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Hilltop Hoods - Suffa It

Author: Justin Levy
Friday, 23 November 2007
Everybody’s favourite hoodsters will be biting the Big Day Out again this year – from Auckland to Sydney to their hometown Adelaide. 3D’s Justin Levy talks to Hilltop Hoodster Suffa about a new DVD, an in-production album, and the Aussie hip hop scene.

“Roll on up, hip hop’s no longer living in rock’s shadow, the kids are now spitting not singing.” These lyrics were a prediction of the good things to come.

“If you listen to triple j, turn on Channel V, or open up a book, Aussie hip hop’s everywhere. The Herd, Urthboy, Encore, Muffin Plutonic… I think, in comparison to five years ago even, it’s blown up a lot,” he says enthusiastically.

Suffa has a positive outlook – it’s no matter that we struggled to gain a native hip hop identity: we now have it. And he doesn’t mind being compared to American artists. “Man, being compared to KRS-1 and Public Enemy, which is nothing that we deserve, is nothing but an honour man,” he says. “We have so much admiration for their music, we grew up on it. It’s not like we go ‘they’re not Aussie or whatever’. Music is music, people are people.”

Can Suffa compare the Oz hip hop scene to, say, Europe’s- “Europe has so many more subgenres than us. We sort of have hip hop, and variations that are more political or party-oriented, and some going for the American look – but over there you’ve got acid, two-step, all these diverse subcultures, and it’s hard to compare a scene that’s so different from ours,” he says. “But I reckon Australia’s more supportive of the hip hop scene than maybe the UK are.”

Surely all the international acclaim, the awards and the records sold would have gone to his head- It hasn’t. He’s as modest as a Geisha. “What is it we’re doing right- I wouldn’t have a clue. Our attitude is for the music and we try to do traditional hip hop, and we try to do it well… We just don’t want to make manufactured crap.”

The Hoodies’ priorities at the moment are their City of Light DVD (Out 8 December), which includes the launch of Restrung at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre among other goodies, their big BDO tour, and of course, a new album. “I’d be surprised if we don’t have it out by 2008,” Suffa says. “Just as always, it’s traditional hip hop – sample heavy.”.

That’s not all in the pipeline for the hectic hustlers. Through the Hilltop Hoods Initiative, a South Australian program for aspiring hip hoppers, they recently gave this year’s winner Jimblah a $5000 grant to get things started. And remember Suffa’s anti-KFC ads against animal cruelty- Not only does he represent for animal rights, but he’s also starting to open up to footwear style. They’ve designed a ‘little Hoodie sneaker’ with DC, which they hope to be sporting in time for the BDO.

Things are thriving for the trendsetting Hoods, just as they should be.

WHO: The Hilltop Hoods
WHAT: City of Light DVD
WHEN: Out Saturday 8 December