A new generation of young, Adelaide-based rappers from Northern Sound System are ready to wander down the blazing trail burnt by Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods and Golden Era Records while also wanting to make their own mark on the genre.
Leading the charge is South Sudanese-born Eman, an MC plus president and co-founder of local record label and multi-faceted creative movement Playback 808.
At NSS Club Rap, Playback 808 are set to headline a night showcasing the city’s emerging hip hop talent (as part of Umbrella: Winter City Sounds).
In South Sudan, says Eman, music is deeply entwined with the culture of the local people. “We love listening to it, we love making it,” he says.
“Music really does attach to emotions so we feel that if you’re feeling a certain way, you listen to a certain type of song. A certain type of song can pump you up before a certain event, so we do value that.”
Aged five Eman migrated to Adelaide, a city that is arguably the crucible of the Australian hip hop scene. He speaks glowingly of the heroes of the local scene, a trio comprising three men named Suffa, MC Pressure and DJ Debris. “To be honest, the local scene is dope. You’ve got the Hilltop Hoods who are actual legends man, well respected beyond Adelaide, worldwide.
“We’ve got Golden Era Records who’ve also been holding it down, doing their thing. A lot of other artists on the come-up too which is great; a lot of young artists that’ve got a lot of energy [and] good vibes that are doing real great things. So keep an eye out for Adelaide, big things will be coming out in the next couple of years.”
Eman and Playback 808 had the opportunity to share the stage with some of their idols in March this year. “Earlier on this year we actually got to open up before [Hilltop Hoods] at the Clipsal 500 and just seeing the reactions that they got from the fans was just next level. It does show Adelaide really is a big place for hip hop here in Australia.”
For the young MC, nothing quite compares to spitting rhymes live on stage. “There’s a big difference between the live music and just putting the music out [online] because when you put the music out, you get the feedback online or you might get a phone call or a text saying ‘nice track’.
"But when you actually perform live, you actually get to see people’s excitement. You get to have a journey with them.”