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Photos and words by Rachel Younger

Trail blazing indigenous-owned music labels RPM (Canada) and Bad Apples (Australia) tore up the Lighthouse on Friday night.

The air was thick with passion and politically-charged rhymes as we were treated with sets from RPM’s Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Bad Apples’ Birdz and Nooky.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids are an indigenous hip hop duo from the Haisla Nation and we were lucky enough to witness their first ever gig in Australia. Taking common racist terms like savages, Indians, and red skins, Snotty Nose Rez Kids reclaim these put downs with the intention of stripping away the damage they intend to inflict. And they do it with a hell of a lot of energy, unique vocal stylings and undeniably catchy flows.

Bad Apples’ Nooky delivered a punchy set, unapologetically honest and emotionally charged. At one point he invited a man up on stage saying, “Don’t worry mate, all you need to do is hand me the microphone”, before scaling the lighting truss and singing the next song perched 10 feet above the crowd.

Katherine-raised Birdz looked like he was at home back on an NT stage. Even though he now lives in Melbourne, the way the crowd sang along to his songs showed it’s obvious the NT still considers him theirs. Birdz never disappoints and true to form, brought thought-provoking rhymes and honest and raw passion.

The night was complete with beautiful guest performances sprinkled throughout from Darwin’s own Serina Pech and Caiti Baker, and culminated with the two hip hop crews from opposite sides of the globe uniting for a final song.

Additional photos available on on our Facebook page.

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