Rapping and Politics – Q&A with Jedbrii
Canberra is the home of Australian politics, so it’s no surprise that local musician Jedbrii uses his platform to make political statements. The Canberra-based MC, more commonly known as a rapper, is known for his boldness when it comes to speaking his mind about the world. He has performed with both local and international acts at music festivals, and is also a regular on Triple J with singles ‘Rose Ft Mondecreen’ and ‘Slam Dunk the Funk’. Through his performances, Jedbrii highlights the significance of topics such as pill testing, the “Change the Date” movement and climate change.
Q: First of all, I have to ask, Why the name Jedbrii?
J: “Basically, it was a nickname given to me by my friends in the Kimberly when I lived there for about three years. I just didn’t have a rap name and that just kind of made sense. That was the alter ego I pulled back into Canberra from the Kimberly because that’s where I started rapping.”
Q: When you first started performing had you always intended to use your platform for political purposes?
J: “I never thought that I would have a platform. I literally just loved rapping and I was very outspoken politically and those two just converged naturally.”
Q: How vital is it do you think it is for young people to get involved in politics?
J: “I think an understanding of politics is crucial in general. Politics is everything, if we have a populous that doesn’t care about politics we are screwed. The politicians can do whatever they want. It’s plain as day they are doing that, it just takes enough people to care for them to ever change.”
Q: “You created a song about the pill testing, the death of live music and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian involvement in this, tell me about that?”
J: “I saw the interview between her and Kochi it made me think in my head how this going on? How the hell can someone unabashedly say what she said on national television. Kochi is just firing down the line saying on how can you say this and she will go against all expert advice. Proof of how other systems are working in other countries whether it’s Portugal whether its Switzerland she’ll completely deny this, basically lie and the fact that she can do that and get away with it on national television at the peril of kids that are going to overdose more as result, kind of infuriated me. So that kind of drove me to basically trying to say something directly to her in a rhyme way that then kind of branched out to everyone eventually. Then, of course, I just thought I would just splice in the interview that got me thinking about it in the first place.”
Q: Another song I want to talk about too is the one you just recently finished about #changethedate movement?
J: “I definitely became more accustomed to Aboriginal people and learnt a lot more about them when I lived in the Kimberly. I really didn’t know much about Aboriginals before I moved there. Every year there had just been a bit of a debate on my social media about Change the date. So when this year rolled around I had been so versed in the debate of this subject that I was just like I’m just going to write a song about it. It literally took me about two and half, three days and within about a week it was online with a video, done!”
Q: How do you turn all these emotions into these creative projects?
J: “I’m definitely more cohesive rapping with my message then I am with talking because I can formulate almost a story, then a conclusion in a way that’s not only systematic but then rhythmically and so then it can just drill into a persons psyche.”