I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie
to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop
the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie
to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat
– Sugar Hill Gang ‘Rappers Delight’
Not many people know that I have a great love for hip hop music. It sounds strange to most, because they know me for loving hardcore and black metal. For some reason hip hop always spoke to me, from the first time I saw the videos on MTV as a child with the checkered shirts and fell in love with that early stuff of Snoop Dogg (that video where he changed into a dog, awesome), Notorious BIG and all that stuff. When I got one of those oversized, woolen black/white checkered shirts I was over the moon. I was sure I looked bad ass.
So later came the Dutch stuff with Extince’s ‘Viervoeters’ and ‘Zoete Inval’ or Osdorp Posse’s ‘Origineel Amsterdams’. I was loving it. I started listening to a lot of harder stuff, but one can hardly deny the hard hip hop influences in the likes of Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Rage Against The Machine and various others. The whole nu-metal scene was full of rhymes. I started being a DJ myself in a bar later and slowly got into the resurging wave of Dutch hiphop, or Nederhop as they call it again. I started checking out all sorts of stuff over the years.
I loved the clear sound of words and literary qualities of the genre. I still dig smart lyrics and listenability. I guess I got into it again and again over the years, checking out oddities and other languages. From the Baltic groups like Metsakutsu. Gacho and G&G Sindikatas to German, Swedish, Russian and whatever kind of stuff. I listened to anything.
Another point of interest has always been the lifestyle. Having listened, identified and dressed like a hardcore and punk afficionado for most of my life, there was a close connection between the two cultures. This is ofcourse emphasized by a lot of hip hop groups I came across in later life, like the Beasty Boys (I knew them, but didnt really get it until later) and the stuff Danny Diablo and those other NYHC guys did.
Now we come to a more fun part though. Did you ever hear about this subgenre called Nerdcore? I did. I’ve always been a geek and if there’s any music (apart from power metal and W40k metal (yes…)) that helped me accept that, it’s Nerdcore. Nerdcore deals with the same beats, sounds and lyrical skills, but just doesnt talk about beef, bitches and bling. I’m not a cool dude who had tons of bitches in my life, I don’t care that much about golden chains and big cars and I try to avoid beef by not being a dick (I’ll get to that link later). So what do they rhyme about? Daily life, porn addication, self acceptance and just dorky, funny, silly and highly amusing songs. Two MC’s I’d like to mention that are really great, are MC Frontalot and MC Lars. The second is actually an English major, who did this whole TEDx talk on hip hop and Shakespeare (watch it, its so cool). I’m still hoping ‘the Front’ will let me interview him. Look for the documentary ‘Nerdcore Rising’ as well, to get more of an idea what the whole thing is about.
That does not mean I limit myself to anything in that sense. From Devlin and Giggs to Ice Cube, NWA and Public Enemy, my iPod is filled with it and more new things I get to hear every day. Words have always been important to me, good lyrics, catchy beats and the right hooks to get you hooked on a song. Hip hop is all about self expression and whatever you do in your life, there’s something to be found in this music for you.
In the mean time I continue looking for that perfect beat and the sharpest words. I love music and hip hop has a special place in my heart.