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Hip Hop this week: Hilltop Hoods are touring with Eminem and all the wash-up from the Grammys

While rappers such as T.I. and Waka Flocka Flame are boycotting Gucci.

In a move that might surprise some, Australian hip hop kings – the Hilltop Hoods – are heading on tour with Marshall Mathers AKA Eminem this month and throughout March. With their highly anticipated album on the way, The Great Expanse, the reappearance of the Hoods at Australian stadiums is a lucrative one and a rare chance to see them in this capacity. Eminem, back in the country for the first time since his Rapture 2014 tour, is also bringing some big guns in Royce da 5’9” and Boogie to complete the bill of supports. The Rapture 2019 tour hits the MCG on Sunday February 24. Tickets are still available but they’re down to their final allocation, so jump on Ticketek if you want to be part of the action.

The Grammys are going down in Los Angeles today, but it’s slightly overshadowed by the declining presence of hip hop artists at the event. Some of the genre’s most famous faces will not be appearing on stage, this year with artists including Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Drake all declining to perform. According to Grammys producer Ken Erlich in a piece for the New York Times, all three were offered spots but when hip hop artists “...don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the Academy, and what the Grammys represent, [it] continues to be less meaningful to the hip hop community.” It’s not the first time the Grammys have drawn criticism for their lack of diversity and failure to acknowledge hip hop in the awards’ main category. In 2018, eight-time nominated Jay Z went home completely empty-handed and Kendrick Lamar lost out to Bruno Mars in the Album of the Year category. Nominees up for Rap and R&B Grammys this year include Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle, Travis Scott, Mac Miller, H.E.R and Miguel.

Rappers are continuing to boycott Gucci, after a questionable turtleneck design hit the internet, prompting backlash and accusations of blackface. The black wool garment, featuring a red lip cut out, has drawn negative reception from the African-American community, and many artists in particular who have previously aligned themselves with the designer brand. Artists including T.I., Waka Flocka Flame, and Soulja Boy have all spoken out passionately against Gucci, while the brand themselves have recently issued apology, stating: “Gucci deeply apologises for the offence caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online stores and all physical stores. We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organisation and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”