Various Artists – Mother Tongues

Hip hop from Aussie all-female collective

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While rap has become a platinum-plated industry behemoth in the US, the genre’s original manifesto of homespun self-belief and DIY creativity continues to flower afresh on further-flung shores. An all-female collective from Sydney, Mother Tongues exhibit some of early hip hop’s strengths and flaws, from boastful clunking and worthy feminist rhetoric on one side to sexy swagger and verbal dexterity on the other. The best tracks here are shamelessly Aussie in theme and accent, reflecting hip hop’s true roots as urban bush telegraph and street-corner party music. From Maya Jupiter’s crisply bouncy “Move” to the balmy, proud, soulful closing monologue by Phoenix, Mother Tongues is more fun and less earnestly wimmin-centric than it could have been.

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