Review: Coda Conduct "Butter Side Up"

Photograph by Victor Tawagi

Feminism and hip-hop are two of my favourite things, but they are two worlds that have a lot of differences to settle. Although recent times have seen the rise of outspoken feminist rap and hip hop personalities such as Beyoncé, the objectification of women is unfortunately still a cornerstone of the genre. From classics like “Fuck You” by Dr Dre et al – “You actin’ like you don’t do dicks/That’s the kinda bitch I hate fuckin with” – to more contemporary examples like Groovy Q’s “Man of the Year”, hip-hop is more often than not an uncomfortable environment for women.

Erica and Sally, the brains of the Coda Conduct operation, shit all over this sentiment of discomfort with their new EP Butter Side Up. To put it simply, Butter Side Up is five tracks of straight fire that will impress even the staunchest of #meninist t-shirt wearers. Coda Conduct pair genius punch lines and poetic rhymes with dance-inducing beats full of Hilltop-esque vinyl scratches and brass that’s bigger than Ben Hurr.

In terms of standout tracks, Pool Room is the obvious party banger – it is punch line city. I wanted to put some of the lyrics from the song in this review but they spit so fast that I couldn’t actually write them down. It is an experience that must be heard to be believed. The zingers continue way into Step to the Side (ft. fellow home-grown hip-hop artists Dawn Laird and Jedbrii) – “call me Shakespeare’s tailor, I fit the bill”. Coda Conduct saved perhaps the most empowering beat of all time for the closing track, Knowledge is King. A track thick with swagger-rich brass , their insane rhymes become all the more powerful when combined with Ines’ refrain of “fight your own battles and do your own thing.” It was enough to turn me from “I Can’t Get Out Of Bed Or Look At Anyone” to “Female Yeezus ft. Based Goddess”.

All in all, the Butter Side Up EP is as fresh as the Canberra hip-hop scene gets. This shit is going straight to the poolroom.

A solid 11/10, especially if you like Hilltop Hoods, Tkay Maidza, or dancing.