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Australia’s Drill Hip Hop Group – ONE FOUR

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OneFour is an Australian drill/hip hop group hailing from Mt Druitt. Their name origin stems from a street gang called NF14. 

OneFour first assembled back in 2014. A few years later, the childhood friends turned musical partners launched to fame on the back of some wildly successful songs and adjoining YouTube videos. Hits such as “Ready for War,” “The Message,” and “Shanks and Shivs” set the tone for these Sydney rappers, who frequently dispense with violent lyrics. 

Mount Druitt holds a high level of poverty, crime and harsh realities.“We’re just rapping about what we were living.There’s nothing more meaningful than real-life shit.” 

 “Mount Druitt is going to be recognised at the same kind of level as Compton, where artists survived tough environments and a system stacked against them. Growing up I thought Mount Druitt was a place where art went to die, but OneFour has shown my community that we can make our own art and tell our own stories. It’s only a matter of time before it gets recognised as a place where really unique music is coming from.”

As with most successful hip hop groups, OneFour finds a specific function for each of its participating members. J Emz is a genuine personality with a distinctive lyrical style to match. YP spits consistent fire and delivers bars that go straight to the bone. Spenny is a modern-day virtuoso, who can seamlessly shift between various styles. Lekks is the joker of the group, infusing otherwise grim tracks with occasional comic relief. 

Drill rap, is a cousin to trap music that reportedly originated in Chicago in 2012. In contrast to gangster rap—which tends to glorify life in the hood—drill rap takes a much starker approach. Drawing broader attention to socio-economic disparities, a number of drill rap songs describe the actual hardships of living in poverty, sparing no gruesome detail.

OneFour has sparked the likings of big celebrity names like A$AP Ferg and JuiceWRLD. They currently have a feature with A$AP Ferg and classify it to be a milestone for the group who’ve gone from strength to strength despite facing enormous challenges like a sustained campaign from police preventing them from performing and the imprisonment of their members.

Their hit “In the Beginning” reached over 1 million views in less than 48 hours and has since accumulated over 73 million streams. They have gained respect within the global hip hop arena due to their unapologetic and expressive story lines in their lyrics. They continue to influence the newer generation of artists and have also landed massive promotional projects and international collaborations with companies such as Beats by Dre. 

You can check out the video documentary /song collab called “My City” by OneFour ft. The Kid Laroi Beat x Beat: Inside Out with Beats by Dre on their Instagram IGTV story line and YouTube. “My City” has already streamed over 1.4 million views on YouTube.

Written by: Samantha Watts-Hopkins

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