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Ziggy Ramo: Sugar Coated Lies review – bold, uncompromising hip-hop that takes a new path

Released independently on 26 January, the artist’s second album has more mainstream appeal than his first – but is as unapologetically political as ever

On the opening track of his second album, Ziggy Ramo raps “It’s hard if we don’t ever talk about it / that’s why I had to write this song about it”. That line from Pretty Ugly could well be the modus operandi behind the Indigenous and Solomon Islander rapper’s work – the artist, full name Ziggy Ramo Burrmuruk Fatnowna, exposes uncomfortable truths. On his first album, 2020’s independently released Black Thoughts, Ramo took aim at colonisation, genocide and both systemic and everyday racism, fortifying his arguments with powerful and often confronting spoken word interludes and soundbites from the news. Recorded in 2015, that album was shelved for five years as he tried to find a label, before being released independently in response to George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter movement gaining traction around the world – and it was still as relevant as ever. Songs such as April 25 and Black Face were explicit in their damnation of the Australian government, and the colonial project in general. It is far from easy listening, but it is essential. Continue reading...

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