© Guy Davies
A.Girl’s plea for unity in Australian hip-hop: “The cycle has to be broken”
In her Red Bull 64 Bars song ‘Vision’, Western Sydney artist A.Girl called for unity in the local hip-hop scene. In this essay, she explains why things need to change.
‘Vision’ is a very special song to me. It’s a call out to everybody in the music industry who fuels negative area associations and postcode wars. I wrote it because I was frustrated by the things that I was seeing, stories that I was hearing, certain groups not being able to work together or not wanting to work together. I want to say do better: for yourself and all of us in the music industry.
In Western Sydney, that type of stuff is real. You witness it everywhere you go, on any corner, whether it be music related or not. It’s area mentality and it carries on into the music scene.
But there’s a bigger picture and there’s a better picture. And the picture that specifically my Polynesian people and my Maori people are painting for themselves isn’t the picture I want painted for us. I don’t want us to be seen as a group of people who can’t get along or won’t get along. I love seeing my people thrive in the music industry but knowing that they won’t take the next step or take things to the next level because of area beef is what I’m frustrated by.
And it affects the next generation too. I wrote some bars in ‘Vision’ about how this stuff carries on: “Dedicate this to the girls who had to lose a brother in battle / a brother in war / you seen ‘em do it all for the cause / now she carries that beef like it’s her own and the cycle continues when she brings it home”.
I wanted to paint a picture of a girl at home who has an older brother or older cousin who lives that area lifestyle. He brings it home, she sees that and she grows up on that. And the cycle continues because of the behaviour she was taught. I wanted to say that as much as the boys go through this as well, when you bring it back home -- to your sisters, your mother, your grandmother, the ones who really love and care for you -- that cycle continues within them, too. The cycle has to be broken. That tradition should be no longer.
I look at my younger brother; he just turned 18. Boys his age can usually get into the wrong type of crowds. It's my job while I’m here as his older sister to try and make this shit change because I hate the way that I’m seeing everything go. I don’t want that to be my brother’s future, or my sister’s future. I don’t want that to be anyone’s brother or sister’s future. I don’t want what’s happening now to carry on, I want to end it now and let the next generation try and figure out how they’re gonna move forward in a more collaborative and positive way. We owe it to them to leave the hip-hop scene better than how we found it.
I don’t want that to be my brother’s future, or my sister’s future
No matter what sort of stuff has happened in the past, whether it be area related or not, whether it be personal issues or whatever, I want the vision to be that we are one. I feel like there’s so much international recognition and so many eyes on Australia right now when it comes to music. I want us to be the country that's united: no beef, no trying to outdo each other, just all of us trying to work together so that we can get to the next level and punch above our weight or the world stage.
Imagine if all of the people they’re looking at individually did things together? If that happens, I honestly feel like we’d elevate faster. I feel it, I know it, I see it, I hear it. I feel like it would elevate to the whole next level. We’d be so much stronger together. Fear holds us all back. Love moves us all forward.
A.Girl Red Bull 64 Bars