While Australian Hip Hop continues to break new ground, there is only one act synonymous with the term ground-breaking. Within a genre that is growing at an exponential rate, Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods will always remain leaders.
Hilltop Hoodsformed when MC’s Suffa and Pressure met at high school in the Hills of Adelaide, South Australia. Later introduced by a mutual friend to DJ Debris, the trio found common ground with their love of Hip Hop. While Hilltop Hoods have drawn on a broad range of influences, they have never lost touch with the unique flavour they created in the Adelaide Hills as young Hip Hop fans. With an ethos that is both innovative and fearless, Hilltop Hoods inspirational sound has been embraced far beyond Hip Hop’s loyal underground. When the heads of rock fans, dance music devotees and even casual radio listeners nod in unison to the Hoods’ infectious beats there’s no doubt that the guys are at the top of their game.
After countless underground gigs and a handful of early releases (‘Back Once Again’, ‘Left Foot Right Foot’ and ‘A Matter Of Time’) they literally burst on to the scene with their album ‘The Calling’in 2003. The nimble flows and stunning beats of this ground-breaking album declared the arrival of a significant new force in Australian Hip Hop. The album produced the smash hit ‘Nosebleed Section’ which finally gave the group widespread national radio play and public recognition. The album went platinum and established the Hoods’ as a major force in the Australian Music scene. It threw down the gauntlet to an industry that had ignored this burgeoning movement in Australian music for too long.
Hilltop Hoods further cemented their name with their next hugely successful album ‘The Hard Road’ (2006), which debuted at #1 on the ARIA album chart and went on to become the group’s second Platinum album. After winning two ARIA Awards in 2006, five tracks from ‘The Hard Road’ earned spots in Triple J’s annual Hottest 100 and the group were awarded with the coveted J Award for 2006. Later the Hoods reworked ‘The Hard Road’ with the assistance of composer Jamie Messenger to create ‘The Hard Road Restrung’, incorporating the 31-piece Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. ‘The Hard Road Restrung’ went on to go Gold and take home the 2007 ARIA Award for Best Urban Release.
The crew’s fifth studio album ‘State of the Art’ (2009) is the biggest selling Australian Hip Hop album of alltime. It debuted at #1 on the ARIA chart and held its position for 2 weeks (simultaneously being certified gold.) After subsequent sold out tours and festival appearances, the album reached double platinum status after yielding the double platinum single ‘Chase That Feeling’ and gold single ‘Still Standing. This monster album won the group 2 ARIA awards and transformed the perception of Hip Hop in Australia.
Numerous sold-out national tours and standout festival appearances has seen Hilltop Hoods singled out as one of Australia’s most vibrant live acts by press, industry insiders and fans alike. Their success has not been limited to Australia though; the Hoods’ have proven they can take their sound to the far corners of the globe. They’ve toured everywhere from Switzerland to South Korea, appearing at such festivals as Glastonbury, Splendour In The Grass, Oxygen, Open Air Lumnezia, Splash and have spent years grinding out acclaimed headline tours all over the world.
Apart from their accomplishments on stage Hilltop Hoods have also enjoyed success off stage with their own label, Golden Era Records. An incubator for some of the country’s most exciting artists (Vents/Briggs/Funkoars), Golden Era Records is widely recognised as one of Australia’s finest Hip Hop labels. Apart from the label, the Hoods continue to give back to the local scene through the ‘Hilltop Hoods Initiative’, a grant that the Adelaide trio established in 2005 to support up and coming Hip Hop artists around Australia.
The group have continued to move forward at light speed without ever looking back, and their latest album ‘Drinking From the Sun’ is no exception. The first single ‘I Love It’ featuring the mesmerising vocal talents of Siawas their biggest single ever (their first to go triple platinum.) The band launched ‘I Love It’ in Australia by supporting Eminem at three massive stadium concerts,
Upon it's release (March 2012) ‘Drinking From the Sun’ became the groups third consecutive #1 album and held its position for 2 weeks, taking the top spot from Adele. ‘Drinking From the Sun’ went gold on the day of its release and was certified platinum within one week.
In support of ‘Drinking From the Sun’the Hoods set out on their biggest national tour ever, ‘The Speaking In Tongues Tour’. They also completed a maiden US tour in support of their recent signing with Fontana (USA). On top of this the Hoods’ released their album in markets all over the world via Universal Music, and subsequently completed sold out dates in Canada, UK, Germany and Switzerland (including festival appearances at T In The Park, Open Air Frauenfeld and Wireless.)
With all these exceptional accolades, Hilltop Hoods have not only risen to the top of Australian Hip Hop, but have cemented themselves a place at the very forefront of the Australian Music Industry. Hilltop Hoods have stayed true to their music and retained their integrity in an industry that has a tendency to value the transient.
‘Still at the top of their game…9/10’ (JJJ Mag)
“Drinking From The Sun” is another home run from the undisputed masters of Australian Hip Hop.’ (Inpress)
‘Australian Hip Hop trail blazers deliver goods again…’ (Rolling Stone)
‘This offering is another jewel in the crown’ (The Australian)
‘This album - so massive in vision, so steeped in hooks - already plays like a classic’ (The Vine)