Baker Boy, Australian Hip-Hop Star, Shares Powerful Statement on 'Rampant' Racism Down Under

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Freya Esders

Baker Boy

Baker Boy, the award-winning indigenous Australian rapper, has shared a powerful statement on the insidious nature of racism around the globe and in his homeland.

Taking to Instagram, the hip-hop artist explains that he’s been called out for “not publicly sharing my rage about what is happening right now.”

Baker (real name Danzal Baker) says he chooses a “path of positivity and light” with his musical persona, and typically leaves politics out of his dialogue on social media.

There’s no doubt about it, he’s feeling pain like so many others. “Every damn day,” he writes.

“I am a Yolngu Man from North East Arnhem Land,” he writes. “I am angry. I am scared. I feel every negative emotion that there is to feel about what happened to George Floyd.”

He continues, “I feel these emotions EVERY DAMN DAY not just right now when it’s big on the news or trending on twitter and Instagram. This is my life and I am scared, I have anxiety about going to unknown places like a different cafe from my usual, not to mention the challenge of touring from the fear of racism, that, yes, is still rampant here in Australia too.”

Baker goes on say he hopes non-Indigenous Australians educate themselves on the racial prejudice that still exists in the system Down Under.

“I hope what you’re seeing in America right now is opening your eyes to the stolen land that you live on here in Australia, to your privilege, to those ‘jokes’, to those ‘jokes’ that you don’t call out, to your racist uncle or aunt or cousin or friend or coworker and, most devastatingly, opening your eyes to the over 400 deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians without a single officer charged.”

Baker Boy, who was named 2019 Young Australian of the Year, is recognized as the first Indigenous artist to achieve mainstream success rapping in the Yolngu Matha language.

Now signed to Island Records Australia, Baker took out the 2019 National Indigenous Music Awards' artist of the year and was last year nominated for three ARIA Awards.

“As your eyes open,” he writes on Instagram, “and you slowly awaken to the realities of what it is like to be a Person of Colour, an African American, an Indigenous Australian, I truly hope your activism goes further than your social media. Activism starts at home, with hard conversations.”

See the full post below.

View this post on Instagram

I have had a number of people ‘call me out’ for not publicly sharing my rage about what is happening right now. As my Baker Boy persona I choose a path of positivity and light and choose not to speak politically with this platform. I’m also unsure that I have anything new or insightful to say. I don’t feel like it is anyone’s place to push guilt or question the activism of a First Nations person during this traumatising time. But I will say; I am a Yolngu Man from North East Arnhem Land. I am angry. I am scared. I feel every negative emotion that there is to feel about what happened to George Floyd. I feel these emotions EVERY DAMN DAY not just right now when it’s big on the news or trending on twitter and Instagram. This is my life and I am scared, I have anxiety about going to unknown places like a different cafe from my usual, not to mention the challenge of touring from the fear of racism, that, yes, is still rampant here in Australia too. For all of my balanda (non-indigenous) brothers and sisters I hope what you’re seeing in America right now is opening your eyes to the stolen land that you live on here in Australia, to your privilege, to those ‘jokes’, to those ‘jokes’ that you don’t call out, to your racist uncle or aunt or cousin or friend or coworker and, most devastatingly, opening your eyes to the over 400 deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians without a single officer charged. As your eyes open and you slowly awaken to the realities of what it is like to be a Person of Colour, an African American, an Indigenous Australian, I truly hope your activism goes further than your social media. Activism starts at home, with hard conversations. Please think about the way you are communicating with POC around you, especially at this time, as those who reached out to me considered themselves allies whilst amplifying my trauma, anger and sadness. Love and Peace, Danzal.

A post shared by Baker Boy (@dabakerboy) on

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