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Music With A Message Winner

Music With A Message Winner

Who: Local Knowledge, BrothaBlack, Dhopec, Lefta Centa, DJ Kato
Where: Newcastle Leagues Club
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Saturday February 11, 2006

HUNTER hip-hop outfit Local Knowledge are home this weekend high from a triumphant tour covering regional areas and capital cities.

It caps off a huge year for the group which has been named band of the year at the Deadly Awards and appeared at Homebake. It was their first run to incorporate mainstream shows having previously only played to indigenous communities.

Local Knowledge was formed four years ago by MCs Joel Wenitong and brothers Abie and Warrick Wright, who were later joined by DJ Jaytee. Spreading the word about issues facing young indigenous people spawned the creativity necessary to form their own hip-hop group. ``I had a lot of issues on my chest that I wanted to get off because mainly I was pretty angry as a young Aboriginal man,'' Abie Wright said.

``I just wanted to express myself, and I thought hip-hop music was a way that I can get across to the young Aboriginal kids.'' Before forming Local Knowledge, Wright worked with young Aboriginal people at camps which aimed to teach them about the cultural side of their heritage.

It was an eye-opening experience that further pushed him to form Local Knowledge. ``I discovered a lot of them weren't really getting into the cultural side of knowing who they are,'' he said.

``They were walking around with their hats turned backwards saying, `Mutha. . . this, mutha. . . that' and all this sort of stuff, and making out they were Americans, and that kind of got under my skin.

``So me and my brother thought, `Let's Aboriginalise this music, let's Australianise this music'.

``We try to provide something positive and inspirational for them.'' Support for the group has been solid and the first pressing of their Blackfellas EP selling out after their first three tour dates, adding to a growing list of achievements.

``The highlight for me was winning the Deadly Award last year,'' Wright said. ``That's something I really wanted to get. An award like that shows me that I have been recognised in my own community.

``We weren't expecting it. We hadn't released anything really at that stage so it was a huge shock.

``But all these people around the country voted for us so it was a big eye-opener and we realised that we are doing positive things in our community and people are starting to recognise that.'' The band will headline a show at The Bandroom @ Newcastle Leagues Club on Saturday night with BrothaBlack, Dhopec, Lefta Centa and DJ Kato. Tickets will be available at the door.

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