This year has been a big year for Hip Hop in Australia with a stack of quality releases. Here’s a quick Top 5 list from 2016 to familiarize yourself with rap’s leading names Down Under.

Hilltop Hoods

The Hilltop Hoods triple LP release Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung is largely a remix album with some additional new tracks including the smash single “Cosby Sweater” and “I Love It.” Drinking From The Sun was the Hilltop Hoods 2012 studio album release, while Walking Under Stars was the group’s follow-up 2014 release. The album has the notable track collaborations with Brother Ali, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Sia, Irish singer Maverick Sabre as well as internationally renowned beatboxer Tom Thum.

This was the second time the Hilltop Hoods have worked wit the 20-piece Adelaide Chamber Singers Choir and the 32-piece Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to re-work an album, following the success of the earlier The Hard Road: Restrung album release. This 2016 release went #1 in Australia and has already achieved sales in excessive of local Gold status and has been in the Australia ARIA Charts for almost half a year since its release.

Discourse

Discourse is an Australian based producer and has recently released the first two singles from his debut album Megalomaniac, with the first featuring Lazy Grey of 750 Rebels and legendary NYC emcee A.G. of the D.I.T.C. crew. Discourse has just released the third single off his forthcoming album, featuring Tragedy Khadafi and from the tracks released so far the album is shaping up to be another classic release from an Australian producer working with international and local emcees.

Plutonic Lab

The Melbourne producer extraordinaire has released his long-awaited new album, following an extended 11-year hiatus between solo releases. Plutonic Lab has been keeping more than busy in the meantime, with a myriad of other releases done in collaboration with Australians and beyond, as well as venturing into other avenues of production. The new album features Detroit’s Guilty Simpson, Miles Boney, Notes To Self BBRC, Coma-Chi among others.

Rates

The evolution and progression of Rates as an emcee has been building with increased momentum in recent years, and hits a high water mark with the title track The Enemy off his newly released album Untold. Older brother to the outspoken, independent and ever popular Kerser, Rates continues to show what many have known for a long time, that he is an emcee in his own right and his unique and captivating story telling ability is one of his strongest assets. His honest account of personal trials and tribulations growing up has established Rates a loyal fan base throughout Australia.

A. B. Original

Consisting of Trials from The Funkoars and Briggs (both of Hilltop Hoods’ record label Golden Era Records), the two Indigenous Australian emcees have teamed up to produce a super-duo, and when paired with their live deejay the legendary X-Ecutioner DJ Total Eclipse (now based out of Australia), nothing short of a super-group well in the making.

Both Briggs and Trials are individually some of the best emcees currently in Australia in their own right, and the pairing of the two promises to deliver something special for Australian hip hop. With a more traditional, aggressive, confronting Hip Hop sound that has become growing normalized in Australia, A. B. Original are currently putting the finishing touches on their debut album to be released in the coming months but have released a handful of tracks thus far.