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The Calling of the Hilltop Hoods

Author: Chris Wheeldon
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Ten years on and the Hilltop Hoods are still enjoying busting out tunes and playing live to an ever growing Australian scene.

Having formed in 1993 when an Australian hip hop scene was tiny and that is exaggerating in definition, MCs Pressure and Suffa along with DJ Debris have forged themselves into a renowned and influential Australian crew.

The Hilltop Hoods, hailing from Adelaide have emerged from creating bedroom demos to producing highly respected and deeply underground records.
Having released three highly acclaimed LP's 'Back Once Again', 'Matter of Time' and most recently 'Left Foot, Right Foot' along with many compilations including 'Culture of Kings', the lads have become renowned for well worked beats and intelligent rhymes about the world in which they live.

"Australian culture is everything. We don't rhyme about American culture at all. As far as Australian urban lifestyle, hip hop is a street level art form and it means everything to us. We're influenced by everything that happens around us, we're Australian MCs and that's it" explains Pressure over a speaker phone that loves to produce feedback.

Pressure speaks from his home in Adelaide on the eve of the Hilltop Hoods nation wide tour to promote their new offering 'The Calling'.

"The Calling is probably a bit rougher. We don't take ourselves as seriously as we did, it's a bit more tongue in cheek, punch line sort of type shit. The beats are probably similar to 'Left Foot, Right Foot'. It's hard to say why it's different but I do think it's a nit rougher. More hardcore because of some of the lyrics but then some of the beats are more sort of jazzy and mellow" explains Pressure about the new album and how it differs to their previous releases.

Having been in the industry for well over ten years Pressure has seen the changes that have occurred within the Australian hip hop scene.

Similarly he has allowed himself to change and grow with the industry around him. "I'd like to think that my attitude toward music stays the same. But naturally you progress in what you're making and bringing out through your opinions. Ten years is a long time to doing music and I've sort of let it grow with me."

The Hilltop Hoods have always been known for a down to earth and humble attitude, something that may would seem none existent within hip hop circles.
Pressure sees no place for differing attitudes within the Australian scene,

"In a small scene like the Australian hip hop scene big headed dudes get no where. You think too much of yourself and no one wants to give you the time of day; it's all down to earth you know. Its not big enough here, so there no room for bling bling, golden chains."

From humble beginnings in Adelaide, the Hilltop Hoods along with other crews have creating a definite buzz around the Australian scene.

A buzz that has allowed a greater level of exposure within the media, exposure that Pressure welcomes while still trying to remain within the underground scene that has always known who the Hilltop Hoods are.

"It's taken along time to get a bit of recognition in the sort of mass media scene. I still see us as underground; even though we are signed, it's an independent label. So we're still not doing it with major labels. We don't have large wealthy companies backing us but we're still making music for all those heads at street level.

So it is still underground. We've laid the foundations and to be honest I'm not bothered whether we end up selling millions of albums. As long as we sell enough to get enough money to make the next one, it's all good."

The Hilltop Hoods are the perfect definition of Australian hip hop, battlers who simply love the music they produce and the scene in which they are involved.

So where to know for the Hoods-

"We're about to start the tour for 'The Calling'. That's going to take up pretty much the rest of the year with a few other shows thrown in. After that we haven't really th