Resident Profile: Rebeccah, on hip-hop and healing

With its graffiti art-covered walls, Adelaide’s west end is a colourful place. But to those who live there, it’s a lot more colourful thanks to proud Tolai woman Rebeccah.

Always dressed in a Hip-Hop themed t-shirt to match her mood (today it’s Biggie Smalls), Rebeccah has lived a very colourful life – and continues to do so.

While often clad in bright clothes to match her brightly painted street, it’s Rebeccah’s broad smile, sincere warmth and infectious personality that make her stand out.  Everyone seems to have a kind word to share about her, and she seems to know almost everyone – even the Lord Mayor.

Rebeccah runs SA Hip-Hop Instagram account @Thelementadl, performs Acknowledgments to Country at local Hip Hop events, is learning to DJ – with a few gigs under her belt – and this year hosted a multilingual Hip Hop event called ‘Say What?’. The event was a celebration of Hip Hop in native tongues, where talented artists, each performing in their own language, gave a glimpse into their unique cultures. Supported by the City of Adelaide, it was a huge success with a clear interest in such a unique event.

“Hip Hop is incredible – everyone is in a crowd united for one thing. Plus, it’s a way to express myself – especially using lyrical metaphors.”

Rebeccah has only recently been able to pursue her passion for Hip Hop music. It was on hold for a long time, while she focused on her son and embarked on a long healing process due to a traumatic childhood and life challenges.

“I have done a lot of big courageous healing work to get where I am today.”

Outside of Hip-Hop, Rebeccah has also used her lived experience to help others – she was integral in establishing the Create Foundation in SA – a national body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience.

“I am where I’m meant to be planted and I don’t actually ever want to leave this community. I had a vision where I wanted to live here, but I had to do the work to get here.”

When there’s a community event organised by the SA Inclusive Communities team, you are likely to find Rebeccah participating or helping.

“I love that the Inclusive Communities Team are real people with real lives. And I see their role as just helping me get out to any event they can, keeping me engaged.”

Rebeccah was instrumental in helping the ground floor of the Mellor St apartment building, now known as Wauwi Inparilla, become a community space. Rebeccah contributed in many ways, from painting walls to performing a beautiful rendition of the song ‘Creep’ at the launch.

“I’m in my element at the moment – I get strength from my Hip Hop community and my Community Housing community.”