ABSTRACT

In 2016, Aboriginal hip-hop duo A. B. Original joined Paul Kelly live on radio to cover his iconic song “Dumb Things” (1987). Kelly's original version presented a critique of nationalist rhetoric in the lead up to the Australian bicentenary celebrations. Kelly's development of an itinerant counter-dreamer as a voice against nationalism, however, fashioned a brand of innocent, postcolonial whiteness and, thereby, remained complicit with colonial domination of Indigenous people. This article explores A. B. Original's commentary on institutional, systemic, and discursive racism, and their criticism of postcolonial whiteness through a close reading and contextualization of their music output in 2016. With particular emphasis on “Dumb Things” in its original context and its most recent context, this article argues that A. B. Original issues a call for, and demonstrates, the decolonization of postcolonial narratives of the Australian dream.

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