Fans of A.B. Original, the hip-hop outfit of Yorta Yorta man Briggs and Ngarrindjeri man Trials, are rapt following the release of the duo’s first new material in almost four years.
The teaser track, entitled ‘King Billy Cokebottle’, comes ahead of the release in November of their first official new single, as well as touring with headline act Hilltop Hoods later this month.
The title refers to the stage name of a 1970s comedian, actually a Dutch immigrant called Louis Beers, who toured the country with his blackface act.
Known for their uncompromising reflections of the state of racism in Australia, Briggs left his followers in no doubt that their new material would be just as staunch in a Twitter post announcing the release.
“King Billy Cokebottle drags an ugly side of Australian Larrakinism to the table, where the joke’s on us,” he wrote.
“We get told to get over it and fit in with ‘Australian Values’. That’s Assimilation, and that is essentially asking Blackfullas not to exist… If we have to feel the anxiety and discomfort of living in a country that wishes we weren’t here, so do you.”
The track opens with recorded audio of one of Beer’s acts, in which he impersonates an Aboriginal man and makes racist remarks. The song goes on to examine the Aboriginal experience in Australia.
“Why the f*ck would I welcome the oppressor, when four out of five say that we’re lesser?” questions one typically raw verse.
Briggs and Trials took the scene by storm with the release in 2016 of A.B.Original’s debut album ‘Reclaim Australia’, featuring the firebrand anthem ‘January 26’. Featuring collaborations with Gurrumul, Thelma Plum and Dan Sultan, the album went on to win two ARIAs, two NIMAs, and the J Award for ‘Album of the Year’.
Fans can see the duo perform as support act for the Hilltop Hoods later this month at venues.