The future of music

25 Best Australian Rappers of All Time

December 11, 2023
australian rappers

I’ve picked out the best Australian rappers of all time, artists who have significantly contributed to and shaped the hip-hop scene down under.

This article is a celebration of the unique voices and styles that these Aussie rappers bring to the global music landscape.

Top Australian rappers of all time

  • Kerser
  • Illy
  • Tkay Maidza
  • Sampa The Great
  • Remi Kolawole
  • Briggs
  • Horrorshow
  • The Hilltop Hoods
  • Iggy Azalea
  • MC Pressure

1. Kerser

Renowned for his gritty, honest style and rapid delivery, Kerser is one of the best rappers in Australia.

He has been making music since 2009, releasing numerous albums, including The Nebulizer, Goon Bap, Brave New World, and No Rest For The Sickest.

His latest album, Engraved In The Game, debuted at #15 on the ARIA Charts.

2. Illy

Melbourne’s award-winning rapper has succeeded with his hit single “Papercuts,” featuring Vera Blue.

The single peaked at #2 on the Urban ARIA Charts and went triple platinum.

His other popular songs include ‘Tightrope,’ ‘It Can Wait’ and ‘Cigarettes.’

Illy has six studio albums and three EPs, earning him multiple accolades, including a dozen ARIA Music Award nominations.

3. Tkay Maidza

Hailing from Zimbabwe, Tkay Maidza began her music career as an indie rock singer before switching to hip-hop.

She blends rap and R&B while incorporating electronica and dancehall elements.

Her most successful singles include “MOB,” “Switch Lanes,” and “Flexin,” featuring Koffee.

Her debut album TKAY earned her two ARIA Award nominations, making her one of the best-selling Australian rappers of all time.

4. Sampa The Great

This Zambian-born, Botswana-raised rapper packs bars full of social commentary and political statements into her thoughtful lyrics.

She announced her arrival to the Australian music scene with her first mixtape, Birds and the BEE9, introducing the world to her eclectic style, soulful crooning, and thought-provoking lyricism.

Sampa’s most recent release is her critically acclaimed album, As Above, So Below, released in 2022 via Loma Vista Recordings.

5. Remi Kolawole

A multi-talented artist, Remi Kolawole has become one of Australia’s most influential rappers in recent years.

His biggest hit single, “Substance Therapy,” became a triple j favorite, garnering millions of streams worldwide.

Remi delivers insightful rhymes about mental health, personal growth, racism, and love.

6. Briggs

This Indigenous artist from Shepparton, Victoria, has become iconic in the Australian hip-hop scene.

He gained popularity after featuring on Triple J Unearthed and releasing his EP Homemade Bombs (2009).

His solo releases “The Blacklist,” “Sheplife,” and “The Trials of James Shakezpere Jones” were all met with critical acclaim.

7. Horrorshow

The solo artists, Adit and Solo, have been making music since 2006, releasing albums such as Inside Story, Bardo State, and Analog Fairytales.

The duo’s honest, story-driven lyrics tackle race, immigration, and poverty with an admirable balance between political consciousness and optimism.

Their music often features a mix of soulful samples and light instrumentals, creating a unique soundscape that excites their loyal fans.

8. The Hilltop Hoods

Formed in 1996 in Adelaide, The Hilltop Hoods have become staples of the Australian rap industry.

Their most famous song, “Cosby Sweater,” peaked at #4 on the ARIA Charts, with over 25 million YouTube views.

They have had seven ARIA awards and eight nominations.

Their sixth studio album, Drinking from the Sun, won the Best Urban Album Award at the ARIA Awards.

9. Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea is an Australian rapper and songwriter who debuted in 2011 with her Ignorant Art mixtape.  

She’s enjoyed massive commercial successes after moving to the USA, including releasing a Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in “Fancy.”

Azalea has been nominated for multiple awards, including the coveted Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.  

Her style is inspired by 90s rap, making her a standout figure in the contemporary music scene.

10. MC Pressure

MC Pressure is an Australian hip-hop artist best known for his work with Hilltop Hoods.

His albums have gone platinum in Australia besides charting internationally.

The Australian rapper has collaborated with local and international artists like Delta Goodrem and The Presets.

He won Best Urban Release at the ARIA Music Awards for his album The Darkside.

And as one of the pioneers of Australian hip-hop culture, it’s little surprise he’s also one of the best-selling rappers from the country.

11. 360

Matthew James Colwell, better known as 360, is an Australian rapper from Victoria.

He was signed to Soulmate Records in 2006 and released his first album Thinking In Circles, the same year.

Since then, he has released three studio albums, showcasing his lyrical genius and unique style.

His songs have received radio airplay all over Australia, making him one of the most successful independent artists in the country.

12. Tasman Keith

Tasman is an Indigenous artist from Bowraville, New South Wales.

He began his musical journey in 2018 and has released several projects since then.

His tracks focus on social issues concerning Indigenous Australians and celebrate their culture.

His 2019 release, YKWD, earned him two National Indigenous Music Awards nominations.

13. Barkaa

Barkaa is an African-Australian musician based in Perth.

He started as an MC for the True Vibenation band and later branched out to pursue a solo career.

His music blends funk, soul, R&B, and rap elements into something extraordinary and full of life.

Barkaa’s latest singles, “Mountain” and “Won’t You,” showcase his diverse sonic palette.

14. Huskii

Born Ben Hayden, Huskii is a male rapper from Sydney, New South Wales.

He’s gained massive attention with his hard-hitting lyrics and smooth flow.

Huskii’s sound is inspired by old-school boom baps and experimental traps.

His debut album Antihero became #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

15. Allday

Tomas Henry Gaynor, or Allday, is an award-winning artist from Adelaide, South Australia.

He became famous in 2012 after releasing the critically acclaimed Startup Cult mixtape.

Since then, he has released four studio albums and received numerous ARIA and AIR Award nominations.

His music incorporates hip-hop and pop elements, endearing him to fans of both genres.

16. Baker Boy

Baker Boy is an Indigenous rapper and dancer from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

He began rapping at a young age and has become one of Australia’s most successful artists.

His music has topped the ARIA Singles Chart, winning multiple awards, including Young Performer of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards.

He’s collaborated with many artists, including fellow Aussie hip-hop star Tkay Maidza.

His music is thoughtful and uplifting, combining Indigenous language and culture with modern hip-hop beats.

17. Phrase

Phrase is a Melbourne-based rapper who’s become a significant player in the Australian hip-hop scene.

He began his career as a member of a hip-hop collective called Unkut Recordings.

His music blends thoughtful and poignant lyrics with slick production.

His songs tackle complex topics such as mental health and grief, giving them an emotional depth that resonates with many listeners.

18. Young Lipz

Young Lipz is a Melbourne-based rap artist who’s become better and better since his 2016 debut.

His songs combine hard-hitting beats with a clever lyrical flow.

Lipz attracts attention with his conscious rap, earning him praise from underground and mainstream audiences.

He was featured on Hilltop Hoods’ acclaimed album Drinking from the Sun, showcasing his lyrical prowess to an even wider audience.

He has since collaborated with artists such as Tkay Maidza and Travy P, making waves within the Australian hip-hop community.

19. Mallrat

Mallrat is a Brisbane-based artist whose dreamy, pop-tinged take on rap has earned her widespread acclaim.

She burst onto the scene in 2017 with her single “Uninvited,” which went viral and garnered national recognition.

Her genre-bending approach to creating music sets her apart from other up-and-coming rappers and makes her one of Australia’s most exciting talents.

She’s also one of the best-selling Australian rappers of all time.

20. Hooligan Hefs

Hooligan Hefs is an Adelaide rapper who blends grime, trap and drill music elements to create a distinctive sound.

He’s been dubbed the “Australian Godfather of Grime” by media outlets such as Triple J and Music Feeds for his creative and boundary-pushing style.

His music often tackles social issues, with the rapper never shying away from complex topics such as racism, class divides, and mental health.

His debut, “No Effect,” showcased his undeniable talent for crafting compelling stories and infectious hooks, marking his grand entry to the Australian rap scene.

Hooligan Hefs has collaborated with some of Australia’s top artists, including Thundamentals and Horrorshow, further pushing him into the limelight.

21. A. Girl

A. Girl is an experimental rap artist based in Western Sydney who incorporates elements of R&B and soul into her music.

She uses her music to explore themes of identity and feminism, addressing cultural stereotypes while encouraging listeners to embrace their individuality.

22. Omar Musa

Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper from Queanbeyan, New South Wales.

His tongue-in-cheek rhymes have made him a fan favorite. 

His blend of traditional Aboriginal sounds with contemporary hip-hop production has helped put Indigenous rap on the map.

He was awarded the ARIA Music Awards for Album of the Year, cementing his place as one of Australia’s brightest stars.

23. Suffa

Matthew David Lambert, or Suffa, is the lead MC of the multi-platinum-selling group Hilltop Hoods.

Originally from Adelaide, Suffa has become a staple of the Aussie hip-hop scene, and his influence can be felt throughout the country.

His distinct flow and complex rhyme schemes are matched only by his keen ear for production, producing a string of successful group and solo projects.

His ability to craft conscious and thought-provoking lyrics, tackling everything from politics to personal struggles, has made him a fan favorite.

With over 20 years of experience, Suffa has become one of the country’s most respected and renowned MCs, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

24. Tuka

Tuka is a Hip-Hop artist from Sydney who has made a name for himself as one of the leading figures in the Australian rap scene.

His smooth delivery and conscious lyrical content have won him an ever-growing fan base.

He released several albums, notably Life, Death, and the Pursuit of Happiness, in 2014.

In recent years, he has taken on more of a producer role, working with various acts and crafting beats for multiple songs.

Tuka is an influential figure in the Australian hip-hop scene, producing a series of hit songs with powerful messages of hope and inspiration.

25. Drapht

Drapht is a high-energy rapper known for his trademark voice modulation and melodic hooks.

He has teamed up with talented collaborators on his fifth and most recent album (Seven Mirrors), including Dune Rats, Hilltop Hoods, Nat Dunn, and Bradley Stone.

Drapht is also a Syllabolix (SBX) crew member alongside fellow Perth artists like Downsyde.

Best Australian Rappers of All Time – Final Thoughts

It’s easy to disregard Australian hip hop, partly because of its complicated history and because it only recently gained momentum.

It might be nothing compared to American hip hop, but there’s something captivating about Aussie hip hop; the accents.

Every time you listen to an Aussie rapper, you can’t help but admire the authenticity of their voices, which has made the rap industry a commercially viable sector for home-grown talent.

The list of the 30 best-selling Australian rappers of all time is proof of the country’s growing hip-hop talent in recent years.

Even though this isn’t a comprehensive list of the most successful rappers ever, it is an ideal starting point for anyone looking for those Australian rappers who pushed the boundaries.

You may also like: Best Rappers of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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