This week’s episode of Rapping Up Our History is focused on Ziggy Ramo and his debut album, Black Thoughts. Though he released an EP under the same name in 2016, the Sydney-via-Arnhem Land rapper returns with a full-length project that challenges White Australia through passionate storytelling and confronting themes.
In Hip-hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam, Clark investigates the the genre as a tool for social commentary in Africa. He states, “In Ghana, many of the lyrics are reflections on society and the behavior of Ghanaians themselves. They are more social commentary than direct attacks on the political or economic system.”
What makes Hip-hop so powerful in Australia is that we’re able to speak on any issues that we like. While I can’t directly speak on Africa, Clark hints that it is much more dangerous to provide social commentary against political or economic systems. Whereas in Australia, Ziggy Ramo was able to perform and spread his message on a national scale through the ABC. I still feel as though there is controversy around forcing him to change what song he performed, but I understand the ABC’s argument and decision. That being said, the freedom that Australians have allow Hip-hop as a social commentary to touch on any issues and challenge anyone that they see fit and it is this idea that initially drew me to Hip-hop.
I’d love to hear what you thought of the album and how you connected with it. The next episode of Rapping Up Our History is going to be slightly different and will take a look at tracks from Kobie Dee, Briggs and Nooky.