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Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra Nipsey Hussle tribute features Australian Hip Hop icons

Australians of every background pay tribute to the late rapper’s legacy

LiFTED | Ciaran Dwyer | 3 Sep 2021

Australian Rap icons collaborated with Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra on a cover of Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Last Time That I Checc'd’ as a tribute to the late rapper’s legacy of community activism. The song was released on August 15, the late rapper’s birthday, and any royalties and profits are being donated to the 'Neighborhood Nip Foundation' and the estate of Nipsey Hussle, who was fatally shot outside his Los Angeles clothing store in March 2019.

Artists L-FRESH The LION, Nardean, Mack Ridge, Blaq Carrie, Sachém & SOL CHLD join the Obscure Orchestra on ‘Last Time That I Checc’d [Nipsey Hussle Tribute]’, which puts artists of First Nations, Sikh, Zimbabwean, Egyptian, and Taiwanese backgrounds front and center. Australian Hip Hop stars add their flavor to the verses alongside new voices. Mack Ridge, an Indigenous Australian rapper spits, “Straight up Hussle in the house, from motivation to dedication/raise a fist for every one of my First Nation.” The music for the track was produced using all acoustic instruments that layer together with rich textures that add a kind of uplifting vibe that does well to celebrate Hussle's life.

Speaking on how he came to develop this tribute, Matt Hsu explained “Experiencing racism as a young Asian kid in Australia, I gravitated to role models like Nipsey. His strength and pride in his Eritrean and Black American identity, and advocacy for all people of color, helped me cherish my own immigrant background.”

Nipsey Hussle was known for his work on “giving solutions and inspiration" to young black men like him. He commonly denounced gun violence and spoke openly about his experiences with gang culture to persuade young men to steer clear of the lifestyle and find a better path. He also fronted money himself to contribute to improving schools and often met with students in areas vulnerable to the influence of gang culture

Hussle was murdered outside his store, Marathon Clothing, in March of 2019. The motivation behind his killing was suspected to be a personal matter. His death was mourned and community work celebrated by numerous celebrities and politicians, including former American president Barack Obama.

Matt Hsu’s orchestra is the brainchild of Taiwanese-Australian Matt Hsu. Matt advocates for marginal communities, using music projects to underscore refugee, immigrant, First Nations, gender, and abilities diverse issues through artistic collaborations.

Check out the music video for ‘Last Time That I Checc’d [Nipsey Hussle Tribute]’ below.