-hop, check out Spotify’s A1 Hip-Hop playlist: