StreetWarriors
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StreetWarriors

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Jun
22
StreetWarriors @ Strong & Deadly Concert,

Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia

Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia

Jun
13
StreetWarriors @ Dreaming Festival

Woodford, New South Wales, Australia

Woodford, New South Wales, Australia

Jun
12
StreetWarriors @ Dreaming Festival

Woodford, New South Wales, Australia

Woodford, New South Wales, Australia

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Music

Press


Woodford Folk Festival was proud to present the Street Warriors in our Murri Venue WFF 2008. They are consummate performers in their own right, touting their original lyrics that empower and foster respect, social conscience and plant seeds of hope and change. They are also great mentors and ambassadors for our future generations to come. We look forward to more of the same at the Dreaming Festival. Well done guys, you rocked the house!


Di Mills
Indigenous Coordinator
The Dreaming Festival
- Di Mills, "Dreaming Festival and Woodford Festival Co-ordinator)



IT WAS a family connection that brought indigenous hip-hop duo Street Warriors and pop journeyman Shannon Noll together.

Brothers Abie ``Predator'' Wright and Warwick ``Wok'' Wright had rewritten famed indigenous rights anthem Solid Rock and needed a vocalist to sing the anthemic chorus.

Exclusive video - Solid Rock

Enter Noll's cousin Nathan Swadling, a Street Warriors mate, who delivered a demo copy of Solid Rock 2.0 -- with original songwriter Shane Howard's blessing -- to the chart-topping performer when he was visiting his Condobolin home earlier this year.

``Man, I loved the original. This version is brilliant because it captures Australia now and its many cultures in an intelligent and proud way,'' Noll says.

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Even before its release, Australia's indigenous music community was raving about the new Solid Rock and, on the strength of what they heard, the Street Warriors' version was nominated in the fiercely contested Single Of The Year category for tomorrow night's Deadly Awards.

The Wright brothers were inspired to take on the iconic song out of a desire to broaden their hip-hop sound.
``We come from Newcastle, which is really rock city, and we wanted to make music that connects with our hometown'' Predator says.

``With our other group Local Knowledge, our music focused on the community, but for Street Warriors we wanted to make a statement with a classic Australian rock song.

``For some reason Shane's song kept coming up; we would be driving along and it would come on the radio or we would cross paths with Shane because of all the stuff he was doing in the Aboriginal community.

``What better way to repay someone like him, who has been such an inspiration. And then you can't get anyone more Australian than Shannon Noll to sing it.''

While the recognition of their peers may help to bring their version of Solid Rock to the attention of mainstream radio, the powerful video featuring Aboriginal dancer Albert David is guaranteed to provoke reaction.

Filmed on a misty morning near Gunnedah, the clip pays tribute to the Street Warriors' ancestor, legendary Aboriginal warrior Red Chief.

The day before the shoot it was raining but David and the Wright brothers assured them the spirits of the elders would intervene and the next day conditions were perfect.

``I think this is bigger than us,'' Predator says, laughing.

Other artists contesting The Deadlys tomorrow night include the unstoppable Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Emma Donovan, Casey Donovan, Dan Sultan, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and the Saltwater Band. - Kathy McCabe, Music Writer, Daily Telegraph


Good things come to those who wait, which is probably why the Street Warriors’ recently released debut album, Unstoppable Force, took seven years to make.

Riding a wave of momentum ever since their tribal call to arms, 'Blackfellas', back when they were part of Local Knowledge, brothers Abie and Wok Wright have been the pacesetters of Indigenous hip hop, despite brandishing only a single EP (2007’s Real Knows Real) to their name.

“It has been a long time coming,” admits Abie, “but we never wanted to rush it. We wanted to wait until the right time, and everything has come together now, from production to management and everything we’ve learnt over the past seven years – the time was right and we’re really happy to finally have it out there.”

Make no mistake: Unstoppable Force is a statement in Australian hip hop.

The album opens with ‘Firestorm’, a summation of the Street Warriors’ journey and ethos, a mission statement to the masses.

“Just like the lyrics say, ‘Step by step you do it/Town by town you show it’, it’s been our journey and this album is like the culmination of that. That’s what ‘Firestorm’ is about, and who would have thought back when we first started out that seven years later there’d be so many other Indigenous hip hop artists out there?” says Wok.

ndeed, Street Warriors can be very proud of the role they’ve played in the current explosion of Indigenous hip hop.
They showed it could be done and, in the process, never compromised their message. At the same time, they’ve reached out to a wider audience, mainly through last year’s remake of Goanna’s hit ‘Solid Rock’, recorded with Shannon Noll – the success of which has taken both of them by surprise.

It was after filming the video clip for ‘Solid Rock’ with Noll that Abie and Wok found themselves sitting at a backyard campfire in Gunnedah, NSW, with about 30 local kids, many of whom had crashed the party after finding out the Street Warriors were in town.

With a camera on hand, the film clip for ‘Firestorm’ was shot right then and there. It was a nice juxtaposition to the shoot with the ARIA chart-topping Noll only hours before, and indicated what this outfit is all about: reaching out to the masses, but first and foremost being spokesmen for their people.

It’s a motive embellished on tracks like ‘On The Edge’, which the boys recorded for a television series looking at the challenges facing Indigenous youth in Sydney’s West. Abie raps in the first person, but tells the story of a close friend, while Wok draws on the countless workshops they’ve held with Indigenous kids over the years, retelling the all-too-familiar stories the kids from the streets have shared.

“It really makes you angry,” says Wok, referring to the frustration the boys have felt after visiting so many communities.

“We’re just sick of seeing those people who are out there to make money off the situation in Aboriginal communities, rather than actually trying to help the community,” he adds.

It’s little wonder the Street Warriors have resonated with so many in the community, just like those 30 kids in Gunnedah – after all, it’s their own stories they hear in the Street Warriors’ music. Above all, the boys are dedicated to representing Indigenous people and the Indigenous struggle to the fullest, as they outline on ‘Rep For My Mob’, featuring a guest spot from none other than Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine.

“Anthony has become a close brother to us,” explains Wok. “He’s one of those people we’ve crossed paths with over the years and we collaborated with him before for a track on his album.

“We’d already recorded ‘Rep For My Mob’, but Anthony was really keen to be a part of it, and we thought it was the perfect song for him, with what he stands for.”

The song provides the album with the high-energy black anthem the Street Warriors have built a reputation for, but with tracks like ‘How Much You Mean To Me’, the boys prove they have a few more tricks up their sleeve.

“We wrote ‘How Much You Mean To Me’ in a hotel room while we were on the road. We were really missing our families at the time, and this song just flowed out of us. It’s probably my favourite track on the album,” says Abie.

On the track, which features the beautiful voice of Robyn Loau, Abie raps to his mother while Wok raps to his children.

“This was a different kind of track for us,” adds Wok, “but it worked out really well. Robyn Loau got involved and she added that really nice soft touch to it – it shows a different side to us. It’s definitely one of the more personal tracks we’ve done.”

Looking back on the sweep of the past seven years, the meaning of Unstoppable Force begins to make a lot of sense.

There’s almost an air of destiny to what these two brothers are achieving, but it’s all underlined by hard work and an immense amount of self belief.

The Street Warriors have landed, and with the ears and hearts of an entire generation of Indigenous people propelling them forward, as the title of their debut suggests, there’s no stopping them now. - Jake Keane, Deadly Vibes 24 FEb 2010


Discography

2005 - Blackfellas EP (Local Knowledge)
2007 - Real Knows Real EP (Street Warriors)
2009 - Solid Rock featuring Shannon Noll (Single)
2009 - Unstoppable Force (debut Album) due Oct 2009.

Photos

Bio

Street Warriors (brothers Abie and Warwick Wright - aka Predator and Wok) are familiar faces on the Australian hip hop scene and well respected pioneers of Indigenous hip hop - an amazing achievement given that they are only just now releasing their debut album, “Unstoppable Force�, recently launched by the Honourable Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts as part of his Breakthrough Artist initiative at the Carriageworks, Redfern.

“Unstoppable Force� bursts from the speakers with the first track, ‘Firestorm’, providing a mission statement about who the Street Warriors are: ‘step by step you do it, town by town you show it’…this album is the culmination of seven years of hard work and showcases the Street Warriors’ unique energy, realness and ability to still say what they want.

The album highlights the group’s versatility with a soundscape ranging from deep beats and tribal energy ramping from the speakers through to street raps and soulful RnB collaborations with the likes of #1 NZ band Nesian Mystik on “Leave it to Me’ and Siva Pacifica goddess Robyn Loau on the heartfelt “How Much You Mean to Me�. Anthony ‘the Man’ Mundine makes a guest appearance on “I Rep for My Mob� which has the hallmarks of a new indigenous anthem and there’s a definite Newie rock edge in tracks like Summertime and Solid Rock, which features the vocal of Australian Idol alumni Shannon Noll. Solid Rock showcases the core ethics of the Street Warriors and the quality that drives them and earns them fans – respect.

Rising from the ashes of groundbreaking Deadlys winning hiphop group Local Knowledge, Street Warriors released their first EP, ‘Real Knows Real’ in 2007. Two of the songs on the EP are featured on the inaugural Gadigal and ABC Music CD, the ‘Making Waves Hip Hop’ album released 14 April, 2009. Their rage anthem “Look at Me� recently saw them garner Best Band, Best Single and Best Video Awards at the inaugural BUMP Indigenous Hip Hop and Rap awards in Sydney.

The boys have rocked local and international crowds in excess of 10,000 and appearances have included major festivals such as Yabun, Homebake, Stylin’ Up, The Great Escape, and Groovin’ the Moo, The Dreaming and Woodford Folk Festival and a string of NAIDOC dates and support to major artists such as 50 Cent and G Unit.

Street Warriors have built a loyal following around the country on the back of their energy filled live shows, poignant lyrics and their unique musical messaged culminating in nominations for Best Band at the Deadly Awards in 2008 and Single of the Year for Solid Rock in 2009. The song was nominated before its release, such was the buzz from their live launch of the song at the Dreaming in June 2009.

Street Warriors draw their name, inspiration and force from their ancestors, many of whom were at the forefront of fighting for Aboriginal rights. Abie and Warrick Wright feel it is incumbent upon them, as musicians, to use their talent to help improve and educate the prospects and attitudes of not only young Aboriginal Australians, but all Australians. They proved it as Local Knowledge with the release of Blackfellas, their shout out anthem to all the tribes, which gained strong Triple J support. As Street Warriors they carried the torch further with their rage anthem, ‘Look at Me’, and countless workshops mentoring Aboriginal youth.

Now the boys feel they need to go further again and, with their new album, Unstoppable Force, provide an inclusive message for all Australians and set a positive example for young Aboriginal youth.

“The victim mentality is the greatest psychological hurdle our kids face,� says Abie. “We want to show them that we can compete on our own terms and that when you want something, you have to stand up, stand proud and be counted by striving for what you want and believing you can do it. Hip Hop hails back to our oral traditions and it’s a genre kids can relate to.�

Their work with youth elicited an invitation to appear in upcoming NiTV documentary by Fran Dobbie, “On the Edge�, a 13 part series dealing with the challenges facing a group of suburban indigenous youth. Street Warriors conducted a workshop as part of the series and produced the title track featuring the youth involved, for the series.

Their debut album ‘Unstoppable Force’ features beats by Melbourne beat maker Unknown & Lewis (Twice as Nice) and original lyrics on all the tracks by Street Warriors, including a special Street Warriors reworking of the classic Goanna hit, ‘Solid Rock’ where the boys combine classic Aussie rock with their Deadly hip hop.

The song features Shane Howard from Goanna playing his famous guitar riff, the original backing singers and a special guest appearance by Shannon Noll on chorus vocals. Shannon also appears in the video, along with famed Torres Strait Island dancer, Albert David.