The slow but steady rise in the local Brisbane hip-hop scene is one that has us almost clapping for joy. Focusing on intelligent lyrics, unique beats and a fostering of a “family” scene means that local artists are encouraged to be different. By pushing themselves and each other, changes are starting to appear in the local hip-hop world, and artists are starting to really establish themselves.
One group in particular has well and truly grabbed our attention, and they go by the name of Astro Travellers. The seven piece, jazz-infused hip-hop band have been busy cementing a firm reputation around the city with their intergalactic jams and out-there tunes, and have collected a loyal fan base along the way (this writer included). So, when it was revealed that one of the two MC’s in the group was set to release some more solo material, we jumped at the chance to bring that to you today.
ALI the GREAT makes up one third of the vocal element in Astro, and is a formidable force to be reckoned with on the mic. He spits impossibly quick rhymes, showing off his vast experience and natural skill with his intoxicating and effortless flow. Responsible for some impeccable lyrics, quick wit and razor sharp tongue, he brings a certain energy to the crew, and the Brisbane scene in general, that hasn’t been heard before. He carves a place out for himself in his band’s songs, and now he is set to step out on his own with Trophy.
Now, ALI is hardly a stranger to the solo scene. Having made a name for himself over in Canada and the US back in 2008 and 2009 with his mixtape This Is All Imaginary, ALI toured his native country extensively. He has now set his sights on Brisbane and beyond, and Trophy stands to reason that that is a very achievable goal.
Spitfire lyrics over a staggering percussive line, ALI demonstrates just how much he is capable of with Trophy. Looking dapper in a suit beside the Brisbane river, he lays it down over the eclectic beat, almost impossibly fitting in as much as he possibly can into his verses – an immediate juxtaposition to the almost droning hook. The visually stimulating clip captures various scenes around his new hometown, stunningly filmed and aesthetically popping. The combination of the bright, buzzing visuals with ALI’s cutthroat rhymes creates an all-round powerful experience, and one that would probably convince even the strongest of sceptics that ALI really does have it going on.
Trophy is the latest single out off ALI the GREAT’s EP, Earth, which was released by Astro Travellers’ label, Green Chimney Records. You can catch him supporting none other than Oddisee on November 26 at Brisbane’s Woolly Mammoth, or with Astro Travellers at Jungle Love Festival on November 27.