It’s no “Whyalla Wipeout”, but Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean has tried his hand at rapping during a stop at a local Parramatta arts organisation.
Having arrived home after touting the importance of Australian bands and music overseas, for his recent keynote address on the importance of cultural exchange at the Music Connects India conference in Mumbai, Crean was – according to his office – to “lay down a line in a rap song being recorded by young people engaging with the community through creative arts,” while on a visit to the Swift Digital Arts Centre run by the Information and Cultural Exchange, appropriately abbreviated to ICE.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the enthusiastic minister said, “while I’m not known for my singing ability, I made my singing debut 40 years ago in the televised rendition of It’s Time. I wasn’t inundated with subsequent opportunities but I’m hoping my rap lines will make the final cut.”
His smooth rhymes refers back to the Gough Whitlam-spearheaded “It’s Time” campaign of the 1970s but features a more modern day approach to music (and indeed the English language). Utilising a meagre gangsta delivery, the Arts Minister’s gruff side truly came out in lines like: “we’re all collaboratin’ and listenin’”, as well as, “comin’ at ya from ICE.”“From India to Parramatta/ We all know it’s arts that matters.”
While a charming endorsement of the importance of the arts in Australia, the rap recorded at this local small business in Sydney’s Parramatta is intended to show the public the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting the local arts.
After spruiking Australian artists abroad last week as part of the Music Connects India conference, Crean didn’t fail to work his message of an Asian Pacific partnership into the rap: “From India to Parramatta/ We all know it’s arts that matters.”
The minister’s keynote speech at the event covered the importance of growing the connection between the emerging Australian and Asian music industries.delivering lines like: “we’re all collaboratin’ and listenin’”, as well as, “comin’ at ya from ICE.”
After mentioning the growing popularity of K-Pop and the success of PSY’s ‘Gangam Style’; hitting #1 on the Australian charts, Crean focused in on the importance of the region’s music industry. “Music is at the vanguard of the growing cultural connection between Australia and Asia and our artists will play an important role in the growth of our creative economy and our success in the Asian Century.”
It comes as the government finalises a revision of Australia’s National Cultural Policy, the first in nearly two decades. “The $3 million the Australian Government invested in contemporary music in this year’s budget will produce dividends for the nation,” said Mr. Crean last week. “Which is why the Australian Government is supporting our music industry to strengthen our engagement with the Asia region at an artistic and business level.”
The Arts Minister joins a string of politicians who have used music to try and appeal to the ‘young people’. With Craig Emerson’s unforgettable “No Whyalla Wipeout” rap on the fears of the carbon tax starting the trend, before Wayne Swann spruiked Springsteen, referencing The Boss for an address that attacked the mining boss’ boom and negative affects on blue-collar culture.
While it’s unlikely Crean will be hanging up his political boots in exchange for a career in rap anytime soon, that hasn’t stopped the social media quest to find the politician a suitable rap name. So far suggestions have included, MP-MC, Lil’ Crean, and the favorite of many, Ice Ice Creany.