RECENT years have seen a surge in interest in locally cultivated hip-hop music - or skip-hop as it has become affectionately branded.
So why doesn't Perth - which has played a prominent part in pioneering the genre throughout Australia - have its own festival to celebrate all things, well, hip-hop?
Damien Allia (aka DJ Armee, of trailblazing local outfit Downsyde) decided to do something about it while DJing and living in Hong Kong for the past three months.
“One day, I realised the support and love people have for the hip-hop culture and music in Australia -compared to somewhere like Hong Kong - and it just inspired me to put something like this on as soon as I returned home,” he said.
And so Allia got down to business, as the creator and promoter of the inaugural Kings Of Perth Hip Hop Festival, a two-stage event celebrating a decade of proudly Aussie-made hip-hop with more than 20 local and national music artists as well as break-dancers, aerosol artists and a multi-deck battle of the DJs.
“It's going to be a straight-up celebration of the great culture we embrace here in Oz, and you will hear local artists in their finest form,” he offered.
Galvanising the troops was easy for the man known as DJ Armee, given the tight-knit nature of Perth's hip-hop community - crossover member involvement in premier groups Downsyde and Syllabolix defines the local scene.
“The SBX crew is one of the most prominent brotherhoods of successful artists,” he said.
“This includes Downsyde, Drapht, Hunter, Layla, Matty B, Clandestine and more, but everyone from all different Perth crews is one big hip-hop family.”
The late 90s-formed Syllabolix spawned a posse of individual artists in their own right, including rapper Drapht, whose single Jimmy Recard came in at number 10 on Triple J's definitive Hottest 100 in 2008.
So, who's Allia's tip to become the next big thing to emerge from Perth's underground scene and perhaps go national?
“(Young MC) Bitter Belief is one to watch out for!”
Take note, peeps.
Kings Of Perth Hip Hop Festival will be at the Rosemount Hotel, North Perth, on Friday, August 20.