Fresh off the back of Vivid LIVE, where Ghanaian-Australian BLESSED took to the stage at Sydney Opera House with a crew of Sydney's finest, and performed his latest album for the first time, BLESSED dropped his much-anticipated album AUSSIE BLACKSTAR.
"AUSSIE BLACKSTAR is a defiant attitude representing all the non-white Australians and our fight to make our voices heard through art," BLESSED said of his eleven-track LP.
More than two years since the pandemic first hit, BLESSED has used this time to reflect on what's important. Like many creatives, he's emerged with the three pillars of family, beginnings and culture. And so, where the much-loved Music is the Medicine leaned into healing, introspection and escapism, his latest work is a headstrong declaration of self. The tracks speak of a rapper, producer and songwriter who has returned to his roots and is uncompromising in upholding them – they're moody, lucid and completely addictive.
The album opens with WAR ON LOVE, a trap-heavy sound with digitised vocals. Then comes a string of others like DOWN UNDER, LOOT, TROUBLE and FAMILY > EVERYTHING where hip-hop spills over into our hungry ears. These are titles with impact and it's clear that BLESSED has turned up to give us his all.
Grounded in community and dedicated to uplifting the voices of those in his orbit, BLESSED has collaborated with a hefty lineup of talented artists in Australia's hip-hop scene for the album. Namely, Brisbane-based rapper Baby Prince, nu-soul singer-songwriter Maina Doe and veteran Sydney rapper Manu Crooks. This love for collaboration was cemented in front of all who managed to secure tickets to his concert last night, with the premiere of supergroup BBGB, a rap collective from Western Sydney comprising of BLESSED, B Wise, Kwame, Lil Spacely and Manu Crooks.
What's clear is that BLESSED is coming into his own and he's bringing all his friends with him.