Australian hip-hop outfit the Hilltop Hoods formed in Adelaide in 1993. MCs Suffa and Pressure met as classmates at Blackwood High School, recruiting DJ Next through a mutual friend. While inspired by American conscious rap icons like Public Enemy and KRS-One, the Hilltop Hoods took their name from the Hilltop, the nickname given the suburb where Suffa and Pressure were raised and rapped in broad Aussie accents; their debut EP, Back Once Again, appeared in 1997, and two years later the trio issued their first full-length effort, A Matter of Time. Upon completing the album, DJ Next relocated to Sydney, and with the addition of DJ Debris, the Hilltop Hoods recorded 2001's Left Foot, Right Foot. Its 2003 follow-up, The Calling, was the group's commercial breakthrough, becoming the first Australian hip-hop LP to achieve gold status. With 2006's chart-topping The Hard Road, the Hilltop Hoods also notched their first Australian Top 40 hit single, "Clown Prince."
Hilltop Hoods' fifth album, State of the Art, faced more anticipation than they'd ever received in their career, and upon release in 2009, it not only debuted at number one in Australia but reached double platinum status on the backs of two hit singles, "Chase That Feeling" and "Still Standing." Continuing on the trio's album-every-three-years schedule, Drinking from the Sun appeared in 2012, becoming their third consecutive chart-topper; the album featured collaborations with a pair of American rap luminaries, Black Thought from the Roots and Chali 2na from Jurassic 5. In 2014, the single "Won't Let You Down" heralded the August release of their seventh album, Walking Under Stars, which again topped the Australian charts. ~ Jason Ankeny