'Like an MDMA Peak': Australia Has Never Had a Rap Group Like 1300

Don't try to describe their sound. Just enjoy it.
The rap group 1300

Switching on a 1300 track is like being hit in the eardrums with five different songs at once.

It’ll start in one place – maybe something a little hyper-pop – to end in another: trap, hip- hop, dance. Because of that, there’s really no point in trying to prescribe the group to any one genre. All that matters is that it goes hard. What can be said about their sound, however, is that it’s one that has rarely been heard on Australian shores.


That leads me to the conclusion that 1300 are not just really fucking good - they’re also doing something that no one’s done before. And maybe that can be put down to 5 heads being better than one with the team made up of rappers rako, goyo and DALI HART and producers Nerdie and pokari.sweat.

Hailing from Sydney and forming after a foggy night partying, the group’s influences come from heavy-weight rappers like Nas, MF DOOM and Biggie, as well Korean artists Beenzino, Verbal Jint and Jay Park. They touch on anything from pop music, to house, to hardcore, club and rave.

This smorgasbord of interests is probably the reason why the word “dynamic” has been over-used in their write-ups. Every track has what sounds to be 100 different sound effects, beats and time signatures. Add to that the seamless switch between English and Korean lyricism, as well as the voices of four different rappers and it sounds like a recipe for disaster. But it isn’t.

“Old Boy”, their latest track, is close to perfect. Not just because it pays homage to arguably  one of the best films of all time, but because it encapsulates what 1300’s output up to this point has been: energetic, rigorous and unmatched. It makes sense that they describe their live music as an experience where “the audience feels like they’re coming up on an MDMA peak.” 

1300 are now back in the touring circuit - set to play with DJ powerhouse HAAi and lyrical wizkid Genesis Owusu in the next week. They’ve also been added to the Splendour line-up for 2022, too. If the rumours are true, and if their singles are anything to go by, they’ll be completely insane to watch, and I’m guessing even one of the best there.

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