Review: A.B. Original – Reclaim Australia
Reclaim Australia is the debut release from Australian Hip Hop duo A.B. Original. Made up of MCs Briggs and Trials (Funkoars), the album’s driving catalyst is the racial vilification of indigenous and minority populations, and social injustices that still exist in 21st Century Australia.
Released late last year, it fast became one of the most talked about albums of 2016, gaining attention with that sort of ‘fuck the system’ dissent present in tracks like 2 BLACK 2 STRONG and Jan 26 as they circulated the airways in the weeks approaching. Receiving positive comparisons to many West Coast rap artists and groups coming from America throughout the 80s and 90s, their somewhat confronting or provoking lyrics appear to be have been splitting the nation down the middle since its release last November.
Jan 26 feat. Dan Sultan was one of the first singles to be taken from the album last year, and has since been on constant rotation throughout Triple J. It’s even proving to be a high contender for Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown, which again, seems to be becoming a hot topic seeing the premise for the song is to officially change the date that hosts Australia Day (which also hosts the countdown in question).
The intro into Call ‘Em Out feat. Guilty Simpson is a pretty unnerving political policy to hear someone actually say (give it a listen), which leads into one of the better songs from the album. Both Trails and Briggs have tidy and politically articulate verse, as is the feature from Guilty Simpson, one of the most prominent rappers coming out of Detroit at the moment.
Sorry feat. Caiti Baker is another great track; in terms of production Trials really sent this sucker straight to the corner pocket. The vocals from Caiti Baker also gave the track some sort of weird, eerie depth I can’t quite put my finger on.
All songs have this passionate rage that you feel would be impossible to generate out of nowhere. You could also say there’s a rawness about this album that hasn’t really been met by any other Australian Hip Hop release to date.
Review by Travis Jordan.