Since the start of 2019, Doonside's own Hooligan Hefs has become a household name in Australian rap. He's combined EDM beats with hard-hitting drill bars, and he refuses to take a backwards step.
He's just released his new single Send It! which is already shaping up to be one of the songs you hear all summer long. We've taken a look at how Hefs has climbed the ranks of Aussie rap, and how he's happy doing things his own way.
Getting The Party Started
Hefs first put his name on the map with his single The Party, released at the start of 2019. It's a track that mixes hip-hop and hardstyle, a combination that hasn't really been done before in Australia.
This mix of dubstep, techno and hip-hop is Hefs' way of paying homage to the parties where he first started rapping. It's a mix of the sounds that are popping in Western Sydney, a place Hefs reps with pride.
Speaking to Filter about his sound, he says he's mixing a range of genres to create a new Australian sound. "I'm trying to do rap and techno, EDM, dubstep, all of that. Hopefully, this is the new Australian sound.
"All of the area is getting behind us, Western Sydney. This music is slowly starting to pop off in Australia. I'm thankful for everyone that's come through and showed love." Hefs wants to get the party started, and he wants to get you dancing all night long.
Having A Big Effect
If The Party sparked people's interest in Hefs, then No Effect made sure that everyone knew who he was. Speaking about the single's success, he says that it was a risk to combine hardstyle and hard-hitting rap, but he wanted to make music that truly represented his own interests.
He told Acclaim that it's important to him to represent Western Sydney in his music, as he's one of the rappers putting that are on the map. Yeah man, for me I like all that hard rap stuff and I like partying too.
"I like hardstyle so I thought why not try and put both those genres that I like and put it together. It was a risk for sure but I think it worked. It’s unique. It represents Western Sydney hard that EDM bit."
Hefs' 2020 has included a couple of huge collaborations, with both Australian and international artists. Firstly, earlier this year, he jumped on a track with Hooks, Masi Rooc and Hooligan Skinny, and the end result was F.A.M.E, arguably the hardest track anyone in Australia has released this year.
The track sees each of the rappers taking shots at their opps, with Hefs' hook tying it all together. It has to be heard to be believed - all of them bring their A-game.
He also got the attention of UK's S1mba, and alongside Youngn Lipz and Hooks jumped on a remix of S1mba's track Rover. Once again, Hefs proves that if you get him in on a track, he's going to get the job done. It's a huge moment in Australian rap, and it was a great way for Hefs to get overseas attention.
Showing A Different Side
When Hefs dropped his debut EP Living In Sin, we got to see a different side of his music. Of course, there were the bangers we'd come to expect, with Party Szn going as hard as anything else in his discography to date, but he wasn't afraid to show a more vulnerable side.
For his track Same Road, he linked up with R&B singer Blueboy, and gave fans an insight into his upbringing. He talks about his childhood, as well as turning out like his dad. It's a heavy listen, but it shows Hefs' range.
He told GQ that he wanted to get his whole story out there, rather than picking and choosing. Hefs says, “That is my whole story. It describes my whole life in one. That’s why I had to get it all out; I couldn’t skip some parts. I’m just like everyone else, ya know, there’s always a downside to life. But it’s how you bounce back and what you make of yourself.”
Instagram and YouTube are two of the biggest platforms for Australian rappers that want to get their music out there to a new audience. If you take a look at the different social platforms of Australian rappers, often their biggest audience will be on Instagram, due to its visual nature. They're able to share snippets of their upcoming tracks, as well as give fans an insight into their lifestyle.
Hefs is well aware of the power of social media, and he's been able to use that to his advantage. His new video, Send It!, features Hefs playing a postman going about his daily route. Speaking to GQ, Hefs explained that the video was actually a reference to an earlier song.
Hefs says, “I have this song Paper Route and someone did a meme and wacked me on an Australian postman’s bike. They were like, ‘This is what Hooligan Hefs means when he says he’s on a paper route’. I thought, you know what, we’ll ride with it. So that’s why I dressed up as a postman and the idea is I’m sending out party packs.”
READ MORE: Get Around These Hennessy House Party Themed Playlists By Hooligan Hefs, BlueBoy And... Us!
If Hefs' 2020 shows us anything, it's that he's getting recognised on an international level, and for good reason. Hefs' style is one that can't be replicated, and he's going to continue to promote the party lifestyle, as well as call out those that dare to disrespect him.
Hefs' rise to hip-hop royalty in Australia has been a rapid one, but his work ethic is almost unmatched. Hefs' story is just beginning - and you'll want to be along for the ride.