D ifferent generations of HipHop leaders came together on Saturday 21st March 2015 to mark the first 4Elements All Age HipHop Festival held in Sydney Australia. The event showcased spoken word, music, dj’ing, dance, photography and industry panel discussions; consisting of over 100 artists and industry pioneers including Mistery, Matuse, Brothablack, Mirrah, Joel Rapaport, Sub and Creep, Team 9Lives, Dancekool, Bankstown Poetry Slam, Renegades of Munk, Dj’s MK1 and Crazy Caz. 4Elements was designed to bring people of all-ages, ethnic, and cultural heritages together to embrace unity and acceptance as well as awareness of the socio-political climate in Australia, specifically in Western Sydney.

HipHop has become a popular platform in Sydney’s western region, although it started on the other side of the globe, youth have gravitated towards the platform for free expression. In the early 80’s, music videos like Malcolm McLaren's track, "Buffalo Gals" were shown on Australian television, leaving an impression on Australian teenagers with the breaker moves and graffiti, encouraging and contributing to the HipHop movement Down Under. Many of the battles and issues, which sparked the HipHop movement in the United States of America, such as racism, violence and disadvantaged communities, are still concerns today and relevant to people within Australia.

The Industry Panels at 4Elements used HipHop as a launch pad to reflect the wider issues facing young Australian’s and examine the topics of racism, ethnicity, multiculturalism, trans-nationalism and the relevance of youth movements. Today, Australia's population of about 23 million is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the world. Although, the majority of the population are Australian born, more than 75% of Australians identified with an ancestry other than Australian in the 2011 Census and come from over 200 birthplaces around the globe. Multiculturalism is a continually evolving concept, and staging events such as 4Elements provide a platform, allowing open discussions to exist in order to create awareness and inspire change.

4Elements All Age HipHop Festival was hosted by Vyva Entertainment with the support of Bankstown Youth Development Service and Bankstown City Council at the Bankstown Arts Centre. The event was held on Harmony Day to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The 4Elements All Age HipHop Festival is scheduled to return Saturday 19th March 2016

  1. http://www.racismnoway.com.au/about-racism/population/ Information in this section is primarily derived from 2011 Census data as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This section has been updated by the University of Western Sydney.
  2. http://alltogethernow.org.au/news/harmony-day-reflection-2015/ Article by Nova Longhurst
  3. Maxwell, Ian (2001). "Chapter 11: Sydney Stylee: Hip-Hop Down Under Comin' Up". In Tony Mitchell. Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. pp. 259–79. ISBN 9780819565020
  4. http://politicalbeanie.tumblr.com/post/86695510669/hip-hop-studies-panel-discussion-at-sydney

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