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King : Life, Death and Hip Hop - Christopher Riley

King

Life, Death and Hip Hop

By: Christopher Riley, Hau Latukefu

Paperback | 1 November 2022 | Edition Number 1

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Rap pioneer, ARIA-winner, radio presenter, taste-maker, producer, label-owner, mentor - Hau Latukefu recounts his journey from Queanbeyan, aka 'Struggle Town', to the top of Australian hip hop in this inspiring memoir about the meaning of family, the art of the grind and what it takes to spark a music revolution.

The son of first-generation Tongan immigrants, Hau drew on the legacy of his name (meaning 'King') to become one of the nation's most influential musical artists. But the best stories often come from the humblest beginnings. A promising junior rugby player, Hau decided in his teens to trade in the footy boots for Hammer pants, soaking up every bar and breakbeat of the new sound and culture exploding out of urban America- DJ Kool Herc and LL Cool J, mix-tapes and graffiti, velour Kangols and Beat Street.

Determined to be more innovator than imitator, the rhymes that eventually burst from his volumes of notebooks and epic freestyle sessions with friends and co-conspirators would express what was happening in his backyard, in his community, in his voice. Along with DJ Danielsan, Hau would form Koolism, one of the seminal acts in Australian hip hop and winner of the ARIA's inaugural Best Urban Release award in 2004.

This bolt from the blue began a professional journey that would evolve over decades and play out over iconic albums, reflecting the simple joys of life, the love of family, the loss of faith and the tragedy of lives cut short. When Hau decided to pass the mic, it also announced his next incarnation - acting as mentor and producer for a new generation of up-and-coming Australian artists, including the gritty drill-rap phenomenon out of Mount Druitt- OneFour.

About the Author

Hau Latukefu is one of the pioneers of Australian hip hop. One half of the iconic rap group Koolism, he went on to have tremendous success as a solo artist as well as becoming the longest-serving host of triple j's hip hop show - a role he's still in today. Now working with emerging artists through his imprint of Sony Music, Forever Ever Records, Hau has remained a central part of Australia's music scene for the best part of two decades.

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