Not many can boast a following or a resume quite like Adelaide’s pioneering Hilltop Hoods within Australian hip hop.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the trio’s third studio album, The Calling, which was originally released on this day back in 2003.

Made up of three members – DJ Debris, Suffa, and Pressure – Hilltop Hoods became popular within the early ’00s, regarded as trendsetters for their style of rap which dominated a large part of national airwaves and still holds a massive space to this day 24 years on from their debut.

The Calling was their third album, following their 1999 debut A Matter of Time and 2001’s Left Foot, Right Foot, and it was a major success, something they’d eventually become used to.

After its release, Suffa revealed that The Calling was actually recorded on one his mum’s computer, but the simplistic recording method didn’t detract from the overall quality of the sound.

Check out “The Nosebleed Section” by Hilltop Hoods:

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The Calling soon became the first Australian hip hop album to go Platinum. It initially peaked at number 53 on the ARIA Albums Chart, before re-entering in 2012 upon the release of their album Drinking in the Sun, moving up three places to 50.

Hilltop Hoods’ third album featured classic cuts such as “The Nosebleed Section” and “Dumb Enough”, with both making it into triple j’s Hottest 100 in 2003. The Calling might not have received any ARIA Awards nominations, but it didn’t mater – it was important for helping move Aussie hip hop from a strictly underground form to the national mainstream.

In 2023, Hilltop Hoods are as strong and committed as ever. They recently completed a New Zealand tour, and will next be seen at Yours & Owls next month, followed by a trip to Japan to perform at Snow Machine. They also released the well-received single “Laced Up” this year.

Check out “Dumb Enough” by Hilltop Hoods:

YouTube VideoPlay

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