Briggs’ New Track ‘Life Is Incredible’ Is A Searing Take On White Privilege
Life's pretty good (if you're white).
At first, you might think Briggs’ new track ‘Life Is Incredible’ is a sweet ode to his life, rather than an inditement of white privilege — at least, until you get to the end of the song, where things switch up and everything suddenly falls into place.
It’s the first solo song we’ve heard from Briggs since 2014, as he’s been pretty busy between A.B Original, writing for Matt Groening’s new animation Disenchantment, and hosting his own Apple 1 radio show dedicated to Australian hip-hop. Without hearing it, you might imagine ‘Life Is Incredible’ is a flex of those achievements. Even his opening line, “Fuck what they say now, I just pay my way out,” sounds like a bank balance boast.
It’s when he raps about playing golf — objectively the whitest, dumbest sport — that things begin to piece together, before he talks about ‘waving to cops’, getting fined for running a red light and ‘worrying about nothing now’ that things start to click. In the chorus, British singer Greg Holden sings the song’s title over a trap-beat, as if we were listening the world’s most generic feel-good song. “This is incredible/My life is a miracle”, Holden sings.
But it’s not — it’s just how life is as a cis white male. As the song goes on, Briggs raps that it’s “okay to be opaque”, echoing “it’s okay to be white”, a neo-Nazi slogan that last year passed as a motion in the Australian senate after Pauline Hanson pushed it through. As he told triple j yesterday, the similarity isn’t a coincidence.
“Where Aboriginal people are faced with a life expectancy that barely matches up to what white people consider ‘Middle Aged’ — we pose the question, Is it OK to be white?,” Briggs wrote in a release accompanying the song. “It’s incredible to be white! One could argue it’s advantageous, even a privilege to be white.”
If you think it’s a little understated, the song goes for it at the end as Holden sings “being white is incredible” with the same feel-good vibe, as if completely unaware of what it means. It’s disturbing to hear, and feels tailor-made for Australian festival crowds to sit uncomfortably with — unsure whether to sing along. But if they do, they’ll have to go along with all the rest of it — an incredibly embarrassing list of things white people think are incredible, like Coachella, farmers markets, Post Malone, whole foods, Eminem, Macklemore and craft beer.