Hip Hop: Peculiarities Of A Turkish-German Style

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Everything can be much confusing when you are a Muslim with the taste of sausage. When you riffs in German and rhymes in Turkish. Moving like water, you have the joints of a ghost. You are a cross-cultural rapper in a Europe restless about identity. Your hip-hop is a staccato barrage rumbling between two worlds, and the inherent contradictions. This is how a Turkish-German rapper describes himself.

Hip-hop, which got its beginning in the US as a type of urban fight turns immediately into ‘the voice of the European ghetto’. It is the music of the underestimated which is rising above the country state and national outskirts. When hip-hop first became popular in Germany in the 1980s, it helped the nation’s Muslim migrants express their situation with lonely anthems of exclusion and alienation. Throughout the decades, the number of Muslim migrants to Germany grew and German Hip-hop artists have adopted a much harder and progressively strident tone. Their type of cultural expression which are identified as ‘hybrid’ or ‘creolized’ got extensive consideration in media as well as in the scholarly dis- courses on German-Turkish youth. These new forms of cultural expression come to the forefront of the discourses of migration, diaspora and marginality as sites of identification and negotiation of ethnicity for minority youth .Seen as the political expression for those on the margins of the power structures, Rap is hurriedly celebrated as the new liberated and innovative type of articulation of the minorities.

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It was primarily the clubs, art centers and lawns of multicultural neighborhood of Kreuzberg, Berlin that immediately turned into a center for German-Turkish rap. The genre developed rapidly in Germany and advanced into its own hybrid. Hip-hop doesn’t require formal melodic instruction, instruments or deep education, so children could instruct themselves to rap just by tuning in to different rap artists. Artists started rapping in German, weaving expressions from Turkish, Arabic and different dialects into their music. This new German-Turkish rap music blast not only stayed a local melodic wonder, its infection soon spread from the Spree to the Bosporus. The unusual sounds and provocative raps in German and Turkish were received with eagerness by youngsters in Turkish cities. For example, Istanbul and Ankara.

Hip Hop’s status in the music world today is so huge and its essence is unavoidable that it is very difficult to isolate it from mainstream culture. In US, where it surpassed Rock for the first time in 2017 as the nation’s biggest music genre. Varieties of American-influenced Hip Hop has pervaded youth scenes and set up its presence in Europe. There’s Grime in England, there’s Afro-Trap in France, and an intensely Americanized Trap scene in Italy. Like these countries Germany is also in the blend with a particular rap scene developed in the course of the last 20-30 years. A significant part of the German rap scene starts from Kreuzberg, an area in Berlin with numerous migrant groups. A great part of the early selection of Hip Hop occurred during the 90s with Turkish and Arab foreigners driving the way. A considerable lot of the Turks and Arabs were German born, with parents who’d go to Germany as workers. High voltage American Rap about the experience of black people in America, who faced a history of slavery, police brutality and African American experience as being unvalued and seen with suspicion by their white countrymen who held all the political power and capital was instantly relatable to the children of Arabs and Turks. Today, Hip Hop in the country progressively changed. While a few rappers still take some effort to address issues like intensely racist political groups and racism, the space has opened up as points include typical clichés of the genre like popping bottles and celebrating. Others have made allegations of hostile to Semitism – a rising issue in German culture among youth who weren’t raised under the shadow of World War II.

The 1990s brought changes in the music. Various groups no longer limited themselves to the predominant American models, in particular soul, funk, rock, and electro but delivered music which can be comprehensively interpreted as Turkish. Hip-hop beats included components of Turkish genres mainly from folklore, art music and popular music.

Advanced Chemistry was one of the first main groups to begin rapping in German and its music obtains intensely from New York Hip-hop. The group’s lyrics tells us a very German story. Regardless of having German citizenship, the group’s individuals, who have migrant background, rap about not being viewed as German. In the 1995 song ‘Fremd im eigenen Land’ (‘Foreign in my Own Country’). Pioneers of German-Turkish Hip-Hop the Triumphal Sweep was started by the music group called ‘Cartel’. With eastern-style beats, samples and socially-critical lyrics, they hit the right spot with young migrants. The rap formation led by Hakan K and Erci E from Berlin achieved notable success with their debut album in 1995. Their music was later played on MTV and VIVA. And they produced the album ‘Begegnungen’ (Encounters) together with rock musician Peter Maffay. ‘Challa’ (alias Caglar Budlaki), a rapper of Turkish origin from the Berlin has created a bridge between Hip-Hop and social work. He teaches hip-hop and breakdance in Berlin schools and arts centers such as the ‘Wasserturm’ youth club. Incitement as a principle ‘Kool Savas’, who has progressed to the status of rap symbol, grew up in Kreuzberg where he discovered his direction onto the hip-hop scene. The so called ‘Ruler of Rap’ supports aid organizations. The artist’s provocative melodies are shameful to a few, who wonders if he’s giving a call to violence.

Air Max sneakers, German rhymes about clans, Trap beats and a sound like something you have never heard before that’s what the Berlin Gangsta Rap scene has to offer you. A great part of gangsta rap in Germany is still controlled by Arabs and Turks who have manufactured their very own German style of gangsta rap. The special sound blends current trap and rap beats with Middle East impacts and German rhymes about Gucci, Nike Air Max, drugs and gangsters. Prominent artists from the Berlin Gangsta Rap scene include the likes of Capital Bra and King Khalil. Hip Hop has gone from a sub category to the music of people all around the globe including Berlin’s thriving Gangsta rap scene.

From the first rap vinyl recorded in the Turkish language by ‘Bir Yabancının Hayatı’ (The Life of a Foreigner) by King Size Terror to the creation of an entire subgenre called Oriental hip hop. Turkish youth in Germany have embraced and moved beyond pure imitation of African American hip-hop culture. Overtime German rap has moved from the underground to the mainstream and if Advanced Chemistry was looking at having their personality not addressed every step of the way, the present German rappers are getting progressively powerful, making their own universes where they manage everything. Today, the German hip hop scene is an impression of the numerous dimensions that Germany has come to speak in a unified image of Europe. Everything from ‘migrant hip hop’ to the more humor-based groups paint a picture of a vibrant, lively and diverse hip hop network in Germany.


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