This Year’s Two Biggest Hip-Hop Albums Both Sampled A Band From Melbourne

Onya, Hiatus Kaiyote.

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We’re not even halfway through 2017 and already it’s been a phenomenal year for hip-hop albums – in particular, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and Drake’s More Life.

Sonically, the albums couldn’t be more different. More Life is a breezy collection of tropical, feel-good pop-rap bangers and enough patois to populate two Caribbean islands, while DAMN. is a provocative collection of political statements.

But they do have one thing in common: they’ve both sampled Melbourne’s own Hiatus Kaiyote on their new records.

Frontwoman Nai Palm’s pitch-shifted vocals are the very first thing you hear on More Life, with the band’s song ‘Building A Ladder’ kicking off opening track ‘Free Smoke’. As for DAMN.? The album’s powerful, provocative closer ‘DUCKWORTH’ samples ‘Atari’, also from their 2015 album Choose Your Weapon.

When @champagnepapi opens his record with yours truly ?

A post shared by Hiatus Kaiyote (@hiatuskaiyote) on

Speaking about the More Life appearance to Billboard, Nai Palm revealed that Drake has “been a fan of our shit for while”.

“It’s kind of beautiful,” she said. “I think his people reached out to Salaam Remi, who is the head of our label, Flying Buddha. Someone hit him up and asked him about it being on the record… Then we did a conference call with [Drake’s] producer and his management, and they played it to us over the phone.”

Their appearance on ‘DUCKWORTH.’, meanwhile, wasn’t the result of Kendrick discovering the band, although Nai Palm and co have been huge fans for a long time.

Rather, it was legendary producer 9th Wonder who found and chopped up the sample. It’s not the first time 9th Wonder has sampled the group – their track ‘Molasses’ can be heard on Anderson .Paak’s track ‘Without You’ ft. Rapsody, from last year’s stellar album Malibu

A band from Melbourne plays a huge role on the biggest rap records of the year. Who’da thunk it?