“from a gospel beat to bruising production well-suited for the swaggering rhymes ahead”
“a swaggering bit of braggadocio set to a swirling psychedelic keyboard sound”
“Meet the Australian Rapper Lending a Voice to the Voiceless”
“In and out in just over two minutes, this is a first-round knockout blow by two of the country’s finest”
“You could take Tasman Keith, and put him in that star-studded lineup of artists alongside Kendrick Lamar & Isaiah Rashad and no one would blink an eye.”
“ready to lift off”
“A formidable voice in hip-hop”
Red Bull Music
“Tasman Keith sounds like Bowraville’s own Kendrick Lamar”
“IDK feat. Phil Fresh,” the latest in a string of singles from Australian artist and First Nations man, Tasman Keith, today arrives from his debut album A Colour Undone (out July 8th via AWAL).
The preview of Tasman’s debut album so far includes his recent collaboration with Genesis Owusu on ‘CHEQUE’, the anthemic ‘LOVE TOO SOON’ and the cheeky bait-and-switch, ‘5FT FREESTYLE.’ The three tracks alternate between characters whose journeys are chronicled across A Colour Undone. Now with ‘IDK’, Keith unveils another layer to his debut’s narrative, weaving the ramifications of major heartbreak alongside a battle of his internal ego.
‘IDK’, parallel to Kid Cudi’s augmented RNB, was crafted from a chance studio session between Keith, Fresh and Kwame. The track begs the question, “do we really love each other, or is this relationship just toxic?” Tasman explains, “’IDK’ is a song about the unknown and questioning the place you are in or the person you are with. It’s knowing something is toxic but not knowing life without it.” Speaking of collaborating with Phil Fresh, he continues, “The character that Phil is and the way he presents his music made him the perfect person to deliver that moment, as his style touches on love and relationships.” For Phil Fresh, the Eora / Sydney-based vocalist remains moved by the opportunity to work with and appear alongside Tasman. He shares, “The thing I loved most about ‘IDK’ was how organically it came about.”
At the risk of simplifying the significance of rapper Tasman Keith’s rise in his home country of Australia: his presence as a First Nations person of color in a mainly white Hip Hop scene is palpable; necessary. Over the last few years, Tasman has swept Australian press with rave reviews including The Guardian, NME, Complex, Rolling Stone, triple j, and more, while also making a splash worldwide with early fans at WNYC, Consequence, COLORS, Billboard, among others. On A Colour Undone (with features alongside Jessica Mauboy, Genesis Owusu, Kwame, Thandi Phoenix and Phil Fresh), Tasman ruminates on love, loss, trauma, healing, and ego. As dexterous, clever, and linguistically adventurous as it is emotionally resonant, his message & music are quickly making him an essential artist to watch.
ABOUT TASMAN KEITH:
For Tasman, the idea of hometown pride rides deeper than most: everything he does is indebted to the First Nations community that raised him. Growing up in Bowraville, a small town most commonly recognized for housing one of the country’s most notorious missions and most shameful histories, Tasman is motivated by narrating his own truth, unencumbered and undiluted. He shares stories of a country divided by race, injustices, murders, prejudice, apathy, and more, alongside personal tales of love, loss, disappointment, and more.
A potent mix of the thick, syrupy synths of 90s West Coast Hip Hop, the laid-back grooves of neo funk, the twisted bass and skittering hi-hats of trap, and the shadowy emotiveness of R&B, Tasman Keith’s music defies categorization. With nods to greats like Kendrick, Isaiah Rashad, Outkast, and more, it’s easy to see how he’s become a formidable voice in a new era of Australian Hip Hop with critical praise, wins across the ARIA’s, the National Indigenous Music Awards, tours & collaborations with legendary act Midnight Oil, and more.