Imagine being as sooky as The Australian when it comes to Indigenous issues in this country?
Last night, A.B. Original made history as the first Indigenous artists to win the $30,000 Australian Music Prize for their absolute beaut of a debut album ‘Reclaim Australia‘.
The politically-charged album – which is chock full of jams – tackles important Australian issues relating to Indigenous people.
And no track does this more famously than ‘January 26‘, which came in at #16 in this year’s Hottest 100. It’s a solid critique of this idea that Aussies celebrate a day marking centuries of oppression by getting boozed at the beach, and is basically an anthem to the #ChangeTheDate movement.
An example of the lyrics:
They said, “Hey, Briggs, pick a date” (Okay)
“You know, one we can celebrate” (For sure)
“Where we can come together (Yeah)
Talk about the weather, call that Australia Day”
I said, “How about March 8th?” (That’s a good one)
And we can do it on your Nan’s grave (Got that, bitch?)
We can piss up, piss on her face
Obviously, this tune rankled some feathers, mostly from the sort of people who will ferociously argue why January 26 is a perfectly okay day to get belted while wearing an Australian flag, but will be unable to put forth any good argument other than “but like, that’s celebrating Australia, why do some people want to divide us?”
(Hint: until the rates of incarceration, education, employment, poverty and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians matches the rest of Australia, STFU when people are trying to talk about these issues.)
So yeah. The Australian – our national broadsheet, whose latest ad campaign is a celebration Bill Leaks‘ infamously racist cartoon – decided to cover A.B. Original’s groundbreaking achievement with this angle:
Album containing a song attacking Australia Day wins national awardhttps://t.co/5CIBom0ApP pic.twitter.com/idWWwSmQKH
— The Australian (@australian) March 9, 2017
The article itself wasn’t all that inflammatory. It mentioned the win, the other contenders (which included Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Avalanches), and the quote from duo Briggs and Trials:
“When we made this album – we thought it was career suicide. For us to be afforded this platform with so many listeners is not lost on us. We went all out because we thought it was the last one we’d make. All of this support is igniting us to do another one! We are very grateful.”
But farking hell, that tweet though.
Briggs has now hit back at The Oz, mentioning a few other issues the album ‘attacks’:
Other things @ABOriginalBAM attack
– white supremacy
– juvenile incarceration
– deaths in custody
– indig mortality rates
– wack rappers
— BRIGGS AKA BIG SIGH (@BriggsGE) March 9, 2017
Keep fighting the bad takes, mates.