Indigenous rap duo A.B. Original have turned heads this Australia Day, with their protest song 'January 26' nabbing 16th spot on Triple J's Hottest 100. Their cover of 'Dumb Things' with Paul Kelly and Dan Sultan also made it to number 45 on the list.
Briggs and Trail's latest album 'Reclaim Australia' is all about bringing the harsh truths of what it's like to be Aboriginal in Australia to the masses. 'January 26' is politically charged song about changing the date of Australia Day from what Indigenous people often call "invasion day" to a time more inclusive of the entire community. It's an uncomfortable pairing -- the song being recognised on the very day it criticises.
"Change doesn't really come from people being comfortable and complacent," Trails told Triple J after the song played.
"If that means that we're the guys up there being a little uncomfortable by spreading and sharing this message, then we're prepared for that."
The lyrics of 'January 26' compare commemorating the date of the arrival of British settlers and the beginning of the killing of thousands upon thousands Aboriginal people to celebrating "on your nan's grave" and having people "piss on her face".
"I don't think you can find a more concise analogy. We don't want to piss on your nan's grave but that's what it means to us. It's a slap in the face," Briggs previously told the Huffington Post Australia.
"It's a hard thing for us to discuss. It's a difficult topic, when we're usually met with such resistance," Trials added.
"We want to make people think from our perspective. Imagine if we had a holiday to piss on your nan's grave. We want people to take that and think 'yeah wow that's pretty disrespectful'. Now think about that as a whole, all your ancestors are having their deaths celebrated, then we can have a conversation."
The act is a massive breakthrough in a country where rap and hip hop is sidelined and the most well-known artists are white. It also suggests that more people than ever are coming around to the idea that the national holiday could move to a different date. Even Triple J are considering hosting the Hottest 100 on a day other than January 26.
Briggs and Trail spent January 26 kicking off the Laneway music festival in Brisbane, performing with Dan Sultan and Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dance Troupe. They'll be touring with Laneway to Melbourne, Auckland, Adelaide, Sydney and Fremantle.