Australia Day 2017: In AB Original's 'January 26', Ngarrindjeri emcee Trials celebrates a culture's survival

AB Original - January 26 (language warning)

A Ngarrindjeri rapper's argument for an Australia Day date change will gain more exposure tomorrow as radio station Triple J's Hottest 100 hits the airwaves.

The lyrics of Adelaide-based emcee Trials, AKA Dan Rankine, focus on what it means to be Aboriginal on January 26, the title of the AB Original track likely to feature prominently in the countdown.

"You wanna raise a flag with a rifle to make us celebrate anything but survival?" he says in the track.

"Nah, you watching telly for The Bachelor but wouldn't read a book about a f***load of massacres.

"I remember all the blood and what carried us; you remember 20 recipes for lamingtons."

What frustrated him, he told Fairfax Media, was that the hurt around invasion and survival had festered for so long without the argument for a date-change gaining much traction.

"In the last couple of years it feels like the cog's turning in our favour, not in terms of what we want (a date change) but in terms of the conversation's happening," he said.

"That was our big hope and aim with the song ... to start those conversations with people who hadn't had them."

Rap music was born out of dispossession and disenfranchisement all over the world, but particularly for African-Americans. We tried to adopt a west coast American sound, the sounds we got into when we were younger ... we wanted to bring that energy to our nieces and nephews.

Trials

If Australia Day was really inclusive, he said, it would celebrate the oldest culture on the planet, not shoo it away.

"Ignorance is an excuse ... until you're presented with the facts," he said.

"Once you hear the reasoning about why people, particularly our mob, have a problem with it (January 26) ... you're allowed to change your opinion."

Survivors: Hip-hop artists Briggs and Trials, as AB Original, offer an Aboriginal perspective on January 26. Photo: Facebook.

Survivors: Hip-hop artists Briggs and Trials, as AB Original, offer an Aboriginal perspective on January 26. Photo: Facebook.

This story Time for January 26 to go, argues Ngarrindjeri emcee Trials first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.