The powerful collaboration between Briggs and Trials took out the 12th Australian Music Prize last night, seeing the pair awarded $30,000 for their protest album Reclaim Australia.

It may have been another win for hip hop within just two years (REMI’s Raw X Infinity took out the award in 2014), but it was the first time an Indigenous act took home the prize in the Awards’ 12-year history.

During his speech at Melbourne’s The Toff in Town last night, Briggs said the win was a “reflection of all the artists that came before us, who allowed us to be able to walk up tonight and win this […] All these artists paved the way for artists like us to be able to achieve this. “It’s because of them, they made the foundation,” he added. “So I think that’s what us walking up tonight and accepting this thing is going to be about.”

The raw, emotive and undeniable protest music on Reclaim Australia cast a much-needed light on this country’s history of racism and discrimination. Unfortunately but expectedly, the record’s release, specifically its single ‘January 26’, was met with an ignorant backlash from those whose culture wasn’t born from battling political and socio-economic oppression.

Dave Faulkner, Chairperson of the Judging Panel, said, “Reclaim Australia is more than just a great Australian album, it’s a cultural landmark. It’s an angry, funny, heartfelt, slamming hip hop album that takes its inspiration from ’90s gangsta rap, and filters it through a modern Aboriginal perspective. It hits hard politically, musically and emotionally and the stories A.B. Original are telling are ones we all need to hear right now.

The 12th AMP Shortlist (in alphabetical order):

A.B. Original – ‘Reclaim Australia’

The Avalanches – ‘Wildflower’

Big Scary – ‘Animal’

Camp Cope – ‘Camp Cope’

D.D Dumbo – ‘Utopia Defeated’

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Nonagon Infinity’

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – ‘Skeleton Tree’

Olympia – ‘Self Talk’

The Peep Tempel – ‘Joy’

 A.B.Original’s win follows previous AMP winners:

2015 – ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit’ by Courtney Barnett

2014 – ‘Raw X Infinity’ by REMI

2013 – ‘Not Art’ by Big Scary

2012 – ‘Hyperparadise’ by Hermitude

2011 – ‘Prisoner’ by The Jezabels

2010 – ‘Bliss Release’ by Cloud Control

2009 – ‘Wonder’ by Lisa Mitchell

2008 – ‘Primary Colours’ by Eddie Current Suppression Ring

2007 – ‘Devil’s Elbow’ by The Mess Hall

2006 – ‘Moo, You Bloody Choir’ by Augie March

2005 – ‘Wait Long By The River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By’ by The Drones