Jan Delay – searching for the jan soul rebels
Posted January 9, 2008on:
Hip Hop from Germany Part 4
Not a rap album at all, but a record rooted deep down in the hip hop scene from Hamburg. From that rainy and windy city up in the North comes this groovy reggae, from roots reggae tunes to uptempo dancehall clashes. Jan Delay a.k.a. Eizi Eiz from the hip hop formation Beginner teamed up with the Sam Ragga Band in 2001 and recorded this fine piece of music. Reggae from Germany? Yes, it is possible and the result was groundbreaking for the national hip hop scene. Jan Delay was of course not the first doing reggae with german lyrics, a relatively big scene naming themselves “Germaican” exists since almost a decade, but they are just (mainly very boring and embarrassingly) copies of Jamaican Dancehall & NeoRoots acts. With “searching for the jan soul rebels” (the album title is undoubtly a homage to the Dexys Midnight Runners “searching for the young soul rebels” records from 1980) a new area started, nobody before did play with the german language in ways like these, changing pronunciations, stretching and tossing words like that to fit them perfectly to the music. Sadly this record also was the initiation for a new nationalistic wave across the german music scene, when german acts demanded a national radio quote for music from Germany. In this debate nationalistic and anti-american stereotypes soon raised their ugly heads. What difference does it make, if they just want to replace the musical trash from the USA with trash from Germany. I wish I could say Jan Delay did speak out clearly against these tendencies, like he always raps and sings against racism and nationalism on every record he did take part in, but he didn´t. But back to topic…
The album is introduced by Torch from legendary Advanced Chemistry and more important german hip hop heads do take part, Sammy Deluxe from Hamburg and member of the Mongo Clikke, D-Flame and a wonderful song with Xavier Naidoo. I have to say, I really don´t like this guy and his R´n´B songs with dumb religious lyrics. Xavier Naidoo tries to write romantic poems, but only kitschy trash is the result – but together with Jan Delay and Dennis Dublate a.k.a. Denyo from the Beginner he knows to convince.
The record was very popular and a mega-seller, even the single “Ich will nicht das ihr meine Lieder singt” with a really clear message against all the people who must have bought it to became a mega-seller, had high chart entries. Once again a proof that pop-culture will never change the world and that even songs with a strong message against the stupid and boring masses will be bought by them.