The release date for the highly anticipated debut album Reclaim Australia from Australian Hip Hop duo A. B. Original (consisting of Trials and Briggs) is set for September / October through Golden Era Records and Australia’s first Indigenous Hip Hop label Bad Apples Music, as announced this last week during NAIDOC Week (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee Week, celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians).
Having supported the Hilltop Hoods for the largest domestic Hip Hop tour throughout Australia (with crowds reaching attendance rates of 10,000+), A. B. Original are putting the finishing touches on their debut release. Briggs and Trials themselves are individually talented emcees with a unique story to tell and the combination of the two has fans expecting one of the albums of the year from the newly formed duo, and their live show with DJ Total Eclipse of The X-Ecutioners has further cemented their national following.
Briggs, a Yorta Yorta man from Shepparton in regional Victoria, has a longstanding friendship with Trials, a Ngarrindjeri man from country along the Murray River in South Australia. Reclaim Australia has been long in the works, with Trials and Briggs first working on the same record on Reason’s 2008 album The Tides Are Turning. This led to Trials producing Briggs’ title track for his Homemade Bombs EP in 2009. Briggs’ 2010 debut solo full length album The Blacklist featured Trials both on the mic and production boards for “So Dangerous” and further as a producer on “Dealin With A Monsta.” The musical chemistry between the two was clearly evident and resulted in Trials being featured heavily on Briggs’ 2013 Briggs & Friends Vol. 1 mix compilation. Trials went on to produce the first and fourth singles from Briggs’ most recent album, Sheplife: “The Hunt” feat Gurrumul and “Eye for An Eye” feat. Ill Bill. This long-running collaboration between the two has led to the duo forming the group A. B. Original, a very welcomed breath of fresh air to a homogenizing Hip Hop sound currently being pushed in Australia.
A. B. Original songs released thus far include “Black Balls” produced by Jayteehazard of Elefant Traks from the Golden Era Records Mixtape 2015, the theme song to the American/Australia TV show Cleverman titled “Take Me Home” feat. Gurrumul, “Dead in a Minute” feat. Caiti Baker (vocalist for Sietta) produced by Smokeygotbeatz (New Zealand), “Firing Squad” feat Hau of Koolism / House of Beige and “2 Blak 2 Strong” with the latter two produced by Dazastah of Downsyde / Syllabolix / Grand Lodge 3.
The A. B. Original sound has been described as rough and tough around the edges, deliberately brash and aggressive, somewhat in the spirit of N.W.A. and Westside Connection, providing a much needed honest account of race relations in Australia today as well as delving into Australia’s dark colonial past through a traditional sound away from the fashion of today. The ironic title of the forthcoming album, Reclaim Australia, strikes a strong accord locally in Australia as there is currently a small, misinformed yet vocal group protesting immigration to Australia also called Reclaim Australia (a group unfoundingly fearful “their” country is being taken away from them which is satirical to say the least when understanding the British colonialized Australia in 1788).
Having worked recently with DJ Mustard and DJ Pooh among others while in LA, expect a classic American-Australian collaboration coming soon from A. B. Original as well as some joint efforts with some of Australia’s best.