Father and son hip-hop artists spread message of hope

Josh Eggington is a proud Noongar Wongi man.

Not only is the father of five a well-known Perth hip-hop artist named Flewnt, he also mentors troubled young people at some of Western Australia’s youth detention centres.

Flewnt, 28, says hip-hop “saved my life” and drives him to help others.

“I grew up with a pretty hard background, I had to, sort of, survive young with my brothers and sisters,” he said.

Headshot of young man against tree backdrop

Flewnt says music helped him heal at a young age.(Supplied: Albertina Thabisani Ncube)

“I was a 16-year-old father and music had been my therapy through all those early stages of my life where I felt I was struggling.”

Flewnt’s eldest son, 11-year-old Ethan, is also a hip-hop artist, named Inkabee.

Their family double act is touring regional Western Australia as part of the 2024 Perth Festival, celebrating First Nations music and culture across Broome, Geraldton and Busselton. 

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“We met up with mob from Broome who took us out and showed us country and looked after us,” Flewnt said.

“Broome’s got this warmth about it. Both in the actual temperature and spirit.”

Inkabee said the pair’s first concert in Broome “went off”.

“It was wonderful, they kind of went crazy … they also started chanting my name.”

Man wearing red shirt holding microphone raps on stage with hand in the air under stage lights.

Flewnt performs to crowds at Broome’s Block Party Boom.(Supplied: Jalaru Photography)

Hip hop ‘a voice for young people’

When he’s not under the bright lights on stage, Flewnt spends his time with young people in custody at Perth’s Banksia Hill and Casuarina prisons, and with students disengaged from mainstream school.

“I can relate to a lot of these young people that we see in these detention centres, the similar upbringings that we all kind of get dealt,” he said. 

Young boy Inkabee singing into a microphone, on stage with his father Flewnt.

Inkabee (right) encourages other young people to chase their dreams.(Supplied: Jalaru Photography)

The former WA NAIDOC Music Award winner said empowering and engaging youth through hip hop, as a form of “music therapy”, was life changing.

“It’s actually about storytelling and being a voice for the oppressed,” Flewnt said.

“When I see young people using hip hop in the way that it’s intended … I can’t help but be my happiest.”

Flewnt hopes his music programs provide children with an opportunity to express themselves. 

“These kids are really good at it, it’s just something that’s natural,” he said.

“I work with a lot of Kimberley kids … seeing them in their element, and engaged and then coming together like a community just melts my heart.

“I think the world needs to hear it.”

‘Chase your dreams’

Flewnt shared his passion for hip hop with his son from a young age, and Inkabee recorded his first track at seven years old.

The proud father said Inkabee’s hard work and success inspired other children.

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“The way he interacts with his peers that are his age, and inspires them to pursue things that maybe for young Indigenous kids might not feel attainable,” he said.

“He definitely knows that with hard work, practice and a good set of people around you can make dreams come alive.”

Inkabee wants other young people to know age isn’t a barrier.

“Doesn’t matter what your age is, it’s worth chasing your dreams and do what you believe in.”

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