Hurtling out of Bidjigal Land Maroubra, proud Gomeroi rapper Kobie Dee has unleashed his debut EP, Gratitude Over Pity, into the world. It explores his journey and key moments in his life that has shaped him into the man he is today. One who supports and gives back to his community, actively works to change the systemic issues resulting in the overrepresentation of Aboriginal kids in custody, and champion better mental health support access for young people across the country.

Clocking in at five tracks, Kobie’s first release on Briggs’ Bad Apples Music explores multiple facets of his life growing up in Sydney, and at 24-years-old, Kobie’s seen some real shit. Even from the kick off with ‘In My Zone’, Kobie spits about the last couple of years of his life: he’s gotten clean, realised the importance of family, and is focused on staying in his own “zone” instead of getting sucked back into a place he knows has no future for him.

From the starting gate, Gratitude Over Pity delivers what it says on the tin. It’s Kobie recognising and giving gratitude to the experiences that shaped him – the celebrations, set-backs, and seriously fucked-up scenarios he’s found himself in over the last four years of creating the EP.

“​This EP represents my journey and key stories and moments in my life up until this point in time,” Kobie said.

“I love how it has come together and the way it flows… I want people to feel connected to it. I want my struggles and my success to inspire people.”

With lyrics that read like a series of diary entries, Kobie doesn’t mince words across Gratitude Over Pity. With little metaphors and cryptic lyrics, his words are delivered in a way that can’t be confused or misinterpreted.

That’s heartbreakingly clear on EP closer and leading single, ‘About A Girl’, which details the devastation of trying to help someone from themselves and the people they were surrounding themselves with, only to find out through an emotionless news report that they’d been swallowed whole by the world they’d embedded themselves in.

Listening to that on a walk over the weekend absolutely floored me; it’s the kind of storytelling that sets Kobie Dee apart from other artists his age. There’s a hunger to lay it all out without superfluous language, because the story itself is powerful enough to knock you back on your heels and take the wind from your lungs.

Kobie’s pursuit for real conversations and storytelling bleeds out from his musical work too, with his podcast Know Role Models delving into conversations with people he personally looks up to. Across five episodes, Kobie speaks with Indigenous people he finds inspiring – from Adam Goodes to close personal friends.

His work within his own community is clearly an extension of how he lives with and through gratitude as well. Driven by his own lived experience and wanting to give back to the community which raised him, while inspiring younger generations, Kobie worked hard with Weave Youth & Community Services and Randwick Council to build and host the Maroubra South East Block Party back in April.

Everything that Kobie Dee touches is real, raw, and honest, and more proof that Indigenous voices are more important than ever in the Australian music community.

Image: Supplied