Hip-hop hasn’t always been a massively popular genre to come out of Australia. It’s only been recently, with help from the internet and services like triple J Unearthed, that the culture has grown and we no longer have to be content with the two or three big names heard all over the radio (such as Hilltop Hoods or Bliss n Esso). Now you can listen to a whole range of young MCs from across the country who are all working on their own space and sound within our community.
Melbourne MC Javan Ash joins the strong wave of new Aussie hip-hop with his impressive single One Hundred, a stark lesson in modesty and honesty.
His latest music video features the rad new song One Hundred which is the second single off his upcoming EP D.I.T.C. On first listen you can tell that he’s looked towards America and other international acts for influence. The production sounds a bit like something Yung Lean would rap over with the resonating higher tones over a swelling bass and sharp snare hits, yet it’s a little more low-key like a Drake track.
I would argue that on this track Javan Ash’s flow is much smoother and well orchestrated than what is being produced by a lot of other Australian MCs. The thoughtful precision of his vocal style could be compared to Joey Bada$$ and it’s clear that he looks towards Drake for some kind of lyrical inspiration. Not only that, but he’s also able to throw in a catchy hook to sing along to.
The video, directed by Kaius Potter, follows Javan Ash through the city, from the streets, all the way to the top of a parking complex. This is done in the single-shot style that has become popular over the last few years in film and TV shows like Birdman and True Detective, but also in a few music videos such as Childish Gambino’s Sweatpants.
The eerie use of only natural lighting in the video, which is paradoxically unnatural since it comes primarily from street and car park lights, adds to the overall abstract and dark tone being depicted. The track itself is a grungy, “over-this-shit” kind of song and the loneliness of an empty building in the middle of the city adds to the contradictory surrealist vibe being explored.
Hopefully over the next year, with the release of his EP and possibly some tour dates, we’ll see Javan Ash rise to the top (just like he does in the music video). Here’s hoping we’ll be hearing more of him on the radio and maybe even a festival slot.